If you do nothing else in Nicaragua, go boarding down a volcano. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, or if you just love going fast, then volcano boarding is absolutely for you.
I recommend going with Quetzal Trekkers because you get the opportunity to go down the volcano twice – and that makes all the difference.
Keep in mind though that to board DOWN the volcano, you first have to hike UP the volcano. This seems like a “no shit” kind of reminder, but trust me, you’d be surprised how many people who do this just aren’t physically fit enough and have to stop a MILLION times on the hike up.
If you’re in great physical health, all the stopping will get old really fast. But at least on one of the stops there’s a large enough area to mess around in and you can use the rock on the edge of the volcano to pretend to be Jack and Rose from Titanic, Rafiki from the Lion King, or just scare the shit out of everyone and start jumping up and down trying to get the perfect “in the air” pic.
Also, farther up all the stopping all the time won’t be so annoying because you’ll be wanting to stop anyways to get some incredible shots of the surrounding area.
I volunteered to be the first to go down and my first time down I definitely chickened out and put my feet down more than I should have. Thank god I had a second chance to go down.
Check out the video of my volcano boarding escapades here:
So if you decide you want to go volcano boarding in Nicaragua, make sure you don’t make these mistakes:
Mistake #1 Forget to hydrate
If you go with Quetzal Trekkers, a giant water bottle is included in the price so there’s no excuse not to stay hydrated. Plus, the guides will be reminding you to drink water the entire time. This is especially important if you choose to go twice, because hiking up the volcano isn’t so easy in the hot sun.
Mistake #2 Choose a board that’ll slow you down
While none of the boards are going to look brand new and there will always be some extent of wear and tear, the one thing you want to look out for is the plastic square attached to the bottom of your board at the back. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a perfect square, as long as there aren’t any parts of it that are upraised. If there’s any way that sand and dirt can get stuck in this part of the board, it’ll slow you down no matter how far you lean back.
Mistake #3 Don’t put any consideration into which lane you choose to slide down
While you’ll probably only get two (maybe three) options for lanes when it’s finally time to go down, you still get to choose which one you want to go down on. Even if the guides say that there’s no difference between them and the only thing that matters is how far you lean back, use your common sense. Obviously a lane with a steeper slope in the beginning is going to end up being faster than one with less of a slope. My advice is to use your eyeballs and choose the one that is steepest at the beginning. I did, and it made ALL the difference. The people who went on the other lane complained about how slowly they’d gone and then when they went the second time – on the steeper lane – everyone agreed that it was a SIGNIFICANT difference and that the faster one had been exponentially more fun. Use your common sense and you’ll get your money’s worth.