Mombacho Volcano Lookout Group Photo

Mombacho Volcano is a distinctive figure which can be seen from almost any part of Granada. Located just 10km outside of Granada Nicaragua, this is an active Nicaraguan volcano with its own unique habitat and cloud forest. For the best views of Granada, do a Mombacho Volcano hike. There are three hikes to choose from with varying levels of difficulty. We came across plenty of wildlife on our volcano hike, such as howler monkeys and the guardabarranco, the national bird of Nicaragua. Best of all we were rewarded with spectacular views of Granada, Lake Nicaragua, Las Isletas, Volcano Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo!

Short on time? Here are our Mombacho Volcano top recommendations:

Activities: Mombacho Volcano Guided Tour or Mombacho Volcano Guided Tour and Canopy Adventure.

Accommodation: If you want to stay on Mombacho Volcano, we recommend Mombacho lodge.
Alternatively, in nearby Granada we recommend Hotel La Gran Sultana for a great value hotel or Casa Bubu Guesthouse for a luxury stay.

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

Travel Medical Insurance: SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is the ideal choice for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

About Mombacho Volcano – Mombacho Volcano facts

Where is the volcano Mombacho located?

Mombacho Volcano is located in Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve in Nicaragua. Reserva Natural Volcán Mombacho is one of 78 protected areas in Nicaragua. This Nicaraguan nature preserve is situated approximately 10km south of the city of Granada Nicaragua in the department of Granada. It is in the middle of Nicaragua in a region known as the Pacific lowlands.

What type of volcano is Mombacho Volcano?

Volcán Mombacho is an andesitic and basaltic stratovolcano. Stratovolcanoes are also known as a composite volcanoes. They are cone-shaped with steep sides and made of many layers of hardened lava, tephra (volcanic rock fragments) and volcanic ash.

Is Mombacho Volcano active?

Yes, Mombacho Volcano is technically active. However while Volcan Mombacho is officially an active volcano, its last recorded eruption was in 1570.

How tall is Volcano Mombacho Granada Nicaragua?

Volcano Mombacho is a towering presence, which stands 1,344m high. It is the 4th tallest volcano in Nicaragua after Volcano San Cristóbal, Volcano Concepción and Volcano Maderas.

How many volcanoes are in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes. There are 19 volcanoes in Nicaragua.

VolcanoElevation (metres)Elevation (feet)Last Eruption
San Cristóbal174557252012
Las Pilas108835701954
Cerro Negro72823881999
Apoyeque518169950 BC
Granada30098410,000 BC
Volcanoes in Nicaragua

About Mombacho Volcano Cloud Forest

A notable feature of Mombacho Nicaragua is its cloud forest which contains plants and animals that can only be found on this volcano!

About Mombacho hike

There are 3 Mombacho hiking trails that you can do at the top of the volcano:

  • Crater Trail – Mombacho Crater Trail is the easiest of the trails and does not require a guide. It can be done in 1-2 hours, is 1.5km in distance and includes a couple of lookouts with stunning views over Granada and Lake Nicaragua
  • El Tigrillo Trail – Mombacho Tigrillo Trail requires a guide
  • El Puma Trail – Mombacho Puma Trail is the most demanding of the Mombacho hikes and requires a guide
Map of Hiking Trails of Mombacho Volcano Nicaragua
Hiking Trails Map

Getting to Mombacho Volcano

How do I get to Mombacho Volcano by car

Mombacho Volcano overlooks the city of Granada is only around 10km away. It is a 20min car ride through the beautiful countryside. We took a taxi to volcano Mombacho from Granada Nicaragua and that cost us $14 USD for the return trip (as at 2020). The taxi dropped us off at the car park near the Mombacho Volcano ticket office. From the ticket office it is a further 4.9km (3 mile) walk to get to the hiking trails, or you can pay for transport to the crater as part of your entry fee.

How do I get to Mombacho Volcano by bus

There are buses from Granada Nicaragua to Mombacho for around 10 cordobas. Buses depart from the Cementerio De Granada and the bus ride takes around 20 minutes. Any buses heading to Nandaime or Rivas will drive close to the entrance to Mombacho nature reserve. If you ask your driver, they will tell you where to get off the bus for Mombacho volcano. From the highway, it is a further 2km (1 mile) walk to the ticket office for Mombacho Volcano. Alternatively you can catch a tuk tuk to the ticket office for around 100 cordobas. From the ticket office it is a further 4.9km (3 mile) walk to get to the hiking trails, or you can pay for transport up to the crater when you pay your entry fee.

