The Masaya Volcano or Volcano Masaya (however you like to say it) just outside of Granada is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Every day tourists flock to make the ascent to the peak of the crater and watch the liquid hot magma bubble away. And I have to say this once-in-a-lifetime experience is really one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. A Volcano Masaya tour with any of the operators in Granada will set you back about $20 – $25 USD. But a tour is totally easy to do yourself. Here’s everything you need to know before going, including how to get there for less than $5 USD.
what does it cost?
Entering the park in the day is about $5 USD each, whereas entering in the evening is about $10 USD. I would definitely recommend making the trip at night. You’ll experience the full glory of the lava pushing plumes of black/red smoke into the air the whole drive up. You may even be lucky enough to be up there while lightening and thunder rages around the viewpoint like we were.
While it is possible to take an organised tour, I’d recommend visiting the volcano on your own. Leaving you with a little more freedom of time to visit and saving you half the price. There are two easy ways to DIY your Volcano Masaya tour depending on how big of a group your are.
1-2 people | local bus then jeep
Buses leave from Granada to Managua and Masaya about every half an hour and cost about $1 each person. Ask the staff at your hotel/hostel to direct you to the nearest one. Once you’re at the bus stop tell the driver you want to get off at Volcan Masaya. They’ll drop you at the entrance to the national park but on the opposite side of the road. Cross the road and head to the entrance of the park. There you will find people offering transport up to the crater. It’s 100 NIO ($5) per person. We tried to barter but to no avail so I think it’s non-negotiable. Jump in your vehicle, join the queue and wait to see Mother Nature in full flight. Once you’re done, jump on the bus back to Granada (another $1).
Total cost per person (not including entry): $7
3 – 5 people | taxi
Flag down one of the many taxis around Parque Central. Negotiate hard for a return trip to the volcano. Make sure you are clear you want them to take you there, wait and then take you up to the crater and take you back to Granada. The cheapest we found was $20 return.
Total cost person (not including entry): $4 – $6.50
- The opening hours of the Masaya Volcano Nicaragua are really confusing! The National Park is open from 9-4:30, closes for an hour and then reopens from 5:30 – 7:30.
- If you’re going to go for the evening session aim to get there around 5 or a little before. From then a queue starts to form and to save time you want to be amongst one of the first groups through the gates.
- Hiking in the park has also been closed since the volcano erupted in 2015. Which means the Volcano Masaya night tour to the bat caves and lava lakes is not possible. There’s some confusing information out there on all of this. But as of Nov 2016 this is the case.
love volcano masaya and want more of nicaragua?
Image CREDIT: asabee.ca