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  • Suhashini L

Day 420: Volcanic Adventures: Hiking Up An Active Volcano & Sand-Boarding Down

Updated: Mar 6

Day 420 (25 Feb 2024) - Leon, Nicaragua to Cerro Negro, Nicaragua


 

DAY 420 (25 FEB 2024) – Besides being the largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is also a volcanic country. The area around the city of Leon is the most volcanic in Central America, with more than 10 active volcanoes nearby.


The Cerro Negro Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the country, located about 25 kilometers from the city of Leon. Having first appeared in 1850, it is considered the youngest volcano in Central America – measuring about 728 meters above sea level. Since its birth, it has erupted about 23 times, with its latest eruption occurring in 1999.


It is also famous for volcano boarding, particularly among tourists and thrill seekers. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I booked a volcano and beach tour package from “Volcano Day” tour agency - all at a price of USD 35 (RM 167) per person.


The package included the shuttle bus fare, sand board equipment with protective gears, a nice t-shirt, photos, lunch and snacks.


I did not encounter any language problems since the guide spoke good English and there were many tourists from different countries in the group.


I enjoyed the 1-hour long bus ride, especially since I have not been in a bus in a long time. In fact, this is my first time riding in a chicken bus! The bus travelled along a narrow dirt road that leads to the community and entrance of the volcano.




Upon arrival at the base of the volcano, we gathered our equipments and listened carefully to the guide’s briefing.


We then hiked up the volcano for about 45 minutes to get to the peak. It was a challenging climb but I’m glad I made it to the top!



The view from the top was simply stunning. It was very windy and the temperature was hot at 28 C. In contrast to its surrounding verdant hillsides, the Cerro Negro Volcano, is a cinder cone, formed by ash and fine black sand, giving rise to its name, which means “Black Hill”.


We followed the guide’s instructions and took turns to slide down the slope. It was a scary experience but fun at the same time, and I’m glad I made it safely to the base of the volcano!



As I watched others sliding down, there was a bit of a scare when I witnessed a young woman tumbling down as she approached the base at high speed! It was a bad fall, but by God’s grace, she got up unscathed, although she was understandably shaken, as were the rest of us!


At about 3 pm, the shuttle bus then took us to the beach, where we waited till evening to watch the beautiful sunset.


This was indeed a thrilling and unforgettable experience and I’m glad I did not miss it!


Fun fact : Bus is a major mode of transport between towns, villages and cities throughout Central America and “Chicken Buses” are very popular particularly in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua & Panama. The term “chicken bus” was coined by tourists since they are commonly used by locals for the transport of live-stock such as chicken. The busses are usually old school bus from the USA or Canada that have been brightly painted, often with religious motifs.


 

MY NICARAGUA JOURNEY MAP

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COMING SOON.

 

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