Traveling through Nicaragua is definitely a wild experience to say the least! From the moment a traveler flies into the Western side of the country, it's almost impossible to escape the volcanos that dot the landscape. Amazingly, Nicaragua is home to 19 volcanos with many of them still blowing their lids every few years --- WILD!
While cruising with our wide eyed travelers down the Pan-American Highway from Managua to Nicaragua's surfers paradise, San Juan Del Sur (a small coastal town located in the Southern department of Rivas), we pulled over just North of the town of La Virgen to soak in the views of Ometepe. Ometepe is an island located directly in the center of Lake Nicaragua that is being formed to this day by two volcanoes, Volcán Concepción and Volcán Maderas .
We were fortunate enough to be traveling on a Sunday, a day for Nicaraguan's that is typically spent celebrating with family, and friends. Upon arriving at the shorelines of Lake Nicaragua we were so stoked to see so many people spending their day in the lake with Volcán Concepción looming in the distance. The music was BLASTING and the Toñas were being guzzled --- talk about a PERFECT day!
Volcán Concepcion is DEFINITELY a must see in Nicaragua! This pristine volcano rises 5,280 feet from the base to summit. For the adventurous of heart (meeeeeeeeeee), you can spend a day climbing to the summit to peer into this smoking beast! This climb definitely isn't for the faint of heart. You'll spend 4-5 hours traversing up the volcano with direct exposure to the scorching sun. If that isn't enough, scrambling up the 25% to 35% grades with sketchy trails that crumble beneath your feet can prove a bit challenging. During the climb you'll surely be gassed and sucking in air. Speaking of gas, the interesting part is the air near the top is often a toxic mixture of bleach, carbon monoxide, and sulfur --- sounds pretty hellish, right?!? To most, it truly is but it's all well worth the time and physical strain when you reach the summit of this active volcano who last erupted in 2009.
I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the summit when this volcano decides to act up again.