Volcano tours are really interesting and for those people who are hiking freaks, climbing a volcano is a real treat. Well, you need to be a bit above the normal level of being fit, but it’s not an impossible job to reach till the crater of a volcano. And in case of active volcanoes, it’s an awesome experience capturing moments of lava flowing and the fireworks. It’s better to be in a group rather than being on your own while you plan to conquer some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
We have studied thirty volcanoes, both active and extinct, including the method it takes to climb their peaks. You may trek or take a helicopter tour or even a hot air balloon, but climbing the top of a snow-capped mountain with your legs is simply thrilling. If you are planning to conquer the danger-prone zone, it’s better to know how to be technically equipped with all mountaineering gears.
Carrying high-calorie chocolate and water is a must. You can take a guide or not, but your determination is the greatest motivation to conquer the great structures. In case, you are not eager to conquer the top; you can enjoy the picturesque scenario and capture some breathtaking volcano moments.
30 ARENAL VOLCANO, COSTA RICA
There are several trails leading to the closest safe observatory point which is actually the perimeter of the volcanic caldera. The trails include the El Silencio trail, Los Tucanes, and Arenal volcano national park, which is the observatory at Los Lagos.
The hot springs at Tabacon are at high risk of being in the danger zone. If you prefer seeing the volcanic crater, you are suggested to go to Paos Volcano. All hotels situated in this place have plans in case a major eruption occurs. The crater of the volcano from the observation point is worth seeing. (Source: Entercostarica.com)
29 COTOPAXI, EcUADOR
Cotopaxi is referred to as the second highest active volcano in Ecuador, and it’s nearly conical in shape. It tends to attract the highest number of visitors in Ecuador. It’s nearly 19,347 feet tall, and it’s considered relatively simple to climb the top of the mountain. But climbing Cotopaxi is considered a very technical climb and certain gears are necessary for climbing it safely.
The summit which is about 480 meters wide is known as Yanasacha or black rock in the Quechua language. As you climb, you will smell sulfur and fumaroles that come from the crater. It’s essential to be acclimatized to climb this stretch. But avoid it if you have any AMS symptoms. (Source: Summitpost.org)
28 ERTA ALE, ETHIOPIA
Erta Ale having an altitude of 613 meters is the largest basaltic volcano in the central-northern part of Ethiopia. The volcano is framed from persistent lava lake which was active during the early part of the 1960’s. The volcano consists of elliptical crater flanged by steep-sided pit craters on the sides. You can enjoy the adventurous journey of hiking this volcanic caldera by getting a permit from Danakil and thereby driving to Lake Afrera where you can enjoy hot springs and have lunch on the way. You will enjoy overnight camping and also dinner.
Your journey starts and ends in Addis Ababa. Best is if you can travel in groups of six people. You will need 700$ for this trip, and it might reduce if the number of people is more. Enjoy hiking this volcano and picturesque scenery around. (Source: Volcanodiscovery.com)
27 EYJAFJALLAJOKULL VOLCANO, ICELAND
Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland is a towering glacier-capped stratovolcano which is one of the famous volcanoes of today. The volcano erupted in 2010 and spewed molten lava after being a dormant volcano for 180 years.
In case you are planning to climb this mountain, you will have to start from Keflavik airport, reach the famous Golden circle, and then climb the looming volcano. You will enjoy the thundering waterfalls, blue lagoons, and Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark. Experience goosebumps while enjoying this journey. (Source: Icelandtravel.is)
26 KRAKATOA, INDONESIA
Climbing Krakatoa volcano is an exciting experience as it’s one of the most fascinating volcanoes in the world. You will enjoy a reef of a kaleidoscope of colors that play in red, green, orange and blues. The volcano last erupted in 1883 is a famous tourist destination.
The volcano is 813 meters above sea level and is situated in the Sundae Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. You may start your trip from Ujung Kulong National Park and then proceed towards the Peucang island. While climbing the volcanic caldera, you will view the ash-filled landscape and the smell of sulfur. (Source: Tripadvisor.com)
25 MARUM VOLCANO, AMBRYM, VANUATU
Ambrym is a volcanic island situated in the Malampa province. It’s a massive basaltic volcano with a 12 km wide caldera, which is a result of a huge Plinian eruption that took place at around 50 AD. It’s called the jewel of the Pacific.
