Volcan Maderas
Volcan Maderas
4.5
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The last eruption from this dormant volcano was 10,000 years ago.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles338 reviews
Excellent
166
Very good
120
Average
39
Poor
10
Terrible
3

Flightoftheflamingo
Los Angeles, CA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
The hike is difficult. Period. Takes about 2 hours of all incline to get to the mirador. It’s hard but 100% doable even for the inexperienced so long as youre able to go your own pace. I loved the views along the way, youre IN the jungle. Bring a hiking pole and have a basic working knowledge of what incline hiking is like. It’s a lot of climbing the first half. The second half is why you need a guide. There’s not clear identifiable trails. Takes about another 3hrs and expect to get muddy. Just do research, know what you’re getting into and I would, without a doubt #1 recommendation, DO NOT go with a big group of varying capabilities. Going faster than you want or slower than you want can make things so much harder than they need to be. Everyone needs to go on their own pace and enjoy the ride. If you can’t do that, it’ll be awful.
Written December 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mona W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
We went on a hike to „El Mirador“ together with our guide José. It took us about an hour to reach the viewpoint. The hike was not too difficult and the view was definitely worth it.
We would definitely recommend José as your guide for a hike to El Mirador or also for a hike to the top of Volcano Conception/Maderas (José‘s phone number: +505 8857 4810). He was super friendly and gave us interesting informations about the island and the wildlife.
Written March 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Quakeup
Victoria, Canada220 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Friends
Instead of hiking to the top of Maderas Volcano, I opted for “The Mirador.” It was a nice, fairly easy walk to this lovely viewpoint.

The trail took us through bean fields where campesinos were harvesting. The gradual incline becomes steeper and more slippery (ie mud on volcanic rock) during the final push to the mirador.

It took us more than an hour to reach the mirador. I was told that the top of Maderas is another three hours or more from here. The trail becomes much more muddy and steep and is completed most days in the clouds (ie zero views). Other TA reviews appear to confirm this information. Walking to the mirador on the other hand provides views below the clouds across the beautiful isthmus of Santa Cruz to Conception Volcano and the surrounding Cocibulca Lake.

To hike the trail requires payment of 50c at the registration desk of El Porvenir Albergue Ecológico. I hiked with with a friend and we paid $15 each to our guide (also required). El Porvenir has a number of preserved petroglyphs on display in its well-tended garden. It also provides simple lodging for $10/night. Call Jose at 88574810 if you want a friendly guide for this hike.
Written January 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rowan H
Cairns, Australia1,355 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
We attempted to complete the Volcan Maderas hike today (20/10/2022).

Logistically being based in Balgue it made more sense for us to do Maderas rather than Concepcion as we didn’t need to organise/pay for transport because we could do Maderas as a loop from our hotel. Cost wise we paid for a guide (30USD total for three people) + admission (3USD per person) so 39USD total for us three. Despite the apparent law that you must have a guide to climb one of the two volcanoes on Isla De Ometepe we did note a large group of people ascending the volcano without one. Therefore, I think perhaps this is a rule that isn’t being enforced in low season. We ascended using the Finca Magdalena trail. Note there are three different approaches that can be taken to get to the top of this.

The trail wasn’t too bad. Its clear some work had gone into it - there were timber sections and some ropes. It was a little wet but not too bad closer to the base. We ascended and after a little over two hours we reached a wonderful viewpoint approximately half way up. This provided views over Isla De Ometepe as well as Volcan Concepcion. Following this we attempted to push onto the summit. From the viewpoint I would describe the hike as becoming exponentially steeper and more muddy. After about half an hour we called it, turned around and walked back. Paradoxically we found descending was actually worse than ascending as the rocks all seemed to have a thin layer of moss and were quite slippery. I lost my footing a few times. Luckily there were no tumbles.

I think our experience is fairly typical of Maderas. The cloud forest at the top means the rocks are very moist and slippery with a layer of moss. Speaking to our guide he suggested that Concepcion is actually better to climb, despite being longer as it can at least dry during short periods of sun in the wet season because it isn’t covered in vegetation.

Overall I would only suggest completing this hike to the mirador. Even going that far took us 5 hours return.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kaili K
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
Hola!
We had an amaizing time climbing these wonderfull volcano with our lovly guid Hector +505 8628 7206 (hospidalje bullshark) go and loook for him . Wonderful man!!

