Volcano Boarding in Leon, Nicaragua!

To be honest I had no clue what Volcano boarding was until recently. By recently I mean at the start of my trip when I spent two weeks traveling with Jessica and Dani. They told me that when I made it to Leon I had to go Volcano Boarding. As soon as they explained to me what it was I was petrified, but knew I had to do it.

This is Volcano Cerro Negro the slope on the left (when looking at the screen) is the slope we slid down.

So what is Volcano boarding? Volcano boarding is kind of like snow boarding except you are doing it on a Volcano. You cannot just do it on any Volcano; it has to have loose gravel and have a slope of a certain angle that will allow you to slide down. In Nicaragua’s case it’s the still active famous Cerro Negro. Things like this are not things I normally do (I am such a chicken), but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

After spending a week in Granda being entertained by Traca Traca’s I finally made it to Leon and knew the big day was coming. The good thing is I promised SuperXicana and Marc (travel buddies) that we would do it together. We were supposed to leave Granada together, but instead she went back to Isla de Ometepe with Marc for a few days and then would meet me in Leon. I kind of wanted to go back to Isla de Ometepe too after having a great scandalous night there, but knew I had to move forward. Waiting for SuperXicana and Marc gave me a great excuse to avoid going volcano boarding for a few days. In the mean time I got my teeth cleaned for $9 and enjoyed the many sights Leon has to offer.

This all the gear you get for volcano boarding. Yeah kind of scary that that is all, but it does help.

They finally made it to Leon and the next morning we went to the tours office. We asked a few questions to make sure we would be safe, they explained to us that it’s safe and that they offer protective gear. The funny thing is of all the protective gear they offer they do not offer a helmet. They also told us we could go down the Volcano full speed standing up on a sand board or sitting on a toboggan. We made our choices (all 3 of us sitting down) and signed up for the 2pm tour.

A little bit after 2pm we were making the hour drive to the volcano. Once we were there we were given a backpack with our gear and our board and started making the hike up the volcano. Turned out to be an exhausting hour hike up loose gravel and rocks. The views though were amazing all around. Once we made it to the top reality hit and I was fucking scared. The slope was fucking huge and steep. The guide gave us instructions on how to manage the board “if you want to go fast lean back, if you want to slow down lean forward, if you want to break put your heals in the gravel”. I thought okay that is easy enough. We put on all our gear and made our way to the edge. I couldn’t believe I was about to do this. I waited for a few people to go and make sure they were not killing themselves.

Volcano boarding on Volcano Cerro Negro near Leon, Nicaragua. This is me goofing around a bit before actually going down and flipping over who knows how many times.

It was my turn I sat on my board and told the guide I was scared he told me I would be fine and just go. I start scooting the board down little by little until finally I was sliding down. I was screaming “OMG THIS FUN… EEEEEeeee” then the excitement turned into a million thoughts of fear in my head. “HOLY SHIT I AM GOING TO FAST… I NEED TO SLOW DOWN LEAN FORWARD JAIME YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”. I lean forward and nothing I am still going super fucking fast. I am nearing the bottom and feel like I am about to flip forward on this damn board. Next thought is “OKAY JAIME START BREAKING OR YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”. I put my foot down on the gravel to break and BAM. I have no clue what the hell happen I am rolling on my side down the fucking volcano. I can not stop my self I am falling full speed. I am thinking “OMG THIS HURTS A LOT PLEASE STOP ROLLING JAIME” and then after I have no clue how many flips I stop. I get up and am alive but hurting everywhere.

This is a shot from the bottom of Volcano Cerro Negro. Its a long slide down at speeds I never want to try again.

I have gravel in my mouth, nose, ears, nails, hair and all over. I thank god for the gear and start taking it off to access the damage. My leg is bleeding from a few scratches and my shoes bottom is falling off. I then remember I had my camera in my backpack. I take it out and its also covered in gravel and all scratched up. I try turning it on and fuck it doesn’t even open. I try again and it slowly opens. I am upset about the camera but was happy I finished volcano boarding and did it successfully (I was alive so yes successfully).

Looking back I am so happy I did it. It was so worth it and just an awesome experience. I am also happy to inform all of you my camera still works. It is now ghetto and doesn’t allow me to zoom and sometimes I have to turn it off and on a few times to make it work. I don’t mind that at all because I do not want to spend $150 on another point and shoot. Hopefully it last me until I get home and then I can see if I can maybe get a basic DSLR. I am starting to enjoy a lot taking pictures. So have you ever gone Volcano Boarding, how was your experience? Would you ever do it if you haven’t yet?

