Volcan Maderas
Volcan Maderas
4.5
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The last eruption from this dormant volcano was 10,000 years ago.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles338 reviews
Excellent
166
Very good
120
Average
39
Poor
10
Terrible
3

Rowan H
Cairns, Australia1,674 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
We attempted to complete the Volcan Maderas hike today (20/10/2022).

Logistically being based in Balgue it made more sense for us to do Maderas rather than Concepcion as we didn’t need to organise/pay for transport because we could do Maderas as a loop from our hotel. Cost wise we paid for a guide (30USD total for three people) + admission (3USD per person) so 39USD total for us three. Despite the apparent law that you must have a guide to climb one of the two volcanoes on Isla De Ometepe we did note a large group of people ascending the volcano without one. Therefore, I think perhaps this is a rule that isn’t being enforced in low season. We ascended using the Finca Magdalena trail. Note there are three different approaches that can be taken to get to the top of this.

The trail wasn’t too bad. Its clear some work had gone into it - there were timber sections and some ropes. It was a little wet but not too bad closer to the base. We ascended and after a little over two hours we reached a wonderful viewpoint approximately half way up. This provided views over Isla De Ometepe as well as Volcan Concepcion. Following this we attempted to push onto the summit. From the viewpoint I would describe the hike as becoming exponentially steeper and more muddy. After about half an hour we called it, turned around and walked back. Paradoxically we found descending was actually worse than ascending as the rocks all seemed to have a thin layer of moss and were quite slippery. I lost my footing a few times. Luckily there were no tumbles.

I think our experience is fairly typical of Maderas. The cloud forest at the top means the rocks are very moist and slippery with a layer of moss. Speaking to our guide he suggested that Concepcion is actually better to climb, despite being longer as it can at least dry during short periods of sun in the wet season because it isn’t covered in vegetation.

Overall I would only suggest completing this hike to the mirador. Even going that far took us 5 hours return.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marianne F
Sydney, Australia73 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is a really tough hike, and we have done a lot of hiking. It's very rough, steep and rocky underfoot. It's very muddy and slippery particularly coming down and we were slipping and falling for a good couple of hours or more (ascent time 3 5 hours, descent almost 4 hours). Being a cold forest, most or the time we were in cloud so there was no view at the top. We had some good views coming down and the forest was lovely. Not a hijw I would recommend unless you have good walking boots, a stick, good ankles, and want to burn a lot of calories or are determined to climb all the volcanoes of Nicaragua or some similar goal.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YourFriendlyReviewer
Tamarindo, Costa Rica35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Before starting the walk up the Madera Volcano there is a stop at "Finca Magdalena" which is an old coffee "finca" that serves as a restaurant and guest house as well. Its the gathering point for all the backpackers that wish to have an adventure rush. You first have to pay a fee for walking to the Volcano (I consider it a very cheap price). You can choose wether to take the walk around the coffee plantations, the hieroglyphics's walk, or the "volcano climbing" walk. In all three you will find beautiful and very well conservated hieroglyphics, but of course, you will find more on the hieroglyphics's walk. Its an experience I will never forget, since I did all three walks, but the most challenging one was reaching the top of the volcano, that has a humid tropical forest vegetation (use jeans, comfortable boots and alredy dirty t-shirts). It is a 4 hour climbing, if you are a slow walker(of course, watching the flora and fauna) and 2 1/2 descending; and 2 1/2 hours if you are in fast pace for the top, and 1:45 min descending. I personally did the quicker timing. At the top you can do a 90-feet rope descending to the crater's lagoon. Its an incredible experience, I have lots to talk about, you can write to me if you wish more details. It is a pleasure to share information about beautiful spots.
Written October 19, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HaleyE
North Augusta, South Carolina4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was the hardest hike I have ever done! Granted, I haven't done too many, but I have hiked a few trails. Even though I felt like I was going to die, I made it to the top. It was such a feeling of accomplishment to get there. It is a beautiful hike. Our guide was fantastic. He pointed out all kinds of insects and even showed us some crabs that were running across the trail. We started our hike very early in the morning and ate lunch at the crater lake. It was surprisingly cold at the top, which was nice since we were all drenched in sweat by the time we got there. The clouds at the top were very thick so we couldn't see very much of the crater lake. We did see lots of litte frogs up there, however. Going down the volcano was much faster than going up, but also much harder for our group. Right when we started hiking down, it started to pour rain like I have never seen before. It was like hiking through a very steep river. The water and mud were up to our shins. So much for my waterproof hiking boots! It was very slippery and even our guide fell on his butt. By the time we got to the bottom we were soaked to the bone and covered in mud. Even though it was so hard, I am glad I made the hike. It was an experience that I will never forget and the views were amazing. You should definitely wear long pants and good shoes...but nothing that you don't want covered in mud, because even if it doesn't rain, you'll be covered in mud. It's worth it.
Written September 15, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stef K
Bern, Switzerland44 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
Km 0: Yay let's climb the volcano
Km 1: The path is quite good, why they write on tripadvisor the path is so muddy?!
Km 2: Its so humid my clothes are already completely wet.
Km 3: Oh, here it starts to be muddy.
Km 3,3: Ok, lets play the game to not get drity shoes.
Km 3,4: The game is already lost.
Km 3,5: Game lost again
Km 3,6: Even more mud.
Km 3,7 Only slow progess because its so slippery.
Km 4: My hiking shoes are complete wet and dirty,
Km 4,5: Why am I doing this tour?
Km 5: Finally on the the top. Oh, the way down to the laguna is very steep and even more muddy.
The laguna: We only saw like 30m because it was foggy.
Ok, lets get back down the volcano.
Km 5,5: Still muddy and slippery.
Km 5,7: I hate mud.
Km 5,9: Did the last two meters on my back, unintentionally
Km 6,4: I hate mud, did I say it already?
Km 8: Huff, we made already 3Km down the volcano, then the guide said: 'Good job, we made the first 2 Km down'
Km 7,2: Still slow progress, the legs begin to hurt.
Km 7,6: Still mud, where does all this mud come from?
Km 8: Finally the path is getting better.
Km 8,1: Wrong conclusion its still muddy.
Km 8,4: Shorts, shirt, hands, mud everywhere
Km 8,7: I want to go home!!! I need a shower.
Km 9: Finally the path is better, only slippery roots and stones ahead
Km 9,2: But still very steep, the legs are buring now.
Km 10: The path is almost flat now, why could the volcano not be that flat?
Km 10,5: What an exhausting hike, I am done.
Km 11: Finally we did it, we hiked Muderas, what an experience.

