Many visitors to Nicaragua wonder which is the best volcano to hike. There are many to choose from and they are all different. One volcano offers the beauty of a rain forest that covers the entire volcano. Another offers an unparalleled view from the middle of Lake Nicaragua. The third volcano offers the mystique and name every Nicaraguan is familiar with. Here is our top 3 in no particular order because they are all great and offer something different.
Mombacho has unparalleled beauty with its lush greenery covering the entire volcano, even the crater. The rain forest which calls the volcano home is a perfect for all kinds of wildlife. In addition hikers are treated to the site of coffee farms on the way up the mountain. There is a road that goes all the way to the top and a shuttle service that transports travelers up and down the volcano. Some may view this as a negative aspect because they want to hike all the way up to the top on a trail, not with a shuttle service or hiking up a road. However, the best hiking is at the top of the volcano where there is a trail that goes around the crater where visitors get to witness spectacular views. One of the best view is along the trail where one can see all of the islands that were formed from the volcanic eruption hundreds of years earlier. Granadais also visible in the distance. It is really hard to beat those sites. There are also more intense hikes that go further up the volcano but for those it is best to have a guide. Guides are available at the top of the volcano where the shuttle drops you off. The hike around the crater is easy anyone who can walk should be able to do it. The trail can be a bit muddy if its been raining a lot.
Concepción is the larger of the two volcanoes that are one the island of Ometepe which is the largest fresh water island in the world. Do we need to say more? On this volcano there is no road access to the top and thus the hike begins from the bottom. By the time you reach the top hikers feel a sense of accomplishment. The hike starts off in the lush greenery surrounded by banana trees. As one is hiking up they will be able to see some of the pre-Colombian drawings on rocks. As they get further up the mountain the lush greenery ends and the trail gets steeper. To do this hike, one must be in good physical shape because it will test your endurance. Once hikers reach the top of Concepción there is a spectacular 360 degree view (if there is no cloud cover) of Lake Nicaragua. From the top you may be able to see the Pacific Ocean as well. It is hard to beat this view. Note there is the Maderas volcano nearby which is less strenuous and time consuming to hike.
Momotombo is one of Nicaragua’s most famous volcanoes because of its recent volcanic activity and its almost perfect cone shape. However, because it is not near many of the other Nicaraguan tourist destinations there are not as many people hiking up Momotombo. Momotombo is a mostly barren volcano but with a steep incline making it challenging for hikers. Just likeConcepcion, Momotombo can be a grueling hike. By the time hikers are in the top third of the volcano they are almost on all fours crawling up the volcano. The view at the top makes it all worth it though. There is a great view of Lake Managua and Momotombito. Momotombito is the small island volcano on Lake Managua. It looks like a small version of Momotombo which is how it got its name.
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