3 Volcano Hikes to Try on Your Next Trip to Nicaragua
In a country home to 19 volcanoes, it may be hard to select your perfect afternoon hike during a trip to Nicaragua. With so many options, you could easily spend weeks exploring the entire country. Making this tough decision easier, we’ve narrowed down our top three hikes in the Nicaragua, each offering a unique view of the country’s most prolific volcanoes. From the highest volcanic peak in all of Nicaragua to trails full of endemic wildlife, you’re sure to enjoy the picturesque beauty of Nicaragua when you lace up your boots and hit the trail.
Located just an hour drive from Nicaragua’s capital of Managua or the colonial city of Granada, hiking Volcán Masaya is the perfect way to get active in Nicaragua. Based in the country’s very first national park, Volcán Masaya is one of the most visibly active volcanoes in Nicaragua. Home to an area teeming with wildlife like brightly-colored parakeets and fast-in-flight bats, you’re sure to find adventure during a day hike to this revered natural site. There are plenty of hikes to choose from throughout the park, ranging from short, easy trails to longer, tougher treks. No matter the path you choose, your journey will lead to the volcano’s crater, where you’re sure to glimpse incredible lava formations and a juxtaposed land of colorful vegetation.
Less than an hour from León, a hike to Volcán Telica is well worth the work for impressive views at the journey’s end. While all Nicaraguan volcanoes are mesmerizing in their own right, Volcán Telica is especially incredible – you can actually see molten lava flowing within this volcano’s crater. Requiring a moderate hike to the top, Volcán Telica is comprised of a crater nearly 1,000 feet deep. While the sight is stunning, the crater is best enjoyed at a safe distance, as smoke and fumes can grow quite erratic. For the best views at the top of Volcán Telica, begin your trek before daybreak. A panoramic, silhouette view of surrounding volcanoes stretch across the horizon, creating the perfect photography opportunity after an exhilarating adventure.
Volcán San Cristóbal
For the grandest volcano hike of them mall, venture to Nicaragua’s Volcán San Cristóbal, the highest volcanic crater in the country. Capping at almost 5,800 feet, this may be the longest volcano hike in Nicaragua, but the grade provides a friendly consistency that oscillates from medium to strenuous difficulty throughout the journey. Departing the town of León, the hike first requires a 90-minute drive to arrive to the trailhead. From there, it takes just under four hours to reach the volcano’s northern peak. At the top, views of outlying volcanoes begin to take shape as Volcán San Cristóbal’s fumes form in spiral smoke swirls spouting from the crater.