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Mombacho Cloud Forest

This amazing Strombolian volcano is located in the central Pacific basin of Nicaragua and it is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which holds 452 volcanoes and is also home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. The Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve, which in Nahuatl stands for “Steep Mountain”, is a cloud forest with unique eco-logical characteristics located 20 minutes away from the colonial city of Granada. Due to its eroded peak shape, Mombacho Volcano was probably the highest volcano of Nicaragua with an altitude over 2000 meters above sea level (6000 ft). Today the “Guardian of Granada” as it is also called, rises over 1300 meters.

Mombacho Volcano is constituted by 6,644 hectares (16,420 acres) of buffer zone and 578 hectares (1,430 acres) of untouched cloud forest. Its privileged geographic location allows an exceptional climate, which is mainly induced by the trade winds that carry the Caribbean humidity, dragging at the same time the breeze of Lake Nicaragua and finally depositing all these elements on the walls and peak of Mombacho volcano. This phenomenon provokes rapid winds, thick clouds and heavy rain mainly between May and October.

Mombacho’s cloud forest trails will bring you into the spectacle of nature with vivid adventures and close contact to colorful orchids, blooming heliconias, beautiful begonias, lush ferns, abundant moss, playful butterflies, sneaky insects, loud curious howler monkeys and exciting tiny hummingbirds. Another particular characteristic of this magical paradise is its “elfin forest”, a unique ecosystem on top of Mombacho, where the forest stays short and trees develop wide trunks and thick leaves due to the high elevation and strong winds. Volcano Mombacho’s ecosystem is formed by 173 species of birds, 47 species of mammals, 752 species of plants and 10 species of amphibians.

From atop the visitor will be able (if weather permits) to enjoy a fantastic view over Great Lake Nicaragua and the “Isletas”, an archipelago of 360 little volcanic islands created ten thousand years ago by the intensive activity of Mombacho Volcano. The visitor can also admire the colonial city of Granada, the Apoyo Crater Lake, the steaming crater of Santiago and part of Lake Managua. This is an incredible journey into one of best protected cloud forests of Nicaragua.

Hiking • Landscapes • Flora and Fauna Observation • Nature Reserve

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