Volcán Masaya

The Volcán Masaya is about a half hour ride from Granada. It’s one of 28 volcanos in Nicaragua, 8 of which are active. It’s a great night-time experience to see a molten lava lake. But you have to look way down- it’s about 400 meters below the rim.

Hot molten lava steams and glows in the darkness.
A long line of vehicles await their turn to the viewing area.

This National Park wisely controls access to the viewpoint allowing only 70 people at a time. Consequently there’s a long line of vehicles on the entrance road awaiting their turn.


There is a nice museum near the entrance. Jane and me, along with our guide Carlos, spent some time looking at the models rather than just sitting in the van. Surprisingly, few people, including the other tourists in our van, bother to get out of their vehicles.

The tectonic plates here in Nicaragua are moving about 8 cm a year.

An area of  subduction where the Cocos tectonic plate buckles under beneath the Caribbean Plate along the Middle American Trench.

The fluffy cotton balls indicate 8 active volcanoes.

Early Spaniards thought the lava was liquid gold, and were mightily disappointed to learn otherwise. Today the lava level is receding and may soon cease to be visible.

Beside the vivid color, you can hear the hissing and cracking of the molten lava.
Artwork depicting goddess of the volcano.

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