What to see
Only 15 kilometers from the San Simian Lodge is the Masaya Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya). Established in 1979, it was the first of Nicaragua’s three national reserves. Approximately 54 square kilometers in size, it houses the two volcanos, Nindiri and Masaya, as well as five craters.
The Masaya Volcano would be one of the highlights of your Nicaragua trip. It is one of the most active volcano in the world today. While the indigenous folk called it Popogatepe, meaning burning mountain, the Spanish colonists who discovered it in 1524 named it La Boca del Inferno (The Mouth of Hell). As protection from the devil, they planted a cross on the rim of the crater in the 16th century. However, their fears didn’t stop them from exploring the area for precious metals since they mistook the glistening lava for molten gold. Today the Volcano is still under high pressure and continues to steam. But thanks to a sort of “safety valve”, gigantic explosions are reduced to harmless outbursts and very little lava flows down the mountain. Its last moderate eruption was in 2003.
Even today, the petrified lava is one of the popular attractions. Another is the wildlife. With some luck one might spot iguanas, monkeys, deer, rabbits, parrots, woodpeckers or hokko hens. On a night hike through the Park, be on the lookout for coyotes, skunks, raccoons, baths and opossums. You will marvel at the beauty of the tropical dry forest vegetation of the National Park. Here you will find many orchid species as well as the country’s national flower, Sacuanjoche (Frangipani).
At the visitors’ center of the Masaya Volcano National Park you can learn more about the history, geology, vegetation and wildlife in this and other national parks and volcanos in Nicaragua. This is also a good place to get information on the more than twenty kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Some of these outings, however, are only possible with a guide.
What we offer:
Transport to and from National Park
For the night tour we have to make a reservation on day in advance.