The Ambrym volcano erupts violently, and lava lakes appear regularly in Benbow. The volcano summit is a caldera covering 100 km. The active crater of Marum is more accessible and located next to the cone. You need to get there from Craig Cove airfield and thereby follow the various routes to reach the crater of the volcano. (Source: Summitpost.org)
24 MASAYA VOLCANO, NICARAGUA
The Masaya volcano is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions of Nicaragua. The volcano park offers a night sight which is very popular among the visitors, and there is a lava lake that can be appreciated from the crater border.
Once you reach there for your tourism purpose, you will see various wild animals like deer, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, opossums, iguana and monkeys. You will no doubt enjoy hiking to the crater of the volcano, but since the road is steep, a good and dry condition is necessary to climb up. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
23 MAYON VOLCANO, PHILIPPINES
The Mayon volcano is an active stratovolcano situated in the province of Albay and Bicol region, located in the island of Luzon, Philippines. Mayon volcano erupted in 1814, and that was the time when it had been the most destructive.
To reach the volcano, you need to rent an airplane from Caticlan airport to the Legaspi city. Take a ferry to Bacolod and from there a regular boat to Cebu. From Cebu, you can fly to Legaspi and then you will finally reach your destination. Experts say that if you climb the Mayon Volcano, you are submitting yourself to some very real danger. (Source: Tripadvisor.com)
22 MOUNT ASO, JAPAN
Mount Aso is the greatest active volcano in Japan. It was active for almost four decades but never posed any threat to the people around. You can climb the Aso volcano in Japan which is almost a two-day trip.
You may start from Shinjuku and then get off at Kawaguchiko station. You will need to ascent slowly till you reach the summit. It is a popular trip and for anyone who does it, it definitely stays in their memory for the rest of their lives. (Source: Willerexpress.com)
21 MOUNT BATUR, INDONESIA
Mount Batur is situated in Indonesia and located at the center of two concentric calderas. The caldera also contains a caldera lake. On the inside of the caldera lies the lake Batur. There is constant basaltic lava that flows from the summit and the flank vents too.
If you want to hike the Mount Batur, then it will cost you 60$. You can start from Ubud, and then it will take two hours from Seminyak, and after that, it will take 1.5 to 2 hours to hike to the top of the mountain. You can spend another two hours wandering, taking photographs and then climb down in two hours. (Source: Wearetravelgirls.com)
20 MOUNT CLEVELAND, ALASKA
It’s a nearly symmetrical stratovolcano found on the western end of Chuginadak Island. This volcanic mountain is 1730 meters above sea level and located 490 km from the west end of Aleutian arc.
If you want to climb Mount Cleveland, you may use motorized transport to the trailhead, cruise the Waterton Lake and then stroll North along the broad stony ridge and finally, ascent the Cleveland summit, which is marked by a small cairn above the big drop. You will enjoy the superb weather. You may follow the GPS track as you saddle back. Enjoy camping at the site and then come back with a cherishable memory. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
19 MOUNT EREBUS, ANTARCTICA
Mount Erebus, the active volcano is situated on Ross Island, Antarctica. The tent is like a four corner tepee model.
If you want to hike this, then you better be in a group. Your journey will start in New Zealand. Be ready to be geared up to the extreme in order to complete your journey. It’s a tough challenge to climb up the rough terrain but it comes with a great satisfaction too. Your first stop will be Fang glacier camp from where you have to take a flight to lower Erebus. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
18 MOUNT ETNA, SICILY, ITALY
Outside Catania in Otaku, Italy, there stands the 11,000 ft tall volcano which used to be the largest active volcano of Europe. Mount Etna erupted last in 425 BC. Looks like the volcano is safe to travel despite its frequent activity.
In case you want to visit the place, take a bus from Catania’s railway station that reaches the parking lot at Rifugio Sapienza. You may use the cable car to reach Mount Etna and then finally hike along the number of trails that reaches the top. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
17 MOUNT KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA
Mount Kilimanjaro is situated in Tanzania, East Africa which has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. The base of the mountain is 5895 meters above sea level. Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano and is the highest peak of Africa.
