Volcano Boarding: Extreme Sport in León, Nicaragua

As an adventure seeker, I am always looking for new types of activities and ways to test life´s limits. At many times in my travel, I leave many people confused and asking themselves,

“Why in the world would Sarah ever think about doing that?!”


People from all around the world have followed on my crazy adventures, whether it be attending crazy world festivals, bungee from the worlds highest dam in Switzerland, sky diving, hitch hiking alone across 25 countries, or eating something that most people would not even think about trying.

My heart beats for adventure. Maybe it´s an addiction but I love the rush of trying something new and putting my confidence to the test.


In my solo trip through Central America, I made a stop in Leon Nicaragua, before making my way down to Costa Rica. Nicaragua is a gorgeous country that It is known for it´s volcanos, many of which are still active.

Normal tourists might think “I would love the opportunity to hike a volcano, take some beautiful pictures, and get out into nature,” while others, like myself, are programmed to think a bit differently and in terms of action activities. What if someone told you that instead of just going on a hike and taking some nice pictures, that you could have a once in a life time experience volcano boarding.

We are talking about going at high-speed’s down an active volcano on a small piece of wood.

Sound like your type of adventure?

Cerro negro

Cerro Negro is an active volcano that is more than 160+ years old, located about an hour drive outside of the city of León. This volcano Is about 728 m high, with an average hike up of about one hour.


Quetzaltrekking Nonprofit

For this adventure, I decided to go with the non profit called Quetzaltrekking. There are countless companies throughout the city that try to offer you a deal, but there is no company that measures up to what this non profit offers.

Quetzaltreeking is a nonprofit that opened in 1995. The money that is paid for the excursions goes towards helping with local projects and disadvantaged youth.

Not only was I having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I was making a sustainable impact by working with a non profit that is actively making a difference in the world.

What To Expect

The morning that we arrived to the volcano, the fun began….. Well,  maybe it’s better to say, the challenging part began.

We strapped our wooden board and gear to our back and starting the ascend up the volcano. The weather was absolutely perfect, with very little wind (normally its much worse).

It is important that you wear close toed shoes, due to the amount of small and large rocks going up the volcano. There are many places to stop along the way to get some beautiful panoramic views and take it all in.

After about an hour, you will arrive to the top, where you will get the chance to see  a volcano crater with smoke coming out.

Volcano Boarding 101

Before going down, you will first receive a briefing on the basics of volcano boarding. They will then give you a protective suit (in case of crashing), gloves, goggles and the small wooden board.

We were given the options to go down two different ways: sitting down, as if you were on a sled, or standing up, liking in snowboarding. It was quite funny to see the amount of people trying to go down standing up, because in the end, they only managed hurting themselves. In my case, I wanted to go down with my GoPro, so I decided to place it around my arm and sit down.

The board has a rope that you hold onto for stability. As you hold onto the rope, you are instructed to lean backwards in order to gain speed.

I took a deep breath, and started my way down the volcano. I instantly got nervous, due to the fact that I was going faster than I was expecting. Before I knew it, I was going at top speed, as black sand was blowing quickly up in my face.

I quickly tried to slow myself down and ended up crashing about halfway down the volcano.  I took another deep breath, climbed back on my board and finally made it to the end.

What an exhilarating experience!


When we reach the bottom, I was a bit scratched up, but the experience was so worth it. The best thing about going with Quetzaltrekking, in comparison to others, is the fact that instead of only getting one chance to go down the volcano, you can learn from your mistakes and make a second run down!


Would you ever give volcano boarding a try?


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