Truly, a huge part of the country's appeal is its diverse and stunning terrain, which includes everything from world-class beaches, enormous lakes like Lake Nicaragua and even some of the youngest active volcanoes on the planet.
When another day at the beach just won't cut it, there is nothing more thrilling than visiting Cerro Negro, one of Nicaragua's most incredible volcanoes.
What is Cerro Negro?
Cerro Negro, which means black hill in English, is an active volcano that is part of the Cordillera de los Maribios, a mountain range in Nicaragua. Cerro Negro only appeared in 1850, which makes it one of the youngest volcanoes on the planet.
Like the name suggests, Cerro Negro is a completely black mound, and there is no vegetation growing anywhere on it. The sides are steep and made up of volcanic ash.
Unlike some older volcanoes, Cerro Negro is not exceptionally tall, and it stands at a height of just 500 meters. There is a crater at the top of the volcano as well as a crater rim trail so that visitors can see this incredible volcano up close.
What Can Visitors Do at Cerro Negro?
Most people who visit Cerro Negro start by hiking up the side of the volcano. The journey takes most casual hikers about 45 minutes thanks to the steepness of the climb. While there isn't a paved path up the volcano, there is a trail that ensures you won't get lost.
At the top, many visitors want to walk the crater rim and take a look at the inside of a volcano, which is something that very few people ever get the chance to do.
From the top of Cerro Negro, photography is also ideal, as you have a clear view in every direction. The hike up Cerro Negro can be enjoyable, but the real fun starts with the descent. You can run down to the base or hike back down slowly, but adventurous visitors will want to try ash surfing.
After donning protective eye goggles and proper clothing, you can hop onto a wooden board and reach staggering speeds sliding back down the 500 meters of the volcanic ash.
Children and adults alike can try out ash surfing on a guided tour and sail down the side of the mountain at speeds of 30 to 50 miles per hour. While not for the faint of heart, ash surfing on Cerro Negro is a truly unforgettable experience in Nicaragua.
Getting to Cerro Negro
Cerro Negro is located near the historic colonial city of Leon. Although it is only 15 miles from the city, the roads leading to the volcano are unpaved and best traveled by a vehicle with a high clearance.
Some rental cars are suitable for this adventure, but most visitors and residents opt for an affordable tour departing from Leon. This ensures that you arrive safely, have all the necessary equipment and enjoy the experience to the fullest.While there is shortage of thrills to be had in Nicaragua, one of the most incredible is the chance to go volcano boarding, or ash surfing, on the slopes of Cerro Negro.Discover all there is to do in the beautiful country of Nicaragua.