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  1. QueenBrain12 says:

    I’ve never experienced volcano boarding but I’ve gone snow boarding and it is amazing. I can’t wait to go on an adventure with you. I’m glad you got to experience this volcano boarding! EEEEEE


    • im sure snow boarding was a bit safer just cus well its snow… this is actual rocks/gravel…lol!!! I can’t wait for you to join me on an adventure. EEeee that would be so damn awesome!!!

  2. Soo cool. I went sand boarding in Ica and it was loads of fun! Still need to do volcano boarding though! Looks like a great time. What kind of camera do you have? I had a canon point and shoot and one drunken night in the Virgin Islands it took a shit on us we sent it back, and they fixed it for us! Maybe thats an option.
    Mica recently posted..Avocado Wontons

    • Oh I so wanna go sand boarding. That’s on my 2 do list!!! I have a panasonic camera. Don’t know much else about it because I threw away the box after I bought it (didn’t feel like carrying it around with me). I’ll have to find out online.

  3. Didn’t we say to you that you’d be squealing all the way down? 😉 Can’t believe that you ruined another camera!! Hope it will keep working until you get to the U.S. Your injuries sound as if you went with Bigfoot? We are still happy that we didn’t get to go on very fast boards when we did it, I guess my SLR camera wouldn’t have survived it 😀
    Globetrottergirls recently posted..33 things we love about Nicaragua

    • jajaja yes y’all said I would be squeeling all the way down and well I sure was. I know I cant believe I ruined yet another damn camera… ugh I have bad luck with them. I am praying it continues to semi work until I get home. Oh and I forgot who I went with but it wasnt bigfoot. We paid $26 for ours.

  4. LOL, awesome. You are going to go through 15 cameras before you get home!

    Never done that before, but that does look like fun. Glad you had a good time Jaime!
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..Epic Road Trip 2011- The Victory Lap

    • OMG dont say that justin… I really hope I dont go through 15 cameras that would be a lot of nights of travel. I think you would love doing this… its fucking EPIC!!!

  5. Wow, this sounds like so much fun. I’ve never heard of it either, but now I can’t wait to do it.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..See rock &amp roll history at Sun Studio in Memphis

  6. I wanna play!!

  7. Hmmm…I am having a hard enough time trying to talk myself into going ziplining in Costa Rica…I’m not sure my poor nerves can handle volcano boarding too…why why why is it so oddly tempting?!

    • Oh MEgan you should def go ziplining… I was scared as well but am so glad I did it. If you do do it do it in Monteverde with 100% Aventura… best deal for your buck!!! About VB you can so do it… you must!!! Its just so damn awesome!!!

      • haha your enthusiasm is definitely infectious. I love the idea of ziplining in CR, but HATE the idea of falling 200m to my death.

        Also hate the idea of death by volcano gravel.


  8. This looks really cool, even for a bit of scaredy cat like me! I would definitely do it…and maybe just not take my camera with me, because with my luck that thing would definitely not work again 🙂
    Julia recently posted..Booty Shaking and Falling in Bushes- A Majorca Conference

    • Yeah if you do it take your camera but have the guid bring it down for you at the end…lol. That is what I should have done but was to scared to ask. Let me know when & if you do it Julia.

  9. Oh wow, that looks like WAY too much fun!!! Adding it to my BL 🙂

  10. OK – that sounds awesome, but your ending does not. This post makes the case for having a cheap camera. Buy a bunch or disposables 🙂
    The NVR Guys recently posted..Travelogue – feeding our guilt in Boston

    • Yeah the ending was sad…lol!!! Hello I can not be the one traveling around with disposables… dont play guys. I have to keep it classy…jajaja!!!


