Yesterday we went for a visit to Mombacho Volcano, a close drive from Granada and a beautiful protected Nicaraguan park.
We booked a tour for $35 through Tierra Tours. After a little research, $35 seemed standard unless you book through our hotel which charges $50. We went with the standard price 🙂 The Tierra Tours van picked us up at around 9:30am and we were off. There was already a man from Belgium in the car, and then we picked up a couple from Toronto (actual Toronto, not people from hours away telling people they live in Toronto) and we headed for my first volcano of the trip!
Mombacho is a “dormant” or sleeping volcano. It hasn’t erupted since the 1500s but it is definitely alive. We saw steam coming from the earth and smelled sulfur more than once, especially near the crater. It is closely monitored for activity.
Less than a 30 minute drive from downtown Granada, Mombacho rises to 1344 meters. Even though Lyna mentioned she would have liked to, we did not climb the entire way to the top. That wasn’t given to me as an option. The van stopped part of the way up, took us to a coffee farm to sample local coffee, and then we drove up to the parks office and the trailheads.
Our guide, Oscar, took us on a 1.5 (or so) hour tour around the crater. We hiked beautiful trails, saw a lot of pretty plants, gorgeous views of Granada, Lake Nicaragua and the crater lake Apoyo. The climate at the top was much cooler than down in Granada. At one point it was as low as 18 degrees. Oscar taught us a lot about the plant life and volcanic geography, and we saw a sloth! Lyna is pretty much a sloth spotter now, which I think is a good talent to have with you on a trip in Nicaragua, especially since sloths are so cute! I took tons of photos and videos, of course.