This is the best volcano I have ever experienced. And I have seen a few, Hawaii, Ecuador, and others in Nicaragua. There is a per person entrance fee. It was 100 cordoba for non residents. That works out to about $5 US. I felt that it was a fair fee.
First stop, the visitor center. Despite its tired interior appearance and most of the displays do not have english texts, it is a very informative site. Engage one of the staff in conversation. It doesn't really matter if you speak good spanish or if they speak good english, there is enough similarity in words that you will learn a lot. I really liked the art work (paintings) of the animals that live in the area of the volcano.
If you want to go on any of the tours, you have to book them and pay for them at the visitor center. We chose to go on the walking tour of the lava tubes/bat caves.
After the visitor center, head for the volcano.. It is smoking and hot. Signs encourage visitors to park so that you back in. This is so that if it is necessary to quickly evacuate the area, there is not a lot of backing up confusion. No joke, the last big eruption was April, 2012 and an upper parking lot was ruined by it. Bring water, wear a hat, sturdy shoes and sunglasses. You are out in the open and cooking. We were there during the day so we missed out on the return of the parrots that nest on the upper reaches of the volcano. The visitor center has an interesting display on the parrots.
The tour of the lava tubes/bat caves was so cool. It was just my husband, myself and our guide. Nothing like a personal tour. What did this cost - $2US each. I loved it. There was so much to learn and it was (temperature wise ) cooler than the parking lot. Our guide was so knowledgable and open to questions. I particularly liked the minute of silence and darkness where you could see nothing and hear only the bats flying about. If you like nature, want a break from the heat and don't mind flying mammals, this is the best tour.
There are lots of hiking trails and other tours. Next year we will go for an evening tour. Love those volcanoes. You could make a day of it here, but you almost need an umbrella, lunch, lots of water, and a vehicle.
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