Hiking Telica Volcano without a tour guide.

In Destinations, Nicaragua, Telica Volcano by Freestyle4 Comments

Telica Volcano is one of the greatest accents of wild Nicaragua. Let me tell you about one of the best adventures – hiking Telica alone! Having doubts will you manage to climb this volcano without a tour guide?? We also had doubts! Especially after few information on internet. But yes it’s absolutely possible – if you’re feeling insecure to go alone it’s time to use incredible internet for downloading gps trail – this is  a solution what we found. This will make you stay safe and explore the world without a tour guide, which is the greatest adventure for me.

Hiking Telica Volcano without a tour guide?

We searched different blogs for information whether it’s possible to climb Telica volcano without a tour guide. We mostly heard it’s not easy to find the way up. I can tell you it’s doable and not that hard as considered. Here you’ll find some very useful tips how to climb it alone. Yes we did download gps track to be sure not to miss the right way for few reasons:

  • have never before climbed such long and not attend volcano,
  • you need around 4 hours to reach the top – so there’s no too much time to wander around,
  • locals told us the track is not maintained and it’s easy to get lost.

It’s all true but there are many signs and directions on the way, so if you don’t miss them, you will easily get tot he top. I also did a photo documentation of all the signs. Maybe the trail is not regularly maintained but it’s quite clear and visible, except the way through the fields.

How to get to Telica Volcano?

You need to get to San Jacinto by a local bus. There’s a bus stop near the village, it’s best to ask a driver for Telica Volcano and he will show you which way to go after getting off from the bus. If you travel from Leon to San Jacinto you need to go to the other side of the street, there’s a small village and you need to go through it. There’s a map on your left, it’s good to take a photo of it. You’ll see the “hot springs” with boiling mud holes with sulfur, which are probably connected to the volcano. This is really unbelievable place. Children playing just next to the boiling sulfur holes, where the smoke covers the landscape and you cannot stand the terrible smell. 🙂 You should leave boiling mud fields on your left.

Now it’s important you go through the barbed wire – this is your trail! Later on you’ll see another volcano – Santa Carla on your left.

Santa Carla

Later on when going through the fields you’ll have Telica on your right side. There are hundreds of stories how long takes to get to the top of Telica Volcano. We are in a quite good shape and we did it in one day, alone, in a terrible heat.

The trick is to stick to the following signs:

  • look out for a red ribbon – it’s tied on the trees
  • follow the horse shit!
  • painted directions on the rocks/stones
  • there are many signs on the ground made from branches









The horse shit is the best signs you can find. The horses usually carry the gear and water for the groups staying overnight. If you walk and don’t notice those signs it means you’re on the wrong track. There are plenty of other tracks and it’s not always obvious which one is the right one.

You should be seeing this view when on the right track.

Camping in Telica Volcano.

There are night tours to Telica Volcano which offer sleeping under the tent. We heard it’s really an amazing experience and opportunity to watch lava during the night or wild animals (spiders, scorpions). 🙂 We were hoping it will be possible to rent a tent after we reach the top but there was nobody except 3 local guys selling a bear and coconuts 🙂 On the way down we met a group with a tourist guide climbing the volcano for a night camping. The horse was carrying all the equipment for the whole group. The rest was carrying wood to set up a fireplace.

How long takes to get to Telica Volcano?

We started at 8 am. It took us 4-5 hours to hike 10 km to reach the top. The trail is not too hard but last 1,5 hour is quite steep. You will need 3 liters of water per person if you walk in the middle of dry season. Don’t be scared of the lizards sneaking through your way and if you’re lucky you’ll also meet snake. Last 30% of the road there are no crossings so it’s not possible to miss the way. The view on the top of the crater is stunning. There are holes in the bottom of the crater where you can see the flowing lava. This crater is 100 meters deep. Remember Telica is Nicaragua’s most active volcano. It’s often covered with sulfur ash and gas but it’s possible to stay without masks.

This was one of the most amazing treks I did in my life!


  1. Thanks for the great post!! I am planning on doing this trip in April. We are a group of four, all of use experienced in volcano hiking and camping up to 4000m… we were told the hike can be made without a guide (not recommended) but if we wanna stay overnight its TOTALLY FORBIDDEN doing it on your own… do you know something about this? Is there anyone controlling? We have professional gear and would carry it on our own (as several times before on other volcanos and mountains).

    Many thanks for your answer!

  2. Author

    Hi Christian! Thanks for writing and sorry for late response!
    I was thinking a lot in regards to you question. We did not hear any information that staying alone at the top of Telica is forbidden and I don’t think there are people controlling area at the top. When you enter the area you need to pay a fee and sign some kind of a regulation form. I cannot remember now whether it says anything about staying alone over night. But it might be though because of the safety reasons. Tour guides not only set up a camp over the night but also a fireplace. So they probably want to avoid not instructed singles do the same as it might become really dangerous. Obviously you need to remember there is a possibility to bump into a spider or a snake.
    But if you’ve done it before several times I assume with the right equipment everything should be fine. So stay safe and good luck with your trip.
    I’m sure you’re gonna have an amazing hike!
    If you have any more question, shoot whenever you need.

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