Ever wondered what it’s like to visit a phenomenal volcano, where you’ll get to witness the rage of mother nature. Imagine fiery lava running down the sea or a mountain peak spewing smoke- a nerve-wracking experience that can change your view towards the daunting force of nature. And if you’re ready to spread your daredevil wings to explore new territories, then check out these top volcanic locations around the world below:
Mount Teide- Tenerife
If you happen to visit the volcanic Tenerife island, then you might definitely make a stop at its iconic landmark-Mount Teide. This towering Tenerifian crater of 3, 718 meters (12,199 feet) is situated smack in the center of the island. It is usually referred to as the tenth highest volcano in the world and the highest in the Spanish territory. Teide has been serving as a significant place in the classical era, whereby the Greek historian Herodotus termed it as ‘the Pillar of Heaven’, while others believed it to be an ancient remnant of the sunken Atlantis. Today this 170,000 years volcanic structure has been reduced to form the Las Cañadas caldera. Its topography is mostly parched, and hikers can easily spot the small black ‘boulders’ of obsidian lava known as the Los Huevos del Teide (the eggs of Teide). At the summit, the temperature can easily drop since the peak is partly snowcapped.
Krenitsyn volcano, Kuril islands of Onekotan
Krenitsyn is an ethereal volcano located near the Kuril Islands in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. Standing majestically right in the middle of the Lake Koltsevoye, this Fog Archipelago is not only a hotspot of violent tsunamis but also of geopolitical sensitivities between Russia and Japan (on the territorial dispute over the southernmost Kurils). This place was once inhabited by the indigenous Ainu people who left the place due to its inhospitable nature, and you can still see some of their left-behind huts. But what makes Krenitsyn different is its verdant and enchanting landscapes thanks to the wet weather. This can, in turn, become a challenge for hikers making their way to the lowest point of the volcano at 1640 feet/ 500 meters (its highest peak is at 4344 feet/1324 meters). You will have to be in a good shape to cover the long hiking track (take your machetes with you to hack your way through the dense vegetation) up to the rim of the breathtaking Caldera Tao-Rusyr or sail around the Lake Koltsevoye through a motorboat.
Yellowstone Caldera-Wyoming, USA
Nestled majestically in Yellowstone National Park at the northwest corner of Wyoming in the USA, the 34 miles (54717 meters) by 45 miles (72420 meters) Yellowstone Caldera is one of the most spectacular highlights of the park, which once erupted some 640,000 years ago! This collapsed crater has turned into an expansive boiling hot spring reflecting rainbow-like colors due to the microscopic organisms. These mighty organisms notably the archaea and bacteria, which are thriving in the hot temperature make you question about life on earth, and possible ecosystem thriving elsewhere. The area is not only a peculiar interest for geologists and microbiologists but also for avid travelers as well. The park is packed with over 450 geysers, rock formations, and equally bestowed with waterfalls, luxuriant forests and deep canyons, allowing wildlife to flourish. You can find over 60 mammalian species such as grizzly bears, bison, and gray wolves over here.
This stunning cone-shaped volcano has a staggering height of 1,670 meters (5,358 feet) tucked in the northwestern side of Costa Rica just 90 km (a 3-hour drive) away from the capital San José. This crater C (meaning active to the present day) was last erupted in 1968 wrecking the town of Tabacón. You can still see smoke coming out of the crater which for sure allures many avid visitors and hikers. But the place in itself is a luxuriant spot blessed with hot springs, rivers, Venado caves, waterfalls, and luscious forests, where endemic flora and fauna blossom. The area is also an adventurer paradise where several outdoor activities are organized-trekking, kayaking, rafting, and windsurfing (at the Arenal Lake), you name it.
Mount Etna, Sicily
The iconic landmark of Sicily, the daunting and majestic Mount Etna have captivated many with its untamed nature-spewing fiery lava over the years. Touted as the world’s most active volcano and the highest (with 10,912 feet/3326 meters) in Europe, Etna is the main reason of its contrasting landscape (Parco dell’ Etna) made up of snow-clad mountain top, barren desert, and fertile land sprawled with lush vineyards and forest. Hikers have many trail options depending on the fitness level. Those who prefer a more sedate option to explore the place can take the Circumetnea Railway, which is a three-hour trip.
Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island
This off-the-radar active volcano is located in Reunion-one of the Mascarene Islands of the Indian Ocean. What makes this tiny island special is not its verdant topography (a hiker’s paradise) but also its most active volcano Piton de La Fournaise which is 8635 feet (2632 meters) above sea level. Aged over 530,000 years, the volcano erupts similarly as those found in Hawaii, where basaltic lava flows out at the vent. To explore the breathtaking surroundings you can either hike till the volcano rim or fly over in a helicopter.