Mombacho Volcano

We did the Mombacho Volcano twice. We did it as a day trip from Granada. For anyone looking for information on how to get to Mombacho from Granada, we took the chicken bus from the bus depot in Granada (read: dirt parking lot with lots of fried plantains) to Rivas or Nandaime and ask to get off at Mombacho Volcano.

The first time, we all went together to try and see the butterfly reserve at the bottom of Mombacho Volcano with the kids. FYI, the butterfly reserve is closed. For maybe a year…. Or maybe a while, like a week. Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear answer. Like sometimes when you ask for a vegetarian dish, they say “Yeah, it’s vegetarian. It has chicken.” And sometimes you ask if something has no pork, and you are told that it has no pork, it is just a chicken-ham bone on your plate. Riiiight…..

We paid $20 each to ride up the volcano road to the cloud forest so we could walk the trails. We were a little unprepared for how cold it would be in the cloud forest. Gabrielle snuggled down into the Tula and the rest of us tried to walk faster to keep warm. We did the smaller of the trails with the kids. It was about 2k. Every time there is a sign saying how long a walk is, add one or two kilometers. For some reason, Nicaragua tends to be very bad at guessing distances.

The second time we went up the volcano, Marc and I went solo. Gail offered to watch Gabrielle so she and Cindy and the kids stayed behind and had a pool day. Marc and I hiked up the volcano on the road, got a free and unexpected coffee tour at a plantation, walked the long cloud forest trail and then hiked down. We ended up walking 20 kilometers and we were very thankful we hadn’t hauled Gabrielle with us the whole time.

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Half way up the volcano, there is a rest stop with very clean bathrooms and a very good coffee shop. The coffee shop is owned by Cafe del Flores. Their coffee plantation is right there and their coffee is exquisite. They have a little gift shop where you can also purchase their beans. This rest stop is where the canopy tour begins as well. We saw the platforms for the canopy tour up in the trees but we were more interested in the cloud forest.IMG_4870 IMG_4873

So, the chicken bus drops you off at the bottom of the road, and then you can hire a tuktuk to drive you the 3k to the base of the volcano. The tuktuk cost C$100 ($4 USD.)IMG_4894 IMG_4913 IMG_4914We walked the road back from the base of the volcano to see the houses. It was a beautiful walk and we got to take pictures along the way and wave at the beautiful children who ran to the road to greet us.

The picture below is Marc taking a grateful rest on the hike up the volcano.

When Marc and I traveled to Scotland 10 years ago, we hiked Mt. Ben Nevis. I complained the whole way up. I was cold. I had the wrong shoes. And I was out of shape. Hiking Mombacho was so redemptive for me. Here I am, 10 years older, climbing a mountain a little higher than Ben Nevis, in tropical heat and I was inĀ much better shape! I did it effortlessly! Hurrah for exercise! I was so proud of myself.
IMG_4927Below is a picture of the coffee beans drying in the sun.

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Coffee Bean picking is among the most dangerous jobs in Nicaragua because the Pit Vipers love to sit in the coffee bean bushes. They are quite aggresive and their bite can be lethal. The coffee pickers are paid by how many baskets they fill so they are often picking very fast and in remote places, which takes longer for them to receive treatment. So the workers have sticks with them and they hit the coffee bean bushes to scare the snakes away before they begin picking. Sometimes this is effective.

The coffee beans must be fermented and peeled and dried and roasted. It’s a long process but as a huge fan of the beverage, I thanked these people profusely for their hard work.IMG_4954 IMG_4955 IMG_4956 IMG_4958 IMG_4967 IMG_5001 IMG_5005 IMG_5011

The first time we went up the volcano, all the views were totally socked in. This is very common. But the second time we went, it cleared up for us and we had the most magnificent views.IMG_5023The picture below is a Fumeroles. (We joked that they were Funerals.) The air venting up from these holes is hot and smells a little like sulphur. The volcano is constantly making new pockets where the steams escapes. It was a good reminder that Mombacho still rumbles and grumbles now and then.
IMG_5028 IMG_5038 IMG_5052 IMG_5100 IMG_5118 IMG_5144 IMG_5163 IMG_5187 IMG_5188 IMG_5230 IMG_5253For the sake of details, the chicken bus from Granada to Mombacho cost us $7 cordobas. The entry fee to the park for walking up the volcano was $5 USD each. If you take the truck, the park entry fee is $20 USD. The longer trail up on top of the volcano requires a guide. And the guide cost us $22 one time fee. That guide fee applied to any group up to 7 people.

This volcano was spectacular and completely worth the money. It is such a beautiful country. Volcanoes, cloud forests, epic scenary! Seriously amazing!

About Amanda

Living a simple quiet life on the Gulf Islands, BC.

2 Thoughts on “Mombacho Volcano

  1. Danielle on 27 January, 2015 at 1:04 pm said:

    So incredible! Yay for being fit and looking awesome in those capri leggings while exploring! And thanks for saving my neither from almost falling off a volcano. At least that’s what it looks like you are doing in the picture of both of you ;) Gorgeous photos as usual. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Danielle on 27 January, 2015 at 1:05 pm said:

    Niether = brother

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