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Volcano surfing: Head to Nicaragua for a travel experience you’ll never forget

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Volcano surfing is one of Nicaragua's most popular tourist excursions
Volcano surfing is one of Nicaragua's most popular tourist excursions   -   Copyright  Getty Images
By Ben Anthony Horton

At 728 metres tall, Cerro Negro is one of Nicaragua’s most active volcanoes, with dark layers of ash and sand coating its rock-strewn slopes.

The last significant eruption was in 1999, and many fear that another could be due any day now. But far from causing alarm, the area has become a haven for thrill seeking tourists eager to try their hand at the country’s favourite pastime.

“It's the only place in the world where you can go boarding on an active volcano,” says Lesther Centeno, a tour guide from the Central American nation.

The extreme sport on Cerro Negro dates back to 2006, when locals first tried their hand at the unique art of sandboarding. There are now over 12 tour operators who run excursions to the site, allowing visitors the opportunity to surf the slopes of this ashen paradise.

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Cerro Negro is one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, with 23 eruptions in the last 150 yearsGetty Images

"The slide down the volcano is very fast, very dangerous, but a lot of fun," says Anna Müller, a 27-year-old tourist from Germany.

She paid €27 for the experience, which includes transportation, a protective suit and the all-important sandboard.

Leaving a trail of dust in her wake, Anna descends the volcano’s crater in under 40 seconds.

"It's the best human experience you can feel,” she smiles, climbing to her feet at the bottom.

“The beginning is a bit tiring, but when you get to the top and come down, it's perfect and you can’t wait to go again.”

Watch the video above to find out more about volcano surfing.

Video editor • Ben Anthony Horton