Paul and I went for a guided hike up Mombacho volcano. It was a nice day, and it was a good hike up to the top. On the way we stopped at a coffee plantation which was fair trade, organic and even designed to provide wildlife corridors for animals that live on the volcano. The coffee plantation also provided tasty free samples for passers by. This definitely reminded me of the importance of always buying fair trade products.
The forest at the top was very dense, and so biodiverse that the bromeliads in the trees even host whole insect communities in their watery stores. Some species are completely endemic to the area - and only found on forest reserves on the volcano. We heard and saw howler monkeys, heard toucans and some other birds and also saw red eyed tree frogs. They were hard to spot, the first thing we found was their eggs, which drip off leaves into the water below. At night the red eyed tree frog exhibits its colourful underbelly and bright eyes. But during the day, it sensibly keeps these hidden, blending in with its scenery.
From the top of Mombacho, we got great views of the surrounding area, Cocibolca the largest lake in central america - it (unusually for a lake) has fresh water sharks! As well as this we saw a steam vent from the volcano (its dormant, but still has a little bit of activity rumbling away).
On our walk back down the volcano, we saw another group of howler monkeys, this time they were closer so we got a good view of them. They were curious about us too, and peered at us through the branches. Overall, it was a great day, and if you get a chance to visit Mombacho volcano, although there is a road, walking right to the top is the most enjoyable way to experience the mountain.