Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua – It’s As Crazy As It Sounds!

Grab a board, put on some goggles and hold on tight...

Volcano boarding in Nicaragua is one of the most exhilarating, ridiculous and fun things I’ve ever experienced.

Cerro Negro is an active volcano located on the outskirts of León. In 1994 a French man named Éric Barone decided that he was going to cycle down it. He did so at 160k/mh. This wasn’t fast enough for him though, so he went down again and tried to break his own record. Instead he broke 26 bones.

Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
Getting ready to do something stupid

León locals decided he was on to something though. People attempted to go down the volcano on all manner of things. Mattresses were ok. Doors were even better. An attempt was even made in a fridge freezer! Eventually, Australian Daryn Webb had an idea…Volcano boarding in Nicaragua was officially born.

Meeting at Quetzaltrekkers (more on this awesome NGO at the end of this post) at 7:50AM, I jumped in a van to make the 40 minute journey along dusty roads to Cerro Negro.

Upon arrival and gazing at the size of the volcano, I did wonder what the hell I was doing. With a volcano board strapped to my backpack, off I went. The hike up Cerro Negro was a lot of fun and not too strenuous. Our awesome guide Will stopped for regular breaks and educated us on the local area. Learning about the volcanoes, rocks and the city of León.

Cerro Negro Volcano
Cerro Negro Volcano

40 minutes later we arrived at the crater and it was time to suit up. Dressing like extras from Breaking Bad or escapees from Guantanamo Bay, we put on jump suits, goggles, gloves and a scarf. Will gave a safety briefing and information on how to control our turning and speed. We were ready!

Who wants to go first? Will asked. Peering down a volcano and seeing how steep it was, no-one was very forthcoming. Eventually a willing volunteer made his was to the front. One by one we took turns.

I couldn’t wait. “Let’s do this” I thought. Board on the volcano, feet either side, goggles down. I kicked my feet to pick up pace.


In no time I was speeding down. Leaning back makes you go faster so I tried to get a horizontal as possible. The board started to turn sideways. I knew what was coming, but was going too quick to get back on course. Feeling myself going, I flipped over 360 degrees and rolled some way down the volcano. The small black rocks cushioning my fall. It was hilarious!

Game on!“. I grabbed the board and shot off again, laughing all the way down.

Quetzaltrekkers are the only group that let you volcano board down Cerro Negro twice, so off I went for round two.

Cerro Negro views
The views are beautiful at the top of Cerro Negro

The second time I tried a faster route down the volcano and managed to roll the board twice. Luckily there were no injuries and it all added to the thrills. If there was an opportunity for round three, I’d have been back up Cerro Negro as fast as I came down.

Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua is hands down, one of the most crazy things you might ever do!

Cerro Negro views part way up
It’s pretty windy up there!

Volcano Boarding with Quetzaltrekkers

Quetzaltrekkers are a Non Government Organisation (NGO) working in Nicaragua and Guatemala. They operate on a non profit basis and all funds from their tours go to supporting the local community. For example, the money raised from my volcano boarding tour helped to fund scholarships for local school children. Without is, they may otherwise have missed out on an education.

For this reason it made perfect sense to choose Quetzaltrekkers.

Not only do they undertake incredible community work, but Quetzaltrekkers are the ONLY volcano boarding company who let you volcano board down Cerro Negro twice.

Quetzaltrekkers Truck Leon Nicaragua
Quetzaltrekkers truck took us so far…you have to climb the volcano

The price is $30 USD including all equipment (board, jump suit, gloves, goggles), park fees (usually $5 USD), snacks, transportation, guide and a cool free T-shirt.

All companies offer a similar package, sometimes throwing in a beer, slice of pizza or bus to the beach. Because Quetzaltrekkers give back to the community and let you ride down twice, they were the best choice for me.

  • Have you been volcano boarding?
  • Did you break any bones?
  • What other extreme sports have you done?


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