Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve
On top of the inactive Mombacho Volcano you will find the 2,500-acre Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve where stunning cloud forest flora can be observed. The reserve is southwest of Managua near Lake Cocibolca - also known as Lake Nicaragua - and is surrounded by small farms and coffee plantations. The Cocibolca Foundation keeps a close eye on how the protected Cloud Forest Reserve is managed as well as looking after any illegal operations that may be occurring. Cloud forests are so named because they are situated over 1,000 feet above sea level giving them this misty atmosphere.
Granada is only 20 minutes away from the Mombacho park entrance so if you are staying at one of the hotels there you will be able to get to the park quite quickly. Of course from there you will need to take the nature park truck up the sloping sides of the Mombacho Volcano, which can take plus/minus thirty minutes.
In the whole of Latin America, Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve contains one of the best cloud forests and the flora and fauna that can be found here is numerous. They are filled with amazing colored orchids and bromeliads and more than 800 species of plants and hundreds of wildlife species. One of the most beautiful birds that you can find is the crimson-breasted, emerald-plumed quetzal - a dazzling bird!
The park also offers you many trails of varying lengths that you can walk, allowing you a better chance to sea howler monkeys and other monkey species. The trails are well maintained, making them a pleasure to walk. They provide hikers with spectacular views of Las Islets Archipelago and Granada if the cloud cover is not too thick. Visitors should also look out for the Mombacho butterfly and Mombacho Salamander, because apart from the Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve you cannot find these species anywhere else in the world.
Students who go to the eighteen schools that support the park and Cocibolca Foundation members fill Park Ranger and local guide positions. They also help visitors understand the necessity to re-establish the forests at the Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve by planting seedlings whenever they visit the reserve.