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“A Guide can't make the Volcano Shorter”
Review of Volcan Concepcion

Volcan Concepcion
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Concepción Volcano Hike in Isla de Ometepe
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Ometepe Island Day Trip from Managua
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed September 29, 2012

My father, a geologist, and I, an avid mountain climber, took on Volcan Conception this September in 2012.

This volcano is a difficult climb. The grade is steep from the lookout (no official place, just where you rise above the tree-line) clear to the top and will be unrelenting for the duration of your climb and will burn you on the descent. From Moyogalpa to the peak and back too me twelve hours walking.

The upper section of the volcano is scree slope, formed of small stones mixes with sand. This isn't like Cerro Negro, you cannot slide down when you are done climbing, you have to be careful with the loose stones that roll out from under your weight. If you haven't climbed a scree slope before, do not attempt to hike to the peak as this is no place to experiment with scree, it is a long way to get help.

The grade increases steadily to about 40 degrees and does not level out at any point until you reach the bottom of the crater.

Clouds swirl around the top of the volcano at times. This cuts off the sun and cools you down, but requires that you keep your group together and keep your bearings at all times. Remember the landmarks so you can find your way down again.

Between two of us, we carried three gallons of water and had very little left over after 12 hours. Snacks included a big bag of peanuts, bananas, and some local sweet rolls. Also essential is a bottle of sunscreen; the climb up the mountain is fully exposed and you will be facing the sun in the morning as you climb (if you approach from Moyogalpa) and facing the sun as you descend in the afternoon and early evening. We started at 6AM, walking out the door, and only got back by 6PM.

In short, this volcano is difficult, the view is spectacular at the top if you don't have clouds blocking it. I saw all the way to Volcan Mombacho (which was completely clear! When I climbed it, it was covered in clouds!). Alternatively, a hike to one of the foothills above the treeline gives much the same view and does not require scrambling up and down the scree slopes.

My father and I both have a bit of experience in navigation and climbing, but mostly all you need is common sense to get by. A guide will not make the volcano shorter, for most of the hike he will pick away at his nose.

We guided ourselves and fared rather well. You hike uphill when you are climbing and downhill when you are descending. No matter where you descend, you will meet the main road that encircles the mountain. This isn't like Volcan de Agua where on one side is civilization and the other, dozens of miles of forest, you're on a circular island where the mountain is near the center of that circle.

The forest is called a "cloud forest" but that's not accurate, the clouds do not filter through the forest like they do on Mombacho. Nevertheless, the forest teems with life, with millions of grasshoppers on every blade and thousands of birds singing and billions of insects buzzing all around you. You feel like you're walking amongst beehives. At one particular spot, about which I will elaborate, you can see groups of Howler monkeys hooting and hollering down at you from the trees. I even saw White-Faced monkeys further downhill from the Howler-monkey den. Keep your ears open for strange noises when you walk in these woods.

Be prepared for a very difficult hike, as difficult as a one-day hike can come without vertical rock walls, or shorten the trip to a lookout point above the tree line.

5  Thank ConfederateSoldier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 168 of 235 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2012

Be prepared for an all-day adventure. Make sure you take enough water and food, because it's going to take the better part of a day, even if you are very fit. Don't try it if you have a real fear of heights and make sure you have the right footwear. It's slippery at the upper part because of the many loose rocks. The view is really amazing and the climb will be a memorable experience for sure.

1  Thank oolichan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

We packed 3L of water, some sugar bread and were on our way. Took 5 hours up, 5 hours down. Hands down the hardest endurance i've had to pull off in my life. I wanted to quit at least 4-5 times but each time I pushed through and I was so glad I did.

I remember an hour before the summit, the plants and bugs starts to die off because of the sulfur and you will then truly see what the wind unobstructed sounds like. All you will hear is the wind and your breath. Really creepy but an amazing moment when you realize how loud everything in the world is.

The summit was great. Literally sat on the edge where underneath was death.

No lie, we had trouble walking for 3-4 days. But I look back at Nicaragua and couldn't be happier I climbed this beast. Next one I want to do Maderas.

2  Thank Enanh10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

It is a tough hike and it has many challenges but with the right guide your experience will be noteworthy

Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

I think that many get put of by the fact that its a 10-12 hours climb. At least so was I, and I didn't have the time either. I did a halfway hike up to a mirador (viewpoint) that is around 1000 m.a.s. It was a warm and sweaty hike, need at least 2 liters of water, only for that, so bring a gallon if your heading for the top. Make sure you have good shoes because theres a lot of gravel and ustable foundation on this pat. Luckily theres a lot of branches to hold on to.

I was to start with a bit hesitant on with volcano to visit. And I think I made the wrong choice. Concepcion had an eruption in the 1950's or so, so the only thing thats around this place is new forrest and vegetation (except a few trees). My guide also said there's more jungellike forreste and more animales at the other volcano. We saw some monkeys, a couple of insects and a few species of birds, other than that, not much.

Also make sure you start early if you wanna climb, even just the "mirador". Oh, and I would definetly have a guide one more time..
Enjoy (if you want to :-D)

2  Thank Reisebug T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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