Only 10 km from Granada, one of the last two virgin cloud forests in the country covers the slopes of Mombacho.
Its summit at 1334 m consists of five craters, four small ones, three of them overgrown by dense vegetation, and a large main crater. A characteristic feature of the Mombacho is its flattened ridge, a plateau at 1220 m altitude forming the so-called Plan de Flores, once littered with thousands of orchids. Systematic thefts in the 90s have damaged the orchid’ s diversity.
A system of well-maintained, well-marked paths, managed by the Fundación Cocibolca like the protected area, makes Mombacho one of Nicaragua’s most accessible natural paradises. Here you can experience the fascinating flora and fauna of a cloud forest without having to go through great hardships or struggle through mire and mud. The biodiversity of the area is impressive: 752 plant species, including numerous bromeliads and orchids, have been recorded, as well as 119 native and 49 (migratory) bird species, 60 mammal species, 28 reptile species, 10 different amphibians and about 30,000 insect species. From the volcano, visitors can enjoy magnificent views into extinct craters and in the afternoon, when the often stubborn clouds have disappeared, panoramic views over Granada, Lake Nicaragua and the “Isletas” archipelago.
Those who climb up to the “fumaroles” (smoke and steam holes) on the cone, which look like mini volcanoes, will additionally be rewarded with views of the Apoyo Lagoon and the Masaya Volcano. There are also two “canopy tours” (as they are known from Costa Rica), but they do not belong to the park and are more meant to be a “thrill” than a tool for observing animals.