Ring of Fire
It might sound dangerous, but it is also what makes vacations fun. Hiking around the Ring of Fire in Nicaragua might just be the most exciting trip you ever take. Moon.com offers a sample itinerary and information about this fiery locale in their Travel Planner: Discover Nicaragua: Hiking the Ring of Fire.
Volcano hopping, anyone? Pack some sturdy boots and hike one or all of the more than a dozen ascents detailed in this book. Nicaragua’s Maribio and Dirian mountain ranges contain both dormant and active cones, each one completely unique in scenery, difficulty, vegetation, and length. A few of these hikes have established, well-blazed trails (Mombacho and Masaya Parks are notable exceptions), many don’t.
In undeveloped-for-tourism areas, hiking means turning off the pavement, taking a poor dirt road to an even poorer one, and then entering the country’s vast network of mule- and footpaths that have connected rural communities for centuries. You’ll share the road with horses, cattle, and families walking to and from their fields. You’ll discover small adobe chapels, hidden shrines to the Virgin Mary, and cool watering holes, all on your way to or from another crater. Of course, you should always, when possible, hire a local guide, as a way to both support the community and to not get lost, both respectable goals.
Following is a quickie week-long jaunt up a couple of favorites, but after seeing the long chain of gas-streaming peaks stretching off into the horizon, you’ll realize that this is only the beginning.
February 16, 2007 @ 10:46 pm
am doing this in March. Any thoughts on the heat (not the volcanic but general?)
March 30, 2006 @ 4:03 pm
When the Somoza Death Squads were torturing the revolutionary opposition, they would fly them up in helicopters above the volcanos. Not only was the threat of death terrifying for these victims – they associated being cast into the “ring of fire” as eternal damnation. It’s so wonderful that the overthrow of Somoza and the end of the U.S.-backed contra war ended these practices. Now, the volcanoes can be appreciated as natural wonders and no longer sources of terror.