Mombacho volcano tour

There are a number of tour companies that offer Mombacho tours. We’ve used Danny’s Tour before and were very impressed with their service. Danny’s Tour is a Nicaraguan owned and operated tour company that has been around since 2014. For more information see this website.

Entry fees for Mombacho Volcano

There is an entry fee for Mombacho Volcano for entrance to the park as well as an additional price for the specific trail you want to go on. As at December 2020 the prices were as follows:

National ChildrenForeign ChildrenNational AdultsForeign Adults
Entry Fee (Walking)$2 USD$4 USD$4 USD$5 USD
Entry Fee (With Transport)$4 USD$10 USD$8 USD$20 USD

“El Tigrillo” Trail$2 USD$4 USD$2 USD$4 USD
“El Puma” Trail$3 USD$6 USD$3 USD$6 USD
Crater Trail$1 USD$2 USD$1 USD$2 USD

Optional Add-Ons:

  • Camping Fee $20 USD
  • 4 x 4 Vehicle Access $25 USD per vehicle
  • Eco Lodge $35 USD for Nationals, $50 USD for Foreigners and $0 for Children under 7 years old
  • Guides $10 USD for Spanish speaking guides and $15 USD for English speaking guides for a group of 5 people

We walked and did the Crater Trail, so it was $5 USD each for our local friends and $7 USD each for us.

Map of Sendero El Crater at La Resera Natural Volcan Mombacho Nicaragua
Map of The Crater Trail

How long to spend at Mombacho Volcano

Mombacho Volcano is a good day trip, but you can also stay on the volcano overnight, either camping or at Mombacho lodge. If you are driving up the volcano and doing the shortest trail then you can see the main vantage sights in a couple of hours. We walked up and it took us 4 hours to reach the start of the trails (with a lot of rest stops and photos along the way) and a further 1.5 hours to walk back down to the entrance. The Crater Trail hike, which is the shortest of the hikes, took us a leisurely 2 hours. In total we were at Mombacho Volcano from 8am to 5pm.

3 people walking along Mombacho Hike Crater Trail Nicaragua
Mombacho Hike Crater Trail

Our Mombacho Volcano hike

We lived in Nicaragua for an amazing year and a half from 2020 to 2021. During that time we had a unique glimpse the food, places and culture of this wonderful country. After waking up to views of Mombacho Volcano for 9 months, we decided it was finally time to experience it up close. We organised a day trip there and brought along our local friends Deyanira and Freddy.

Arriving at the Mombacho Volcano National Park

We got there bright and early around 8am, which was when the park opened.

We paid at the entrance and then were on our way. The cost of entry to Reserva Natural Volcán Mombacho as at November 2020 was $5 USD for foreigners and $4 USD for locals. You also have to pay an additional amount depending on the trail you decide to walk once you have reached the top. We chose the Mombacho Crater Trail. This was a further $2 USD for foreigners and $1 USD for locals, bringing the total entry cost to $7 USD and $5 USD respectively. For the tougher Mombacho Tigrillo trail and Puma trail, you need to walk with a guide and these will cost you more for both the trail and the guide.

You also have the option of taking a truck up to the top, however this will set you back $22 USD per person.

Sign for Transport Times for Mombacho Volcano
Transport Times for Mombacho Volcano

The hike up Mombacho Volcano

There aren’t too many stores on the way up Mombacho Volcano. With this in mind, we took the opportunity to buy some snacks and drinks at the corner store. This can be found just shortly after the entrance (it’s a house on the left).

On our walk up we saw plenty of wildlife. We were also surrounded by banana and coffee plantations.

We managed to glimpse the national bird of Nicarauga, which is the Guardabarranco!

Guardabarranco - National Bird of Nicaragua sitting on green leafy tree
Can you spot the Guardabarranco?

We were fascinated by these leaf cutter ants! They were pretty fun to watch!

Leaf Cutter Ants
Leaf Cutter Ants

We were basically the only people walking up the volcano, however there were a couple of people on their early morning walks. One person we found particularly impressive was a guy was walking up with his son on his back. Now that’s a workout!

Sign for Canopy Tour Miravalle Nicaragua
Canopy Tour Miravalle Nicaragua

Canopy tours on Mombacho Volcano

Just before the halfway mark, you will get to Mombacho Canopy Tour Miravalle. This is the Mombacho Volcano zipline. There are 2km of zip lines to ride as well as 17 platforms, 11 double lines and 2 hanging bridges.

