In some cultures across the world, volcanoes are regarded as sacred, and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Volcanoes tend to erupt when the hot lava escapes from the magma chamber below the surface of the earth. Magma is usually formed where there is the puling of the tectonic plates. It rises up to the earth’s surface, ruptures the crust, and then the fiery lava flows down.
In the past ten years, it was observed that there had been a boom in the sector of volcano tourism, whereby millions of tourists visit both active and dormant volcanoes. There are about 1500 active volcanoes worldwide that have attracted daredevils, and this has consequently given rise to sectors such as adventure tourism. Many of these volcano enthusiasts are called ‘lava chasers’ who enjoy taking legendary pictures of the volcanoes. If one wants to witness the rage of mother nature and enjoy a thrilling volcano hike, then check out these unique volcanoes that are worth visiting.
Mauna Kea - Island of Hawaiʻi
The locals in the Big Island call this sacred volcano Mauna O Wakea (Mountain of Wakea), which is the firstborn child of Wakea (Sky Father) and Papahānaumoku (Earth Mother) in Hawaiian mythology. Situated in the north center of the Big Island, this dormant volcano is titled the second-highest volcano peak on earth, reaching 14,000 feet. The last time Mauna Kea erupted was some 4500 years ago. Back in time, the ancient Hawaiians lived on the slopes of the volcano and highly relied on the forests for food. Currently, visitors can book a tour and stargaze at the visitor’s center. It’s a perfect spot to watch meteor showers. There is also the renowned Mauna Kea Observatory which is equipped with 13 large telescopes. It is here that the first Super-Planet was discovered.
Mount Bromo - Indonesia
Besides its sublime beaches and cultural sites, Indonesia is also known for its famous Mount Bromo, an active Somma volcano tucked in East Java right at the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. A Somma volcano is a volcanic caldera partially filled by a new central cone. The height of the volcano peak is about 2,329 meters ( 7,641 feet). Historically speaking, this volcanic site was once used as a sacrificial area by the ancient deities in Indonesian mythology. Today, visitors can catch a beautiful glimpse of the sunrise or sunset views. Some were also able to see the Milky Way during the dry season.
Mount Teide- Tenerife
Tenerife is the land of the Guanches, who were the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands in the first millennium BC. The island is not only visited for its beaches or cultural events like the Carnaval de Santa Cruz but it is also visited for its iconic landmark, notably Mount Teide. Located in the middle of the island, the 12,000 feet volcano is the highest volcano in Spanish territory. There are many myths relating to this volcano. It is believed that the Greek historian Herodotus called it ‘the Pillar of Heaven,’ while others would regard it as one of the ancient remnants of the sunken Atlantis. Interestingly, the volcano is surrounded by the UNESCO site Teide National Park which is one of the key highlights of the attraction. There is also the Teide Observatory, which is an important international astronomical observatory perched on the slopes of the mountain.
- How To Reach: The easiest way to reach the summit is by taking the cable car up to the top station. The ticket costs $42.
Krenitsyn Volcano - Kuril Islands of Onekotan
Nestled in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean near the Kuril Islands, the Krenitsyn volcano is a surreal volcano that stands majestically in the center of Lake Koltsevoye. It is an active volcano on the Onekotan island, which was inhabited by the Ainu indigenous people, who eventually left the place for its inhospitable nature. Hikers will have to bring a machete to hack through the dense vegetation to get up to the rim of the caldera Tao-Rusyr. Along the way, one can still spot the indigenous huts. Another way of exploring the area is by sailing around Lake Koltsevoye through a motorboat.
- Lowest Point: 1640 feet
- Highest Point: 4344 feet
Mount Etna - Sicily
Mount Etna is the most active stratovolcano in the world, situated on the eastern coast of Sicily in Italy. A stratovolcano (also called a composite volcano) is basically a conical volcano that has been built up by many layers of hardened lava and tephra. Over the years, this volcanic region has been mostly visited by volcano enthusiasts who can access the 9580 feet summit by driving, cycling, or taking a cable car. The beautiful landscape here is harmoniously contrasted by the white snowcapped mountain, ash-colored desert, and fertile land sprawled with green vineyards and forests. There are many hiking trails, but those choosing a leisurely tour can opt for the Circumetnea Railway, which is a three-hour trip.
- Highest Point: 10,912 feet