Volcanopalooza 2015: From Sky to Sea

Our last two volcano climbs took us from sky to sea. After leaving Berlin, we were up early once again to drive to Chonchagua Volcano. We met our guides and national police escorts and made our way to the base of the volcano. We hiked up the road about 500 metres until we entered the Chonchagua Protected Area. The park staff had some coffee drying-an interesting mix of both free and ripe coffee berries. We’ve seen coffee growing on most of the volcanoes we’ve climbed.

After a brief rest stop, we climbed along a lovely forested trail to the summit and climbed a fire tower for our first view of Gulf of Fonseca. From the tower, we could see both the island we would be camping on as well as the island that housed our last volcano, Everisto.

Exchanging our bus for a launcha (boat), we motored out to our island home for the night. We passed several fishers along the way and I suspect some of them caught the Sea Bass we had for dinner. After the long, sweaty climb up Conchagua, the sea breezes on the boat were a welcome respite from the heat.

After a gorgeous sunset, we were treated to a delicious dinner of grilled Sea Bass, rice, tortillas, and veggies. The breeze dropped, the temperatures rose, and we all settled in for a long, sweltering night in our tents.

The day dawned with an equally beautiful sunrise. The volcano that the sun is rising above is the highest volcano in Honduras. We were encouraging our outfitter to investigate whether it could also be added to the itinerary. After a Desayuno Tipico (typical breakfast) we took the launcha over to Everisto’s island. We were met on the beach by our local guide de jour and we were delighted that our entire guide team that day were women.

We climbed the village road to go visit some fumerioles (volcanic steam vents) and then returned to the forest to hike in the shade. We visited an old finca (farm) to pick some bananas, oranges, and sapotes (a cross between an avocado and a papaya) for our mid-morning snack. Bellies full, our guides pointed out termite tunnels on trees and poked a few nests so we could see the inner workings. The final climb up Everisto was 250 stairs and the summit had a communications tower.

A few of us climbed even higher on the tower to see the view over to Honduras’ highest volcano before heading down to a seaside restaurant for lunch.

After lunch, we took the launcha back to our first island and then back to the mainland. As we motored back, we had a commanding view of Conchatgua which you can see in the picture over Mike’s shoulder below (we climbed the right hand summit). Motoring back and seeing Conchatgua brought the two days together as we looked from sea to sky.

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