Volcano boarding in Nicaragua
Volcano boarding in Nicaragua down Cerro Negro outside of Leon has become one of the main activities and tourist attractions for gringos like me visiting Nicaragua, but I really had no desire to do it. I live at a ski resort and spend four months a year sliding down a mountain and sledding down a volcano just seemed hot, dirty, and just a whole thing. Plus I had done it down sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and it was “meh” at best.
However, I definitely wanted to climb some volcanoes, especially during the golden hours and I had booked a “sunset volcano hike” through my hotel. Piling into the back of the tour operator’s suped-up Land Cruiser (or whatever it was), our guide, enthusiastically asked, “So you guys ready to volcano board?!”
Ummmm… no? Not really.
But since that’s what my hotel apparently booked us on and they already brought the gear for us to board… why the hell not?
Cerro Negro (“Black Hill”) is the youngest volcano in Central America, only just appearing in April 1850. Since then, it’s erupted frequently and has been one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua, with the last major eruption in 1999. At only 500 meters high, it can be easily climbed in under an hour and with one of the sides of the volcano made up of only volcanic sand, boards (sleds) can be used to slide to the bottom in a minute.
I can’t say that the actual sliding down Cerro Negro was a highlight of my Nicaragua trip, but the whole overall experience of the afternoon absolutely was…