A natural phenomenon even most hardcore travelers never get to see in action, volcanoes are among the world’s most fascinating wonders.
Whether it’s a mountain that blows smoke rings or a majestic, snow-capped peak that’s been dormant for decades, here are some volcanoes that overflow with beauty.
1. Piton de la Fournaise – Reunion Island
Translating appropriately to “Peak of the Furnace,” this very active volcano can be seen via local helicopter tours.
2. Klyuchevskaya Sopka – Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Talk about blowing your top! This volcano, which happens to be the highest in Asia, started spewing in 1697 and erupted as recently as 2011.
3. Anak Krakatau – Indonesia
Anak Krakatau translates to “Child of Krakatoa”, which makes perfect sense given that the island was actually created from volcanic eruptions on the nearby island of Krakatoa.
4. Mount Rainier – Pierce County, Washington
It may look beautiful but Rainier is so dangerous it’s classified as a “Decade Volcano,” a group of 16 volcanoes deemed to be among the world’s most potentially destructive.
5. Kilauea – Hawaii, United States
Thought to be the world’s most active volcano, Kīlauea is said to be inhabited by Pele, Hawaii’s volcano goddess.
6. Mount Egmont – North Island, New Zealand
Although it is located in New Zealand, Mount Egmont, or Mount Taranaki as it’s really named, looks so much like Mt. Fuji that it was used as such in the movie, “The Last Samurai.”
7. Volcan Arenal – Alajuela Provice, Costa Rica
Even though it’s experiencing a dormant period, Arenal’s geothermal activity has resulted in loads of hot springs in the area.
8. Mount Fuji – Japan
If you come to Mount Fuji expecting a show, you’re probably going to be out of luck. This tranquil volcano hasn’t erupted since the 1700s.
9. Mount Stromboli – Stromboli Island, Italy
So active and distinct is this volcano that geologists frequently refer to other volcanoes as being “Strombolian” in nature.
10. Volcan Parinacota – Chile / Bolivia
If the Parinacota Volcano in Lauca National Park isn’t acting up when you visit, amuse yourself by checking out the local wildlife which includes llama, alpaca, and even cougar!
11. Poas Volcano – Costa Rica
While the volcano is certainly impressive, the real attraction here is the area’s famous yellow-green squirrel, which can be found nowhere else in the world.
12. Mount Bromo – East Java, Indonesia
If you visit on the 14th day of the Yadnya Kasada festival, you may see locals throwing everything from fruit and flowers to livestock into the volcano. This tradition of offering sacrifices dates back to the 15th century.
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