But the forest was Beautiful? Hmmm, can't say I had to watch my step.

Poor guide has to do this every day.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tortfeasing
Arizona5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I’ll start with the basics. This hike started at the Finca Magdalena coffee plantation and some breakfast there. Many people also purchase a sandwich to enjoy at the top of Maderas for lunch. You will need something for lunch. Two large waters are also recommended (maybe 2.5 depending on the heat at the bottom). I would also highly recommend some trail mix (something with both sugar and protein) as Maderas will take all your calories and then demand more. A small water backpack should hold everything nicely. This is about 5km one way and seemingly straight up. The bottom is hot and humid, about mid way is the cloud ring where it starts to get cooler, and from there it’s wet, muddy, and cooler still (but more refreshing and welcome than cold). Maderas told me four things about myself. 1) I am no longer 20yrs old. 2) It would be disrespectful to real hikers to call myself one. 3) My gym workouts have been equivalent to a walk to the local grocery store compared to this hike. 4) And I now know my true exhaustion limits (because I reached them twice that day). However, I still made it and my brother (4yrs older than I and a real hiker) made it with relative ease compared to me. You should experience this adventure and being prepared will make it very enjoyable. As other posts have said, long pants and very (very) good shoes as they will be covered in mud (as will your pants) often negating the traction on your shoes. If you’re not an avid hiker and you’re offered a walking stick, take it as it will also help you with your balance in mud and slippery rocks on the way down. Also, if you’re not staying at Finca Magdalenda, make sure you have transportation plans or are aware of the bus schedule as compared to the 6-8hrs it may take you to complete the hike. Enjoy and please post your experience.
Written February 22, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally M
44 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I love to hike and I'm up for a challenge. If you're looking for a good hiking experience, don't climb Maderas. The work:reward ratio is way off. If you have a more intangible goal - want to climb every volcano in Nicaragua, or you really crave the muscle burn and are willing to risk a twisted ankle to get it, fine, just go in with the right mindset.

First, I'll say that our guide, Arlen, was good. I thought he might have given too much information, stopping at points along the way to talk at length, then setting off at a super fast pace that half our group couldn't match (and we were healthy, fit, young people who weren't new to hikes up mountains). But when we ran into trouble on the way down, he was a steady, helpful presence and we were really glad he was there, and it's those kind of situations in which you're really happy to have an experienced guide with you.

