Central America has an abundance of active and inactive volcanoes along the Central American Volcanic Arc on the Pacific coastline extending from Guatemala to Costa Rica. Nicaragua alone has 19 active volcanos, a large percentage of which could be potentially dangerous, according to volcanologists (yes, that’s a real profession). The mystery and beauty of nature! However, some volcanoes are safe to hike and explore. Here are four volcano tours you can do around Nicaragua whose proceeds support local communities.
Managua Adventure Tour: Hike to the Rim of Masaya Volcano
Hike to the Rim of the Masaya Volcano with the Managua Adventure Tour in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, for 1-8 hours for $25 to support local tour guides, potential social programs and education for university students.
The Masaya Volcano is located in Masaya, 12 miles from Managua, in Nicaragua’s largest national park. It is a 9,000-year-old, active caldera volcano, similar to a melting pot, that erupts with ash and volcanic rock, also known as pumice. Its last eruption was this past January—but don’t worry, the possibility for eruption is closely monitored and tours will be closed well in advance of any volcanic ash shower!
The tour consists of exploring the national park, hiking to the top of the volcano and learning about its interesting history.
Cerro Negro Hiking Tour: Hike Up & Board Down a Live Volcano
The Cerro Negro is an active volcano in the Cordillera de los Maribios mountain. It is actually the baby of all volcanos in the Central American region, born in April of 1850. It is called Cerro Negro for its charcoal color as seen in the picture above. It has had frequent eruptions since its birth; the last being in August of 1999.
Hike and board down the Cerro Negro volcano in León, the second largest city in Nicaragua, for 4-5 hours for $35 and support the Sonati nonprofit organization, which provides free environmental education to local children and rural communities.
The tour consists of hiking and then riding down on a sled and learning the history of the volcano.
Laguna de Apoyo Adventure Tour: Volcanic Crater Dive
Dive in a volcanic crater with the Laguna de Apoyo Adventure Tour for two hours for $40 in support of The Peace Project, a group which trains local youth to become PADI divers in order to obtain employment within Nicaragua’s tourism industry.
Laguna de Apoyo is a natural reserve located between Masaya and Granada—a lake situated on an extinct volcanic crater. It is near the Masaya Volcano, the first volcano tour on this list. This magical spot became a natural reserve in 1991 (the lake is 23,000 years old).
Nicaragua Adventure Tour: Coffee and Volcano Hike
Hike the San Cristóbal volcano and then visit a coffee farm for lunch in Chinandega, in the northwest of the country, for a full day at $75 per person in support of Quetzaltrekkers, a non-profit organization that gives 100% of its proceeds to organizations help at-risk youth.
The San Cristóbal is the highest volcano in Nicaragua. It’s still active, with its last eruption in June of 2015. San Cristóbal is a stratovolcano (cone-shaped) and was created by the built up of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash.
The tour includes the hike up and sliding down the volcano followed by lunch at a local coffee farm.
For more tours in Nicaragua, visit visit.org.