Tourist Possibilities - Nicaraguan Volcanoes

Across the horizon of Nicaragua, you can see volcanoes peek up at frequent points along the way. The country has many volcanoes, some active, some dormant, but all breathtaking. Some are more easily reached than others, and some are more scenic than others, but they are all monuments to Earth's violent core. Here are two of special interest you may want to check out while in the country.

San Cristobal is the tallest volcano in the country, at slightly under 1750 meters. It remains active, and routinely billows gas and steam from its peak. It is possible to climb this volcano, but it is no simple task. The volcanic sand provides little foothold, meaning you slide downhill one step for every two steps forward. The hike above the tree line is especially daunting. On a clear day, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Gulf of Fonseca are visible from the summit.

Consiguina also rests above the Gulf of Fonseca. At 850 meters, it is not high, but a good hike none-the-less. The last time this volcano erupted was in 1835, and the result was a large crater that is now a lake. Views from the top of this peak encompass the Pacific Ocean, and it is possible to drive most of the way to the top before setting off on your hike.

It is possible to drive all the way to the top of another active volcano, Masaya. There is even a parking lot with attendants. The air is sulfur-laden and thick, but not so overwhelming that you can't peer past the rim and into the crater. As you drive up, you will see large lava flows along both sides of the roadway. It is possible to walk to a few other craters at the top if you so desire, but this is definitely the most accessible volcano around.

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