Best volcanoes in NicaraguaPaul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
Our Real Latin America Expert
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Known as the land of volcanoes, Nicaragua is home to some of Central America’s most impressive magma mountains. Read on to find out which volcanoes you shouldn’t miss when visiting Nicaragua.
Maderas and Concepción
A pair of conical peaks responsible for the creation of Ometepe Island located in Lake Nicaragua, now one of the country’s most popular destinations for tourists as well as locals. Despite its fame, the island maintains a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere with an abundance of birds, mammals and tropical fruit trees. Climbing either is a challenge, particularly Concepción (still an active volcano), which takes the best part of 10 hours!
The perfectly shaped Momotombo Volcano rises 1,297m and towers over Lake Managua and the smaller island volcano of Momotombito. It played an important role in history when, in 1625, it buried Nicaragua’s former capital, the old city of León, under layers of volcanic ash. A challenging climb and scramble to the top results in some fantastic views.
This volcano really stands out from the surrounding region as a towering, jet black mountain rising up from the ground an hour or so outside of León. There is a winding trail up to the summit, first over craggy volcanic rock and later on softer black ashy dunes formed by cooled lava. The hike is tough but enjoyable and the views are rewarding, however the fun is in the journey down! Hop on a make-shift ‘ash-board’ and slide down the side of the volcano all the way to the bottom – the experience is much like sledging, but in a hot, tropical country!
This is one of the best-known national parks in Nicaragua with some fantastic opportunities for walking with wonderful views over the surrounding lands. For me, the real stand-out experience here was being able to peer down into Masaya's crater and see a pool of magma bubbling away around 1km below. This felt like a very primordial experience seeing the bright red molten rock splashing on the dark sides of the crater.
Browse our Nicaragua holidays.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.