What is it about volcanoes? They are stunning, dangerous, worshiped and feared. When I travel, I’m always looking for activities that will put me near one of these marvels of Mother Earth. Volcanoes offer unique adventures, interesting wildlife and if you’re lucky…some smoking hot lava.
Here are 6 volcanoes worth a visit:
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
You’ve already set your sights on trekking through Africa? How about a visit to Mount Kilimanjaro? Kili has one of the most accessible high summits is calling your name. Nothing could be more outside your comfort zone, but go ahead and take one of the guided treks up the volcano and stay at one of the many huts and campsites overnight. Make sure you visit the stunning Chala Crater Lake on the mountain’s southeast side. Best time to go is December through February.
Mauna Loa, Hawaii
There are so many amazing reasons to plan a vacation to Hawaii. Aside from the gorgeous beaches and golf courses, you’ll find a number of volcanoes that highlight the unique geography of the Islands. Rising about 2.5 miles above sea level is Mauna Loa. It is by far the largest volcano anywhere on Earth, measuring 56,000 from base to summit. It’s also one of your best chances of experiencing an active volcano, having erupted 33 times since 1843.
The Maelifell Volcano, Iceland
This gets my vote for one of the most captivating landscapes on the planet. The Maelifell Volcano rises about 650 fit above scenery that could only be found on Iceland. It’s located on the edge of Myrdalsjökull Glacier and has a almost a perfect green, moss-covered cone. The area surrounding the volcano provides you with a fun checklist of things to do. Spend some time in Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park, which is full of waterfalls, hot springs and amazing vistas to photograph and enjoy.
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Similar to Hawaii, Costa Rica is a great place to plan a relaxing vacation with a side of adventure. The Arenal is an impressive, symmetrical shaped volcano providing a stunning backdrop for sight-seeing in north-western Costa Rica. It is a magnet adventure-seekers, offering dozens of fun outdoor activities. Standing at 5,300 ft, it was Costa Rica’s most active volcano and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world until 2010. Be sure to visit Arenal Volcano National Park to do some rafting, take a dip in the hot springs, or rappel down a waterfall.
Mayon Volcano, Philippines
The Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon. Rising more than 8 thousand feet from the shores of the Gulf of Albay, its “perfect cone” is the main landmark of Albay Province. Trekking through the area surrounding the volcano, you can see the Cagawa Ruins which are the remnants of an 18th century church that was destroyed by an eruption in 1814. The park and ruins are a must-see, but be careful around the volcano, a surprise eruption happens from time to time. The last eruption occurred in May of 2013.
Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Japan
The majestic and awe-inspiring Mount Fuji is located about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo. You have to go at least once to see the tallest mountain (12,355 ft.) in all of Japan. From Tokyo, the Kawaguchiko-Yoshidaguchi Trail is the most popular and easily accessible, as well as the least steep. It’s a good idea to time your ascent so that you can see the sunrise from the summit. Also, Mount Fuji can sometimes be cloaked behind a wall of clouds and your chances of seeing the mountain clearly are highest during the early morning hours.