Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro

Volcano Boarding Cerro Negro

Volcano Boarding is one of the top things to do when visiting León, so I signed up to do it almost immediately upon arrival. Why delay? Am I glad I did it because volcano boarding at Cerro Negro is a highlight of this trip and will always be a great memory for me.

Volcano Tour

My hostal offers a daily tour of the volcano through Nicatime Nicaragua. We left at 8am on Wednesday, got to Cerro Negro Volcano by 9am, and started hiking. The uphill climb is only an hour long, but with all the sand and rocks, it’s not easy. Slippery best describes the hike.

Cerro Negro
Our group climbing up Cerro Negro

Cerro Negro means Black Mountain, and that is what it is. This fairly young, still active volcano is a pile of black sand and rock. People have been volcano boarding there for about 17 years, according to my tour guide, Oscar (just kidding, it was Lester – or Luther, damn I am bad at this. I’ll call him Oscar). Now this extreme sport is the primary reason people visit Cerro Negro, and it’s one of the top attractions in León.

Active Volcano

Not only was the volcano boarding an experience, but the volcano itself was interesting. It’s active – last eruption was 1999 – and smoking. We walked right up to a few smoking areas and when you kick up the top layer of dirt around the crater you feel the heat underneath. Oscar told us that people sometimes camp up there and cook their food right on the mountain (wrapped in foil or something. obvs)

Cerro Negro
Smoking crater at Cerro Negro

The views from the volcano of the other volcanoes in the area were pretty beautiful too. It was a clear and hot day. That’s why we left in the early morning. Can’t imagine how hot it is in the afternoon.

Cerro Negro view
View from Cerro Negro
My Tour Group

There were 5 of us in Oscar’s tour group, me and a bunch of 20-somethings from Australia, the U.S. and Germany, and about 15 other groups all doing the same thing.

my tour group
Me and the twentysomethings at the top
Ready and Waiting

The climb up was the hard part, carrying our “boards,” and then we had to put on our jumpsuits, goggles, facemasks and gloves and get ready to slide down the hill. Then we had to wait.

Me climbing
Me climbing Cerro Negro with my board

All in all, the process took an hour or two, for <5 minutes of sliding down the black rocky hill. It seemed scary beforehand but it really wasn’t in the end.

It was an adventure! I actually had trouble going as fast as I wanted to! I recommend doing the volcano boarding at Cerro Negro tour if you come to León.

Warning: You get a LOT of the black rocks on your board, your face, your neck, your shoes – everywhere! Mementoes of the journey. I am glad I did it.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

6 thoughts on “Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro”

  1. OMG Mel this sounds like so much fun! Your photos on the way up show such big rocks, that I was thinking it’d be hard to slide…but it looks like that one slope is full of finer rocks.

    Did you stand up like a surfer/snowboarder or sit like on a toboggan?

    1. It was a blast Josy! The guides recommend sitting down which is good. I did not have the skills to stand up but was lucky to watch some people do it that way. I think if you’re a surfer or good snowboarder you could try that.

  2. Volcano boarding looks like quite the adventure! An hour hike to get up doesn’t sound too bad, but I do remember the ground being really loose when I did a volcano hike in El Salvador. Camping and cooking up there would be really cool as well. The slope downward looks really daunting but I’m glad to hear it’s not that scary once you do it.

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