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  • Top 5 most exciting volcanoes in the world

    Pompei

    Pompei

    Think back of all the times when you’ve seen volcanoes in movies, and you’ll probably notice that they are rarely a benign presence in the plot. Unwary travelers find themselves in the way of a murderous torrent of lava, or are sacrificed to strange deities by scary looking locals.

    Suffice to say, volcanoes have been unjustly represented in films and books, so probably you don’t often find yourself thinking that you fancy visiting a volcano today.

    But despite their infamous reputation, volcanoes more often than not look like impressive mountains with a crater at the top rather than steaming, lava filled geological monsters. So them a chance (they can be really beautiful!) and visit some of the top 5 most exciting volcanoes in the world.

    Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Kilimanjaro, photo by Koen Muurling

    The tallest mountain in Africa is actually a dormant volcano with three cones ( Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira) and it is one of those ‘friendly’ volcanoes that won’t even bat an eye at all the trekkers climbing to the top.

    So you won’t see any hot lava on the six different trekking routes, but you will encounter tropical forests, moorlands, buffaloes, elephants and even some leopards.

    Mount Taranaki, New Zealand

    Mount Taranaki looks like a child’s drawing of a volcano, that is to say that from some angles, it looks too perfect to be true. Although Taranaki is still active, it is quiescent, so you can trek up its slopes. There are three trails leading partly up the mountain, and the highest you can get is a viewing platform on East Egmont plateau. Taranaki looks very similar to Mount Fuji, which is why some scenes from the movie The Last Samurai were filmed there.

    Mount Vesuvius, Italy

    Vesuvius

    Who hasn’t heard of the infamous volcano that drowned the city of Pompeii under an ocean of volcanic ash in 79 CE? Vesuvius hasn’t lost its aura of danger (it’s the only volcano in Europe to have erupted in the past century), but right now it is quiet, surrounded by a national park and crisscrossed with walking paths.

    Ambrym Volcano, Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

    Ambrym Island has some of the richest jungles in Vanuatu, with 10 meter tall tree ferns and brilliantly colored orchids every way you look, but the most interesting feature of the island is the volcano with its 12 km wide caldera.

    Ambrym is quite active, and even lava lakes can often form on the island, so you might not want get very close to the hot spots, but there are some genuinely beautiful trails in the volcanic area.

    Pinatubo, Luzon, Philippines

    Pinatubo, photo by Ironchefbalara

    Mount Pinatubo is the culprit for the second largest eruption of the 20th century, and the aftermath of the destruction is still plainly visible. But damages aside, the volcano itself is a masterpiece of nature and there’s a seven hour trek leading up to the peak.

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