The Mombacho Volcano is one of the most famous volcanoes in Nicaragua due to several factors: its location just 10 km from the Granada city, its access infrastructure and, above all things, the mystical cloud forest that occupies much of its sides and top.
The ride uphill only is an adventure by itself. Whether it’s your own car or the truck you’re using, the incredible steepness of the volcano guarantees a spectacular ride. You will see coffee plantations and later on the cloud forest next to the single lane road. The views are also spectacular from here.
When you arrive at the end of the road (at 1,200 mts) the temperature will probably have dropped significantly and the humidity will be high. It’s always windy, so be sure to bring an extra sweater. After the 20-30 minutes ride you will find a tourist center on the top of the volcano. The Mombacho reserve is well run by the Cocibolca foundation, and offers more to tourists than many other tourist attractions. The tourist center illustrates this. You will find plenty information about the volcano and its flora and fauna. The tourist center houses maps, photos, models, souvenirs, and more interesting material. There is also a cafeteria where you can get a small meal and drinks. You can also find a guide to hike the volcano.
The Mombacho volcano has four craters. All of the craters are covered with cloud forest. This type of forest is only found on one other spot in the Pacific, and that is on the Maderas Volcano in Ometepe. On the Mombacho volcano, you can walk around one of the craters, or hike around several craters. Besides lots of different trees and plants that thrive because of the cloud forests humidity you can also observe howler and white face monkeys, as well as snakes, deer, reptiles, birds, and insects. There are several endemic species living on the Mombacho. The Mombacho salamander is the most extreme endemic species: the little salamander can only be found on the Mombacho volcano!
There are three different trails available:
El Cafetal Trail
Duration: 30 minutes
Particularities: good trail for bird observation
El Cráter Trail
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Particularities: great views and opportunities to observe the ecosystem of the Mombacho.
El Puma Trail
Duration: 4 hours
Particularities: challenging hike definitely worth the effort. You see different types of forest and the views are great. Several platforms give you superb views and make you feel the strong wind on the volcano.
You can not enter the Puma trail without a guide. You can do the cráter trail with or without a guide. The guides tell you more than you would personally observe, but the Cráter trail is well equipped with signboards that tell you more about certain plants, trees, or places. Guides for the Puma trail cost US$15 for a group of up to ten people, and US$5 for the Cráter trail.
Prices, opening hours, and how to get there
The entrance fee plus transportation in the truck costs US$6 for Nicaraguans (US$3 for kids) and US$15 for foreigners (US$8). Ascending the volcano in your own car costs US$18 for the car, and US$3 for each person inside and US$2 for kids (for nationals). For foreigners the cost is US$6 for each person and US$3 per kid. By walking, Nicaraguan kids pay US$1 and foreigners kids pay US$2, and adults US$2 Nicaraguan and US$3 foreigners.
The reserve will open if there are at least ten people. So if you have a group of ten people just call and let them know. If you have less than ten, call to see if there are more people. You can call to 552 5858. From Friday through Sunday the reserve is open to the public from 8AM until 5PM. The truck uphill leaves at 8:30AM, 10AM, 1PM, and 3PM from Thursday to Sunday and from Monday to Wednesday leaves at 8:30 AM and 10:30 PM (reservations for groups larger than 15 people)
- El Cráter Trail (max 10 people) US$5
- El Tigrillo Trail (max 5 people) US$10
- El Puma Trail (max 5 people) US$15
- Bilingual guide additional payment US$5
The entrance of the reserve is situated on the foot of the volcano. From there, you can take the truck that ascends the volcano four times a day. It is also possible to take you own car, but this has to be a robust four wheel drive vehicle and the driver will need some experience with driving uphill.
The Mombacho volcano is situated at a junction called El Guanacaste, at kilometer 50 of the highway between Granada and Nandaime. You could take a bus from Granada or Nandaime, or from Managua to one of those places and then to the other.
Taxis will also find the place. At the junction, it is about two more kilometers to the entrance of the reserve, so it saves some time when you take a taxi anyway from there to the entrance.
When driving your own car, you will see the signs when driving on the Granada-Nandaime highway. If you come from Managua, take the highway to Masaya. Pass Masaya, and then follow the signs that say Catarina (a couple kilometers after Masaya you will have to take a right). Continue going until the road ends. When this road hits another road (the highway from Granada to Nandaime), you will see the Mombacho right in front of you. Initially you should take a right, but when you really hit the other highway turn around to the left and then you'll see the signs.
We have 14 related tour(s) available that can be booked online.
By: Vapues Tours
By: Vapues Tours