Arenal is Costa Rica’s best-known volcano — a towering presence in the country’s northern lowlands. Until 2010, when it entered a resting phase, it was also the most active volcano in the country, regularly spewing lava and ash into the skies. While the explosive eruptions are on pause for now, it’s still a spectacular destination, with plenty of activities in the surrounding area. Join this TRIPS by Culture Trip nine-day Jungle Safari of Costa Rica group trip and you’ll even get the opportunity to sleep in a luxury lodge in the small town of La Fortuna at the base of Arenal. The following day, you’ll head out on a wildlife safari through hanging bridges through the lush forests of Arenal, keeping a keen eye out for capuchin monkeys and jaguars.
One of the world’s best-known volcanoes is Mount Etna, an imposing stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily that is also Europe’s most active. The seven Aeolian islands off the north coast of Sicily, however, are another volcanic hotspot worth exploring, with underwater fumaroles, spectacular active volcanoes and a crater-ridden landscape shaped by the forces of the earth. On this TRIPS by Culture Trip tour of Sicily, you’ll get the chance to bounce across the slopes of Etna in a 4×4, view lava spewing from the depths of the earth on the island of Stromboli and visit the geothermal baths of Vulcano, where you can cover yourself in mineral-rich mud.
The Galápagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are best-known for their diversity of animal and plant life, which inspired Charles Darwin’s writings — but there are also 21 volcanoes that form the archipelago, 13 of which are still active. On this TRIPS by Culture Trip Animal Kingdom group tour, you’ll not only get the chance to spot sea lions, sharks and giant tortoises but also to snorkel around Kicker Rock — an extinct volcano that towers above the Pacific — and hike along the lava trails of San Cristóbal Island where you can spot spectacular birdlife.
Ecuador is home to some seriously impressive volcanic terrain — think the emerald-green Quilotoa crater lake and the Avenue of Volcanoes, a long stretch of landscape south of Quito that is home to towering geothermally active peaks, including the 20,565ft (6,268m) Chimborazo. Hike through this incredible landscape on this TRIPS by Culture Trip eight-day loop around Ecuador, which starts in Quito and heads south to the Cotopaxi National Park through the Avenue of Volcanoes before finishing up in the mountain village of Papallacta, where you can relax in natural hot springs. You’ll also get the chance to explore the Amazon and learn how natural essential oils are extracted for medicines and aromatherapy.
Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe — but what it lacks in population it more than makes up for in otherworldly, volcanic landscapes defined by geothermal wonders. In fact, the energy generated by Iceland’s 35 active volcanoes and geothermal vents is used to supply heating to around 85 percent of the country’s homes. From visiting black volcanic beaches and soaking in natural hot springs to exploring the famed Golden Circle — including the Geysir geothermal area — by private super-jeep, this TRIPS by Culture Trip five-day experience takes in all the best attractions in Iceland. You’ll even get to try geothermal baked bread.