• Activities:

    Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    12.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2600 Feet

Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Hike through rural Nicaraguan countryside and stare into Volcan Telica. On this overnight, you'll Camp at the foot of the crater.

Due to the logistical issues of this trip (i.e. camping gear, route finding, transportation, language barrier) many travelers choose go with a guided group. Quetzaltrekkers offer this 2 day trip for $55 US. With the right gear, it would be possible to do this trip without one.

The journey begins at the local bus station in the town of Leon. Take a chicken bus (local bus) 30 minutes to San Jacinto. The trailhead is located behind the hot springs at Hervideros de San Jacinto (12.581551, -86.778251).

The trail starts out on a 4x4 road but quickly narrows to a foot path as it winds up the valley through famers fields.

There are many foot paths that branch off in all directions which makes route finding confusing. There is red paint on trees that indicate the trail to Volcan Telica. Unless you have a GPS with the correct coordinates, staying on the trail without a guide would be difficult.

After 3 miles / 5 kilometers the trail turns right, up towards the valley wall. This is a challenging uphill climb. The farmers field give way to the jungle which engulfs the trail. The higher elevation offers vistas of the surrounding farming communities and amazing views of the volcanoes San Cristóbal, Cerro Negro, Momotombo, and the Las Pilas-El Hoyo complex.

At 5.5 miles / 9 km the trail flattens and the jungle opens up. Views of Volcan Telica'a billowing smoke can be seen. There is a flat, cleared area about 1000 ft. / 300 m east of the crater (12.605646, -86.835082). This is the perfect spot to set up camp.

From here, there is a path that leads to the northeast rim of the crater. Proceed with caution and peer over the edge into the mouth of the crater. The views of the lava are much more impressive at night when the lave glows red. Be sure to have enough energy for a return trip up later that night.

The old rim of the crater is located immediately east of the campground. This elevated ridge is a great vantage point to watch the sunset.

360 degree panoramas of the Pacific to the west, the highlands to the east and the volcanic chain running north and south all come together to create a surreal moment that will leave you wondering if you should ever leave.

Head down to camp to enjoy the fire and sip on some of Nicaragua's finest.

Safety Note:

Be prepared for thunderstorms. Weather rolls in quickly here and the intensity of the storms increase with proximity to Volcan Telica. Flash floods are also a danger during heavy rain.

Pack List

  • Camping Essentials
  • Light hiking boots
  • Water for 2 Days
  • Camera
  • Bottle of Flor de Cana
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Matt Hosford

Travel, Photography, Camping, Skiing, Environmental Consultant, Guitar, Beers, Friends.... Life's good : )

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