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TRAVEL TIPS & INTEL

Six Amazing Volcanic Treks from Around the World

Tourists taking photo of flowing lava from Kilauea volcano around Hawaii volcanoes national park, USA.
Sandy Bornstein
Written by Sandy Bornstein

Active, dormant, and extinct volcanoes are found throughout the world. Accessing each location is dependent on many factors. Sometimes, permits are required while in other locations people can drive to the volcano or take a moderate trek to the top. Here are six amazing places you can visit to see how volcanoes have altered the adjacent terrain and changed people’s lives.

Vesuvius National Park, Italy

view-of-naples-from-mt-vesevius

Image via Sandra Bornstein

While most visitors to Naples tour the famous ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, fewer people take the marked path on Mount Vesuvius. Hikers can see where the destructive forces began. On a clear day, you can capture panoramic views of the Bay of Naples, Naples, and part of the Apennine Mountains.

Poás Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

poas-volcano-national-park

Image via Sandra Bornstein

Even though the last eruption period ended decades ago, this volcano continues to emit steam and smoke from its fumaroles. Visitors can periodically see geysers that shoot several feet in the air. A looped hiking trail that goes through a cloud forest connects the visitor center to Mirador del Crater Principal and Mirador Laguna Botos.

Teide National Park, Canary Islands in Spain

mount-teide-on-tenerife

Image via Sandra Bornstein

The oldest and largest Canary Island national park offers a terrain filled with craters, volcanoes, eroded rock fields, vents, and petrified lava rivers. All of the landforms stand in the shadow of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak. If you want to reach the peak, plan ahead. Purchase an online cable car ticket or arrange for a hiking permit. If there’s not enough time to explore Mount Teide, hike around Pared de La Caldera de Las Cañadas

Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales, Chile

osorno volcano-in-chile

Image via Sandra Bornstein

Chile’s first national park is the home to three notable volcanoes — Osorno, Tronador, and Puntiagudo. The road leading to the Osorno Volcano borders the Llanquihue Lake. Follow a series of switchbacks that end at the small Osorno Ski Resort. The volcano region can be explored via trails and a chairlift. A glacier currently covers the top of this volcano.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii

Lava flow at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Millions of years ago, volcanoes formed the islands of Hawaii. Today, visitors can safely see an active volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near Hilo. With 150 miles of hiking trails, trekkers can experience the ecological diversity caused by an erupting volcano and motorists can take the 10.6-mile Crater Rim Drive to see the Kilauea Caldera.

Haleakalā National Park is on the nearby island of Maui. The main draw is one of the world’s largest dormant volcanic craters. At the summit, hikers can choose from short treks to multi-day overnight endeavors. Due to its popular sunrises, a reservation is now required to book your spot between 3:00 and 7:00 a.m.

Traveling Tips

Be prepared for variable weather conditions. An increase in elevation oftentimes causes a drop in temperature. In some locations, unexpected rain and snow can occur year round. Wear appropriate hiking shoes, bring a waterproof jacket with a hood, and plenty of water. Most volcanoes are in remote locations with limited resources. It’s advisable to have snacks on hand. Always head out with a full tank of gas.

Can you share your favorite volcano destination?

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About the author

Sandy Bornstein

Sandy Bornstein

Sandy Bornstein lived as an expat in India. Her award-winning memoir, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, highlights what she learned as the only American teacher at an international Bangalore school. After living abroad, Sandy continues to explore the world and write about her travels. You can follow Sandy's adventures at www.sandrabornstein.com.

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