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Active volcano's bubbling lava in Nicaragua attracts holidaymakers

The active Masaya volcano in Nicaragua is becoming an increasingly-popular destination for holidaymakers who are flocking to the crater near Managua to take pictures of the glowing lava. The 5,000-year-old volcano's activity has intensified over the past six months which has led to an increase in locals and tourists who have been given approval by the government to briefly visit the site.

Active volcano's bubbling lava in Nicaragua attracts holidaymakers

Most people would run a mile if they saw lava spilling from a volcano, but many people are flocking towards one in Nicaragua. The Masaya volcano has recently become a hotspot for tourists who are keen to see the lake of bubbling, glowing liquid. Over the last six months, the volcano’s activity has intensified and tourists are keen to get involved in the rare photo opportunity.

The Nicaraguan government has granted approval to nearly 4,000 visitors over the past couple of weeks to get close to the crater’s edge to see this natural phenomenon. They can only stay a couple of minutes due to the toxic gases, but the brief trip has been worth it for many.

Mijaela Cuba, a nurse from Austria, commented:

“This is the first time I’ve seen something like this — it’s really impressive.”

According to Jaime Incer, a Nicaraguan geographer and environmentalist, the only volcanoes in the world that have the incredible lakes of glowing magma are Masaya, Kilauea in Hawaii, and Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Located southwest of the capital Managua, the 400-metre-high volcano is 5,000 years old and is only known to have erupted twice in recorded history: in 1670 and 1772. Since 1902, these smaller bubbling eruptions have been occurring every 20 to 25 years.

Incer believes that the biggest risk now could be the rise of lava levels inside the volcano. If they continue to increase, a new eruption could happen within the next 150 years, and it could be similar to the one in 1772 that stretched 30 miles to the site where the Nicaragua International Airport now stands.

Indeed, Volcanos are a popular attraction in Nicaragua and while some might still be active, there are several dormant ones that are safe to visit. Last year, a tourism centre was built at the foot of the country’s tallest volcano, San Cristobal, allowing visitors to learn about its history and geology. There’s an information centre, access to trails that lead to the top of the volcano, and two hostels with beautiful views.
The tourism centre is part of the Colonial Cities & Volcano Trail that runs down the length of Central America’s Pacific coast from Antigua in Guatemala to Panama, and goes through Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua, Coatepeque in Guatemala and Llopango in El Salvador.

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