I did the overnight El Hoyo trip with the Cerro Negro sand boarding add on. Everything was included: meals from breakfast the first morning through lunch the second day; transportation; tent, sleeping back and pack; transportation and admissions. At Cerro Negro we hiked to fumaroles at a couple of points on the volcano before gearing up for the sand boarding. This was fun, although I managed to flip off a couple of times and was digging black volcanic cinders out of my ears for a while after. A useful tip - wear long pants and sleeves. All the outfits provide coveralls but, in a fall, they just ride up and bare skin will attract road rash. A couple of people in our group were scraped up pretty good. From Cerro Negro it is a gradual uphill hike with fairly heavy packs up to the camping spot on El Hoyo. Our fit group did this in about 3 and a half hours. After setting up camp, we hiked up to see the fumaroles, the Hoyo itself ( a big hole near the summit caused by subsidence), then to the summit to watch the sun set over the Pacific. We had a tasty dinner around the campfire, then retired to our tents early. Next morning we watched a glorious sunrise over Volcan Mombotombo and Lake Managua. After breakfast we packed up and hiked down to Laguna Asososca, where we swam, lounged about and ate lunch. From here we hiked for out to the highway where we caught a couple of buses to make our way back to Leon by 4 pm.
This is an very interesting and not overly strenuous hike. The volunteer guides were friendly and well organized. The food was plentiful and tasty, and the gear provided was good quality. All in all, great fun, an excellent value, and knowing that part of the fee is going to local community projects is a great bonus!
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