Quit a heavy walk but worth it for me 😉
Written March 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marianne F
Sydney, Australia74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is a really tough hike, and we have done a lot of hiking. It's very rough, steep and rocky underfoot. It's very muddy and slippery particularly coming down and we were slipping and falling for a good couple of hours or more (ascent time 3 5 hours, descent almost 4 hours). Being a cold forest, most or the time we were in cloud so there was no view at the top. We had some good views coming down and the forest was lovely. Not a hijw I would recommend unless you have good walking boots, a stick, good ankles, and want to burn a lot of calories or are determined to climb all the volcanoes of Nicaragua or some similar goal.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally M
49 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I love to hike and I'm up for a challenge. If you're looking for a good hiking experience, don't climb Maderas. The work:reward ratio is way off. If you have a more intangible goal - want to climb every volcano in Nicaragua, or you really crave the muscle burn and are willing to risk a twisted ankle to get it, fine, just go in with the right mindset.

First, I'll say that our guide, Arlen, was good. I thought he might have given too much information, stopping at points along the way to talk at length, then setting off at a super fast pace that half our group couldn't match (and we were healthy, fit, young people who weren't new to hikes up mountains). But when we ran into trouble on the way down, he was a steady, helpful presence and we were really glad he was there, and it's those kind of situations in which you're really happy to have an experienced guide with you.

First, this hike is pretty darn hard. It's a steep incline, it's long, it's humid. The shade is nice and it does get a bit cooler at higher altitudes, but the trail after the first lookout gets rough - you're basically climbing up a narrow river bed. I'm okay with a steep climb, but the compounding effect of having to carefully place every step as you climb across big, muddy, slick rocks really adds to the fatigue quickly. I've done harder trails, but usually there's a payoff - views along the way, a unique destination at the end, something. At Maderas, the forest is cool but there are other ways to see cloud forests (I will say that I've lived in central america for a while. So I'm probably less impressed with the biodiversity than some because it's familiar, but I also know that there are many, many better hikes up volcanoes and through forests in the region). There are a few viewpoints along the way but they get less frequent the higher/rougher it gets, and at the end the laguna (which was way too shallow and muddy to swim in enjoyably) was underwhelming. Even the lookout point over the laguna, where we ate lunch, was uncomfortable.

Worst was the trip down. I will say - a couple of people in our group who were sure on their feet were able to sort of skip down, mitigating the treacherousness of the terrain by never keeping their feet in a spot long enough for the rock to shift or the shoe to slide. For the rest of us, it was a long, dangerous slog. We tried to place our steps carefully but there were still multiple falls, made more common by tired and unsteady legs. This is where the guide really became key - one of my companions fell hard a couple times and twisted a knee that was already a bit sensitive from previous injuries. It got pretty hard for him to continue, and the guide really helped him stay steady on some stretches. That said - he didn't have a choice but to come down himself. Apparently they have tried to carry disabled climbers down on pallets before, but the path is so rough that even experienced guides have a hard time when they can't see the ground because they're carrying a stretcher. All the rescue operations (according to what we were told, and it seems right) resulted in multiple falls and dropped patients, pain, and general danger. Moral of the story: you twist your ankle or sprain a knee or whatever, and you have to realize that you're basically on your own.
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

1d1otAbroad
London, UK215 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Firstly there are two routes, one leaving from Finca Magdelena on the north side if the island, the other from Santa Cruz. We climbed from Magdalena and had a guide. Normally we wouldn't hike with guides although it proved helpful when the path splits as there are no indicators on the ascent or descent.

It is a tough climb. This mountain is wet all year round and so you will get wet and you will get muddy. You are under cloud forest canopy for 98% of the time, no need for sun cream but take but spray.

If you have hiking poles then these are a god send. If not, see if your guide can cut out some strong branches.

This hike is tough once you start climbing you just keep climbing. The path is rocky and slippery. It's around 3.5 to 4 hrs climb depending on your pace and how often you stop. We had 2.5l of water each.

Take dry/warm clothes for the top. It can get a little chilly in the wind and you will have sweated!

Packed lunch and a snack to boost you up.

Sadly if it's cloudy, which it tends to be you are unlikely to see anything. So it can be a bloody good workout with little reward. There are a two maybe three viewpoints on the way, otherwise you can't see anything on the climb.
Written July 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dianna J
18 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Let me begin by offering some context...we are an a active, healthy and fit couple. We run marathons, cycle long distances, hike various terrains and distances and generally involve ourselves in any physical activity opportunity. Given this, we were really excited at the prospect of climbing a volcano through a jungle.

In one word, however, this hike is dangerous. I am not risk adverse by any means, nor am I a health & safety inspectorate or indeed naive that such standards will vary between countries, continents and communities.

An accident (and a nasty one too) is waiting to happen on this climb. The path is quite simply treacherous. On the one hand you could say it’s all part of the adventure but, for us, it really sapped all the fun and sense of adventure out of the hike. The chance of a broken wrist or ankle, sprained ankle or knee, fall and/or serious knock to the head on a rock or indeed even worse is extremely high. I cannot really imagine how any of the above situations may be managed if they arose. ‘Carrying’ someone down would be pretty impossible and likely to cause subsequent injuries to either-or parties. Our guide certainly didn’t suggest to have any form of knowledge of basic first aid - for one he didn’t have a phone so that would have made it pretty difficult raising the alarm! I do, however, believe that this was a one-off and certainly not normal practice (he had just forgotten it on this occasion). Nonetheless, should there have been an issue, this would have proved a significant problem.

As highlighted we had a guide (suggested and arranged by our accommodation) and under no circumstances would I suggest you don’t have a guide. We went as a small group (x4) and, unless you specify that you want to go individually, it’s my understanding that local guides will take the opportunity to take groups of people up at once (this did in our case make the cost slightly cheaper). It is very possible that our experience was tarnished by a poor guide but, other than showing us the way, limited support or reassurance in terms of tackling this perilous challenge was offered. Being part of a group with only one guide also means that, if you’re planning on reaching the summit, then, unless the whole of your group are prepared to turn around, or, you feel you could navigate yourself back (certainly something I would advise against) then you’re in it for the long haul.

The half way point offers great views and, although not an easy ascent to this point, on the whole, do-able for an active/physically fit person. The second half is quite honestly awful and dangerous though.

Once you reach the top, it’s a complete anti-climax. You can’t see anything! You will however then descend to the lagoon (the lake within the lake). The route down to this continues to be hazardous and left us wondering even more so about how on earth we were going to manage the full descent. Once you reach the lagoon which, in theory is pretty awesome, again we found it to be a nonevent. A misty lake!

Our guide kindly used a knife another guide lent him (who was at the lagoon) to provide us and our group with strong tree branches to act as trekking poles for our descent. These were helpful but by no means an aid that significantly reduced the huge risks involved with this trek.

It is absolutely not my intentions to be a mood-hoover about this activity. For some, the thrill of the risk involved will be really motivating and exciting. Nonetheless I feel that an honest reflection about the fact that a nasty accident is waiting to happen needs to be highlighted.

If climbing a volcano is on your bucket list, keep it there for sure but, I’d certainly advise you seek a different volcano to hike rather than Maderas.
Written July 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lifeinthetopbunk
Portsmouth, UK477 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Volcan Maderas is covered in forest, which makes it a great place to hike if you burn easily! The top 300-400 meters are cloud forest; we couldn't see anything on the way up because it was too cloudy, but luckily on the way down, the clouds broke, and we got magnificent views of Concepción, the isthmus, and the lake. Like most hikes in tropical regions, this is tough. It involves getting very muddy and climbing, ducking, crawling, and rappelling to get to the crater. If you're the sort of person who enjoys those things, this is a fabulous hike. We hired a guide, which I think is necessary; while there is one main trail once you get onto it, there are lots of misleading paths on the way to that trail and no signs. Our guide was funny, considerate, and patient with our lackluster Spanish skills. I highly recommend him if you're in the Merida area! His name is Simeon, and his number is +505 (83) 26 36 61. The hike took us 8.5 hours (including a half hour lunch break), and we walked directly up a path from Merida, so no transportation was required. All in all, a challenging but fantastic experience.
Written July 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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VOLCAN MADERAS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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