Nicaragua has many active volcanos, none more accessible then Volcan Masaya. A recent eruption threw large boulders into the air with one of them landing on the hood of a car. The vehicle was drivable but park officials refused to allow it to leave until the boulder was extracted (take nothing, leave only footsteps). Park officials typically distribute hardhats to visitors – an action that is enough to give a pause to your visit. I was not sure what to think when our bus of Gringos pulled up and we were told they had no more hardhats. The parking lot had very few vehicles in it. Hmmmmmm. Later I read some literature suggesting you get under your car if rocks start falling. Yikes.
I was told the cross has been replaced 5 times since it was originally erected in 1592. A stairway from the parking lot to the cross is now closed as it was damaged during recent volcanic activity.
Click here to see an image looking into the crater from the the location of the cross. The image was obtained by Rob Sheridan in 2009 when the stairway was still accessible.
Too bad I never found a tee shirt proclaiming “I survived my trip to The Mouth of Hell” or “I’ve been to the Mouth of Hell and back”.