A few weeks ago I traveled to Nicaragua to combine some tourism with a Habitat for Humanity volunteer build. I’ve been working on a few stories from that trip when suddenly today my inbox was bursting with “breaking news” – the Telica Volcano has erupted! Wow, really? I was just there – right on the edge – 2 weeks ago…. Here’s what it was like before the latest eruption. 🙂
Telica is located near León and is a pretty accessible volcano for hikers. It’s “only” 1061 meters high and if you make the rocky trek, you are rewarded with upfront views of the magnificent 700m wide double crater. Even though it was not the most physically demanding hike, it truly has some of the most incredible views I’ve seen in a while! Perhaps my favorite day in Nicaragua.
Getting to Telica is possible on your own, but for $35USD it’s pretty easy to let someone else worry about the rough road and take you right to the base of the volcano. Is that lazy? I think it’s smart. 🙂
We went on a sunset tour with Julio Tours and couldn’t have been happier. When we arrived, just 2 other small groups were at the base and we quickly set off to get a bit of a head start. Here’s the view as you get ready for the climb (it doesn’t look like much…):
On the way up, there are some views of the valley but nothing that I would describe as spectacular. Plus, we were mostly looking at our feet to make sure we had secure footing. And keeping our mouths closed to avoid getting big gulp-fulls of the sulfurous air!
But OHHHHHHHH when you get near the top!
We stopped for a break…luckily a local entrepreneur schlepped up the volcano (in flip flops, of course) with a cooler of soda and beer to complement the salty snacks we had in our packs. When it was time for the sunset, it was quick but beautiful:
And then….darkness fell fast. We trekked back up through the sulfur clouds to catch a quick peek at the magma (see it there, those little dots? 🙂 ):
And then we hiked down…in the dark… Bring a headlamp or hire a guide that provides flashlights, you’ll need them. You can also camp below the rim if that’s your thing. But whatever you do, just go. You don’t want to miss this!