Peering into the guts of a volcano is really not something I plan on experiencing, or think calmly about. However, it is an experience that takes both nerves and knees of steel. Most of these incredible volcanic craters you will see today are accessible by foot, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s healthier to admire them from the comfort of your office chair. What do you think?
1. Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia | Intense Volcanic Craters
Mount Bromo sits within the greater Tengger Caldera in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It’s easy to visit Mount Bromo by either foot or Jeep tour. For bonus volcano-ing, visit the national park for views of Mount Semeru, the highest volcano on Java.
2. Kerið, Iceland | Intense Volcane
While many crater lakes are deep within black volcanic rock, the rock around the colorful Kerið Lake in Iceland is a mix of red, brown, and pink. The 3,000-year-old crater sits within the tourist route known as the Golden Circle. Marvelous.
3. Mount Katmai, Katmai National Park, Alaska | Volcanic Craters
The pristine blue crater lake of Mount Katmai sits high atop Alaska at an approximate elevation of 6,700 feet. The crater formed after the stratovolcano, or composite volcano, the largest of its kind in Alaska, erupted in 1912. Strange location, right?
4. Koko Crater, Oahu, Hawaii | Intense Volcanic Craters
Koko Crater on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is a scenic and inviting place, despite sitting within a massive cinder cone volcano. The crater is home to the 60-acre Koko Crater Botanical Garden, where visitors might enjoy stunning views of east Oahu.
5. Taal Volcano, Luzon, Philippines
Lake Taal is located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Within that lake you’ll find Taal Volcano, and atop that volcano you’ll find yet another lake. Incredible.
6. Santa Ana Volcano, Cerro Verde National Park, El Salvador
El Salvador’s highest volcano, also known as Ilamatepec, is crowned by a tiered crater with a small lake at its center. The four-hour trek from Cerro Verde National Park up the volcano offers breathtaking views once you reach the top.
7. Rano Kau Crater, Easter Island, Chile
The Rano Kau crater may not be the most recognizable sight on Easter Island, but it’s a worthwhile reason to make the journey to this remote Chilean island. Located within the UNESCO World Heritage–designated Rapa Nui National Park, the volcano is some 1,000 feet high and its crater more than half a mile wide. Totally worth the trip!
8. Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Formed after the collapse of Mount Mazama around 7,000 years ago, Crater Lake is the well-deserving namesake of Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Reaching more than 1,900 feet at its deepest point, this is the deepest lake in the United States and the ninth deepest in the world. Did you know that?
9. Okama Crater Lake, Honshu, Japan
Japan’s Mount Zao is the most active volcano in northern Honshu. It’s home to Okama, a crater lake measuring 1,200 feet in diameter. Strangely enough, it changes color with the weather.
10. Mount Halla, Jeju Island, South Korea
Rising from the center of Jeju Island is Mount Halla, South Korea’s highest peak. The crater that sits atop this volcano measures 1,300 feet in diameter and contains a glistening lake. Mount Halla is located in Hallasan National Park and its crater is reachable on foot, if you’re up for that kind of thing.