What It's Like to Visit Nicaragua's Spectacular Lava Lake

What It's Like to Visit Nicaragua's Spectacular Lava Lake

Peering into Masaya Volcano’s Santiago pit crater By: Mark Edward Harris
Nicaragua’s Masaya Volcano // © 2017 Mark Edward Harris
Nicaragua’s Masaya Volcano // © 2017 Mark Edward Harris

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Want to know more about Masaya Volcano? Check out this guide to Nicaragua’s volcanoes.

The Details

Nicaragua Tourism Board
www.visitnicaragua.us

Each click of the camera has the potential to yield a picture worth a thousand words. But what it can’t do — at least in the still-photo mode — is capture the incredible sounds emerging from inside Masaya Volcano’s Santiago pit crater in Nicaragua.

Part of the multisensory display is the rotten-egg smell, emanating from clouds of sulfur dioxide gases.

They billow from what the early Spanish called La Boca del Infierno (“the mouth of hell”) — and make up what visitors today consider to be the site of one of the world’s most spectacular lava lakes.

A number of tour operators offer half-day trips from the capital city of Managua to Masaya Volcano National Park, only 15 miles — but a primeval world — away. Cars and tour buses are required to park pointed toward the caldera parking lot exit in case the volcano decides to put on too big of a show and the need arises to say a quick adios.

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