With 7 different volcanoes in Nicaragua, we’ll set up the adventure you’re looking for. If you want to see flowing lava, or climb to the summit and look over the edge, we’ve got you covered.
Dominating Granada’s skyline (like Leon, another outstanding must-see colonial town), the 1,100m Mombacho volcano offers a range of hikes, from the steep to the less demanding. Walking routes here reveal lush, vine-clad cloud forest teeming with wildlife. There are three species of monkey on the volcano, as well as 168 species of bird and more than 100 types of orchids.
Visiting Masaya volcano is a very different experience. Located above the country’s central plateau, the Masaya is one of the planet’s most active volcanoes, being one of only four in the world with a constant pool of lava. As we approach the columns of gas billowing from below, the strong smell of sulphur will envelope us. It is a real thrill to peek over the smoke-blackened rim down into the crater’s murky depths and see the red, burning pools of frothing lava. Because the gases are toxic, visitors are only supposed to stay for five minutes. You will be transfixed by the swirling gases, the glowing lava, the once-in-a-lifetime views.
El Hoyo and Pilas are in the same nature reserve as Cerro Negro. You can do a six-hour hike (with a not too punishing gradient) encompassing both the Pilas and El Hoyo volcanoes, rewarded by the almost perfectly circular crater rim of El Hoyo.
Concepcion volcano is for seasoned hikers only: this 10 to 12-hour steep hike, typically from Moyogalpa or Altagracia, can be tough and definitely needs proper hiking shoes. Taking a guide is recommended.
Telica volcano near Leon is a very active volcano known for looking down at the molten lava below.