Across the globe, active volcanoes serve as a reminder of the power of nature! Feared, revered and misunderstood, volcanoes have played a starring role in the creation of the planet we live on today. Whilst some volcanoes are famous for the chaos they have caused, others are known for their incredible beauty. Indeed, visiting a volcano is an unforgettable experience and there are many active volcanoes you can get up close to if you know where to find them! So, if you’ve always wanted to uncover the fiery origins of our planet, here are some of the active volcanoes around the world that you can actually visit today!
One of the world’s most notorious volcanoes, Eyjafjallajökull caused major disruption across Europe when it erupted in 2010. Releasing an enormous ash cloud, the volcano grounded European airlines for almost six days. An ice-cap volcano, Eyjafjallajökull stands at 1,651 metres above sea level. Considered highly unpredictable, adventurous travellers can actually visit this active volcano through jeep and helicopter tours, whilst a 7-8 hour hike leads visitors to the summit. Alternatively, the visitor centre in Hvolsvöllur allows you to learn more about the volcano whilst keeping a safe distance.
Mount Vesuvius, Italy
Of all the active volcanoes around the world, Mount Vesuvius is the most famous. Burying the city of Pompeii in ash during the eruption of 79 AD, Vesuvius is mainland Europe’s only active volcano. Within easy reach of the vibrant city of Naples, the Vesuvius National Park offers 11 different hiking trails. Getting up close to this potentially catastrophic volcano is, undoubtedly, an exciting experience, and hikers can even reach the summit and peer into its smoking crater. On the other hand, exploring the ancient city of Pompeii is an alternative way to appreciate the power of Vesuvius!
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without admiring the majestic beauty of the Arenal Volcano. Located in the rainforested interior, this active volcano last erupted in 2010, although near-constant rumblings remind us that nature is truly unpredictable! Whilst summiting the volcano is forbidden, the Arenal National Park offers dozens of hiking routes to appreciate the lava tubes and views of the volcano from a safe distance. Measuring 1,670 metres high at its peak, the Arenal Volcano is the source of a number of nearby hot springs, and the area has become known as a sought-after travel and spa destination.
Nestled in the Ecuadorian Andes, Cotopaxi is one of the most active volcanoes in the world! Furthermore, it’s also the second-highest peak in Ecuador. Almost perfectly symmetrical and always snow-capped, experienced and enthusiastic hikers can reach the summit with the help of a specialised guide. The surrounding Cotopaxi National Park boasts fantastic views of the volcano, as well as beautiful grasslands and a variety of Andean wildlife. Head to the park’s Enchanted Valley to view volcanic mudflows from the volcano’s past eruptions.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Instantly recognisable as a symbol of Japanese culture, Mount Fuji is one of the world’s most famous active volcanoes. The tallest mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji is one of the country’s top tourist destinations. After all, who wouldn’t want to snap a photo of this beautiful, perfectly conical volcano? If you’ve always dreamt of summiting this volcano, the climbing season is between July and September, a popular time for pilgrimages to this sacred mountain. Of course, the most iconic view of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed at Lake Kawaguchiko. One of Fuji’s five lakes, the views from Lake Kawaguchiko are particularly spectacular during the cherry blossom season!
Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Located in East Java, Mount Bromo is within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Famous for its spectacular sunrise views, hiking trips to its crater are a popular activity. Departing early in the morning, these guided hikes reach the summit just as the sun is rising, a truly epic sight! Although the peak is 2,329 meters high, the route is considered relatively easy and only takes around 45-minutes. Furthermore, this mighty volcano plays an important role in local traditions and religious beliefs, with pilgrimages taking place throughout the year. Of course, this is still an active volcano, and eruptions are frequent and unpredictable. Nevertheless, coming face-to-face with Mount Bromo is an unforgettable highlight of any trip to Indonesia!
Volcan de Fuego, Guatemala
The ‘Volcano of Fire’, Volcan de Fuego is Guatemala’s most active volcano. The near-constant rumbling of this volcano spew ash and smoke into the air around every 15-20 minutes. The last major eruption occurred in 2018. Nevertheless, adventurous types continue to visit this intriguing mountain, located just 16-kilometres west of Antigua Guatemala. A challenging hiking route is available for the most physically prepared visitors. But, reaching the top is not possible due to the volcano’s frequent eruptions. On the other hand, for unobstructed views of Volcan de Fuego, the best choice is to hike to the summit of the nearby Volcano Acatenango.
Undoubtedly, there is something curious and irresistible about the power and unpredictability of the world’s active volcanoes. If you’re looking to add a little adventure to your next vacation, discover our selection of globe-trotting itineraries: