The Climb to the top of Cerro Negro
Cerro Negro, also known as Volcán Cerro Negro is an active 2,388 foot volcano located in the north west part of Nicaragua. The English translation of Cerro Negro is “Black Hill” which perfectly describes the surrounding area of the volcano. The continuous volcanic activity throughout its formation in 1850 has covered the slopes of the hill with thick black volcanic sand.
As for getting there, a few options are available. If you choose to get to the volcano independently, be prepared to encounter unpaved, rough roads. Therefore make sure you are driving a SUV or a similar clearance vehicle. The other, more convenient option is to take one of the affordable tour groups directly from Leon.
The 60-minute trek to the summit of Cerro Negro is not a pushover. In fact be prepared to sweat, as the primary trail gradually gets steeper. The hardest part of the trip will occur at the end where the path becomes very steep and the heat from the sun reflecting on the dark sand becomes intense. Nevertheless once reaching the top, you will be rewarded with a truly unbelievable 360-degree view of the Maribios mountain chain, the city of Leon and the Pacific Ocean!
Because of the intense heat, it is highly recommended to bring sufficient water and sunscreen. Moreover, try and get up and out before the sun has time to really heat up the volcano. Finally make sure to wear a good pair of hiking boots and light but sturdy pants to protect yourself from volcanic rocks and the abrasive sand.
Once the views have been soaked in and your body has recovered from the ascent, a choice for descent has to be made. Luckily for the thrill seekers, the most popular way to descend the volcano is to sandboard or run down the steep western side. Due to the thick volcanic sand, people can “ski” down the actual volcano mountain using everything from a snowboard to simple cardboard boxes under their feet. Since this discovery, it has become one of the most popular activities in the area. Just incase the thrill of flying down the façade of the mountain isn’t exactly your thing, walking down is also an option.
Mukul Resort & Spa offers their own unique Cerro Negro Experience!
This great experience starts by leaving Mukul in the morning via helicopter, flying over ocean and jungles until arriving at Cerro Negro Volcano. Once at the site, the thrilling descent experience takes less than ten minutes top to bottom, but less athletic hikers can walk and take their time. Alternatively, experienced snow- or sand-boarders can use a wooden board to zoom downhill, much like snowboarding. An experienced bilingual guide provides a short training session. Then, suit up in protective equipment (supplied) and get ready for the ride of your life.
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