The Masaya Volcano National Park in the Nindiri region of the Central American country of Nicaragua is one of its most spectacular attractions. Hikers and nature lovers will have a field day in the 54-square-kilometer park as it is home to a pair of awe-inspiring volcanoes and five craters.

The volcanoes have actually been quite pretty during the years and planted fear into the region’s indigenous people and their Spanish conquerors in the past.

In fact, the Mouth of Hell was what the Spanish named the angry volcano when they arrived and they placed a cross on the crater’s lip to make sure it drove the devil out of it.

The local area has been covered by rock and ash over the years from the eruptions, making it quite rugged, but it’s also quite tranquil.

In fact, the ash enabled a wide range of vegetation to grow and this attracted a fascinating assortment of animals to the region, including deer, skunks, coyote, monkeys, raccoons, iguanas and opossums.

Peeking into the Masaya Volcano from the top of its edge is a highlight of the trip and you’ll likely see some harmless smoke and sulphur gas flowing from it. There are several guided trails in the park and if you follow these you’ll be able to view many interesting viewpoints as well as the craters.

If you’re not afraid of bats, you should head over to Tzinaconostoc Cave as you’ll see hundreds of them literally hanging around.

The park is also quite unique as many visitors prefer to visit at night time and take its nocturnal tour. The interesting journey gets underway just before the sun goes down and lasts for approximately three hours.

During the tour you’ll see the bats fill the sky as they take off from their caves for a night of fun and dozens of birds start making their way back to the craters.

There’s an underground tunnel which was formed by streams of hot lava and this offers some excellent rock formations. However, the highlight of the night could very well be the view of the red, glowing lava as it lights up the darkness from the volcano’s opening.

The park is about 30 minutes outside of Managua, the country’s capital city and just a stone’s throw from the town of Masaya. Hikers and mountain climbers will enjoy the trek to the Masaya Volcano if they choose to tackle it instead of driving up or taking a taxi.


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