If you have decided to climb the rooftop of Africa, then you need to start from Moshi or the foothills. Reach the national park from where you have access to hike the bounty mountain. You will simply love the sight as you ascent and finally reach the top, which takes a lot of vigor. Don't forget to enjoy the flora and fauna on the way. (Source: Ultimatekilimanjaro.com)
16 MOUNT MERAPI, INDONESIA
Mount Merapi is an active stratovolcano present in between Central Java and Yogyakarta province in Indonesia. You can see smoke from the emerging mountaintop which had several eruptions and caused fatalities in the past. It had erupted in 2006 and after that in 2010.
If you plan to climb Mount Merapi, then get to the city of Jogjakarta and then you can book tours for the hike. The hike requires 6-8 hours but depends on your fitness level. Although it’s not the toughest mountain, it requires a moderate amount of fitness to climb Merapi mountain. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
15 MOUNT NYAMURAGIRA, CONGO
Mount Nyamuragira is an active volcano which is located in the Virunga mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It erupted most recently in January 2010 and November 2011. It's located about 25 km north of Lake Kivu and is responsible for a larger portion of sulfur dioxide which gets released into the atmosphere by the volcanos.
Since the volcano is active, it is not open to tourists. Bamboo forests surround the place. At the volcano base, there is the city of Goma. Very few people could actually reach the summit of Nyamuragira, and the temperatures always remain below freezing level. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
14 MOUNT PINATUBO, PHILIPPINES
Present in the Zambales Mountains is a stratovolcano which is located in the tripoint boundary of Philippines province. It last erupted in the year 1991 which was accompanied by the arrival of Typhoon Yunya that brought a lethal mix of ash and rain.
The mountain stands 2,300 meters above sea level. If you want to trek the mountain, you should commence your journey from Manila to Tarlac. You may ride a four-wheeled drive to enjoy the rough terrain. After a great deal of trekking, you will reach the Pinatubo’s crater. Enjoy climbing the mountain. (Source: Atbp.ph)
13 MOUNT RINJANI, INDONESIA
Mount Rinjani is the 2nd highest active volcano situated in the island of Lombok in Indonesia. The caldera of 8.5 km is present at the top of the volcano, and it contains hot springs. The mountain erupted three times in May 2010. The volcano and caldera is a part of the Gunung Rinjani National Park.
If you plan on trekking the mountain, which is 3,726 meters above sea level, you avail the roadway or even enjoy a hot balloon ride. Once you have succeeded in the difficult hike, you can expect the descent to be a smooth one. You can start from Sembalun and spend two or three nights at Mount Rinjani. For your safety, it’s always better to take a guide for your tour. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
12 MOUNT ST. HELENS, WASHINGTON
This volcanic mountain which is 8,300ft tall offers more than 200 miles of trail. If you have set your mind for a trail, you will find beautiful scenic points among the rock and ashes. You will be amazed to find gorgeous waterfalls, canyons and emerging glacier along with some caves. There are some trails meant for the hikers with skill level ranging from naïve to expert.
You can even take a wheelchair to hike to the Loowit trail. The hike to the summit is not really an easy job, but reaching the top does not take much in terms of technical skills. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
11 MOUNT VESUVIUS, ITALY
Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy is a place which attracts a lot of tourists. The world’s most famous volcano last erupted in 1944.
If you would like to climb the Vesuvius, then it would cost you 10Euros per head. You will see steam rising from both parts of the crater, and you can smell sulfur. The profound views and spectacular history will enthrall you. Start from the nearest railway station at Ercolano Scavi from where minibus and taxis take 25 minutes to reach the volcanic area. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
10 MOUNT YASUR, VANUATU
Mount Yasur is a volcano that is situated in Tanna islands, Vanuatu at around 1184 feet above sea level. It is a notable tourist attraction. Mount Yasur has been erupting for the last 800 years.
The eruptions can occur several times an hour, and the government created a (0-4) level system that makes sure that the visitors are safe. If the level reads 4, then it sends a warning that indicates it’s dangerous to be on Tanna Islands. There are organized groups who conduct regular tours to Yasur in Tanna islands. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
9 NGAURUHOE VOLCANO, NEW ZEALAND
Ngauruhoe Volcano, an active stratovolcano in New Zealand and is made from the layers of lava and tephra. It’s the youngest vent situated in Tongariro volcanic complex in the central plateau of the North Island.
