After my scuba diving adventure in Uitla I decided to leave Honduras and head south to Nicaragua. First stop was the city of Leon, I had been looking for a nice hospital for days to check on my wrist tendinitis and this city looked big enough to have a decent one. However I wasn’t lucky with that, the hospital looked really bad and it was a nightmare to get an appointment. So instead I forget about my wrist and opted to try out what CNN rated number 2 on the list of “50 experiences to try before you die“, Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro.
Volcano Boarding Tour
The easiest way to get there is booking a tour with the Big Foot Hostel crew in Leon. They will take you there with a huge truck, provide you with all the equipment, and then take you back to Leon for a happy mojito night. And this costs 28USD including a 5USD park admission fee.
The idea behind Volcano Boarding or Volcano Surfing is simple. All you need is a plywood to slide down the volcano while sitting down and holding on to it with a rope. You will also be wearing a special suit and some goggles to avoid any cuts or rock hits. Bear in mind that you will need to hike up the mountain before sliding down, and you will only get one chance so you better make it count.
The danger of extreme sports
Like all extreme sports Volcano Boarding can be dangerous. My number one advise is: get out of the way! Regretfully we had a bad experience that day. An Australian girl got hit in the back while she stopped half way down the hill. Unfortunately she was in a blind spot and her boyfriend coming after her couldn’t stop on time. We had to wait for an ambulance (which took 1.30h to get there and more than an hour back to the hospital) because Kate felt terrible pain on the side of her back. I became the official translator between the nurses and them because nobody spoke spanish there.
That night Kate slept at the hospital in observation, the doctors said she was fine. I felt bad I had to leave her and the boyfriend there but it looked like they were well attended. I jotted the contact and went home. A couple of days later I found out that Kate had actually broken her back, looks like some American doctors randomly visited the hospital 2 days later and reviewed the x-ray scans. However that hit could have been fatal.
Now I don’t want to talk you out of doing the Volcano Boarding, just want to let you know that things can happen and that you should put all your senses to work while your in it.
Watch this short clip to understand what it’s like to slide down a volcano at 60kmh.