Sandboarding in Cerro Negro. The first thing we did just leave Managua, was to go free to the volcano Black hill to live the experience of sandboarding, a modality similar to snowboarding but instead of sliding on snow you slide on sand.
Cerro Negro volcano
Sandboarding in Cerro Negro
He Black hill It is one of the youngest volcanoes on the planet, since it is just over a century old. Since then it has had more than a dozen eruptions, the last three the most violent. In 1992 he spent three days with strong tremors and a large column of gases, but today he barely has several fumaroles and is practically safe, but of course, it is an active volcano and any day he could wake up.
This volcano is famous as here in 2002 the record of downhill speed was broken with a mountain bike, no less than 172 km / h.
Looking to get to Cerro Negro you can choose to go with some agency from Lion, by bus from Managua Address León -Broken, or go by rental car, yes, 4 × 4, since the whole journey is through a dirt road with a lot, a lot of bump and mud. In any case to get there you have to go to a town called Broken and deviate on a dirt road without signaling that looks like going to the end of the world. Once you take this road, I recommend that you ask before you get lost ... It will take you more than 40 min and be careful since there are many detours, so if you doubt ask how many times it takes. On the way you will see farmers and small houses in case you get lost.
Go for it!
One kilometer before arriving at Cerro Negro is the Reserve office, where you pay the entrance and decide between making a trekking simple or sandboarding. Looking to the second, you can choose even the material, between a homemade snowboard and hand with the trees in the area or a table where you sit in sled mode. If you have no experience with snowboarding, choose the sled if you don't want to end up in a hospital ...
Cerro Negro Volcano Parking
With a homemade table
The snowboard consists of a piece of polished trunk and a series of ropes that are attached to your feet, latest Nicaraguan technology at the service of the intrepid tourist and the only option if you really want to live a day of sandboarding.
Once the equipment is checked, two looks and for the trunk, we arrive at the parking lot that is located one kilometer from the park entrance.
On the way to Cerro Negro
From the parking are about 7.2km on foot and 800m going down, so keep in mind that the board, heavier than normal, carries it in tow, so calculate the effort you use.
Along the small trekking you will see the impressive very green landscape, and what is left of the crater of Cerro Negro with a few active chimneys and a bit of sulfur smell.
Cerro Negro volcano
Once you get up you can ask one of the two possible questions in a place like this, what do I do here ?, this is very steep !! ... But beware, it is the first impression, because when you sit and tie yourself well the board as you can at your feet you realize that it is not so dangerous, since the speed at which you go down depends on your skill, and there is one thing that is clear, the volcano sand does not slide like snow.
In the descent you have to always throw the body back, with this you gain speed and balance, because if you do not go very slow and you will be constantly on the ground.
Once you get down and realize that you have eaten land for two days, you ask yourself the second question, is it worth it? The answer is yes, you have to try it, it is different, but maybe I would not repeat, since eating land, fly away from time to time, break a camera in your hand and take friction and bruises, once yes, maybe two ...
Cerro Negro Volcano, Javier Blanquer
Already after returning the material and returning on the dirt road we went to León to eat, place of passage to go shortly after to Las Peñitas, a nearby town in the Pacific to see the Reserve of John Deer, where we slept in a cabin by the sea having a good time Toñas, the beer of Nicaragua, but this is another trip and it's another story.
When to go?
Any time of the year is good, we went in August and it made us a sun of justice.
How to get?
By bus from Managua towards León - Rota or in 4 × 4. Other options is to hire an agency from León to take you directly.
What to wear
High boots and long pants. Falling while practicing sandboarding can cause a lot of rubbing or bruising, so the more covered the better. The high boots are so that the ropes of the board are fixed better and you get less sand on your feet, something almost impossible.
Where to sleep?
In León there are many hotels, but having nearby Las Peñitas, go there, you will be by the sea, you will see the Pacific and you can enjoy the Juan Venado Reserve and from your little cabin by the sea. I recommend the last hotel, just in front where it is possible to see how the tide leaves the boats on the sand. The dusk of the Pacific is spectacular.
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