If you haven't noticed I've spent a lot of time surrounded by Volcanoes, it's actually near impossible to get away from them in Central America. The central america volcanic arch stretches nearly 930 miles (1,500 km) from Guatemala to northern Panama. This arc consists of 100's of different volcanoes in all shapes, sizes and levels of activity which makes for a great market of Volcanic tourism. Below are some of the activities which you can do on these beautiful natural creations.
1. Camping on Acetenango: Let me start by saying this is the most difficult of all the volcanic activities. I'm talking a 5 hour grueling incline that leads to one of the most rewarding outlook points you have ever been to. Strap on that back pack full of water, food and camping gear and get moving. Then, wake up at 4 am and go another 45 minutes up the loose volcanic rock in order to reach the real goal. If you're lucky you will get to see Fuego Volcano erupt along with sunrise!
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Tip: buy the walking stick at the bottom of the volcano, split the weight of the tent with your group, and bring extra food!
2. Roasting marshmallows on Pacaya: Another hike, yet this one is only a day hike and not quite as demanding. With luck you can roast marshmallows over active volcano flow, if not, you will be able to do it over some hot volcanic rocks.
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Tip: buy the walking stick, bring plenty of water, wear high socks to protect your ankles!
3. Volcano boarding on Cerro Negro: Ahh, Volcano boarding. It seems like such an amazing thing to do (and it can be), but for me it was frustrating. I couldn't seem to control the board and get the speed that I was hoping for, I wish I could have done the hour hike to the top again just to give it another go. Word to the curious, it's a seated activity and its plenty dangerous enough like that.
Location: Leon, Nicaragua.
Tip: You can pay $10 for someone to carry your board, buy or bring a bandana, buy a beer at the entrance of the park for added courage.
4. Take a selfie with active lava at Masaya: Ahh the easiest of all the adventures, but easily one of the most awe-inspiring. All you have to do here is sign up for a night tour that leaves from Granada, Nicaragua (or alternatively you can take your own car) drive for an hour, snap as many photos as possible in the allotted 25 minutes you have at the top, then its off to dinner and beers... success.
Location: Granada, Nicaragua
5. Rent a dirt-bike / car/ mo-ped and drive around Concepcion and Maderas. The hardest part of this adventure is getting to the island! Well, unless you are unable to ride a motorbike, then that would be the most difficult for you. Otherwise, drop 25$ on a rental bike for the day (they really don't care what your knowledge level is) and enjoy the beautiful ride around the island.
Location: Ometepe, Nicaragua
Tips: Check the weather, rain makes for a tough day. Also, get dirt bikes if you can, because some parts of the road will be pretty tough to navigate on the slicks of a moped.
Get out there and climb a volcano already!