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What is positive about a volcano eruption? Sport!
If you’re heading to León, Nicaragua, for volcano boarding, get ready for a wild ride. After experiencing this unique adventure myself, I can say with confidence that it’s one of the most fun activities I found during my time in Central America.

What is Volcano Boarding?

Imagine sliding down the side of an active volcano on a specially designed board at speeds that can reach in my case 50 km/h, but can go faster as well.
Sounds crazy? It is! Volcano boarding, also known as ash boarding, is a thrilling sport where participants slide down volcanic slopes on a board similar to a snowboard on which you usually sit down.

Why León is the Place to Be

León, Nicaragua, is home to Cerro Negro, the youngest and one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. This black cinder cone volcano, with its steep slopes and loose volcanic gravel, makes for the perfect volcano boarding experience. The vibrant city of León itself is rich in culture and history, offering a great base for adventure seekers.

The Experience: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Getting There: Most tours start early in the morning. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in León and driven to the base of Cerro Negro. The drive takes about an hour.
  2. The Hike Up: Prepare for a at least 45-minute hike to the summit. It’s a moderately challenging climb, but the views are worth it. You’ll see the Pacific Ocean on one side and a chain of volcanoes on the other, when the weather is good. It is quite humid during it.
  3. Gearing Up: Once at the top, you’ll get suited up in protective gear – a jumpsuit, goggles, and gloves. Your guide will give you a brief safety lesson and tips on how to control your board.
  4. The Ride Down: This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! You’ll sit usually on your board and take off down the 728-meter slope. The descent is steep and fast, with volcanic ash flying around you. It’s an adrenaline filled adventure.

What You Need to Know Before You Go

  • Tour Costs: Prices for volcano boarding tours vary, but you can expect to pay around $25-$30 per person, which usually includes transportation, gear rental, and a guide. Also it is possible to get it including drinks and a t-shirt.
  • Best Time to Go: The dry season, from November to April, is the best time for volcano boarding. The weather is more predictable, and the views are clearer.
  • What to Bring: Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes for the hike. Bring plenty of water, if not included, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the breathtaking views. Drones are sadly illegal, but if you have it with you there should be no controls.
  • You will be riding down only ONCE during your trip there. 
  • It is possible to fall, but if you listen to the guide, you will know how to fall.

Safety Tips

  • Listen to Your Guide: Follow all instructions given by your guide. They know the region and how to ensure you have a safe experience.
  • Use the Gear: The volcanic ash can be sharp and hot, so it’s essential to wear the jumpsuit, gloves, and goggles provided.
  • Know Your Limits: If you’re not comfortable riding full speed, it’s perfectly fine to stop with your feed a bit. The most important thing is to enjoy the ride and stay safe.


If you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a unique adventure, volcano boarding in León, Nicaragua, is an absolute must. The combination of the thrill of the ride, the stunning landscape, and the rich culture of León makes it an unforgettable experience. Trust me, this is one adventure you don’t want to miss. Pack your bags, grab your board, and get ready to slide down the side of a volcano – you’ll be talking about it for years to come!

Tell me about your volcano boarding experience or any other extreme adventures in the comments.

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Written by

Nico Koch

I am Nico Koch from Hamburg in Germany and happy that you are interested in seeing the world through my eyes and want to join me on my journey.