Best volcanoes in NicaraguaPaul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
Our Real Latin America Expert
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Known as the land of volcanoes, Nicaragua is home to some of Central America’s most impressive magma mountains. Read on to find out which volcanoes you shouldn’t miss when visiting Nicaragua.
Maderas and Concepción
A pair of conical peaks responsible for the creation of Ometepe Island located in Lake Nicaragua, now one of the country’s most popular destinations for tourists as well as locals. Despite its fame, the island maintains a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere with an abundance of birds, mammals and tropical fruit trees. Climbing either is a challenge, particularly Concepción (still an active volcano), which takes the best part of 10 hours!
The perfectly shaped Momotombo Volcano rises 1,297m and towers over Lake Managua and the smaller island volcano of Momotombito. It played an important role in history when, in 1625, it buried Nicaragua’s former capital, the old city of León, under layers of volcanic ash. A challenging climb and scramble to the top results in some fantastic views.
This volcano really stands out from the surrounding region as a towering, jet black mountain rising up from the ground an hour or so outside of León. There is a winding trail up to the summit, first over craggy volcanic rock and later on softer black ashy dunes formed by cooled lava. The hike is tough but enjoyable and the views are rewarding, however the fun is in the journey down! Hop on a make-shift ‘ash-board’ and slide down the side of the volcano all the way to the bottom – the experience is much like sledging, but in a hot, tropical country!
This is one of the best-known national parks in Nicaragua with some fantastic opportunities for walking with wonderful views over the surrounding lands. For me, the real stand-out experience here was being able to peer down into Masaya's crater and see a pool of magma bubbling away around 1km below. This felt like a very primordial experience seeing the bright red molten rock splashing on the dark sides of the crater.
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