After breakfast we say goodbye to Renee. She and Dave have successfully climbed some peaks in Honduras and yesterday we climbed together Volcán San Cristóbal in Nicaragua. Today she is on her way to Managua to fly home, Dave and I head for the Gulf of Fonseca, where the Cosigüina volcano rises on the coast.
And indeed, much to our surprise, we ended up parking a lot closer to the trailhead than we had planned. All the maps showed a track, but in reality we found a wide gravel road. We park the car in the designated car park and enjoy an easy walk in the shade of the forest. There is a good tourist trail to the crater viewpoint. The crater is very deep and a few hundred metres below, at the bottom of the crater, there is a lake. It is very beautiful, but the highest point is almost two kilometres away.
When I was gathering information about the summit, I saw trails in several sections of the satellite images. Often the trail follows the crater ridge and people like to walk on the rim. This time it was no exception, from the viewpoint we walked about a kilometre along a trail that was easy to follow. Along the way we climbed some lower peaks and traversed the slopes several times. After a kilometre, the path becomes less obvious and we have to traverse slippery, steep grassy slopes. There are two bands of rock to climb and cross, but nothing too difficult. There were a couple of times where we lost the path, but on the descent it was much easier to follow.
The sun is beating down and the wind is very light. Somehow, over slippery grass, we reach the top. The view is magnificent, with El Salvador’s San Miguel volcano in the distance. It is quiet, there is no rumbling, only today we found out that after a few weeks its activity has decreased and it can be climbed again. To the east, in the Gulf of Fonseca, we can see Volcán del Tigre, an island highpoint in Honduras. The Pacific Ocean to the west and the relatively flat southeast.
We take a break and return the same way. This time it is a bit more optimal, we can follow the path almost all the time. A short stop at a viewpoint, a tourist trail, and we are back at the car.
It’s still midday and we’re on our way to Lake Nicaragua, home to the world’s most prominent lake mountain. We make a short detour and stop at the urbanised summit of Las Cumbres.