It erupted about 2,500 years ago and 45 times since the 20th century. Hikers and mountaineers having an alternate trajectory will opt for the multiday Tongariro Alpine circuit. The climbing challenge starts from the Waihohonu hut which is away from the desert road. You will enjoy ice flows and need to carry ice axes and crampon ropes for trekking purposes. (Source: Theculturetrip.com)
8 NISYROS, GREECE
Nisyros in Greece is a well-known and the least active volcano found between Kos and Tilos. Its 8 km in diameter and is dotted with villages all around. The caldera is 3 km wide with active fumaroles and hot gases that bubbles through the mud and also hot springs.
The island is approachable by ferry from Kos, Tilos, Leros, and Piraeus. Boats from Kos leave from Kardamena that takes hardly 2 Euros. There are frequent short bus trips from the crater that approaches the port of Mandraki. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
7 PACAYA VOLCANO, GUATEMALA
Mount Pacaya is just a two-hour drive from Antigua, and you can climb it only with the help of a guide. You have to opt for a horse ride to the top for just $40. Do not forget to pack chocolates and graham crackers for the trip once you set for the hike.
Your guide might give you marshmallows which you can roast on the fumaroles. Although the volcano erupts regularly, it leaves only ashes, but it never spills any dangerous lava to your hiking trail. Be happy to see the ashes around, but never expect to see the lava spill out. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
6 PITON DE LA FOURNAISE
Piton de la Fournaise is an incredibly active volcano which lies at 2,632 meters above sea level. It is located in the Reunion Islands, which is a French Department in the Indian Ocean.
You may access the very active caldera which is intermittent, but there is the presence of a good forestry road that connects the highway to the plains. There is no prominent paths or public transports to the main volcanic area. Commercial travel agents offer 9-day walking tour to reunion islands. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
5 SAKURAJIMA, JAPAN
Sakurajima is an active volcano situated in the former island of Kagoshima in Kyushu, Japan. The 1914 eruptions were the most powerful destructions of the twentieth century.
Kita Dake, which is Sakurajima’s highest peak is 3665 ft above sea level. If you plan to visit here, then you need to get to the train station and from there ride another bus for sightseeing. You can clearly witness smoke coming out from the volcano while you are still on the ferry. You can opt for a foot bath while on the way to the volcano. It’s truly an amazing sight. (Source: Tripadvisor.com)
4 STROMBOLI, ITALY
Mount Stromboli is an active volcano, 924-meters above sea level. The volcano is known for its continuous explosive activity. The last explosion occurred in 2009. Although it has a modest size, you will find it difficult to climb the summit.
You might require six hours to view the mountain properly. Three hours are needed to climb up, one hour for sight-seeing and another one hour to climb down. You may avail guided trips to the summit starting from the Sciara. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
3 VILLARRICA VOLCANO, CHILE
Villarrica is one of Chile’s most active volcano which rises above the lake. Its lava is of a basaltic andesitic composition which has active lava lake with a crater. Ejection of incandescent pyroclasts and lava occurs in the volcano.
It erupted in 1964, 1971 and then 2015. To climb Villarrica, you have to start from Pucon. You can use a chairlift for hiking. Once you reach the Volcan Villarica’s cinder cone, you will leave visible footprints. You will reach the top with great skills and must be equipped with all mountaineering gears. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
2 VOLCAN DE COLIMA, MEXICO
Volcan de Colima, which is 12,533 feet above sea level is a part of the Colima Volcanic complex. It erupted more than 40 times since 1576. One of the most devastating eruptions occurred in 1913.
If you wish to climb the mountain, then you should take a package of one or two days. You will be required to ride a dirt road until the Joya camping grounds. From there, it’s 4-5 hours of hiking to the top and then the same to get back. You can search the website that will provide you with the necessary information you need. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)
1 WHITE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Also known as Whakaari, it is New Zealand’s only active volcano that is present in the country’s Bay of Plenty. The eruptions have produced lava flows and gas. Only ten percent of the volcano is visible above sea level; you may easily see the crater without hiking up the steep rails.
To get to the island, you will have to sign a guided tour contract. Your guide will lead you to the colorful topography of the crater and lake; you will find ample opportunity to take snaps that will surely be applauded in your Instagram account. (Sources: Travelandleisure.com, Matadornetwork.com, Theguardian.com)