Maderas Volcano on Ometepe Island
Slightly lower than its twin Concepción Volcano, Maderas stands at 1394 meters high on the south east end of Ometepe Island. It is a more popular hike chosen by the visitors of the island since it has easier accesses for beginner hikers than Concepción. Four trails of different difficulty levels are provided, with each trail giving different hiking timeframe and viewpoints. A start from Finca Magdalena will take around 5 kilometers to the top; Finca El Porvenir in Santa Cuz takes 6 kilometers, Mérida at 7 kilometers and San Ramon at 8.
One thing that characterizes a Maderas climbing trip is that you will come back full of mud. Whichever track you choose, you can never get away from the muddy paths on this mountain. This is due to wet micro climate and steady rainfall. The volcano as a result is completely covered by cloud forest; a particularly wet tropical forest that houses so many kinds of vegetations and animals. There is only one other volcano that shares this feature of cloud forests: Mombacho. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Maderas has been made a nature reserve.
Maderas has an absolutely different look than Concepción, either from afar or nearby. In contrast with Concepción's barren top, Maderas Volcano is greener and dense with vegetation, thanks to its dormant, or even extinct, state. Its last major eruption was some 800 years ago. Such length of sleeping time allowed the forests to grow and become shelter of various species of flora and fauna. It also let the crater be filled up with water and form a crater lake. If you fancy a fresh cold swim after a hard muddy walk, take your swimsuit with you.