    Nunca, NUNCA! NEVER!!! Ni aunque me pagaran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously… I have this THING with volcanos, SNAKES, earthquakes & some CLOWNS… like a phobia or something… I can’t be close enough of any kind of snakes… volcanos & earthquakes actually I don’t have the “pleasure” of meeting them and I’ll be fine if I never be around one of those. Clowns… another stroy which Stephen King is the one to blame. But that’s just me! 😛

    btw, I love the idea of toe touch photos 🙂 it goes with you… and u actually can do it! thanks ballet/jazz/tap classes. Yo ni queriendo podría hacerlo… se me hace que no me toco ni uno jajajaja…

    Y que risa con el Traca traca… yo tenía uno cuando era niño!!! Claro que ni lo pelaba jajajajajaajaja pero me acuerdo de el, las BOLAS eran azules lol… ya lo sabes usar bien? Yo te puedo enseñar a usar LAS BOLAS si quieres 😉 lmfao

    Oye… falta un mes y 2 semanas para la boda!!! Y yo aún no sé si voy a ir 🙁 so PLEASE consider to make a stop in Monterrey or Terán… so we can meet, b4 u go away. ALso there’s a small chance I go to H-town around july 30th, but It would be too late, right?
    R recently posted..RamiroGordz- @MaggyDavalos YW jajajaja -P

    • No I am not nuts… it was fucking awesome. You will have to do it one day… You have to face your fears and kiss them goodbye!!! Pero la verdad I am still a bit scared of clowns…they are just scary. So I wont judge you for that one.

      Donde tenias Traca Traca… yo nunca en mi vida las a visto. Perro ahorra so un poco mejore…perro no tanto. No eh practicado resiente mente.

      OMG I know no me recuerdas de la boda… porque se significa que esta etapa de mi aventura en Latino America se va cavar. Y pues no no queiro que se acabe. Perro ojala que puedas ir… stuviera con madre!!! Y si pa July 30th yo ya no voy astar en Houston… so perdon 🙁

  12. Tomacina Wuthrich says:

    Volcano boarding, HUH, You are amazing my Man!!!! Keep it up!!!

  13. Oh lord. Does everyone who does this get hurt? I’m starting to think that I should go with the slower boards as Dani and Jess suggested!
    Erica recently posted..Seizing the Day in Hawaii

    • jajaja I dont know about everyone but I know a lot of people do & well I was one of them. I didn’t know I was getting a fast board… they all look alike.

  14. They should really call it volcano sledding, maybe that’s why I was go good at it, Canadians like to go sledding.

    I’m sure it really hurt but it made me laugh to read about it.
    ayngelina recently posted..The year I walked away from love

  15. Hmm, I’ve heard too many stories about people getting all scratched up and hurt doing this – I don’t think I’ll do it, but I bet Jack would be the first one inline given the chance 🙂
    jill- Jack and JIll Travel recently posted..The Restaurant With An Identity Crisis

  16. cool!!! hope its an inactive volcano… lol

  17. Haha…that sounds like heaps of fun. Never tried it I must admit!
    Federico recently posted..Photo of the Week- Wax Palms in Valle del Cocora- Colombia

  18. I have never heard of this! I’m pretty sure I would do it if I ever end up somewhere where there’s a volcano that you can slide down. I thought you’d be standing up on the board, which sounded almost impossible to me, but now I see you got to sit down. It sounds like an awesome experience.

    • Oh you should def do this it is AWESOME!!! You can actually do it sitting or standing up. I did it sitting down cus it looks safer but even that is dangerous!!!

  19. Omg this looks like fun. Can you stand and not sit so it is more like snowboarding? I’d dig that. Also, are there any volcanos in Guatemala that provide the ability for volcano boarding?

    • Oh it is a lot of fun & yup you can do it sitting down & standing up… I choose sitting down cus well I would never do it standing up!!! I dont think any in Guatemala offer volcano boarding… That I know of only Nicaragua in all of Central America.

  20. OUCH! Sounds like it hurt. That being said, I think I’d still have to try it. How many people get to go volcano boarding? 🙂

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh man it really did… when I opened my eyes I couldn’t even breath and had rocks in my mouth. I really thought that I was not gonna make it. Luckily it wasn’t has bad as I thought it was, but yeah will never do it again.

  21. You are crazy! But that looks like a lot of fun!

  22. this almost looks like a really fun super mario game

  23. Look so so so cool! Wanna try it out!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..Lucerne Lovely Light

  24. Omg Jaime!!! So so scaryyyy!!! Glad you conquered your fear and did it (even though it turned out horribly )!!!! I can’t even imagine how bad that hurt!!!!!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Jajaja yeah Natasha, so glad everything turned out okay in the end. Oh & it hurt so much. The chest pain was the worst.

  25. Ahh I remember doing that in Nica too, good times. I had a similar hairy experience doing sandboarding in Huachina in Peru. A fellow backpacker flew past me at breakneck speeds, narrowly missing my head with his board. Could have been real nasty.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh wow that is scary. I’m glad you are okay. Wow… yeah sand boarding can be dangerous.

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