Volcan Momotombo
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Volcan Momotombo
/ Nicaragua / León Department / León / Tours & Activities /
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Volcan Momotombo

2 days
About this activity
Hike the volcano that destroyed León Viejo! As you head towards León, it is impossible to miss the perfectly shaped Volcán Momotombo. Rising 1297 meters high, Momotombo towers over Lago Xolotlan (Lago de Managua) and its little brother, the island volcano Momotombito. Momotombo emerged 4500 years ago and last erupted in 1905. The volcano also gained national notoriety in 1625, when it buried the old city of León under layers of volcanic ash. We convene at the QT office at 9:00am to collect our gear and have some coffee. Around 10am, we walk to León’s bus terminal from where we take two public buses to arrive at El Empalme, the crossroads that mark the beginning and end of our hike. After about 2 hours of passing fields and forest on a gravel road, we reach the entrance to the Ormat power plant, a geothermal plant located at the base of Momotombo that provides about 9% of Nicaragua’s power. We register at the entrance, and continue up another hour of steep, jungle paths until we reach our campsite. Following dinner at our site, we hit the sack early in preparation for a challenging hike the next day. On the second day, we rise with the sun to begin our climb. Leaving our overnight bags in our tents, we ascend a small trail through open forest and exposed gravel slopes for two hours before arriving at the shoulder of Momotombo, where we enjoy a snack and stellar views over Lake Managua and the volcán Momotombito. The second half of the hike is a push to the top, in which we scramble over loose rocks on a 45 degree angle slope. Eventually, we are rewarded by the steaming crater, fantastic scenery, and putty-like consistency of the summit. After patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, we then descend past 40m high rock walls and slide through volcanic sand until we find the small paths leading to our campsite. Upon return, we break down camp and eat a tasty (and well deserved!) lunch. Hiking back through the Ormat entrance and gravel roads, we catch a bus from El Empalme and return to León around 5pm.
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