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Thats the farthest we could drive with our 4+tonne rear wheel drive Sprinter. Road gets a lot rougher and steeper from here. Its rough road all the way from last turnoff but its getting even rougher after this point. Easy walk up tho the to grater. Started 2:30 at night and had plenty of time looking red volcano before the sunrise. 7,5km return hike from here and prox 4 hours. The hiking trail is marked in Maps.me app and easy to follow. Its scary up in top in dark. You will hear the volcano roaring before you see the red magma in the bottom of the crater. No costs involved and drive up to this point is doable in 2wd. We are 3.45m high and it was some places challenging. Anything under 3 meters in hight would be easy.
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Here’s everything I wish I had known before riding to Telica Volcano to camp on my own. I read all the iOverlander reports, and also asked tour organizers in León, and it was still pretty unclear what this trip would entail, and made for a pretty difficult adventure.
You access the volcano from Nic 3, map to Centro Recreativo el Primo (on iOverlander & Google). To reach this is a few miles of sand road. I was on an adventure motorcycle, and this stretch was ok for me, the sand was mostly compacted. But if you struggle here, do not keep going! This is the easiest part, and things get much more difficult if you try to head up the volcano. At this center is a clear sign now that says Telica 8km.
The first 4km of this are ok, similar to the bottom a mix of sand, silt, some rock and more elevation gain. That’s probably around this pin. After that point things get steeper, and about 2 km from the trail, is an incredibly silty hill. Not sure how it would be in a car or 4x4, but getting up it on my bike was extremely challenging. In the rainy season I can’t even imagine, it would be awful.
Eventually you get to a very obvious parking lot area where you can access the volcano. The trail goes straight up from by the pit toilet. There is an upper parking spot at the base of the volcano and a lower spot slightly hidden in the trees. This is where I intended to camp, however when the tour groups showed up, they advised me it was not safe to camp here alone. Not sure that would apply to people in pairs or with a roof tent, but they thought solo with a tent it was a bad idea and told me to continue to a ranch 1 km further. If I had to do it over again, I would book a tour and not try to go alone. If you have a solid 4x4, are on a small motorcycle (250cc or less) with good tires and a buddy, it might be a different story. The volcano is stunning, and it’s nice to see it at sunrise or sunset but going from León with a tour would probably be much nicer.Report Check-In
Road very muddy and narrow with some steep winding sections. Only locals were getting up to the top when we went, there was lots of rain. Got as far as we could before tucking in to the trees to camp for the night.Report Check-In
We camped in our Ford E150 van for 1 night under the big tree. If the green boom gate is down then you can just manually lift it to pass. A few friendly locals on horseback passed us throughout the late afternoon and evening. No fee. Very quiet and peaceful. No problem getting our van here although need to take it slowly given the condition of the roads and how narrow they are. Trying to pass oncoming traffic can be tricky but we always found enough space to do so. I think it would've been possible to get our van all the way to the trailhead, but decided not to take the chance. Only took us an hour and a half to hike to the crater. No lava or red glow visible, but made for a beautiful sunrise, which we had all to ourselves.Report Check-In
Perfect place to park up for the night to hike the volcano. Really quiet and felt really safe. pretty much the furthest you can drive without a 4wd, pretty rough rd in. from here its only about an hour hike to the top of the volcanoReport Check-In
Thats the farthest we could drive with our 4+tonne rear wheel drive Sprinter. Road gets a lot rougher and steeper from here. Its rough road all the way from last turnoff, but its getting even rougher after this point. Easy walk up to the crater. Started 2:30 at night and had plenty of time looking red volcano before the sunrise. 7,5km return hike from here and prox 4 hours. The hiking trail is marked in Maps.me app and easy to follow. Its scary up on top in dark. You will hear the volcano roaring before you see the red lava boiling in the bottom of the crater. No costs involved and drive up to this point is doable in 2wd. We are 3.45m high and it was some places challenging. Anything under 3 meters in hight would be so much easier. Anything wider then 2,10m would not fit trough in some places. Co-driver had to jump out in couple of places to guide us trough. Parking under massive tree. There is 3 fincas scattered around this end of that road. Two 12 year olds came to chat as we arrived and where just curious about tourists wandering around in their "back yard".Report Check-In