If you consider to hike only one of the two volcanos of Ometepe, I would totally recommend you to do this one! Despite everything what you hear about that it takes longer to go up to Concepción, I must say that I found this hike way easier than Maderas. The trail that I followed with a guide was starting close to Altagracia and is supposed to be the easiest trail to go up to the crater. There is also a good viewpoint halfway up that gives you a great view over the full island of Omotepe. However, as all depends on the weather, I didn't have the luck to have a clear sky when I was there. Unfortunately, we were hiking too fast so that we couldn't have the clear view that we would have had in the afternoon. We started at about 5:30 and were down back to street about 12:30 making it 7 hours. Despite that we only enjoyed views of the Altagracia area, I really liked the top of the volcano as we were sitting at the rim of the crater. It felt a bit hot sitting on the soil up there and you could smell a bit of sulfuric air around you. For me definitely an excellent experience in which I only regretted that we didn't stay longer up there until the clouds would have gone away. Don't trust your guide in this matter! Mine was saying that it is impossible that the view goes clear if it hadn't until 11am. However, I was experiencing at least 2 days on Ometepe when the clouds went away only after 1pm. Once the air is hot enough, the clouds rise and give clear views of the volcano! And if it is raining before noon and clears up around 11am or so, the air only gets hot enough in the afternoon. In total, this volcano receives less rainfall than Maderas and thus is also less muddy. Concerning the necessity of taking a guide, I had one and would recommend everybody to take one too. If you are a very experienced climber and take care of the time that you will need for the descend, it is also very possible to climb the volcano on your own. The people who died on this volcano ended up in the dark as they underestimated the time that they would need to climb down. Climbing down takes nearly the same time as climbing up due to the steep slopes!!
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