Monday, February 24, 2014

His and Her Travel Review: Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua

Welcome to the Masaya Volcano.
We were sitting in church one Sunday morning, back in 2003, when they announced that there was an informational meeting for anyone interested in going on a mission trip to Nicaragua after the service. I paid it no attention, but I was taken to the meeting as Amanda had a big interest in going. After listening to the information that was given to us, we talked about it and we decided to go. I had no clue where Nicaragua was and originally thought it was in Africa but then found out it was in central America between Costa Rica and Honduras.

Old lava rock on the outside of the volcano cone.  
We had a great time at the camp where we helped with painting, construction, a basic medical clinic and bible school for the local children. One of the highlights of the trip happened the day before we flew back to the United States; we toured the capital city, Managua, and visited an active volcano. Neither of us had ever seen an active volcano and were looking forward to the experience. I had always wanted to visit a volcano, but was always worried that it would be too dangerous. We figured this is probably as safe as you can get, as it had been a long time since its last eruption. After a 4 hour bus ride we saw the sign for the national park and the bus started the long climb to the top.

We were told about the history of the volcano and that, although it was an active volcano, it had not erupted in over a century.
Steam rising from the crater of the volcano.
There was no guarantee of seeing lava but it was visible on occasion. Once we got to the top of the volcano, we had some free time to view the crater and we were given evacuation instructions in case the volcano decided to erupt or the sulphur levels got too high. We both went over to the crater to see if we could see any lava and although there was plenty of smoke (with a lovely sulphur smell as well) there was no lava visible. It was obvious that it was still very active due to the amount of smoke rising from the crater. After a while we all climbed onto the bus and then headed down to the city for our tour. It was a great experience and was a great way
Crater of the volcano.
to see just how powerful nature can be. I would love to see another volcano one day and hopefully one that has some lava to complete the experience. If you ever get a chance to see an active volcano I highly recommend it.

Our first summer mission trip to Nicaragua was an incredible, eye-opening, and heart-changing experience. We are so grateful for that opportunity. Being able to tour some of the sights of Nicaragua was a beautiful bonus. Masaya looked in the distance like a mountain, but as we climbed we could see the hardened lava rock and we could see the smoke pluming from the crater. Standing on the edge, looking down at the smokey center, and thinking about the last time it erupted when thousands died was an awe-inspiring experience. We did not see lava, but we smelled the sulfur. Not having volcanoes anywhere near home, made this a unique experience for both of us. It is, hands-down, one of the coolest things we have been able to visit on our excursions. Here are some more photos - they do not do it justice!

Crater of the volcano

Amanda and I with the crater behind us. Don't we look young?

Top of the volcano (There is a large cross at the top that is barely visible in this photo)
Tourists looking at the crater of the volcano

Group photo at the volcano.

Painting of the volcano erupting in the volcano museum.

Have you ever visited an active volcano? Share that story with us in the comments or on Facebook.

Happy Travels,

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. I have always wanted to do a missions trip. I will do it someday!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle


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