Climbing volcano Concepcion against all odds

I didn’t plan to climb volcano Concepcion but it just happened. So here’s how:

Last week was really tough for me because I was pretty sick and felt really weak so I wasn’t very active. Few days ago I biked to San Ramon waterfall (around 10km), walked up (around 3km) and already that was pretty hard for me. I felt extremely week and after that I was pretty sure that I won’t climb the highest volcano (Concepcion) so I decided I wanna climb the smaller one – Maderas (1300+ meters).

Yesterday I went to all the hostels around Santa Cruz area here in Ometepe island and tried to find people to climb volcano Maderas together with (together it’s much cheaper). I was even approaching people on the streets – asked from total strangers if by any chance anybody’s going to climb it but I couldn’t find anybody. I also remembered that all my clothes were at laundry so I didn’t even have any shorts to hike with.

It was already 10pm so I gave up and decided that probably I should just rent a scooter and drive around on the island. As soon as I told it to one of the volunteers at Little Morgan’s (cool hostel at Ometepe) he pointed me a tour guide who was sitting next to me and partying with other guests. Our conversation went pretty fast from “there’s no way we gonna climb tomorrow” to “You can get discount price of only 15 dollars”. So the decision was made! His only wish was that we gonna climb the higher volcano Concepcion not Maderas. I still felt super weak but I agreed with him. He took last shot of rum and went straight to home.

That’s beautiful volcano Concepcion – 1610 m tall:

Next day at 6am he picked me up from my place and we started hiking up at 6.22am. First we walked through the forest and he was seriously speeding, then we arrived to a more humid forest what was a bit like jungle and it got harder because it was very warm there. But it was awesome to see white-faced monkeys jumping around on the trees. After some time forest ended and road got steeper and also easier – at least I felt it because it got super windy and a bit rainy so it wasn’t that hot anymore. After 2,5 hours of walking we caught the group before us – 4 guys from the states and they were really struggling with moving on because it was so windy.

My guide’s an extreme ultra marathon runner so he didn’t let me rest and didn’t care much about crazy wind what was going on. Instead he was running up the last 10 minutes. It was so foggy and rainy that I barely saw where he was but we both arrived happily to the top of volcano Concepcion. Unfortunately the guys from the States didn’t make it up because their guide thought it’s too dangerous.

It was pretty cool to take a sneak peak over the top to the crater of the volcano. After all it’s an active volcano and you can actually feel the heat coming from the crater and also the smell of sulfur. We made it up with 2h 40 minutes and the hike was much easier than I expected! I was ready for a 4 hour hike up but for us it was much faster thanks to my super amazing crazy local guide Alexis.

 

On our way down we met a couple who greeted us with “TERE!” (“Hello!” in Estonian). I was so freaking happy when I saw them!!! Second time to see Estonians during 3 months of travelling. It was amazing and we agreed right away to meet in the evening (what we did).

Overall the hike down went fast (less than 2 hours) and the coolest part was “skiing” in volcano ash. I absolutely loved it! It was super fast way to get down and I felt like flying. So around 11am we were already back down. It was really an amazing hike and I really enjoyed it – it’s definitely not as hard as advertised!

What to take with you to volcano Concepcion?

  • Warm clothes (it might be really cold up there, I was super happy that I had my sweatshirt)
  • 3 litres of water ( I only drank 0,8 litres so I would say less but depends on a person)
  • Sunscreen
  • Food (I took A LOT of food and didn’t eat much but it’s still nice to have a banana and few snacks)

Where to find the best guide for volcano concepcion?

Go to Little Morgan’s hostel and ask for a tour guide Alexis. He’s sometimes there and if he’s not, they’ll know where to find him!

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