The Volcanoes of Indonesia
Imagine standing in a distance that is close enough to witness a majestic volcanic eruption. Feel the rushing heartbeat and exhilaration as you see the rocks and molten lava bursting out of the volcano. You take out your camera and take a few snaps of the surreal experience. Little did you know, you have just taken one of the best travel pictures in your life.
Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is blessed with fertile lands and amazing volcanoes. There are more than 160 active and dormant volcanoes making Indonesia the country with the most volcanoes in the world. Some of the volcanoes in Indonesia are responsible for some of the most catastrophic eruption in the human history.
Witnessing a volcanic eruption is not your everyday travel itinerary. A sense of adventure, at least, is needed to get you going.
Here are some of the active volcanoes in Indonesia:
Lake Toba, North Sumatra
It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Indonesia and it is also a supervolcano. 100 km long, 30 km wide and 505 meters at its deepest point, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world.
According to Toba Catastrophe theory, the human beings were at the brink of extinction when an eruption took place at Lake Toba 74,000 years ago. It is said to be the largest explosive volcanic eruption within the last 25 million years bringing the human population down to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs. The eruption brought 6 years of volcanic winter. This massive environmental changes caused extinctions to isolated human species except for those that became modern human beings.
Lake Toba attracts thousands of visitors each year. Cool breeze, great view and the culture are the main attractions here.Lake Toba
Krakatau & Anak Krakatau, Sunda Strait
Estimated to be 10,000 times more powerful than the “Little Boy” Hiroshima bomb, Krakatau largest volcanic eruption happened on August 26, 1883. It is recorded as the most violent volcanic events in the modern history and caused global effects.
Tsunamis from the blast travelled as far as South Africa and the explosion was distinctly heard from Perth and Mauritius. The famous painting of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch is said to be based on the global effect caused by the eruption.The Scream
Nowadays, local tour operators guide curious and daring adventure travelers on a regular trip to see Anak Krakatau, Krakatau legacy.Anak Krakatau
Mount Bromo, East Java
As a part of the Tengger Highlands, Mount Bromo is probably one of the most enchanting peaks in Indonesia. Mount Bromo is one of those places where you can get the feeling seeing the end of the world. It is surrounded by a vast plain of sand sea.
Several eruptions took place in Mount Bromo with no major catastrophic effect. It is a highly popular destination for local and foreign tourists. Witnessing the sun rising at Mount Bromo is an unforgettable experience.The end of the world at Mount Bromo
Mount Tambora, Nusa Tenggara
With the last non-explosive eruption recorded in 1967, Tambora eruption in 1815 causes a global climate anomaly. “Year without a summer” is the name given to year 1816. The reason is because countries in the northern hemisphere suffered from changes in the weather due to sulfur released into the stratosphere by Mount Tambora, one year after the eruption.
Mount Tambora eruption column reached into the stratosphere and ash particles stayed in the atmosphere up to a few years, causing the second coldest weather in the northern hemisphere since 1400. Crops were failing and snow was falling during the summer time in some part of North America. Starvation caused by the failing crops is the major cause of death in this tragedy.
Mount Tambora is now part of a famous trekking expedition in the Nusa Tenggara region, along with Mount Rinjani in Lombok Island.Mount Tambora
Mount Merapi, Central Java
Dubbed as “The Most Active Volcano in Indonesia”, Mount Merapi is one of the 16 Decade Volcanoes. It has erupted regularly since 1548 with the largest explosion took place in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake.
Looking at the constant volcanic activity, you wouldn’t imagine people living nearby Mount Merapi. It is actually located very close to Yogyakarta where millions of people live. There are even villages with thousands of people living in Mount Merapi vicinity.Overlooking Mount Merapi from Borubudur
There are many other volcanoes in Indonesia, such as Mount Merapi, Semeru, Lake Tondano, which offer an exhilarating trekking and travel experience like the one you’ve never had before. It ranges from easy trek, like Mount Bromo, to the ones that is more challenging, like Mount Tambora.
As I’ve said before, trekking an active volcano is not an everyday travel itinerary, however, your effort is going to be well worth it! This may well just be the dream vacation you’re looking for.
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