The Adrenalin Rush of Volcano Boarding
Volcano boarding is fast catching on as an exhilarating activity to enjoy when visiting Nicaragua. Tourists who have tried volcano boarding generally agree that it was one of the highlights of their travels around the diverse and interesting country of Nicaragua.
Volcano boarding down the slopes of the Volcano Cerro Negro near the city of León starts off with a 45 minute drive to the base of the volcano along some very picturesque roads, passing through settlements of friendly people. It is best to go in the late afternoon when the temperature has cooled off a bit. Participants climb with their guide along a winding pathway to a look-out point at the top of the volcanic crater, which allows a stunning view over the entire volcanic chain right through to San Cristobal in the distance. Many of these volcanoes in Nicaragua are considered to be active and deep rumbling noises can be heard from time to time. Volcano boarding is done down the outside of the volcano, but intrepid travelers can climb down into the steaming crater of the volcano if they dare – and many do!
Volcano boarding is generally done on a piece of laminated board with handles at the back and front. Different boards have been tested, including some made of metal, but the fastest ride so far comes from the laminated board. Once all the participants have put on their bright orange jumpsuits and safety goggles – to ward off possible injury from the rough volcanic ash – the guide gives final instructions on what to expect and what to do. Different routes down allow for different speeds. You can speed up by leaning back, and leaning slightly side to side changes direction – the main aim however is just to stay on the board! Boarders can reach a speed of 60 km/h or more, with the unofficial record reportedly being 97 km/h. There have been no reports of serious mishaps however, and the general consensus is that volcano boarding is exciting and well worth the effort.
So, when you travel to Nicaragua, maybe you would like to experience the adrenalin rush of volcano boarding down the slopes of Cerro Negro. It is sure to be an experience not easily forgotten.