Leon, Nicaragua--Volcano Boarding

Our second day in Leon started bright and early, as we had to meet our tour guide to get things ready. We went with a non-profit organization called Quetzaltrekkers (try and say that 5 times fast, or saying it at all...!) they run completely off of volunteers from all over the world so that the proceeds can go to the children that live on the streets. (they also run hikes and tours in Guatemala, in case your headed that way).

Quetzaltrekkers seem like the best group to go with because
1. it supports the children of Nicaragua
2. Lunch, water, and a snack is included (Can you tell i love food?)
3. you can board down twice (though after the first hike up carrying a 30 lb board, i could be exaggerating on the weight, i didn't really want to do it again..)

The other groups that go usually have at least 30 people (our group only had 6!!) and don't provide lunch, just a mojito afterwards.

So what is volcano boarding, you ask?
Here's a little history:

Cerro Negro (Black Hill) first appeared in 1850 and is the youngest and therefore newest volcano in central America. It is still very ACTIVE. It has erupted 23 times since 1850. It's last eruption was in 1999 and it is predicted to erupt every 10 years.. so it is about 6 years overdue.  It is made up of a gravelly basaltic cinder cone, so basically crushed lava rock.
 Don't ask me who decided it was a good idea to board down a very ACTIVE volcano ( it was actually about 5 years late to erupt!)

Who was the person to think of sliding down this giant volcano? A man with a mini fridge, that's who. The logistics of his first sled down were not thought out very well, but he survived and went on to make a much more sensible contraption, known as the sled. Which thank the Lord, is what we used.

After about a 45 minute drive we made it to the park and were at the base of Cerro Negro. This is when  I started freaking out. Though it is only about 1,500 feet from top to bottom, it looked sooo freaky and steep, and how the heck were we supposed to climb up that thing!

Now the rest in pictures because they are better at explaining than I am!

 Hiking up took about 45 minutes and it was so windy at least 45 mph, so naturally  almost the whole way up I was praying to not get blown off into the volcanos/fall and die.

This was about a 1/4 of the way up!  

         I was freaking out, because we were already so high and we hadn't even gotten half way.  

 Still scared, but really excited!!

We finally made it to the top. The view was breath taking, literally because it was so pretty and i was freaking out about how freaking high we were. 

When we got up there our guide told us that the way we could tell if the volcano was still active was by wiping away some of the gravel on the ground and feeling where you wiped off with your fingers. If it felt normal, it probably wasn't active, if it was really hot, it was active. Y'all it was really hot, almost to the point of burning me!

I just love these two pictures. Such a happy dude when he's outside exploring! Side note, I'm pretty sure that last picture is right after he pretended to slip off the edge/give me a heart attack.
 If you look to the left in this picture you can see some sled tracks, from where people have already gone down!
Putting that selfie stick to good use.

After we walked around the top for a while it was time to suit up!
and by that I mean a classy jumpsuit complete with googles and gloves.

That little dot with dust coming off it is me..!
 I decided I would only sled down once, but I went back up with every one and ran down. Probably way more  scarier than sledding, but just as awesome!

This guy had such a blast, like a kid eating a lot of cake. 

Jeff went down twice, and he was so happy about it! 

This was at the top looking off the volcano.
Isn't the world a beautiful place? I'm so happy I get to experience it with my guy.

At the end of the day we headed home aching and tired,  with hair and clothes full of volcanic ash, but heck we sledded/ran down a volcano! If that isn't awesome, I don't know what is.. 


  1. Oh my gosh I bet Jeff loved that! It looks so beautiful!!!

  2. okay, your life is awesome!! so glad I found your blog!

  3. hi!! thanks Kelli, that's so nice! It's such an adventure to live in Nicaragua and you have to try volcano board if for what ever reason you come down!


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