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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Why snowboard down the snowy slopes of a mountain when you can go boarding down the dusty side of an active volcano? Thrill seekers, get your goggles ready… this is one trip that you’ll never forget. Nicaragua… here we come!

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Boarding down Cerro Negro

There’s nothing like it. You suit up in a bright orange jump suit, strap a pair of goggle onto your head, lace up your boots and crouch down on to the sledge, a plywood construction reinforced with metal, and go. Don’t forget to keep your mouth shut or else you risk a mouthful of pebbles, sand, dust and dirt by the time you reach the bottom. This is no slow boat to China ride, boarders can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour as they speed down the side of Cerro Negro!

It’s so crazy, it’s fun.

Risks? Sure there is some degree of risk when you’re sliding down the side of an active volcano on little more than a piece of wood at 50 miles an hour. The most common injury? A bit of gravel rash on your arms and legs if you happen to lose your balance and wipe out on your descent.

Getting there

This is the hottest new adventure sport on the continent and is attracting travellers from all over the world to Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro, an active volcano that last erupted as recent as 1999 on the western side of the country. Cerro Negro is accessible from León, just 15 miles away to the southwest. León was once renown for its population of left-thinking students, poets and revolutionaries, charming colonial architecture and incredible churches. On the backpackers scene today there’s only one reason to visit León, to tackle the 500m slide down the side of the town’s volcano.

[see]Flights to Nicaragua[/see]

There are a few tours operating from León including Bigfoot Hostel and Va Pues Tours but these almost always need to be booked in advance to secure a place. It’s a 45-minute drive to the bottom of the volcano and then another 45-minute hike to the top where you start your ride down from.

Would you try it?

Imgs: peter gene, gsz / Flickr cc.

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