Nicaragua: Ash Board Cerro Negro
If you are in search of a fit travel activity, then travel to Nicaragua and challenge yourself at ash boarding. This is a fairly new sport which allows tourists to descend the black sands of Cerro Negro. It is an active volcano that has been producing frequent explosions with lava flows every ten years. The volcanic activity has covered the slopes with black sand where vegetation does not thrive.
Exploring Cerro Negro
Travel to Nicaragua and explore the uniqueness of Cerro Negro. It is a fairly easy hike going to the summit where you will pass by some volcanic rocks. The only difficult part is when you are already close to the summit because the road becomes steeper and add to that the intense heat from the sun.
Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a picturesque view of the Maribios volcanoes, Leon, and the Pacific Ocean. On your way down to the volcano, the best way is through sand boarding or ash boarding, in the case of the Cerro Negro volcano. You will be using snowboards and flattened cardboard boxes. There are various travel packages for those who wish to experience the adventure of ash boarding at Cerro Negro.
Boarding Cerro Negro
You can opt to join a volcano boarding tour as this includes transportation to and from the volcano, bilingual guides, sport equipments, and even free drinks. You will be taught on the techniques of boarding, how to steer and slow down when descending the Cerro Negro volcano.
The slope at its steepest is 41 degrees and the speed going down is about 51 miles per hour. Thus, the speed that you will experience going down is heart-stopping. The ride going down will not be as smooth as you think it may be. The rocks around the volcano are not even in consistent shapes. The entire travel going down from the volcano may be short, but the thrill is worth the trip.
The volcano board, eye protection, and jump suit will be provided by the travel guides. You will need to bring your bandana to cover your nose and mouth as protection from the sand and gravel.
Best Time to Visit
November to April is the best time to ash board the Cerro Negro when it is not raining.
You will learn from your guide that you should not try to brake too hard with the use of your feet because there is the danger that you will flip over your board. Do not be discouraged if you have never participated in any activities similar to ash boarding as you will get some training and the descent from the top of the volcano is not as difficult. Lastly, never forget to bring additional drinking water as it gets too hot especially while ascending the volcano.
The largest Cathedral in Central America is the Cathedral of Leon. The Cerro Negro is the youngest volcano in Central America and you will find that there is no paved trail when going up the Cerro Negro volcano.