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“Volcan San Cristobal”

Tierra Tour - Day Tours
Ranked #6 of 25 Tours in Leon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
47 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Volcan San Cristobal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

We arranged a hike of San Cristobal volcano through Tierra Tours. They picked us up at our hotel in Leon at 5am for the 1.5 hour drive to the trailhead. The 30 minute stretch on 4wd roads was reminiscent of most trailheads we head towards at home in Colorado. Our guide was a young freelancer named Jose who was fluently bilingual. We set off at a good pace and it didn't take long before we started walking on gravel, or scree, and the trail started getting steep and loose. With approx. 3500 ft in 2 miles, we knew grades were going to get tough, but we had barely started. The forest had turned to grass and we quickly approached the barren landscape encompassing the top 2000ft of the entire cone in about 45 minutes. This is where the scree got thick and every step involved a little sliding. We were able to stay on our guides heels through stretches of switchbacks, runnels, and sometimes just straight up. We stayed shaded on the eastern side and quite cool despite warm temps. In a couple places, the scree got particularly frustrating, but we pushed through and tried to enjoy it. We reached the summit in 2:15 which was one of the fastest our guide had recorded, so we felt pretty good. After playing around and admiring the astonishing views during a snack, we set off back down. With our scree and snow plunge-stepping experience, we were able to more or less run down the entire slope of the volcano dropping 2000 feet in less than 15 minutes while gathering about a pound of rocks in our shoes.

The trip was a blast and I think our guide had even more fun than we did. However, you should know what you're getting into before you book this one. The terrain is probably unlike anything you've ever been on and could be the worst time of you life if you're not up to it. Just imagine walking on a pile of gravel for several hours. The cost was a bit pricey, too, at $80, but would have been less had there been more than just two of us.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
47 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A Nice Evening”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

After hiking Volcan San Cristobol through Tierra Tours in the morning, we decided to go ahead and do their night hiking tour of Telica that night with our same freelance guide Jose. The drive back to the trailhead is a bit arduous, but manageable. The trail was quite simple and we were up to the main crater rim in no time to check out the lava during daylight. We then walked around the volcano to watch the sunset out over the Pacific and eat dinner. It was a very pleasant moment, but the smoke from burning all the sugar cane fields made for a poor sunset. We then backtracked to the crater rim again and this time the lava was glowing nicely. The sulfur fumes weren't too bad, either, but a stiff wind was keeping them at bay. The hike back down to the van by flashlight was a bit arduous, but the trail is fairly nice and quite easy to follow. I should note that we are experience hikers, so the physical aspect of this outing may prove to be more taxing for some. All in all it was a unique experience, but I don't think it was worth the $50 charged. If you can find a cheaper outfit, go for it.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank A K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
189 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“A Very Professional Company”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Tierra Tours is a very professional company that provides excursions, shuttles and private car services that are fairly priced and run on time. David, the office manager in Leon was quite helpful in making all the arrangements and sharing his knowledge of local history.

We first used them for a late night pick-up by private car from the Managua airport for transfer to Leon, so that we did not have to stay overnight in the capital. Our driver was waiting outside and whisked us away in a newer sedan with air conditioning. Most guide books suggest not traveling at night in Nicaragua. We figured if Tierra Tours was willing, it would be fine, and it was.

Their Volcano boarding excursion to Cerro Negro is a must do. They also arranged a day trip for us to Matagalpa and the Telares Indigenas Nicaraguan weavers’ co-operative in El Chile, a rural indigenous village. The scenery along the route to Matagalpa is very diverse, ranging from dusty cattle ranches to lush rice paddies and verdant coffee fincas in the highlands. (We highly recommend this trip).

Finally, we used their shuttle service to transfer from Leon to San Juan del Sur (5-6 hrs). The price they charged was a bargain compared to a private car and some of the other quotes we received from other companies.

Best travels,

Craig & Donna

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank DonnaandCraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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