Concepción volcano in Ometepe Island
Concepción or Volcan Concepción is one of the two volcanoes that form Ometepe Island in Lake Cocibolca. A stratovolcano that is considered one of the highest in Nicaragua, Concepción is tough to climb and reserved for those who have great stamina and who prepare themselves well before climbing.
Sitting at 1610 meters above sea level, Concepción has a nearly perfect cone shape with plenty of vegetation at the bottom home to various kinds of monkeys and deer. But it is somewhat dry at the top. This is caused by its frequent activities (you can tell by the smokes it fumes) that take place quite regularly. The volcano's last eruption was on 11 December 2009, the first since 1883. Its twin volcano, Maderas, makes up the southern part of the island. Concepción and Maderas are connected with a thin isthmus and these two giants located in the middle of the biggest lake in Nicaragua, Cocibolca, represent very much what the country has always been called "the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes".
If you are thinking to climb this volcano, you will need to make sure you are in your most healthy condition. Secondly, be well-prepared. The journey will be rough with many big and small rocks stand loose. These rocks will not make the ascending or the descending trip easy. Due to its enormous height, the climb will take about 7 to 10 hours. So make sure you have enough water and food supply and leave as early as possible. Before sunrise is a good time to go in order to get you back to your lodging the same day you depart. It is also very much advised that you take a guide who is familiar with the way to the top and who is able to show you viewpoints where you can see the beauty of Ometepe Island surrounded by the Great Lake Cocibolca.
It is quite rare that the air is clear once you are at the top of the volcano. Normally it is smoky, cloudy and windy. By the time you reach the summit, your clothes will be likely wet from all the hard work at ascending Concepción, so the wind will not feel nice against your wet body. Bring dry clothes in your bag to counter this effect. However, if you get into the way where the fume is going, you will feel the heat it brings that sources from inside the crater. This combination of extreme heat and cold could be such a weird feeling for some.
Be careful when descending this massive volcano. Especially after showered by rain, the rocks will become more slippery and firm footing is not easy to find. But as soon as you arrive back in your hotel, the satisfaction will be overflowing and the knowledge that you have climbed one of the toughest, most active volcanoes in Nicaragua will be such a great reward.