Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mombacho and Masaya volcanoes

The last few days we explored Mombacho and Masaya volcanoes surrounding Granada. Both volcanic areas are still very much active and in close proximity of Granada. The vegetation on these slopes ranges from savanna grasslands to cloud forests. On Sunday, we hiked the slopes on Mombacho through protected forests filled with native animals and on our way back to the visitor center we saw a mother and a juvenile sloth in the canopy. The butterflies were amazing to see, including a butterfly with transparent blotches on the wings. We tried taking a picture of it but it was hard to see. The elevation was about 3300 feet and remained cool the entire hike even in the sunnier areas. These mini excursions into the wild are what kids live for and they loved the entire hike.  
   Today, we went to lake Apoyo and Masaya volcano. Masaya, called the mouth of hell by early Spanish explorers, can erupt without warning. The sulfuric gas that steams out is intense and the park staff recommends limiting your exposure to less than 5 minutes. Oddly enough, the volcanic rim is home to thousands of nesting parrots that burrow their nests into the soft crater walls, well inside the steam zone. The scientists are at a loss as to how they can survive in the crater with such poor air quality and poisonous levels of gas. Both volcanoes are within 20 minutes of downtown Grenada and yet feel a million miles away. On a side note, we were going to go to Ometepe island this week but are going to postpone it for a week as volcano Conception is shooting ash into the air. That island is experiencing many tremors as well so we are in no rush to go there.

The girls hiking on the slopes of Mombacho volcano

The pathway around the crater is filled with surprises like this corridor carved in the soft soil

The view once we got through the corridor to the valley below

The girls always like taking pictures with flowers

Wild orchid will have to do instead of Texas Bluebonnets this year.

Lake Apoyo is as clear as crater lake in Oregon.

The A'a lava is just like the west side of the Big Island in Hawaii

The girls at the rim of the crater can attest to how hot and noxious it would be for the parrots

The crater is large and full of hot steam

The inside of a neighboring dormant crater is fertile ground for vegetation.


  1. Have you heard about the volcano surfing? I have been researching to see what is out there!

  2. Have you heard about the volcano surfing? I have been researching to see what is out there!