First, this hike is pretty darn hard. It's a steep incline, it's long, it's humid. The shade is nice and it does get a bit cooler at higher altitudes, but the trail after the first lookout gets rough - you're basically climbing up a narrow river bed. I'm okay with a steep climb, but the compounding effect of having to carefully place every step as you climb across big, muddy, slick rocks really adds to the fatigue quickly. I've done harder trails, but usually there's a payoff - views along the way, a unique destination at the end, something. At Maderas, the forest is cool but there are other ways to see cloud forests (I will say that I've lived in central america for a while. So I'm probably less impressed with the biodiversity than some because it's familiar, but I also know that there are many, many better hikes up volcanoes and through forests in the region). There are a few viewpoints along the way but they get less frequent the higher/rougher it gets, and at the end the laguna (which was way too shallow and muddy to swim in enjoyably) was underwhelming. Even the lookout point over the laguna, where we ate lunch, was uncomfortable.

Worst was the trip down. I will say - a couple of people in our group who were sure on their feet were able to sort of skip down, mitigating the treacherousness of the terrain by never keeping their feet in a spot long enough for the rock to shift or the shoe to slide. For the rest of us, it was a long, dangerous slog. We tried to place our steps carefully but there were still multiple falls, made more common by tired and unsteady legs. This is where the guide really became key - one of my companions fell hard a couple times and twisted a knee that was already a bit sensitive from previous injuries. It got pretty hard for him to continue, and the guide really helped him stay steady on some stretches. That said - he didn't have a choice but to come down himself. Apparently they have tried to carry disabled climbers down on pallets before, but the path is so rough that even experienced guides have a hard time when they can't see the ground because they're carrying a stretcher. All the rescue operations (according to what we were told, and it seems right) resulted in multiple falls and dropped patients, pain, and general danger. Moral of the story: you twist your ankle or sprain a knee or whatever, and you have to realize that you're basically on your own.
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sanje L
Brooklyn, NY5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2013 • Couples
I was so excited to climb this Volcano which I knew was a 8-9 hour hike overall and would be wet but I didn't expect it to be so difficult. The hike was muddy and unpleasant but if the day was clear and no clouds on the top and had an amazing view, I would recommend this but if the volcano is cloudy on top, just skip the whole day hike and do a 3 hour hike. You still get a good hike with a beautiful view of the lake and Concepcion Volcano.
Written January 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

085119c
Ontario, Canada38 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
We are a 30 year old couple and are in good shape and hike a lot and this was no joke. It took us 6.5 hours with a 45 min stop for lunch and we were told that was an excellent time (we did the trail with the extra 1km on the way down). Going up was great, not super mucky until the top and much easier to get a grip. Going down was a whole other ball game. You basically just slip and slide and try not to trip for 2 hours straight at one point. Also if you are going for views, you get some really good ones IF it's not cloudy. Unfortunately for us it was rainy and cloudy. I'll be honest it was average scenery but we saw monkeys and birds so we were happy with that. Our guide Omar was awesome. Can't say enough good things about him!! We choose Maderas because we heard you got to see more and was 'easier' than Conception. Omar filled us in and said that that is old information and now with a new trail on Conception, it is easier than Maderas. We had a great day with a great work out and got to see some wildlife but this hike was hard and veryyyyyy mucky (like covered in mud, went swimming in the lake fully clothed with sneakers on afterwards covered in mud) for not the coolest sites but I mean you get to say you hiked a volcano on Ometepe and it felt GREAT swimming in the lake afterwards.
Written February 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

watto121090
Sydney, Australia16 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
Hiked the Volcan Maderas with my friend. Started the climb early in the morning around 8. The path leading to it is easy to find plus you must have a guide. We heard and read from numerous sources that this is an average 3-4 hour hike up and down the volcano. I'm 26, pretty fit and active and have played sport all my life and I found this hike really tough. For people to tell you that it is easy to normal for the average tourist who isn't somewhat experienced at other hikes is lying straight up. What people don't tell you is that the hike can get extremely muddy and involves climbing over fallen logs and branches. You need to have some good coordination and balance through the higher parts of the climb otherwise you risk injury or falling over. The hike took us 10 hours overall round trip and that is only because our guide was pushing us hard. DO NOT expect to see anything at the top. There is a permanent cloud and mist up there which only lets you view the lake crater. The best view is an hour into the assent (viewpoint), where you can see Volcan Concepcion clearly. Wear clothing you don't care about. It doesn't get cold at the top. Your shoes will get absolutely destroyed by the mud clay which is wet and cannot be avoided. For me it is not something I will remember to fondly. There are plenty of other mountains/volcanos which if you put in that much work, would be a lot more rewarding.
Written June 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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