Did you know there are over 1500 active volcanos around the world? These are mainly in the area referred to as the ring of fire, which runs 40,000 km (25,000 miles) in a horseshoe shape from the south pacific islands such as Tonga to Hawaii via Japan and Indonesia travelling on to North America and Mexico and many others including Antarctica. Volcanoes are one of the most deadly natural phenomena. On Friday past, I had the opportunity to join in a live webinar from London's Natural History Museum with one of their team's volcanologists. It was very informative and inspiring! Did you know you can walk across lava fields, cycle or even see incredible volcanoes in all there wonder from a helicopter?
Earth And It's Volcanoes
Inspired by last Friday's volcano webinar, I would love to share with you some incredible experiences that you can enjoy such as walking across volcano lava fields, helicopter rides over active volcanos and visiting the amazing "living museum" - Galapagos Islands, created between 3 - 5 million years ago above a subducting plate to create the island archipelago. Today Islands are still being formed and older islands being reclaimed back by the Pacific Ocean. You might have heard of Mount Vesuvius with the volcanic tragedy- Pompeii but have you heard of these?
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Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
Did you know you can Volcano Board in Nicaragua? The idea was conceived by the Australian Darryn Webb, who climbed the 2,400-foot high Cerro Negro in 2006 but was looking for a faster way to come down. "He decided to go down the volcano on surfboards, fridge doors, mattresses anything he could find," said Gemma Cope.
Matthew The Expert Vagabond did exactly that here he tells you about his slightly insane experience of volcano boarding in Nicaragua.
Volcano Cycling Tour, Bali
The Indonesian island of Bali is known for its lush green rice paddies, historic temples and sandy beaches. There are also areas with pubs and nightclubs, you can see and buy local handicrafts or take a yoga or meditation retreat.
One of the best ways to explore Bali and see it's incredible scenery is cycling. For those visiting Bali for the first time, you might like to join a cycling tour. There are a few to choose from including the one starting at the base of Mount Batur, one of the worlds most active volcanos, visiting local villages and seeing the iconic rice paddies.
For the more dynamic adventurers, maybe you would prefer a sunrise hike? More than 200 people climb Mount Batur each day to witness the incredible views including that of Caldera Lake. One of the safest and easiest options is the trekking package it includes transportation, guide, entrance fees, light, breakfast and insurance.
Excited to find out more and discover all you need to know about trekking Mount Batur at sunrise? Read the in-depth and informative guide by the Digital Travel Couple.
I love the idea of quad biking Mount Batur and visiting the hot springs. Driving over the black ash, through the lush jungle and local countryside before visiting the hot springs and a coffee plantation. You can find out more here.
Read more about the worlds best cycling routes here.
Volcano Swimming In Australia
Did you know you can even swim in a volcano crater? I had no idea! How cool is that?
Have you done this? Would love to know.
Hawaii's Volcano's and Activities
Hawaii is one of my favourite destinations not just for volcanoes but lots more! Well known as a volcano hotspot from the extinct volcano crater of Haleakalā, Maui to the massive Volcano National Park on the big island. There are loads of incredible opportunities to see and enjoy the Hawaiian volcanos. The big island is constructed of five volcanoes - Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Hualalai and Kohala. Did you know you can walk across the lava fields of the Volcano National Park?
The first volcano of Hawaii Mahukona named after the nearby town was the start of the big island and is also the last volcano to have been discovered! It stopped erupting 350, 000 years ago and now lies 3,770 feet below sea level. The big island is said to have been created by six or possibly even seven volcanoes. The most active is Kilauea, last erupting in 2018 and lies on the south-east of the island.
45 minutes south of Hilo is Volcano National Park home to two of the worlds most active volcanos Kilauea and Maunaloa. Kilauea is called the world's only drive-in volcano!
At the time I visited, I can't recall the visitor centre. We took a taxi from the cruise port to the national park and walked across the lava fields. It was an extraordinary experience walking across the formed lava. Did you know depending on how quickly the lava cools it can form in different ways such as rope lava or ropey pahoehoe? There is also a'a (ah ah) lava which is a nightmare to walk on with its sharp jagged edges. There is also a variety of colours from black to green depending on the air temperature and the chemical composition of the molten magma.
