Momotombo and Momotombito Nicaragua
Let me begin with the first thing that captured my attention as we were descending from the skies of Nicaragua located in Central America. It was a beautiful evening as the colors of twilight painted the sky across the horizon when suddenly I caught sight of these two cone shaped figures side by side. One of them was huge! They became obvious to my glancing as the larger one blocked the soft light waves scattered across the sky while the smaller one stood beside it. And the first thing that crossed my mind was “wow ‘real’ mountains,” lol. Anxious to know about them, I asked one of my family members that happened to be with me in this flight. They’ve been here before & know the place quite well. This was my first time here, well as far as I can remember.
The sight was spectacular with the dimming of sunlight bouncing off the larger “mountain” & even more so as this one had a miniature version in its shadows. It was then made clear to me that they were not mountains after all but in fact volcanoes! Oh, I wasn’t upset about that. I sighed & yelled out “wow”! Hey, it was my first time ever seeing actual volcanoes in real life so you better believe I was excited hehe. And these weren’t just any volcanoes, these were the famous Momotombo & Momotombito Volcanoes in Nicaragua. The ‘ito’ is usually at the end of a noun to describe something little or small in Spanish, hence making Momotombito the sibling. It was quite funny to see them next to each other almost identical in shape, yet one far smaller than the other.
Now if you’re wondering if any of these volcanoes are active, you’re doing a great job wondering because they are. In fact, el volcán Momotombo is one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua! But I was not going to let that stop me & if you’re adventurous, you won’t either. I was so determined to climb to the top of Momotombo that I convinced local friends & family to take us. And boy was it a steep hike, yet so worth it! Actually, I’ve heard that this volcano is the most challenging volcano to climb on the Pacific side. So I challenge you to climb it! I know you’re capable. =-) And if you do, let me rephrase that, ‘when’ you do, I suggest you carry enough water so you don’t dehydrate in the heat of the day & at the same time pack up a sweater because it does get really cool towards the top.
As we continued our climb, the peaceful warm breeze naturally began to get stronger & cooler. There were also changing layers of interesting looking rocks as we elevated & though there was somewhat of a trail, we still had to watch our steps carefully. The vegetation was thinning as the earth was getting smaller every time I looked behind. It was such an amazing view & we were yet to the top! My excitement to reach the peak fed my energy which helped me keep going. So on we continued & it was as if every few hundred feet was a new adventure. I became even more thrilled when I noticed we were approaching cloud level! We got to the point where the clouds past right through us so I literally felt like I was floating in the clouds, lol. And once we left the clouds below us, I started feeling a sense of victory.
We were even closer to the top now & as we kept climbing I noticed this dark smoke towards the top that seemed to be escaping into the air. I even ignored some sort of monument or outhouse at a distant because I was distracted by the smoke. And this smoke became my main focus for a while because, hey, we were on top of a volcano & here there was this suspicious looking smoke, what else could I have thought? I kept worrying & asking about the possibilities of the volcano erupting, such a newbie! And the smoke, of course, was coming exactly from the direction we were heading. They explained that this was normal so after they calmed me down, I regained my enthusiasm to keep going. Just a little more & at last we had made it to the top!
Wow, if only you knew how worth it this was to reach the top of el volcán Momotombo! The smoke was coming from large cracks within the volcano where you can easily see the lava flowing through, like an angry river. “Sweet!!!” I shouted out as I got closer. It was bright, it was awesome & it was warm too, convenient since it was a bit chilly. As for the huge crater, you have got to see it for yourself! I then took a few steps away to get a break from the heat & started glancing about when suddenly, I lost my breath! Don’t worry, I was fine. I was just mega stunned by the incredible view, just in awe by the breathtaking landscape! I can still visualize it as if I were still there. The ocean of clouds scattered out below us made it feel like we were in heaven & when they cleared out, I just can’t even began describing it!
There were valleys, deserts, grasslands, cities, lakes, the Pacific Ocean. Heck, I think I was viewing all of Nicaragua from up there. Pardon my slang but it was totally radical! Then I caught sight of Momotombito & realized that it was actually its own island. It was northwest of us, sitting smack dab in the middle of ‘El Lago de Managua’, Spanish for ‘Lake of Managua’. You might say, “weren’t you able to notice that from the airplane”, remember that it was in the evening & the low natural light wasn’t bright enough to depict the ground. Speaking of, I remember twinkling lights coming from the darker sides of the mountains. There were times I couldn’t even tell whether these were stars in the sky or man-made lights. Either way, this was all totally incredible!
Later we learned that el volcán Momotombo was 4,255 ft. high. And I was so proud of myself when I found this out, lol. Both Momotombo & Momotombito are located near a city called León. And though Momotombito lays over Lake Managua, you can pay fishermen for a voyage to & from the island. Just remember to pay them only until they pick you back up from the island. If not, I’ve read that they could leave you stranded on the island after you pay them there. To prevent issues as such or others, I think it’s best to carry a travel guidebook or magazine of the area. It helps greatly! Well, I’m out of breath as I speak these last words, yet with excitement I conclude saying that this experience was unforgettable & my stay abroad Nicaragua had only begun. =-)