Volcano Vacations Around the Globe

  • Big Island, Hawaii
  • Baños, Ecuador
  • Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
  • Sicily, Italy
  • Mount Fuji, Japan
  • Pacaya, Guatemala
  • Tanna Island, Vanuatu
  • St. Pierre, Martinique
  • Mount St. Helens, Washington
  • View of Mt Bromo in East Java

    East Java, Indonesia

    The island of Java in Indonesia was created almost entirely by volcanoes, and the world's most heavily populated island still boils beneath the surface with 45 still active volcanoes. The most famous of Java's volcanic peaks is Mount Bromo, a volcano with a stone staircase leading 253 steps to the top, where visitors can gaze down into the steaming innards of the volcano, as well as take in the panoramic views of the area's many other volcanic peaks.

    Photo courtesy of Kumarn/iStock

  • Big Island, Hawaii

    Big Island, Hawaii

    The Hawaiian archipelago was created by a volcanic hot spot in the Pacific Ocean, and it remains one of the best places in the world to safely witness volcanic activity. In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, lava lovers can walk across vast fields of rippled black lava, explore lava tubes and watch the red hot stuff pour into the sea – creation and destruction at work side by side.

    Photo courtesy of Michael Stubblefield/iStock

  • Baños, Ecuador

    Baños, Ecuador

    The small mountain town of Baños, short for Baños de Agua Santa, sits beneath the shadow of one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, Tungurahua. It's one of the best places on the continent to partake in outdoor adventures – everything from paragliding to canyoning – but tourists also come in hopes of seeing the "Throat of Fire" put on an evening spectacle. Even when Mama Tungu is quiet, visitors can still soak in the thermal waters of the town's natural hot springs.

    Photo courtesy of Ammit/iStock

  • Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

    Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

    As in Ecuador, visitors to Costa Rica come to Lake Arenal – the adventure capital of the country – in hopes of seeing glowing red lava flowing from the near perfect volcanic cone. The 20-mile-long and 9-mile-wide lake receives year round winds from the Caribbean, making it a favored windsurfing spot, perfect for a dose of adrenaline even when the volcano stays quiet.

    Photo courtesy of Colin Young/iStock

  • Mount Etna in the distance

    Sicily, Italy

    On the eastern side of the island of Sicily towers Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano and one of the most active on the planet. There's nearly always smoke billowing from its peak, and if you're lucky, you might catch an explosion in the side of the crater, shooting rock, ash and smoke into the air.

    Photo courtesy of Maui01/iStock

  • Mount Fuji, Japan

    Mount Fuji, Japan

    In a land of mountains, Mount Fuji is Japan's largest, and although the conical volcano is long dormant, it's still quite a sight to behold. Peak baggers from around the globe come to summit the 12,355-foot peak by way of four different ascents, but you certainly don't have to climb the volcano to appreciate its beauty. On a clear day, the views of the almost perfectly symmetrical volcano are jaw dropping.

    Photo courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto/iStock

  • Pacaya, Guatemala

    Pacaya, Guatemala

    Guatemala's most popular volcanic destination sits about 90 minutes outside of Antigua. Pacaya rises some 8,370 feet above the surrounding countryside and is in a near constant state of activity. It's possible to summit the volcano, and from the top, you'll be treated to other worldly views of smoke and gas seeping out of rocks hot to the touch. As darkness falls, you can sometimes see the glow of lava within the volcanic crater.

    Photo courtesy of Oisin Prendiville

  • Mount Yasur eruption

    Tanna Island, Vanuatu

    Vanuatu, a string of islands in the heart of the Pacific's "Ring of Fire," has nine active volcanoes, the most accessible of which is Mount Yasur on Tanna Island. After an extended period of dormancy, the volcano erupted again in 2009, and has been very active ever since. A 15-minute steep climb to the summit puts you on top of the rumbling earth where you can see the glow of magma from within.

    Photo courtesy of K McLean

  • St. Pierre, Martinique

    St. Pierre, Martinique

    Martinique, an island in the French West Indies, is the quintessential island paradise, complete with lush rainforests, colorful wildlife, beautiful beaches and a volcano towering over it all. Montagne Pelée, covered in greenery, most famously erupted in 1902, wiping out the entire population of Saint Pierre. Today, it's much quieter, though we recommend taking in its beauty from a distance.

    Photo courtesy of SlidePix/iStock

  • Mount St. Helens, Washington

    Mount St. Helens, Washington

    A visit to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument – 55 miles north of Portland – allows you to see firsthand the site of the most destructive volcanic eruption in US history. On May 18, 1980, a 36,000-foot plume of smoke shot into the sky – a signal of an eruption that would wipe out a 230-square-mile area. The volcano is still considered active, but the area is generally considered safe enough for some of the best hiking and mountain climbing in the Pacific Northwest.

    Photo courtesy of JPLDesigns/iStock


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