The Masaya Volcano National Park is one of the most popular tourism attraction in the Pacific region of Nicaragua. The reason is that you can here get in direct contact with its most active crater and its surrounding, as well as with the special flora and fauna on place. The volcano park offers at night, also, a unique scene which amaze the night visitors: the so call “lava lake” wich could be appreciated from the crater border.
The visit to the Masaya volcano is divided in two moments, with deferents schedule and entrance fee. The first moment is during daytime, and the second one during a brief tour to watch the lava lake. Read below about each visit, and check at the text bottom available tours with online reservation activated.
The park open to the public for the daily visit everyday at 9 AM, and until 4:45 PM. Visitors can go to the main gate located in Masaya-Managua road, from where they will be registered and will get the intruction to buy their tickets. It is not necessary to make a reservation. This visit has an entrance fee of C$100 for foreigners visitors and C$30 for Nicaraguans.
From the main gate you will access the internal road that go across the impressive volcano settings (dry forest flora and fauna adapted to a volcanic soil environment). The road goes to the Visitors Center; there a permanent exhibition offers details about the park history, structure and nature, as well as information about other volcanoes on the zone. Near you will also find the Pic-Nic area, with some structure to take a rest, take a snack or a meal or a drink, and appreciate the panorama.
Following the rute you will get to the Plaza de Oviedo, an amazing scenario located just next to the Santiago crater, the most popular on the park and the only one wich is now opened to the public. Here you will be able to park and take a look to the enormous crater (in and around), wich is all the time emitting gases; in the bottom of it you will observe the incandescent lava that come from the depths. In front of the plaza you will look a hill which has on the top the historic Cruz de Bobadilla.
Until recently it was possible to visit other areas of the park, as the Tzinaconostoc Cave, the San Fernando crater, the Cruz de Bobadilla and several trails of different distances. However, those areas remain “clsed until further notice” because of several moments of activity reported at the volcano.
Everyday, since sunset, the nocturnal visit of the Masaya Volcano starts. This visit is also available withaout reservation, from 5 PM to around 8 PM, depending on the visitors flows. You just need to get the road main entrance; if there are peoplo or groups before you, you will need to stand in line, as visitors are alowed to enter and go to the crater in order of arrival. The vehicles are parked one after the other next to the main road. The entrance fee for the night tour is US$10 per person.
When the turn comes, vehicles area allowed to enter, visitors are asked to pay the entrance fee, and then are tell to continue inside for around 5 kilometers until the Plaza de Oviedo. Bellow you can read about tours with transportation included offered by tours operators.
There the spectacle begin: the sky is getting dark or is already dark, allowing you to see thousands of stars. The wind flows free. You heard a sounds like the rumbling of the sea. And, from the edge of the crater, right into the bottom of it, you see an amazing lava lake that move with its incandescent color. The visit to the crater lasts between 10 and 20 minutes (depending on the total number of visitors at the entrance). After that time you will be asked by guides and park ranger to leave the area and go to the main gate.
The Masaya Volcano National Park comprises an area of 54 km² and includes two volcanoes and five craters. The volcanoes have erupted several times in history, and were feared by both the indigenous people and the Spanish conquerors. The Spanish baptized the active volcano "La Boca del Infierno" or "The Mouth of Hell". They planted a cross, "La Cruz de Bobadilla" (named after Father Francisco Bobadilla), on the crater lip in the 16th century in order to exorcise the Devil.
The eruptions have had a dramatic impact on the surroundings. Rocks and volcanic ashes still cover the area surrounding the volcanoes. The nature is rough yet peaceful. Different types of vegetation appeared after the eruptions. The park is also inhabited by many different kinds of animals. The park's wildlife includes coyotes, skunks, raccoons, opossums, deer, iguanas, and monkeys.
There are several trails that lead to the other craters and the Tzinaconostoc Cave in which hundreds of bats house. Those trails distance vary between 1.4 and 5.9 kilometers, but are closed to the public for now.
The park is open every day from 9:00AM until 4:45PM for regular visits. It is located on the highway to Masaya (Carretera Masaya), kilometer 23.
The park lies less than half an hour away from Managua, and ten minutes from Masaya. From the entrance of the park it is five kilometers uphill to the Masaya Volcano, located at the center of the park. Visitors can drive uphill themselves or ask a taxi driver to drive to the crater. Hiking uphill is another option, but it takes a while and the road is steep, so a good condition is necessary.
We have 8 related tour(s) available that can be booked online.
By: DeTour, Viajes y Cultura
By: Gems Tours
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By: OCN Tours and Travel
By: Café Las Flores - Mombotour