The Masaya Volcano National Park encompasses an area of 54 km². The park includes two volcanoes and five craters. Both volcanoes have erupted several times throughout history, and were feared by both the indigenous people and their 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. New species of vegetation appeared after the eruptions, far different that the fauna in the rest of the park. The park is home to many different kinds of animals, such as monkeys, coyotes, skunks, opossums, raccoons, deer, lizards and iguanas.
Visitors are often able to peer over the edge at the Masaya Volcano and view the impressive crater, which is continuously emitting smoke and sulphur gases. If seismic activity is too pronounced though, the access to the crate is restricted for safety reasons.
From this central crater it’s possible to start hiking to other craters and viewpoints which the Experience Nica Tours group will do. These trails lead not only to other craters, but also to the Tzinaconostoc Cave where hundreds of bats live. Th trails vary in distance between 1.4 and 5.9 kilometres and are all guided. Which trail the group takes will depend on how much time is available.
We’ll stop by visitors centre, which is located halfway up to the volcano. The centre provides information about the Masaya volcano and other volcanoes in Nicaragua and the geological processes. There are actually 19 volcanoes in Nicaragua. Group members will also learn about the flora and fauna of the park.
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