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San Cristobal Volcano - Tour Operator Chinandega - Nicaragua

The San Cristobal Volcano Adventure tour takes you up 1,783 meters (5,850 feet) back along a trail in a Nicaraguan natural reserve. You walk over igneous rocks and through three types of natural ecosystems: tropical dry forest, full of plants that can last through seasonal periods of drought; pine forests; and savannahs with natural grasslands.

In the 19th century tropical dry forests, in particular, were much more common in Nicaragua. As the local population expanded, such forest were razed and theland was used for farming. Now, 46 percent of the San Cristobal-Casitas Volcano Reserve is devoted to preserving what remains of the tropical dry forest.

The San Cristobal Volcano Adventure tour is not for late risers. Visitors meet with their guides at 5:30 a.m. in Leon, to arrive at La Finca del Cerro by 7:30 a.m. The trip from Leon takes visitors along a dirt road and through Comarca La Bolsa, a tiny village whose inhabitants still rely on crops like cotton, beans and coffee for their living.

The San Cristobal-Casitas Volcano Reserve has some 64 different tree species, 23 types of mammals, 41 birds and 79 butterfly varieties. Most common, and often on hand for visitors to see, are armadillos, deer, leopards and white-faced monkeys.

The 7 Km (4.3 mile) walk up the volcano takes about five hours. Though it's a long way up, the summit provides a breathtaking view of the Maribios Cordillera and the Cosig├╝ina Volcano. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as Honduras and El Salvador. The San Cristobal itself is a volcanic crater that even impresses the experts.

Chinandega, Nicaragua

Tour Operator Types:
Eco tours

Contact Information:
Phone: (505) 819 2449 / 927 7060
E-mail: AlvaroTigerino(at)

By Alvaro Vergara

I'm originally from Colombia and from Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. I'm happy to share local expertise and insight into all the...

23 Sep 2008

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