We have been lucky enough to have seen some of the most amazing places on our travels. From dense jungles to high mountains, we have been overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the world. But there is something particularly striking about volcanoes that stands out in our memories.
These fiery giants have captivated humans for centuries, inspiring myths and legends and shaping the landscapes around them. From the majestic Mount Fuji in Japan to the awe-inspiring Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, there are countless volcanoes worth seeing.
Here we’ll be sharing our top 14 favorite stunning volcanoes around the world, each with its own remarkable features and stunning beauty.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Perhaps the most iconic of all volcanoes, Mt. Fuji has long been revered by the Japanese as a sacred mountain. Standing at 12,388 feet tall, it’s the highest mountain in Japan and has inspired countless works of art and literature.
To ascend Mount Fuji, it’s best to plan your visit for July and August, when the weather is most favorable, and the walking routes are open. As the trek takes a full day and is a popular one, it’s best to start early in the morning.
Alternatively, if your aim is to admire Mount Fuji from afar or capture it in photos with its trademark white-capped peak, the ideal time to visit is during the winter months from November until the end of February after snowfall has occurred.
Height: 3,776 meters (12,389 ft)
Last Eruption: 1707
Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Located in East Java, Mount Bromo is part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Standing at 7,641 feet tall, it’s not the tallest volcano on this list, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in sheer beauty.
Visitors can watch the sunrise over the volcano from the nearby viewpoint, or even hike to the top for a more up-close view.
Height: 2,329 meters (7,641 ft)
Last eruption: 2016
Erta Ale, Ethiopia
Located in northeastern Ethiopia, the Danakil Depression is home to the active and dangerous Erta Ale shield volcano. But despite the risks, it is also one of the most fascinating places on Earth, with its bubbling lava, steaming vents and otherworldly landscape.
It’s possible to take a guided tour to the crater rim, but you should be aware of the potential dangers. With its spectacular view and exciting atmosphere, Mount Yasur is an unforgettable experience.
Last Eruption: January 2016
Height: 361 m (1,184 ft)
Mount Etna, Italy
The largest and most active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna towers over the eastern coast of Sicily. Eruptions have been recorded here since ancient times, and the volcano continues to be one of the most closely monitored in the world.
Ascending Mount Etna carries inherent risk, as even when it’s not in the midst of a full eruption, smoke may still billow out unpredictably. Due to the unpredictable nature of some volcanoes, such as Mount Etna, there is no guarantee of complete safety.
Nonetheless, during the winter months, the slopes of Mount Etna transform into a ski resort, presenting an excellent opportunity for skiing enthusiasts to make the most of their trip.
Height: 3,357 meters (11,014 ft)
Last Eruption: 2022 – with constant ongoing eruptions
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is an impressive dormant stratovolcano located in Tanzania, Africa. It stands at an impressive 19,341 feet tall, making it the highest mountain in the continent. There are a variety of paths up to the summit, with the most popular being the Marangu Route. Although not technically a volcano, it still offers a unique and challenging climb for those looking for an adventure.
For a photography adventure in Kilimanjaro National Park, the optimal time to visit is during the dry season from July to October. It’s best to avoid the rainy months of March, April, and May when cloud coverage obscures the peak from view.
If your goal is to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro and trek to the summit, the months with the most favorable weather conditions are June through October.
Height: 4,900 meters (16,000 ft)
Last eruption: 360,000 years ago (extinct volcano)
Mauna Loa, Hawaii
Mauna Loa, situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the largest active volcano on the planet when considering its sheer volume. Not only that, it is also one of the most active volcanoes, with its most recent eruption occurring in 1984. Those who make the excursion to the peak of the volcano, which stands at 13,678 feet, can take part in a guided tour.
Last eruption: November 27, 2022
Height: 4,169 m (13678 ft)
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano is a majestic sight located in northern Costa Rica. Its cone-shaped peak stands tall amongst the surrounding rainforest and offers visitors an incredible view of the landscape. From 1968 to 2010, Arenal experienced an eruption that ranks as the tenth longest-lasting volcanic eruption on Earth since 1750.
Height: 1,633 meters (5,358 ft)
Last eruption: 2010
Mount Yasur, Vanuatu
Mount Yasur is an iconic landmark located on the remote Pacific island of Tanna in Vanuatu. It’s one of the most accessible and continuously active volcanoes in the world, offering a spectacular front-row view of eruptions from its crater rim.
You can drive right up to the base of the volcano and take a short hike up to the crater rim, where they can witness the incredible power of the volcano in action.
Height: 361 meters (1,184 ft)
Last eruption: January 2016
Cotopaxi, situated in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, stands tall at 19,347 feet, making it one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. Its visually striking features include a snow-capped peak and high-altitude grasslands surrounding it, creating a dramatic and breathtaking backdrop.
The best time to climb and visit Cotopaxi is during the dry season from June to September, as these months offer the most favorable weather conditions. During this time, the skies are typically clearer, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Height: 5,897 meters (19347 ft)
Last Eruption: January 2016
Mount St. Helens, USA
Located in the beautiful state of Washington in the United States, Mount St. Helens is an incredible destination for all nature lovers! Its infamous eruption of 1980 left a lasting impression on the world, but today it is a place of scenic beauty and wonder.
With trails leading to the crater rim, visitors have the opportunity to witness breathtaking views of the surrounding area. At the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, people can learn more about the volcano’s history and geology, making it a perfect spot for adventurous hikers and curious minds alike.
Height: 2,549 meters (8363 ft)
Last eruption: March 8, 2005
Taal Volcano, Philippines
Located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Taal Volcano is a complex of overlapping cones and craters situated within a lake. It’s one of the most active volcanoes in the country and has had numerous eruptions throughout history. Visitors can take a boat ride across the lake and hike up to the crater rim for a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape.
Height: 311 meters (1,020 feet)
Last eruption: March 26, 2022
Eyjafjallajökull, a glacier-covered volcano in southern Iceland, is perhaps best known for its 2010 eruption which caused massive travel disruptions when it closed European airspace. For those wishing to explore this magnificent natural wonder, there are several ways to do so.
You can take a scenic hike to the base of the volcano, or rather opt for a thrilling helicopter tour to get an incredible bird’s-eye view of the majestic icy landscape.
Last Eruption: 2010
Height: 1,651 meters (5,417 ft)
Mayon Volcano, Philippines
Also located in the Philippines, Mayon Volcano is known for its near-perfect cone shape and frequent eruptions. Despite its danger, it’s a popular tourist attraction and offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and ATV tours.
Last Eruption: 2018
Height: 2,463meters (8,081 ft)
Villarrica Volcano, Chile
Located in the Chilean Andes, Villarrica Volcano is an active stratovolcano, offering visitors the unique opportunity to hike to its crater, where they can witness spectacular lava flows and fumaroles.
During the winter months, tourists can also enjoy skiing or snowboarding on the slopes of the beautiful volcano. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed!
Last Eruption: 1985
Height: 2,860 m (9,380 ft)
In conclusion, the world is home to a vast array of stunning volcanoes that attract tourists from all over the globe. From the towering peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Cotopaxi to the fiery eruptions of Mount Yasur and Mount Etna, each volcano offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience.
Whether you are seeking adventure and excitement or simply wish to admire the raw power and beauty of nature, a visit to one of these stunning volcanoes is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to witness some of the most incredible geological wonders on the planet.
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