It can be very daunting when you see the warning and danger signs, enter at your own peril!
We walked right through the park, staying to the main route and coming out the other side by the sea where we saw the bright red river of molten lava. As it cooled, setting off a cloud of gas into the air.
Another incredible experience you don't want to miss is taking a Hawaii helicopter tour over the active volcano. Can't recommend it enough.
Haleakala crater is located in Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui it is a staggering 30,183-acre (122.15 km2) park, of which 24,719 acres (100.03 km2) are wilderness. The crater itself is not one of the largest but expressive to see just the same. I hired a car and drove up, wow! Now there is a visitor centre and hiking trails.
You can read more about the adventure to Haleakala with a month old red Corvette convertible and how you can here in wild and wonderful experiences.
Costa Rica Wellbeing Trip
Costa Rica is known for its tucan, coffee and lush rainforests but did you know you can enjoy a wellbeing holiday? Relax and revive in the natural hot springs of La Fortuna. The small town is known as being the gateway to Arenal Volcano National Park. Laced with lava flows, springs, lake and waterfall. Enjoy a romantic evening with ambient lighting soaking in one of the thermal pools, where you can release all the stresses and strains of everyday life. Doesn't this sound incredible? Whisk me there now (wink). Bored already? There are lots of activities to enjoy too! Another not to be missed is Irazu Volcano National park with crater close encounters, viewpoints and local fauna.
Guatemala Volcano Toasting Marshmallows
A country that is high on my travel list is Guatemala. Can you guess why? Chocolate (yum). Join Joanna at The World In My Pocket as she toasts marshmallows, sees sunsets to die for and much more on her hike up Pacaya volcano.
France Hidden Gem Volcano
In the Auvergne region of France lies the extinct volcano Puy Pariou. Created by three lava flows, the last eruption taking place around the 6th century B.C. Today it might be one of the most famous volcanoes, as it's the one associated with Volvic bottled water.
When I saw the distinctive and creative mudflows left behind by the Pinatubo Volcano eruption in 1991 I had to include it. Check them out at Solitary Wanderer.
Looking for more information about visiting Pinatubo? Anita at The Sane Travel has captured a different perspective with Five Things You Need To Know About Trekking Pinatubo.
Cape Verde - The Lost Village of Chãdas Caldeiras
The imposing volcano Pico do Fogo is one of the world's highest at 2,829 metres and most active! It has dominated life and agriculture over the 25 km island. Read Paulina at Paulina On The Road's amazing story and how you can visit The “lost” village of Chãdas Caldeiras.
Tenerife Mount Teide Cable Car
One of the most popular things to do when visiting Tenerife in the Canary Islands is a visit to Mount Teide. The active volcano is the highest point in Spain with an elevation of 3,718 metres above sea level. What is really cool is that you can visit it by cable car. Tickets should be booked in advance as to avoid disappointment. Read how you can Visit Spain's Highest Mountain.
Galapagos Islands - Living Museum
Some might say I have saved the best till last - described as a living museum the Galapagos Islands are a chain of islands formed between three and five million years ago. Today they are home to some of the most unusual inhabitants including the blue-footed boobie, giant tortoise and one of the smallest land lizards - Lava Lizards.
Each island has it's own flora and fauna with distinct character. Isla Fernandina is the third largest and youngest island in the Galapagos archipelago. Forming less than one million years ago, it's named after King Ferdinand of Spain.
The island is covered in the treacherous lava - a'a (ah ah) with its sharp and jagged edges (as seen in the photo below). We managed to come away from the two hikes unscathed, on our day visit from the Celebrity Expedition ship but some were not so lucky.
Read more about the Galapagos and visit by cruise ship.
I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing about these incredible volcanos and awesome experiences. I had no idea when I started to write this, that there are so many incredible volcano adventures! As always, I love to read your comments and answer any questions you may have about the world of travel. You can reach me via social media or send me an email to: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com
Until next time, stay safe and well x
Thanks to everyone who contributed, I couldn't have done this without you.