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“Less muddy and better views than Maderas” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Volcan Concepcion

Volcan Concepcion
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US$94.00*
and up
Concepción Volcano Hike in Isla de Ometepe
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Darmstadt, Germany
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Less muddy and better views than Maderas”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2014

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!!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank morben09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great cloud views...but even then well worth the climb!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

Volcan Concepcion was a fun climb, not too difficult...we started up at 6am to avoid the heat of the day and were back down from the rim by 1pm.
The views were consistently of cloud! However you still feel like you are on a volcano as the rock beneath you begins to feel hot and the smell of sulphur pervades!
A great fun day with an enthusiastic guide who talked us through the History of Nicaragua.

Visited July 2014
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1 Thank Naomi_B922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
437 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 554 helpful votes
“Climbing the Angry Volcano”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

This is not your typical stroll in the park. Quite the contrary, it will be extremely difficult to casual hikers unless you are in very good to excellent physical condition. Now having said that, I would like to consider myself to be reasonably fit and have had my fair share of mountains (Warimanuska, Kilimanjaro, Mt Emei, etc) but I did find it difficult, although doable. At 1,610-m, it is not a technical climb by any means, but to call it a hike is an understatement. Three factors conspire against you: a steep slope, rapid elevation rise (too high, too fast) and rough, loose terrain near the top. Also, be aware that you are climbing an active volcano that could erupt at any time. This is serious business!

Our morning began very early awaiting for clearance to climb, because there were several earthquakes in Nicaragua the past few days. Our trip began in La Flor where, after a mile of flat terrain and passing through banana plantations, the climb actually begins. (The trails from Moyogalpa and La Sabana have a longer initial approach and more exposed trails.) It will start off on a 35° slope and passes through a hot, humid cloud forest. Beyond the halfway mark, the climb only gets much harder, hotter and more exposed. There are no zigzagging trails or switchbacks, just one long and sustained steep 45° climb and hampered by loose lava rocks. At this steep slope, nothing can break your fall. Gusty winds do not help either. And, because you are not allowed to camp on its slopes, you are forced to hike up and down in a matter of hours, not days. Moreover, the mandatory guides are also in a hurry to ascend and, once on top, to quickly descend for fear that we will encounter the volcano's "erectos de ceniza" (cinder ash burps). So you are literally running up then down. (In mountaineering, most accidents and fatalities happen on the way down.)

At about 1,000 metres, past the cloud forest tree line, is the last small flat section called "The Lookout" with awesome views. At the top, if you're lucky enough, the cloud cover would break, offering a 360° panoramic view. Unfortunately for our group, by the time we reached "The Lookout", we felt tremors underneath our feet and that's when we decided we've had enough.
I will be back... Overall grade: A-minus.

TIP: Climb during dry season (Jan-July). We had clear, dry 29°C weather in April. It was also past the high tourist season (Dec-March). Bring plenty of water (at least 5 litres per person) and some food, but pack lightly. Wear sweat-wicking GorTex shirt, long pants, hiking boots and a spare windbreaker. Most importantly, have some respect for the angry volcano!

.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Eternal_Nomad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leon, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
140 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Foggy volcano”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

Quite hard hiking, if you have not better condition. Very steep and second half ash and stones. Big chance to see nothing, if you are not lucky for weather. Don't trust to guider, the clouds will go away. Only a couple lucky guys have to see view from crater. Many people are presenting as english speaking guider, but finally you will climb with some local guider who have n;t idea about english language We have a problem with guy with name Efrim, he was n't guider as he present but contractor. He pass as to local guy who didn't speak any english at all.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
72 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Nice VOlCANO”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

Wonderful views----- this is worth seeing and enjoying and remenbering
for the rest of your life! I really mean IT!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Charle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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