For many, the idea of venturing too close to a volcano might seem to b a crazy thought… And planning a trip particularly to visit a volcano site – active or dormant – a sure sign of insanity! Yet, there are a large number of people who visit volcano sits every year in their quest to discover the true essence of nature – that nurtures, sustains and also destroys.
Volcano tourism is a growing interest among travelers today, and not just among students of geology or geography. A visit to a volcano site gives a close glimpse into what goes underneath the silent mountains and how volcanic activities have destroyed thriving cities over centuries. It also helps one ponder over nature’s balancing mechanisms.
Here is a list of some of the world’s most interesting volcanic sites which are thriving centres of tourism today:
Located ashore the west coast of United States of America, Hawaii is synonymous with paradise-like beautiful beaches. However, Hawaii is also home to Kilauea, one of the most visited volcano sites. Also known as the daddy of accessible active volcanoes, Kilauea receives nearly hundred million tourists every year. The volcano became a tourist attraction beginning around 1840’s when travellers started pouring in to take a first-hand look and stand transfixed by its power.
Today tourism is driven by the island’s exotic tropical locations and the best time to view the volcano is just before dawn. While Hawaii is known globally for its pristine beaches, Kilauea has been attracting tourists from the 19th century. In fact, volcano tourism predates beach tourism in Hawaii by a few decades.
Mount Vesuvius, Italy
The volcano located on the Gulf of Naples in Italy is known to have erupted massively in 79 AD leading to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In fact, a 2014 historical fiction film Pompeii is based on the background of this episode. It is estimated that this explosion released much more thermal energy than the Hiroshima Nagasaki nuclear bombings. It has erupted several times since then and continues to pose a threat. It is currently home to one of the most densely populated volcanic regions, making it a dangerous spot. Most visitors visiting Italy make it a point to visit this Mt Vesuvius.
Soufriere Hills, Carribean
The Soufrière (or sulphur outlet) Hills volcano is another active volcano located in the Caribbean island of Montserrat. This volcano lay dormant for a long period of time and suddenly became active in 1995 since when it has erupted several times, destroying the capital city of Plymouth and rendering a major part of this island unsuitable for habitation. In fact, a majority of the island’s population has left and resettled elsewhere.
This volcano is a hotspot for people visiting Carribean and a fantastic destination for professional or amateur volcanologists and geologists. A visit to this once thriving and densely populated island is a moving experience to see how an island is completely transformed after major volcanic eruptions.
Sierra Negra volcano is located on one of the most active volcanic areas in the world in Ecuador. It has the second largest crater in the world which offers impressive views for visitors. One of the high points of a tour to this volcano is that one can hike the mountain and stand on the rim of the second largest volcanic caldera in the world. The visitors get a close peak into the six mile wide crater and also get an opportunity to trek around the mountain landscape full of lava fields. The latest eruption of this volcano was in 2005.
For all your travel needs, visit: BigBreaks.com