As a couple in our mid-fifties, we are relatively new to cruising, but have found it a great way to travel to new places. When the chance to journey though the Panama Canal for its 100th anniversary came up, we couldn’t resist.
One of our itinerary stops was to be Corinto, Nicaragua. Here we wanted to do an excursion just a little out of the ordinary. Our #1 choice was to climb the Cerro Negro Volcano with Julio Tours.
Our initial research, which included reading the reviews of Julio Tours, gave us confidence in their ability to provide a top-notch service. This turned out to be definitely true.
Julio Pineda, the owner and manager of this company, was great to work with on the internet, answering all our questions promptly by e-mail. Having dealt with numerous cruise visitors before, he was able to assure us that we could head out to the volcano, climb it, and then be back in time for our ship's scheduled departure.
With Julio's detailed description of what our day trip to Cerro Negro would include, it did not take much convincing to persuade a few friends who were also going on the cruise to join us on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
On May 6th, our arrival date in Corinto, our little party of six was off the ship as soon as we could. Julio himself was waiting for us at the port terminal gate. He personally escorted us to our vehicle and our driver/guide Carlos D’Gutierrez.
We had a amazing day with Carlos. He was very informative and patient with our group. The hour and a half drive to the volcano was scenic, and Carlos was able to provide some excellent commentary about his beautiful country along the way.
It seemed like no time at all before we were at the Volcano Welcome Centre and ready for our climb up Cerro Negro.
Carlos was able to guide us with great skill up the rocky path. (Well, semi-path anyway.) With his help, and despite the heat and humidity that day, our hike to the peak was actually fun every step of the way.
After spending some time at the top, two members of our group were brave enough to ride down on toboggan boards that were provided. The rest of us chose to either walk or run down the almost sandlike surface of the exit side of the volcano.
It really was a fabulous experience.
After the volcano, we did have time for a short stop at a market to enjoy fresh mangos. Carlos made sure we were well taken care of. We were onboard our ship with time to spare.
We would highly recommend Julio Tours for anyone visiting this area of Nicaragua.
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