Eye-catching Volcán San Cristóbal (1745m), the tallest volcano in Nicaragua, streams gray smoke from its smooth cone. Achieving the summit of this beauty is a serious hike: six to eight hours up, and three hours down. A guide is highly recommended, as access is difficult and dangerous and requires crossing private property. The volcano is very active, with two large eruptions at the end of 2012.
There are several other volcanic structures worth seeing here, including El Chonco (715m), an inactive volcanic plug contiguous with San Cristóbal, and nearby Moyotepe, a small crater lake at 917m accessible from the Chinandega–Somotillo road.