With our group of three brothers and one cousin all visiting Nicaragua together, we went during the daytime and again at nighttime to visit the Masaya Volcano National Park yesterday. Here is my report:
I was there last night (23 June) and yes you can see the lava quite well. It’s pretty well down in the Santiago crater but very visible, especially from the main promontory and also on the left side of there.
Access is quite well controlled and they do limit your time. My group and I went during the daytime too so we could visit the visitor’s center, well worth it IMO. During the day they weren’t all that strict about the time limit. There was only one park ranger and he couldn’t really keep track of all the people. However, it is officially forbidden to walk the trails. The bat cave tours also are suspended.
So back the the night tour, you can start queuing up in your vehicle beginning at 5:30 pm but I would recommend waiting like we did until about 6 or 6:30 so it is totally dark when you get up to the top. You pay $10 per personl it doesn’t matter if you are a national or foreigner. You drive up to the visitors center, which is closed after 4:30, but there is a gate there and they use that to queue up perhaps twenty vehicles at a time to allow a cohort of vehicles to drive up together.
When you get up to the parking area of the crater, try to maximize your viewing time as they are limiting the time up there to fifteen minutes. I could have watched the lava for hours as it is incredibly mesmerizing. You can also hear the sounds of the lava and it appeared that there are two currents coming in from the west and east and when the pulses coincide there is a wave of sorts…as I say, mesmerizing.
There are maybe two or three park rangers up there at the crater at night and they are in communication with the other rangers at the gates, so when time is up they use a whistle to implore everyone to get back in their cars and go back down. As you’re going down, the next cohort of vehicles is making its way up.
I hope that helps and I know for a fact you will enjoy what you see! I believe there are only three places in the world where you can see something similar, Kileaua (sic) in Hawaii, someplace in Africa, and good ‘ole Nicaragua!
Nicaragua’s mix of renewable energy is growing its self-sufficiency
Nicaragua: A Success Story in the Making
This post was co-authored by Manuel Coronel
Nicaragua is far more than just the newest and swankiest destination for world travelers. It is -and mark our words – on its way to becoming the latest success story in the western hemisphere.
Let us just tell you why. Nicaragua already is a post-conflict-state success story where peace has become deep-seated and long lasting. The last shots of the “contra” war (1982-1990) against the Sandinista government were heard 25 years ago when close to half of today’s Nicaraguans hadn’t even been born. The other half, the war generation, has – quite pragmatically – reconciled, taking their differences to the political landscape.
Today’s Nicaraguans abhor violence and conflict and stand hopeful and happy about their future prospects. Many, exercising their freedoms, have even flipped sides making alliances with their former foes, or have simply detached themselves from politics to savor the longest time-span of peace they have ever lived in.
Thanks to the authors for expressing their positive impressions of the current and future improvement in the economy and lives of average Nicaraguans. Sustainable tourism is a part of it, no doubt, so I concur with Sharon Boorstin’s comments here.
As someone who hosts visitors to Nicaragua, I continue to hear how some of their friends and family have the wrong impression of the country and don’t recognize the current situation that is so much improved from past years. The experiences one can have while visiting here are truly unique and satisfying for those who want a real person-to-person emprise.
The continued strong growth in the tourism sector indicates that this old out-of-date thinking is finally being overcome. For example, 500,000 more people visited Nicaragua this year than last year and there are now offerings for every type of traveler from budget to five-stary luxury resorts.
Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam
Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country’s electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years. Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images
Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it’s a renewable energy paradise — and today the Central American nation is moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse. Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua’s electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms.
Nicaragua’s largest wind farm lies on the shores of giant Lake Nicaragua, which stretches halfway across the country.
NPR has been doing what I think is a bang-up job on their Nicaragua reporting. We have reposted and commented on several of their stories here, here, and here if you would like to see them. They also did a feature on Medical Tourism that had a bit about Mike at the Farmstay!
Anyway, here is another good news story about how Nicaragua is developing its natural resources in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal with the goal to be a net energy exporter to other Central American countries in a few years!
Most everyone who has been visiting or living here in Nicaragua is familiar with the wind farms along the lakeshore of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas, but you might not know about the solar and geothermal. When you think of it, really geothermal is the way to go as that is a never-ending supply of energy since we have so much volcanic activity in this country.