Billowing ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano dashed travel plans in 2010, but travel to the icebound peak has been booming since that eruption grounded millions across Europe. Volcano tourism is flaring up globally, and Iceland isn’t the only hot spot.
New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro rumbled back to life last August, spurring an uptick in visitors to the long-dormant volcano. On Hawaii’s Big Island, Kilauea volcano recently marked 30 years of nonstop eruption (the longest in recorded history), but after lava started cascading dramatically into the Pacific this winter, visitors began flocking with renewed vigor.
Seeing the caldera lit up at daybreak reminds us that we’re standing on a celestial body and puts our human dramas in perspective,” says Kathleen Hackett, a traveler from California.
Tip: Active volcanoes change constantly. Learn Kilauea’s current top vantages from local park rangers, who get morning briefings, and monitor Tongariro flow updates at doc.govt.nz.
This piece, written by Ilima Loomis, appeared in the June/July 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.