I went with La Mariposa students to Granada, Nicaragua (about an hour away from San Juan de la Concepcion). It was 15$ to get in, which is pretty expensive by Nicaraguan standards. For this reason, in a country whose teachers make 200$ per month, it is only tourists that visit.
This is the location where you rent a guide if you want to, and have lunch. There are three different craters on Mombacho but only one you can do on your own, about an hour hike.
We were lucky to get this view from the top. It was cloudy seconds before, and only remained uncovered for about five minutes.
This is the end of the path. It was fun to smell the sulfur, feel the heat, and see the smoke, but if you are expecting more you will be sorely disappointed.
The hike within the rain forest is beautiful.
This is a trail that you are only supposed to go on if you have a guide. We only did a small part of it because we didn't want to get caught and have to pay!
After the hour hike the two people I was with wanted their money's worth and so did it again. I was less interested and so decided to walk down the volcano. The entire hike down is a good two hours, with plenty to see.
I was very happy to get away from the group and be on my own picture taking schedule.
There were so many different species of butterflies fluttering around I felt like I was at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park!
A little over on hour down the hill is a coffee farm, Cafe las Flores that has been there for almost a hundred years. It is rather humorous because on the way to the top the driver stopped here, which was confusing because we though it was where the trails began for a moment. I asked the driver why we stopped and he said for a cafecito (a little cup of coffee). This was all he said. I would have been more interested to know the history of this place, which I discovered on my own.
After sitting on the patio drinking free cafecitos and reading the newspaper.
When coffee beans are ready to be dried they are dried here. It is really tuani (cool in Nicaragua) to think that some of the coffee I buy is dried at a place like this.
These are baby coffee plants, the Rain Forest Alliance Certified coffee company plants 25,000 new trees per year.
Behind me is a plethora of coffee plants.
I love leaf cutter ants! They are such hard workers.
I was very excited to see this large group of caterpillars while continuing my walk down Mombacho.
I had my heart set on seeing howler monkeys but butterflies will have to do. I could hear the monkeys not too far off and went on a monkey hunt, but to no avail.
Overall the excursion was a success! I would have been disappointed if the only thing we could do for the entrance fee was walk on a short trail to see a small crater, but the walk down the volcano and the coffee farm made it worth while for sure.