Volcan Masaya

Trip Start Feb 06, 2008
Trip End Feb 19, 2008

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Today we decided to go to Volcan Masaya (one of a string of volcanoes that runs through Nicaragua). We flagged down a collectivo beside Parque Central that was headed to Managua. We told the driver we wanted off at the road to Volcan Masaya (rather than the town of Masaya). It was about a 30-45 min ride with every seat full in the collectivo.   After paying our admission we were able to get a ride up the road to the volcano with one of the park employees in a truck. The volcano is still active but you can walk right up to the rim. It's constantly belching steam and gasses so it's best to not stand down-wind. It also makes it hard to see too far down into the crater.

There are actually two volcanos there, Masaya and Nindirí, and five craters. We hiked up to some of the higher viewpoints to see down into the lake (created in one of the craters) and of the surrounding terrain.

We'd planned on going on a boat ride out of Granada to Las Isletas (a large group of small islands off the shore of Granada) but hadn't made any arrangements. When we were standing by the crater at Masaya we started talking to a guide who was leading a small group of 10. He said he does a lot of independent jobs too and, after agreeing on a rate, he was to pick us up the next afternoon at our hotel for a private tour of Las Isletas.

We stopped at the museum at the visitor center halfway down the mountain before flagging down another collectivo back to Granada.

Shortly after returning to our hotel we heard music and canon booms from outside. Going out to the street we found a parade had just passed on the street in front of our hotel. We caught up with it down the street and, after watching it for a bit, we joined the procession down to the waterfront. There some dancers performed for the crowds. With my total lack of Spanish, I believe it was for the ongoing Poetry Week and the theme was poems.

This was also Valentines Day and all of the restaurants were packed for hours at dinner time. We ended up eating at a horrible Italian restaurant up the street from the hotel. 
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