I do like exploring volcanoes. As I live on an active volcano, with three other active volcanoes visible on the horizon, this sort of exploration is something I am regularly able to indulge myself with. The fifth nearby active volcano can not be seen from home, it takes a two hour drive to reach, a worthwhile trip as it is the one that is currently erupting. Since I have so many volcanoes in my life why would I want to visit another one? Because I love volcanoes!
Masaya is an active volcano just south of the capital of Nicaragua. It is part of a chain of volcanoes that dominates the landscape of the country. It is also easy to reach, part of a national park just a few miles off a major highway. You can drive right to the crater rim and look down into the pit.
While Masaya is not currently hosting any major activity it is home to an ephemeral lava lake and emits a steady plume of volcanic gasses. In many ways it is similar to visiting the Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kilauea, a large pit with a plume of gasses. Like Halemaʻumaʻu, these craters are part of a larger volcanic edifice. There are three pit craters including San Fernando, Santiago, Nindiri and San Pedro that occupy the top of a complex of cones at the center of the caldera. The Masaya caldera is about seven miles wide with a large lake at the southeastern end. The last major eruption and lava flow was in 1670, with current activity confined to outgassing and the occasional ash plume.