Ever wanted to sandboard down the youngest volcano in Central America? Just head to Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro Volcano. Looming over the village of Malpaisillo and the surrounding jungle, Cerro Negro pierces the clouds and spurts ash from its black crater.
Part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, Cerro Negro is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Hiking the stratovolcano is a tough but rewarding 1.5-hour hike that takes you a mile up to the crater. From the top, enjoy 360-degree views of Telica and San Cristobal volcanoes, and get ready for the ride down the 1,640-foot mountain.
To sandboard down the volcano, you’ll need to go with a tour group. Your guide will set you up with a specially-adapted sandboard that can take you down the steepest side of the crater at speeds of up to 60 km an hour. Don’t worry if you’d prefer to take the descent more slowly—you can control how quickly your board goes depending on how you balance, and of course, you can always walk down the volcano if sandboarding isn’t for you.
The site is set 25 km northeast of Leon. Visitors should bring water and sunscreen, and wear sturdy boots for the hike up Cerro Negro. Sunrise is a good time to make the trek, as it’s not yet too hot. The price to enter the volcano (which is a protected area) is US$5 for foreigners.