Volcano Boarding Nicaragua Style

Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America and where volcano boarding happens.

Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America, began forming in 1850 with its first eruption.  Since then there have been 11 more eruptions forming the ever-growing volcano that stands 726 meters tall today.  Eventually some guys from Australia made up this thing called “volcano boarding”  which involves sitting on a wooden board and sliding on top of the small rocks down the side of the hill.  The run takes a couple minutes depending on how fast you go (the record is 89kmh).

You set off from Bigfoot Hostel in León, because they invented volcano boarding and run the best tours in town.  For $23 you get a one-hour ride into the national park, a jump suit and goggles, a snack, one beer, and two tickets for mojitos at the hostel bar.  At the entrance to the park there is a small area packed full of creepy iguanas.

An iguana sanctuary at the park entrance

The truck drives right up onto the lava flow, and then you grab your board and begin the one-hour trek up the black hill.  Once at the top you are treated to a great view and it’s really cool to see how far the lava has flowed from the top crater.  The whole hill is rather warm, and there are smoking geysers which give you that awesome feeling of the power of nature.

Lava flows from the ’90s

Steam from the active volcano

As soon as we got to the top the sky opened up and we got SOAKED.  We were worried about the lightning but it didn’t get very close to us.  We threw on our orange jumpsuits that were to save us from the sharp rocks if we crashed.  Carrie ended up with one of the largest of all the jumpsuits which was hilarious.  She could have fit in it three times and could barely walk, it was so baggy.

Getting ready to take the plunge at speeds up to 90kph.

Dorky suits

The wind really picked up and a couple people almost lost their boards over the side.  Our guide gave us a quick rundown on the mechanics of the process and we got started.  It’s too bad that it rained though because it really slowed us down when we sledded down the hill.

Notice how tiny our truck at the bottom is.

We didn’t break any speed records because of the rain, but it was still really fun.  It’s definitely a must do for anyone traveling through Nicaragua!  And if you break the record you get five free mojitos!  Anyone wanna go try it?