So, I don’t scare easily. The whole time I was hiking the Masaya caldera mountains looking upon the active volcano I could hear my mom’s bloody murder scream in the back of my head. It would’ve been continuous – one long scream – she would have freaked out. It made me giggle thinking about how different we are. I’m not that “typical”. I am a daddy’s girl through and through. I want to get dirty. I want to hike that mountain. I want to stand where I can feel the rush of the wind from the bats are flying around me. I want to walk to the edge of this volcano and yell to hear the echoes off of the mountains and lava below. And this trip – we totally did all of that. I have to give MAJOR props to our amazing tour guide Kevin. He made exploring Nicaragua so much fun. He had so much local information and fun facts that he shared, but he was a fun-loving person that instantly became a friend. WICKED AWESOME. He was able to take us to spots off the beaten path and push the boundaries to give us an amazing experience.
I saw in a pamphlet while walking around Granada that there were sunset tours of the active volcano and thought it would be such a cool experience. When we drove up to the observation parking lot the gases expelling were a little overwhelming. So – I totally do NOT recommend putting yourself in harms way or a potentially dangerous situation for the thrill of experience. Kevin, our tour guide, was able to take us to the very edge of the volcano – no barriers, no ropes for safety, nothing protecting us from plummeting in to an active volcano. We were able to yell over the edge and hear it echo for some time! It was quite scary when I think back on it, but we trusted Kevin – he has been to that spot many times and he only let us stay for about 2 minutes because of the unsafe gases. My mom would have FLIPPED – I can’t even imagine my grandma up in heaven stomping her feet at me. I haven’t even gotten to show my mom the video yet, I’m sure she will scream just while watching it. Sorry mom! Walking up to the edge of the volcano was a little scary – I don’t have the best balance so I made sure I was okay and my hubs as usual held on to me to make sure I was safe. Have you ever done something like this? Something where you look back and are like WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?! I especially felt like this after Kevin told us the last eruption from this volcano was in 2003……
The hike up the mountain between the volcano and the masala caldera was quite intense. It was very steep – I have horrible cardio. My pride is the only thing that pushed me up that mountain. It was hard! Que the *I have to stop here “to take a picture”* rest.. haha! I use to do that when we hiked up Runyon Canyon when we lived in LA too – I just have such sorry stamina! The ground was mostly dirt with lots of little rocks like gravel so it made it very hard to get good footing – especially coming back down. I feel like a total clutz when it comes to this stuff. I fell about 3 times – Caleb luckily took my camera from me before the spills because he knew it would happen! :] Everyone else was just hopping down gracefully, some were running down the mountain and here I was tiptoeing, stomping, sliding, falling and just out of control. I use to be a dancer – what happened to me?!
We were able to hike down after the sunset to see the bats flying out their caves. We went to an off the beaten path spot with Kevin. We would shine the light in the cave and you could see the thousands of bats flying through the cave. Once we turned the lights out you could feel them flying by you. I’ve always wanted to go to see the bats coming out of their cave in Texas (I can’t remember where it is? Fredericksburg? Austin? I’m not sure?), but this was a front row right in the action seat that I don’t think you can get in the states. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to do most of the things we did in Nicaragua in the states! lol!
After the sun had set, we walked through the caves and stared up at the gorgeous stars. It was time to go. We were able to take one last peek at the volcano on our way out (which, of course, is not allowed – shhhh). You could see a glow of the lava beneath the gases expelling that sealed this tours fate as one of those WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?! adventures.
This Masaya Volcano tour is something I totally recommend doing while in Nicaragua. It’s not everyday you get to be that close to an active volcano and learn about it’s amazing religious history. Always be safe when traveling though – please always stay with your guide and don’t push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Traveling is enough of an adventure all on it’s own!