Masaya Volcano and a Whiff of Brimstone


Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Our group of intrepid explorers left behind Lake Nicaragua and headed west, past the city of Masaya and into Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya (Masaya Volcano National Park).  Our tour bus made the uphill trek to the active Santiago Crater of the Masaya Volcano.  The highest point here is 2,083 feet/635 meters, and that is marked with a large cross which may to reached via a staired walkway..

Masaya Volcano

Masaya Volcano

Arising from Santiago Crater are enormous clouds of sulfur dioxide, which our guide warned us to avoid breathing as much as feasible.

Sulfur dioxide gas

Sulfur dioxide gas

That proved no easy task, as the winds were variable and seemed to follow you around as you dodged the cloud both left and right.  But, all in all, the gases weren’t nearly as bad as you might think.  You could detect a slight sulfur smell, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  Nevertheless, if you have asthma or other breathing condition it’s recommended that you keep your distance.

Standing at the rim

Standing at the rim

Santiago Crater has been continually emitting sulfur dioxide for hundreds of years, and the volcano last erupted in January of this year.

Approaching the Masaya Volcano crater

Approaching the Masaya Volcano crater

Some more images of Santiago Crater at Masaya Volcano:

Masaya Volcano and sulfur dioxide

Masaya Volcano and sulfur dioxide

Gas cloud

Gas cloud

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