As at June 2021 the entrance fees for Canopy Tour Miravalle were as follows:

National ChildrenForeign ChildrenNational AdultsForeign Adults
Entry Fee (Canopy Tour)$11.50 USD$17.25 USD$17.25 USD$28.75 USD

Sign for Cafe Las Flores Mombacho Nicaragua
Sign for Café Las Flores

Cafe las Flores Nicaragua

After about an hour of walking we reached a beautiful lookout point. This lookout was a perfect spot for photo opportunities, not to mention a well earned break! At the halfway point, there is also a cafe called Cafe las Flores. This is where you can sample some of the local coffee and have lunch. The lunch prices are $9 USD for either a number of chicken or beef dishes with rice, tostones, salad and a drink. Alternatively, a coffee and a sandwich will set you back $3.50 USD. There are also toilet facilities in this area, so make sure you take advantage of them as there are no more before getting to the summit!

Approaching the top of Mombacho Volcano

The path up to this point was steep but paved. It begins easily enough with a dirt path through the forest, but before too long it gets steep, really steep!

Start of the 4WD Trail up Mombacho Volcano Nicaragua
Start of the 4WD Trail up Mombacho Volcano

We made sure that we took plenty of breaks, because our legs demanded it! Halfway up the volcano you can start to see some amazing views across the country side, such as the smouldering active Volcano Masaya.

As we were approached the summit, the temperature dropped. We soon found ourselves in the cloud forest. It was really cool being up in the clouds! That said, we were hoping by the time we got to the summit, that the clouds would part and we can see some awesome views from the top.

Howler monkeys on Mombacho Volcano

One distraction from the steepness of the hike were the howler monkeys! Fortunately for us, we managed to spot a whole family up close and personal! They are called howler monkeys due to their very distinctive and quite scary call. They were quiet the morning we were there, however heard their calls on the way down.

Reaching the summit on Mombacho Volcano hike

As we arrive at the summit it started raining. However, not to be deterred, we made a beeline straight to the lookout. However our view was obscured by a wall of cloud. From hiking through a cloud forest to seeing a forest of clouds, not what we’d hoped for but still very atmospheric!

We decide to break for lunch instead. We chose to eat lunch outside, instead of in the visitor centre. Unfortunately we never got the chance to look inside, however there is plenty of exhibits about the volcano.

After lunch, the clouds appeared to be breaking up, so we had another try with the lookout. To our delight, we could see expansive views across Nicaragua. This included the city of Granada, Lake Nicaragua with its over 365 small islands, Masaya Volcano with smoke rising from it as well as the vast country beyond. It was breathtaking!

Woman Enjoying View at Mombacho Hike 1st Lookout
View from the 1st Lookout

Hiking trails on Mombacho Volcano

From there we started our hike through one of the 3 trails around the Mombacho crater. We did the Crater Trail, which is the easiest one, being about a kilometre or so. There’s also the Tigrillo and the Puma Trail and they’re a fair bit tougher and they also require a guide to go with you.

Mombacho Hike Crater Trail Path to Final Lookout Nicaragua
Path to the Final Lookout on the Crater Trail

The Puma trail is the toughest hike at a further 4 hours in length. However you will venture around the other side of Mombacho to another crater and you will be able to see views of Ometepe Island, as well as have a greater chance of observing the wildlife.

The cloud forest is amazing, it’s so beautiful. And we’re so lucky that the clouds lifted after we had lunch, so we saw the amazing view of Granada below.

Natural tunnel on Mombacho Volcano hike

On the Crater Trail there is a natural tunnel that was formed when the rock split in two. I don’t know how many years ago but it looks like its got a lot of moss on it, so its been like this for a while.

Woman standing in front of Natural Tunnel on Crater Trail of Mombacho Volcano Hike Nicaragua
Natural Tunnel on Crater Trail

Lookout point on Mombacho Volcano hike

Finally, the best views from Mombacho Volcano can be found on the final lookout on the Crater Trail. Firstly, from the lookout you can see amazing views of the active Masaya Volcano and the smoke coming from that. You can also see Laguna de Apoyo as well as the city of Granada. Finally, you can also see the Isletas. It’s such as magical view!

Mombacho Hike Crater Trail Final Lookout Nicaragua, 3 people enjoying the view
Final Lookout on the Crater Trail

Fumeroles on Mombacho Volcano

El Mombacho volcano is active, with some signs of volcanic activity lurking below. Specifically, there are fumaroles that you can check out. These are vents that bring volcanic gas up to the surface. Near the summit of Mombacho Volcano there are three well-established fumarole areas. On some days we can see smoke rising from Mombacho’s fumaroles from our home in Granada Nicaragua.

Hiking down Mombacho Volcano

After all the excitement of witnessing the views, the reality dawned on us that we had another couple of hours of steep walk down! Thankfully we still had plenty of amazing views to admire.

