If you plan a trip:
Getting to Leon, Nicaragua: American, Continental, Delta, Spirit and Taca all have flights to the Nicaraguan capital, Managua. From there, one can rent a car or take a bus on the 45-mile trip to Leon.
Where to stay: Many travelers say at the Bigfoot Hostel (www.bigfootnicaragua.com, telephone (505) 8917 8832) where rooms can be had for $7 a night, or many other hostels in Leon. For travelers wanting a more elegant experience, try the El Convento boutique hotel on the site of what was a 17th century convent. Rates vary from $85 to $113 a night. www.elconventonicaragua.com (505) 2311-7053.
How to arrange a volcano-boarding excursion: Bigfoot Nicaragua offers the five-hour tour for $23. Tierra Tours (www.tierratour.com) also offers a five-hour trip that costs $35 each for one or two people, $30 each if the group is larger. In most cases, you will also need to pay a $5 entry fee into the Pilas El Hoyo natural reserve.
ON THE INTERNET
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
Follow Tim Johnson on Twitter