Not everything in the world can make sense. I know that sounds pretty ambiguous but just hear me out. I often hear adventurers romanticize some adventurers and feel even my own eyes light up just hearing about how their heart and soul went into a feat. Meanwhile, I have also come across those who’s simple question is, but why? Why would they do that? Now I guess both schools of thought have their own thinking and reasoning in place, so, instead of questioning it, I just choose to accept it; not everything in the world can make sense.
I think trekking up volcanoes is one such thing. Again, there are some volcanoes that are dormant, sit prettily in parks with nice walkways leading up to them, so, you think what’s the big deal? But hey, there are also relatively active volcanoes that one has to reach with tremendous effort not just physically but also in terms of being cautious about where they’re going. This is because the areas around volcanoes can present many surprises of their own and ah, they aren’t always pleasant! So, whether it is a walk in the park for you or a matter of adventure, surely trekking up a volcano leaves all our minds quite intrigued. So, if you’re wondering which volcano treks from around the world are the best in terms of their scenic beauty, then we have them lined up (in no particular order) right here, for you!
Arenal, Costa Rica
How to reach: Fly down to San Jose and from there the volcano sits in a national park named after it, just 80kms away.
Best time to visit: September and October
Approximate Altitude: 5,400 feet
Aging about 7,500 years old, which is quite young geologically speaking, makes this volcano quite the youthful belle of the volcanic ball! It had remained dormant for ages till well within the 1960s until one day suddenly in 1968 it suddenly lashed out with lava. People were injured and the small town of Tabacon standing at the volcano’s west even got horribly destroyed. Yet, a town to its east, the El Burio walked away safely. In fact, it remained completely untouched! So, it earned for itself the name of “La Fortuna” or the Fortunate One. While the volcano had remained active, tourists could from a distance see the unique sight of seeing hot red lava drip town the mountain top like veins or tears. Fortunately, for the sake of those living close by, the volcano became dormant once again in 2012 and there has been so detected molten activity since then. Thus, the activity that has started is of trekking up!
How to reach: Fly down to Manila and from there you can take a bus till Pinatubo.
Best time to visit: End of October to May
Approximate Altitude: 4,875 feet
What occurred here was the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century! But don’t worry, it has not erupted since the year 1998. With sand and rocks covering the terrain all the way, you are reminded of its history of coming to life thanks to a volcanic eruption. There’s even a canyon like wall made purely out of ash. But the key attraction, has to the Crater Lake. The clearing in the area was caused by the eruption and over the years, the monsoon rainfall has lent water to it which has made it quite the majestic sight. The trek is for about a rough distance of 7kms one way and is taken to soak in this view, well and good. Tucked between green grassy bits, the lake is made that much more scenic making this volcanic trek that much more beautiful as well.
Mount Bromo, Indonesia
How to reach: Fly into the Juanda airport at Surabaya and from there book a taxi to take you uptil your destination.
Best time to visit: April to October
Approximate Altitude: 7,641 feet
Surreal, enthralling, magical… the more I read about people’s experience of trekking up and catching a glimpse of Mount Bromo, the more I came across words that all suggest it to be the kind that leaves people awestruck. Especially one Google search and you will see all kinds of photos where the clouds seem to be floating below the mouth of the volcano, floating right in front of you. And, if its beauty wasn’t enough, in an unexpected turn of events there is also an idol of Lord Ganesha found at the top of the trek! Indonesia is known to heavily Hindu and thus, it shouldn’t quite come as a surprise that as per folklore a saint made the idol of Lord Ganesha at the top of this peak, using volcanic stones, some 700 years ago. This belt of area in Indonesia is home to 141 volcanoes out of which 130 are active to this day. As for you, if you’re visiting Indonesia and fascinated by volcanic treks, Mount Rinjani is another beautiful one that you can find in this country.
How to reach: Reach Reykjavik and from there drive down till Eyjafjallajökull
Best time to visit: September and October
Approximate Altitude: 5,466 feet
Coming to this Icelandic beauty in particular, I think it isn’t the volcano alone but its effects on the surrounding landscape as well which makes this for quite a visually stimulating experience. Here’s a volcano covered in ice caps for the most part which then go on to act as sources for high-altitude glacial streams too. The volcano’s complicated name can actually be broken into 3 simple and self-explanatory aspects from the language, “eyja” meaning island, “fjalla” meaning mountain and “jokull” meaning glacier, so altogether it comes to signify “glacier on island mountains” and how better could one possibly explain this wonder. The hike is a relatively demanding one and takes about 8 hours one way, so, make sure to start early on this day. And if you’re thinking its going to be a long walk back from the top, then hey, some companies even let you ski your way down!
Mount Stromboli, Italy
How to reach: You can fly down to Naples or Sicily and from there catch a ferry till the island.
Best time to visit: April to June, September
Approximate Altitude: 3,038 feet
It’s going to get red hot, real soon! The hike up to this one is a steep and tiring one so be prepared. Also, an important restriction placed here is on the number of people allowed up in a day, so, make sure to get your booking done in an orderly fashion. The steep trek sees you making your way through thick vegetation that turns nice and green. But the biggest reward for your eyes is that of the craters which let out steam with booming noises. And, not just steam. Yes, here’s a chance to see the fiery red actually seep out of the active craters! These are nature’s very own fireworks and your jaw shall drop open. To ensure safety, not only permits but an accompanying guide is also mandatory over here. And its worth it because what you shall see, oh, your eyes would never want to miss out on that chance
Have you ever trekked up a volcano? Which one?!