Two women walking up stairs on Crater Trail on Mombacho Volcano Nicaragua
Stairs up Crater Trail

Where to stay when visiting Mombacho Volcano

If you want to truly immerse yourself in the Mombacho Volcano experience, you can stay overnight on Mombacho Volcano. Alternatively, you may wish to a day trip to Mombacho Volcano from Granada or Masaya (which has its home to an active volcano!) or the lakeside area of Apoyo. Our recommendations for each option are below.

Best accommodation on Mombacho Volcano

We recommend the following accommodation at Mombacho Volcano:

  • Mombacho lodge – if you want the experience of staying on a volcano, surrounded by lush tropical jungle and the sounds of nature, we recommend Mombacho lodge. Embrace the serenity of your surroundings as you unwind in your secluded cabin. Enjoy personalised service and delicious home cooked meals.

Where to stay in Granada Nicaragua

We recommend the following accommodation in Granada Nicaragua:

  • Best hostel in Granada Nicaragua – Hostal De Boca en Boca is one of the best hostels in Granada Nicaragua. It’s clean and comfortable with delicious free breakfasts. There is a spacious common area and it also has a well equipped kitchen.
  • Best value hotel in Granada Nicaragua – We highly recommend staying at Hotel La Gran Sultana for budget friendly accommodation in Granada Nicaragua. We stayed here ourselves and thought it was a great value option. It’s also conveniently located, has a pool, delicious breakfasts and a spectacular rooftop area.
  • Best hotel in Granada Nicaragua – Hotel Jardín de Granada is one of the best hotels in Granada Nicaragua. It has an amazing garden and pool area. It is within easy reach of the major attractions of the city whilst also being in an area that is peaceful and quiet.
  • Best luxury accommodation in Granada Nicaragua – If you are after an impeccably presented villa and a luxurious experience in Granada Nicaragua, you can’t go past Casa Bubu Guesthouse. The team at Bubu offer exceptional service in a little piece of paradise.

Where to stay in Mayasa Nicaragua

We recommend the following accommodation in Masaya Nicaragua:

  • Best hotel in Masaya Nicaragua – Hostal Libertad is the best place to stay in Masaya Nicaragua. Conveniently located, the hotel is great value, clean and modern. However it is next to a bar that is very loud on the weekends, so we’d only recommend staying here during the week.
  • Best self contained apartments in Masaya Nicaragua – Apartamentos Nokal has fully furnished apartments in Masaya Nicaragua. Located in the centre of town, the apartments are spacious and well equipped. Furthermore the owner is friendly and helpful, which makes this an excellent choice for a trip to Masaya.
  • Best eco lodge in Masaya Nicaragua – Hacienda Puerta Del Cielo Eco lodge & Spa Nicaragua is the perfect luxury accommodation in Masaya Nicaragua. This is a boutique ecolodge resort which has magnificent views of Masaya Volcano. It is relaxing sanctuary surrounded by nature.

Where to stay at Laguna de Apoyo Nicaragua

We recommend the following accommodation in Laguna de Apoyo:

  • Best hostel at Laguna de Apoyo Nicaragua – Paradiso Hostel is an excellent hostel ideally positioned on the banks of Laguna de Apoyo. We’ve visited this hostel a couple of times and we were impressed with its facilities as well as the delicious range of meals available at its restaurant.
  • Best holiday homes at Laguna de Apoyo Nicaragua – Casa Única is an amazing boutique hotel on the shore of Laguna de Apoyo. From the moment you arrive, you’re greeted by the serene beauty of the crater lake and lush surroundings. With its unique accommodations, eco-friendly ethos, and genuine hospitality, Casa Única offers more than just a stay – it’s an experience that nourishes the soul and leaves you longing to return.

Is Mombacho Volcano safe?

General safety considerations for travel to Mombacho Volcano

  • Drinking water – Bring plenty of drinking water with you on the hike and make sure you stay hydrated
  • Mosquitoes – We had no issues with mosquitoes on Mombacho Volcano
  • Road safety – The roads to Mombacho Volcano are well maintained. Exercise normal road safety. The road up to the hiking area of Mombacho Volcano is very steep. It is paved about half way and then it becomes a dirt road
  • Sun safety – The UV Index is very high in Nicaragua, so sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.
  • Dogs – in many countries in Central America, stray dogs are common. We saw some stray dogs at the entrance to Mombacho Volcano when we were there. For more on dog safety while travelling, check out this video.

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

Final thoughts on Mombacho Volcano

Hiking to the summit of Volcano Mombacho was such an amazing experience, with spectacular views and a good workout along the way! We ended up taking a full day Mombacho Volcano from 8am to 5pm, it was the perfect day trip!

If you want to learn more about visiting Mombacho Volcano, check out our Mombacho Volcano video.

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