It was once the tallest volcano in Central America, perhaps more than 3000m high, but all that changed on January 20, 1835. In what’s considered the Americas’ most violent eruption since colonization, this hot-blooded peninsular volcano blew off half its height in a single blast that paved the oceans with pumice, left three countries in stifling darkness for days and scattered ash from Mexico to Colombia. What remains today of Volcán Cosigüina reclines, as if spent, the broad and jagged 872m heart of the peninsula.
Beyond all that lies the Golfo de Fonseca, bordered by the largest mangrove stand left in the Americas. In the other direction, around the volcano’s back, Punta Ñata overlooks cliffs that plunge 250m into the sea; beyond lie the Farallones del Consigüina (also known as the Islotes Consigüina), a series of volcanic islets. There are many black-sand beaches around here for DIY exploration.