8 volcanoes to visit

I’m a little bit obsessed with volcanoes. I don’t know why, I just am. I guess because Australia hasn’t had any active volcanoes for thousands of year and I just find the idea of an active volcano so fascinating. Maybe it’s the adrenaline junkie in me that craves a little bit of adventure and danger in my travels.

In the past year, I’ve been to a lot of volcanoes. Some are active, some are dormant – and one was a mud volcano. Here’s a guide to my favourite volcanoes around the world.

Concepcion Volcano, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

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For a volcano that will test you physically as well as offer great views, head to Concepcion Volcano on Nicaragua’s Ometepe Island.

It’s a steep, sweaty climb but you get great views of the whole island from up top and stare down into a sulphur smoke emitting volcanic crater.

The return hike takes about eight hours including lunch and photo stops.

But the view at the top is totally worth the burning calves and sweat soaked clothes.

Kiluaea Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii

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You can hike the lava lake created by the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Kilauea Iki hike starts in humid forest before descending into a flat and exposed lava lake.

It’s an easy hike that only takes a couple of hours and is a great introduction to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Before or after your hike, check out the Halema‘uma‘u Crater and the Thurston Lava Tube. It’s worth seeing the Halema‘uma‘u Crater during both the day and night. At night, the crater glows red from the lava in its base.

Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii

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The Haleakala Volcano is best to check out at sunrise – it offers one of the best sunrises I’ve seen, even though it gets really cold up there!

It was great to drive up the winding road of the mountain in the dark when the stars were still out and shining brightly due to the lack of light pollution up there. It was beautiful to  watch as the sun rose up from behind the crater above the clouds. You’re 3000 metres above sea level up here!

It was even better when the crowds had cleared out as the sky lit up further and you were pretty much on your own taking in the view of the crater.

El Tutomo Mud Volcano, Cartagena, Colombia

For a volcano of a different kind (and an addition to your most random travel experiences), head to Cartagena in Colombia to check out the El Totumo Mud Volcano. You can bathe in the volcano’s warm, dense mud and get a massage from locals while floating in the mud. As you can see from the photo, it was actually hilarious in a random kind of way.

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Thrihnukagigur Volcano, Iceland

The appeal of this particular volcano is you can go inside it.  The Thrihnukagigur Volcano (try saying that one!) is located about a 40 minute drive from Iceland’s capital Reyjkavik. It last erupted about 4,000 years ago and left behind a hollow crater.

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The Inside the Volcano tour includes a 45 minute hike from the carpark up to the side of the crater, then you’re lowered inside to have a look around.

A fantastic experience and one for the bucket list.

Agua and Pacaya Volcanoes, Antigua, Guatemala

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You can see the Agua Volcano from most places in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, looming majestically over the beautiful colonial buildings. Next to the Agua Volcano is the Pacaya Volcano, which is highly active and regularly spews out lava.

You can hike both of these volcanoes for great views of Antigua and other volcanoes.

Mt Etna, Catania, Italy

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One of the world’s most active volcanoes is Mt Etna, located on Sicily’s east coast just outside the city of Catania. This is one of the more accessible volcanoes with a number of tours offered suited for all fitness levels.

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