Cerro Negro Lava Field | Established Campground

Nicaragua

Details

Verified:
20 days ago
Altitude:
475.5 masl
Website:
None
Phone:
None
Contributor:
hannokolvenbach

Amenities

Electricity:
No
Wifi:
No
Kitchen:
No
Restaurant:
No
Showers:
No
Water:
No
Toilets:
No
Big Rig Friendly:
Yes
Tent Friendly:
Yes
Pet Friendly:
Yes
Sanitation Dump Station:
No

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Description

Awesome spot to camp (need to pay entrance once, $5pp and then $5pp per night camping). You are in the middle of the lava field at the end of the volcano boarding track. 4x4 not necessary to get here, but clearance and driving skills. Our friends in a lifted 2WD VW Kombi did it, just some sharp rocks on the way in. The sand is solid up to this point. If you want to go further and drive through the valleys, you need 4x4.

You can use the showers and toilets at the visitor center, but it's a kilometer walk.

LTE 4G, 3 bars.

Big rigs can fit (if they make it through the trees on the way up), but you need clearance. Wouldn't do it with a standard clearance sprinter, especially not a long one.

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Camping is now 20 Dollars per person per night :(

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MEHHHHHHHH.
I mean, yes it's a cool place. I did enjoy camping in this environment. But as of the 8th of May, prices have gone up, and it's now $20usd/day to camp here, and that feels insane. I think I got extra charged, too, because I'm solo in my van, and I was here with two couples, each in their respective vans, and we all got charged the same $20, with the explanation that the prices went up on the 8th.
Also, if you do the sandboarding, it is of critical importance to get a board that is concave to the ground (smiley face) rather than convex (frowny face). 2/3 of our boards were convex, and there are no physics on earth that you can perform to get the thing moving quickly or for more than a few meters before it digs in and stops. A frowny face board is a complete waste of time and money. Additionally, the goggles they provide are so scratched that you literally can't see out of them, and do very little to keep the sand out of your eyes. We did 2 runs, and on the second run we all ditched their goggles, and used whatever else we had to protect our eyes. Of course, that only truly mattered to the one person who had the fast board.

Also, even though it felt like we were way out in the middle of nowhere, we still had to listen to party music floating in from somewhere until we all went to bed. Not the worst thing ever, nor was it terribly loud, but we did not get that "relaxing in the peace and quiet of a desolate landscape" feeling, either.
All in all, I feel like this place has been kind of a rip-off.

BUT, if you do go, and you're in a large vehicle, and you come in from León, you will make it just fine. When you turn off from the pavement, the road *looks* like it's totally going to suck, but it's really fine. I did it in a 3.2m tall, 7.8m long, 5000kg, 2wd van. Dual wheels in the rear. The sand feels soft, but not particularly deep. I didn't have to do anything special to get here. Just cruised at 10-15 miles an hour so I wouldn't dust anyone out. Busses full of tourists come here for the sledding. They all make it, and so can you.

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Great camping spot, right in front of the volcano.
The drive from leon is fun an doable with a 2wd (soft sand and sharp stones) you‘ll need some driving skills, but if you drove to Nicaragua you will manage this ;)

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Great location to camp off-grid! Fun & easy drive in from the Leon side. Sandy but with high clearance & good driver you can do this. Watch for dogs, motos & cows of course on the drive in. Visitors center was under construction. We paid $5 usd a person to camp up in the lava fields. Two old school buses were there taking the tourists for hikes & sand boarding down huge dormant volcano. Totally fun to watch. Bus groups watch sunset then leave. After that you have entire place to yourself. Windy & cooler at 1500 ft than lower elevations this time of year. Wind died down during the night. Epic sunset & lots of photo ops. Have fun!

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Came here on my Honda 190 motorcycle from Leon for a day visit and some boarding. Info on prices below. Wanted to note that as of January 2023, about half of the route here is really deep sand. It sometimes thins out, but really about 6-8 miles are quite sandy. I was OK on my light moto, but definitely got frustrated at times during the drive. It look a fat hour to get here from Leon. Recommend leaving Leon no later that 1:30 for a late afternoon visit, since you’ll want to leave Cerro Negro by 4:30 to make it back and out of the sand pits before sunset.

Prices were $5 to enter, $10 to rent a board, and managed to get a guide (which they said was mandatory since it was my first visit) for $10. The guide was nice and helpful and took photos and videos. You are required to carry your own board. The board rental comes with goggles and a suit to protect against the sand when coming down. Was a fun experience!

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Amazing place to camp! The road from Leon is doable with 2x4 but there are spots where you should not stop otherwise you can easily sink in (when we drove the road, a lot of buses and cars came the opposite direction) When you pay the entry, make sure you say to the guides what your plans are! It turned out that if you want to go to the volcan del hoyo but camp at this spot (cerro negro), you have to pay another entry fee.. so we just stayed at cerro negro and payed 8USD for two of us for the entry and camping (?)

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Stayed here for the night after late sand boarding. After all the tourist buses left it was nice and quiet.
The price is still $5 to enter the park, $5 to stay overnight, and $10 to rent equipment. I was solo so I needed someone to take my photos and videos so hired the porter (Louis) to carry my board. He knew exactly where to take photos. After dark, we had to walk back to the trailhead, so he guided me back to the car, too. After hike, you can go to the entrance of park where you paid the fees and use the showers. You can purchase drinks there too.

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Really cool spot standing right on the lava field! Be careful from which direction you are coming in. There are 2 ways: From Leon (easiest way where also all the tour buses are coming in) and from the north Matagalpa (bumpy and narrow dirtroad through little towns) where we already scratched some branches with our tiny VW Vanagon (T3). The road (from the north) however is not too difficult and also doable with 2WD, but high clearance is recommended. Enjoy!

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Superb place to sleep at the foot of Cerro Negro, the wheels in the lava! The night is very pleasant, it is calm and there is wind to cool off. Once the tourist buses are gone, chances are you are alone. I strongly recommend going to see the sunset at the top of Cerro Negro, the spectacle is incredible! The hike to the Hoyo volcano is also very pretty. Entrance costs US$ 5 for adults, free for children. The campsite costs US$ 5 per adult, free for children, we asked if we could spend a second night, they agreed to stay for free. Showers and toilets at the entrance are fine. To come here 4wd is not mandatory.

NB: Do not park next to the firepits, here are the places "reserved" by the tours to party next to their techno bus and toast marshmallows after the sledge. We had the misfortune to encroach on their "territory" and they did not hesitate to start a fire 2m from our vehicle! Once they are gone (30 minutes after sunset) everything becomes calm again.

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Our AWD Ford Transit got here with no problem. Not great clearance, but enough.

This spot is amazing, beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Gets hot during the day, but with the wind it is manageable. Stayed 2 nights. This pin is where you want to park, and it only adds a few minutes to the trail. Follow the yellow arrows on the rocks.

Paid $5/pp to camp and $5/pp to enter. $10 for a board, suit, goggles, gloves.

When we returned, they didn’t charge us an extra $5/pp for the additional night camping. 👍🏼

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Very nice and quiet place to spend the night. 5$ per person to enter the volcan area + 5$ per person to camp there.
Just a few steps from the start of the trail.

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Beaucoup de place pour stationner à plat, le vent, la solitude et le désert de lave la nuit. Très beau bivouacsauvage.

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Bel endroit pour passer la nuit paysage un peu lunaire et belle vue sur la vallee. Le chemin de 15 kmsvpour yvacceder en venant de leon est sablonneux mais dans les traces c est dur. Facile meme sans 4x4 juste deux petites cotes dans les 3 derniers kms Aucun service

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Please note that it isn’t possible to camp in the lava field during rainy season. We camped at the main visitors center. You’ll still get to see this beautiful terrain when hiking and/sandboarding though and may we add that this moon-like scenery is well worth the 45 minute hike!

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Perfect spot for camping on the lava field. 5usd entrance fee and 5usd for camping. Not easy to get here on the loaded motorcycle due to deep sand but if you have patience you can do it without good riding skills.

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Awesome place to camp up for the night, the people at the entrance are friendly and helpful. 14000c (40 usd) to camp, park entrance and board and suit rentals for two. Made it to this location in a Honda Odyssey, low clearance 2wd just gotta send it.

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Spectacular place the spend a night. We had the hole lavafield for us. To get there is on sand street, but no problem with 2wd ford e350 right now. High clearence is necessary and the last 20m are very steep with sharp rock and holes. Alternatively one can drive until the entrance and also stay there. We paid 5usd pp entry but nothing for camping. Very windy. The sledge is only rentable at the entrance, 10usd.

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Awesome spot to camp (need to pay entrance once, $5pp and then $5pp per night camping). You are in the middle of the lava field at the end of the volcano boarding track. 4x4 not necessary to get here, but clearance and driving skills. Our friends in a lifted 2WD VW Kombi did it, just some sharp rocks on the way in. The sand is solid up to this point. If you want to go further and drive through the valleys, you need 4x4.

You can use the showers and toilets at the visitor center, but it's a kilometer walk.

LTE 4G, 3 bars.

Big rigs can fit (if they make it through the trees on the way up), but you need clearance. Wouldn't do it with a standard clearance sprinter, especially not a long one.

Report Check-In

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