Cerro Negro volcano, a two-hour drive from Corinto, was formed just 161 years ago, making it the youngest volcano in Central America. Its name means "Black Hill"—a term that perfectly describes this unusual mountain. Cerro Negro was born in 1850 and has since been one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua, with the last eruption occurring in 1999. Rising out of the green trees, the black walls of Cerro Negro create a striking contrast with the surroundings. You will first hike on trails on black dunes created from lava. As you reach the foot of the volcano, you’ll begin an easy climb up to the first of two active and colorful craters. Along with your guide follow the edge of the crater to get to the second crater and highest point of the volcano. You will spend some time on the top enjoying the views over the volcano range, the plains and highlands of Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean. Then some fun awaits you—a spectacular descent through the loose rocks and sand of Cerro Negro’s black slopes. Once you are back to the transportation you will head to the colonial city of León for lunch and a stroll around main square. León, with its 300,000 residents, was founded in 1524 by Spanish conquistadors. The city once lay at the base of the Momotombo volcano, but an earthquake destroyed the old town of León in 1609 and it was rebuilt in its current location. It was the capital of Nicaragua for more than 200 years, before the title was handed over to Managua in 1851. Today, León is the most important city in Nicaragua after Managua. After lunch consisting of local ingredients, you will visit León’s beautiful park and the La Asunción Cathedral. Climb up to the roof and take in the extraordinary panoramic views of the charming city and the imposing mountains beyond.
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It was great fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a hard hike up as expected then great views and very interesting. The mountain was still smouldering and you could brush away the top layer of earth and steam would rise. We could see other active volcanoes in the distance. We "skied" back down (without skis) over loose volcanic ash and that was good fun. Those who could "ski" got down quicker than those of us who could not but it was so enjoyable. Everyone on the excursion was enthusiastic about how much they enjoyed it.