Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua

Thirteen volcanoes surround the old colonial city of Leon. One of them is Cerro Negra, the youngest active volcano in Central America. Just four hundred metres high, the slopes are blackened from volcanic ash. Leon’s Bigfoot Hostel takes tourists on a daily excursion to climb the steep slopes, walk along the fuming crater, strap onto a piece of wood, and sandboard down the volcano. Hitting speeds of up to 60 km/hr, it’s a terrific excuse to hike up an active volcano at sunset, appreciate the surrounding landscape, make some friends, and tick volcano boarding off the bucket list.

Length of Trip : 4-5 hours, departing late afternoon.

Cost : Currently $31 per person, which includes transport, park fees and a tank top.

Best time to go : Open year round.

Wheelchair friendly : No

Family friendly : Kids can be accommodated, but let Bigfoot know when booking.

Where to eat :
A few blocks from the cathedral on 2da Ave North is El Bodegon.Quality, Cuban-inspired cuisine that's a hit with travellers and locals.
Another safe bet is CocinArte, the city's first vegetarian restaurant, located in a colonial house in the Lobario neighbourhood. Fresh, healthy and delicious.

Official Site :
Bigfoot Hostel and Volcano Boarding

Where to Stay :
Budget: Stay at Bigfoot Hostel, where you'll meet backpackers from around the world ready to hurtle themselves down a volcano too. I also fell in love with Paradiso Hostel, located in Laguna de Apoyo, where you can swim in the clear, warm and calm waters of a crater lake.
Mid-High: Hotel Los Balcones is a lovely little boutique hotel in Leon, centrally located and infused with colonial charm.

Getting There :
Leon is located about and hour and a half's drive from the capital of Managua. The road has been rebuilt and has some beautiful views. If you're not renting a car, you can take a chicken bus from the terminal in Managua. Transportation to Cerro Negra is provided by Bigfoot Hostel, which also runs a shuttle service throughout the country.

Note from Robin :
Make sure your goggles fit well and your mouth is firmly shut because you're going to be strafed by sharp pieces of granite. Remember, this is an active volcano so bear that risk in mind when making a booking. It's a pretty serious hike up and you have to carry your board, so I'd recommend you be in pretty decent shape to take on this activity. Leon itself is a lovely city, the highlight being the cathedral. Climb to the roof to see the terrific views.

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