Location: Ometepe island, Rivas Department, Nicaragua
Elevation: 1,394m (4,573ft)
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Trail length: 6.2km (10mi)
Elevation gain: 1,361m (4,465ft) approx
Camping / Huts: No / No (scroll down for more info)
Date hiked: January 9, 2018
I had forgotten to set my alarm, and woke up around 9am instead of my lofty goal of 6am. I had a quick coffee and a word of advice from Señora Carmen (one of the ladies running Finca Magdalena, a farm run by a collective of 24 families since the 1980s! The farm produces organic coffee, bananas, milk, honey, corn, beans, rice, vegetables, accommodation for hikers, and contributes to the protection of the environment). She told me how to sneak past the park ranger to save money. . . Read more of my Maderas Volcano story + see spoiler photos
Description: Same day hike
Walk behind the Finca Magdalena hostel to the trail entrance, follow the trail to the lookout point (on the shale hill, it's the end of the main trail, you can't miss it) leading down to the crater lake.
Recommended: Download the trail route for use offline (there's no reception on the hike).
1. Download the trail route before you go, on Maps.Me, Waze, or Google Maps.*** very important! Because I neglected to do this, I took a wrong turn on the way back, and ended up on the wrong side of the mountain.
2. Be prepared for some steep climbing - it's hand over foot for the last sections.
Trail: Well-maintained. Mostly hard-packed dirt and roots, some rocky sections, many steep sections, wet or muddy in areas.
Organize before the hike:
You can hire a guide, but it's not necessary, I did it without one. The trail up to the crater is very clear and hard to miss, and on the way down, just be sure you are on the right path (there are three trails) when the trail splits (it splits very near the crater).