Would you visit a volcano — if you knew at any second it could erupt? Some people will respond with an overwhelming “Hell yes!” while others will shake their heads in fear. It all depends on how daring you are and your sense of adventure. How big of a risk-taker are you? If you’re in the Hell yes! group, then you’re in luck. There are active volcanoes you can visit.
First and foremost, is the active volcano in Mount Etna, Italy. It’s located on the eastern coast of Sicily, between the African plate and the Eurasian plate. This volcano is the tallest all throughout Europe, towering at an astonishing 10,922 feet in height. This volcano still has volcanic eruptions, which leave ash and lava spilling over its sides. Only a fraction of the eruptions threaten the residents of Sicily that live at its slopes, while some of its lava rushes into the sea.
The Sakurajima volcano in Japan is also wildly active. It was created over 22,000 years ago. Its eruption in 1914 was the most powerful and dangerous in Japan in the 20th century. This eruption formed a peninsula joining the island to the mainland. Volcanic activity has been near constant in the past 60 years and scientists believe that another eruption is drawing near due to the magna that is building up within the volcano. This volcano is located on the southwestern side of Kyushu Island. When it erupts, lava and magna spill over into Kagoshima, a beach town not too far from the Sakuajima volcano. The most recent eruption began in February, 2016 and still continues.
Also put Kilauea volcano (located in Hawaii) on your list. This is the most active volcano in the world. It rises just over 4,000 feet above sea level, covering up to 14 percent of Hawaii’s Big Island. This is one of the most remarkable volcanoes to watch. The lava flows right into the Pacific Ocean. There are boat tours that will take you directly up to the lava, but use caution. It’s wise to keep a safe distance. This is still an active volcano and its eruptions are unpredictable.
Mount St. Helens
Most everyone has heard of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. What many people have forgotten, however, is the effects of the 1980 eruption that brought its name recognition. This volcano killed 57 people and wiped out hundreds of homes and bridges. It’s well-known for the ash explosions. Yet, this volcano’s eruptions have also been blamed as the root cause for some earthquakes. It’s open to those that want to hike up the volcano. But, get past a certain point and you’ll need a permit. It might just be worth it for the experience.
Finally, Arenal Volcano is located in Costa Rica. This volcano is known for its eruptions of gas and ash. There is a regular eruption each night. Despite this, there is hiking around the volcano that trails through the rainforest. It gives hikers an up-close look at the Costa Rican wildlife. Be sure to heed the posted restrictions; adventurers have died from the toxic gases when they ignored the warning signs and approached to close to the volcano.
Visiting any of these volcanoes will surely give you amazing adventures. Add them to your traveling bucket list and you’ll have a lifetime of memories!