Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo. This incredible image is a panoramic composed with 3 images stitched into one.  A more detailed version is available for purchase should you so desire. Click on the image to see a more detailed version.

In Nicaragua, the term “laguna” is reserved for volcanic crater lakes.There are a number of  volcanoes with lagunas along the Pacific rim of the country, none more accessible than Laguna de Apoyo.  The lake fills the crater of the Apoyo Volcano (seems pretty obvious doesn’t it). This is one of Nicaragua’s amazing natural wonders and will become more popular as tourism grows.

Some 20,000 years ago, the volcano imploded (blew its top off) leaving an internal crater that gradually filled with water. Today, the water is clean and warmed by thermal vents, just about perfect for swimming.  Because thermal activity continues in the area, the volcano could become active again (think of Mt St. Helens).

I was delighted to learn this area was declared a Nature Reserve in 1991 and the Nicaraguan government seems serious about protecting it. Strict laws limiting human activity exist in the Reserve, and several residential construction projects have been stopped. Landowners have even been sued in court by the Ministry of Natural Resources for violating the Reserve’s laws.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with fabulous natural wonders that will attract an ever increasing tourist trade. It is good to know that government officials are taking steps to preserve their natural resources.


Nicaragua has one of the most impressive volcanic chains in Central America. If you travel in western Nicaragua without seeing a volcano then either the weather or your eye sight is very bad.  On clear days you can see clouds arising from many of the peaks, it can be hard to tell if the volcano is just causing cloud formation or is spouting an active plume.

Look at a map of Nicaragua and you will notice the string of volcanoes paralleling the Pacific coast. Nicaragua itself sits on the Caribbean Plate, while the Pacific coastline is on the eastern edge of the Cocos Plate.

The Cocos Plate is gradually moving east under the Caribbean Plate causing it to rise.  This  same basic plate action is forming the Andes Mountains paralleling the Pacific Ocean in South America. This convergence of the plates is causing instability of the Earth’s crust in the area and is the source of Nicaraguas volcanic activity and frequent earthquakes.

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3 Responses to “Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua”

  1. mflahertyphoto Says:

    It’s a beautiful place alright, where I got my best photo of a howler monkey.

  2. sandersonp Says:

    Do you have your image posted?

  3. Johna674 Says:

    Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your website by chance, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it. kccdbfgkbefa

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