Masaya Volcano; Nicaragua
This is a wondrous destination for tourists to visit. But it’s the kind of place in which you definitely don’t want to overstay your welcome.
As the sign on the parking curb notes, visitors to the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua better be prepared to leave in a hurry.
The volcano constantly spews out a steady stream of sulfur-laden gas. Fiercer eruptions are not uncommon. In 2001 the crater on the other side of the ledge exploded, sending huge rocks up to the surface. Vehicles in the parking lot were damaged and one person was injured. The volcano erupted more recently in 2008.
Masaya is Nicaragua’s largest national park and is just a 30-minute drive south of the capital city of Managua. The park includes two volcanoes and five craters. It’s actually the only volcano in the Western Hemisphere where you can drive right up to the rim.
Fortunately, on the day that I visited, the only material that rose from the core of the active Santiago crater was foul-smelling smoke. But it was comforting to have our tour van parked just a few feet away – with its front facing the exit — just in case.
Copyright © Dan Fellner 2013