Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








One of the things I've always wanted to do was to visit the volcano Masaya but for whatever reason I've never done it. The national park is only about 15 or 20 minutes from Managua so it's not like it's a difficult trip to make. Since we didn't have anything else planned on this day, however, we decided to stop and take the tour.

When you arrive at the park you pay the entrance fee, ($4 for gringos, $1 for locals) they give you a map of the park, and you're on your way. If you want a guided tour you have to stop at the visitors center and wait for a guide. We decided to skip the guided tour and do things our own way.

At the base of the volcano are giant lava fields that are incredibly cool looking. Out of curiousity I decided to stop the car and go play in the lava field for a while. Had I bothered to read the instructions we were given when I entered the park, however, I would have known that you're not supposed to do this. So, don't be an idiot gringo like me and stay out of the lava fields. I have to admit that it was pretty cool being out there though. It was like being in the world's largest gas grill with all the lava rocks stretching for as far as the eye can see.


Vulcan Masaya National Park
Vulcan Masaya National Park
Gringos Pay More
Gringos Pay More
Welcome To Masaya Volcano
Welcome To Masaya Volcano
Lava Fields
Lava Fields
Lot's Of Lava
Lot's Of Lava
Let's Play In The Lava
Let's Play In The Lava
Fat Guy In The Lava
Fat Guy In The Lava
Pretty Woman And Lava
Pretty Woman And Lava
Heading To The Crater
Heading To The Crater

When you get to the top there's a big parking lot right next to the rim of the volcano. As soon as you open the car door the smell of various gases is overwhelming. Since we were pretty much the only people there when we arrived a guide came over and gave us 2 gas masks and then gave us a history of the volcano.

The first thing you need to do is read the rules. They advise you not to stay too long at the top because the gases can be poisonous. They also advise that there are 177 steps to the top so if you have a heart attack and die on the way because you are a fat, out of shape, slob, don't bother suing because the volcano ain't paying for your stupidity. I like Nicaragua.


There's A Cross On Top
There's A Cross On Top
Ancient Deer Stand
Ancient Deer Stand
The Viewing Area
The Viewing Area
I Want To Go Up There
I Want To Go Up There
Don't Sue Us
Don't Sue Us
Don't Stay Too Long
Don't Stay Too Long
Is He Nuts
Is He Nuts
It's Pretty Crowded
It's Pretty Crowded
Our Guide Marena
Our Guide Marena
Juniett Dons A Gas Mask
Juniett Dons A Gas Mask
Plenty Of Gas
Plenty Of Gas
Halfway There
Halfway There

At the top there's a little sitting area and a giant cross. In the 16th century the Spanish called Masaya "La Boca del Infierno" or "The Mouth of Hell". The cross called "La Cruz de Bobadilla" and named after Father Francisco Babadilla was placed there in order to exorcise the devil.

There are many stories surrounding human sacrifices on this spot. From Indian cheiftains throwing their enemies into the volcano to Somoza dropping in political prisoners via helicopters. No one really knows how many people or any at all for that matter have been sacrificed to the volcano. One look at it's smoking, rocky core, however, gives one shivers to think about being tossed into this beast.


You Can See Managua
You Can See Managua
Don't Fall
Don't Fall
It's A Long Way Down
It's A Long Way Down
Inside An Active Volcano
Inside An Active Volcano
That's A Big Crater
That's A Big Crater
Great View
Great View
Good For Your Lungs
Good For Your Lungs
View From The Top
View From The Top
The Fat Guy Made It
The Fat Guy Made It
They Tossed People From Here
They Tossed People From Here
Where We Came From
Where We Came From
It's Packed Today
It's Packed Today
The Guide Gives Me The Finger
The Guide Gives Me The Finger
Juniett Amongst the Lava Rocks
Juniett Amongst the Lava Rocks
Honey, I No Like Lava
Honey, I No Like Lava
What A Dork
What A Dork
Where We Were
Where We Were
You Can Get Real Close
You Can Get Real Close
I Don't Like Heights
I Don't Like Heights
My Knees Were Shaking
My Knees Were Shaking


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