The lava lakes of the world

Incredibly beautiful volcanic lakes and their PHOTOs

Volcanic eruptions are a colorful spectacle, but carry great danger. After eruptions, the mouths of volcanoes are closed by large rocks, volcanic mass, and over time, the crater of the volcano fills with water. The main sources of water are rains, groundwater and meltwater from glaciers. We rush to the tops of volcanoes to view the most beautiful volcanic lakes on our planet. And finally, we’ve posted an interactive map showing all the places mentioned in the article.

Trinity Crater

Trinity Crater.

Maly Semyachik volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula last disturbed the residents of the region in 1952.

At the top of the mountain formed a small lake, named “Green” by researchers on the characteristic color of the water. Particles of sulfur were found in the layers of water, which color the body of water in the original greenish color.

Volcanic lake in Kamchatka was formed around the beginning of the 1940s. Geologists working at the V. D. Troitsky, note periodic increases in the water level in the crater reservoir. For example, in the spring of 2003, the surface of the lake rose by 5 m.



There is an amazingly beautiful place in Karachay-Cherkessia near the Kel-Bashi mountain massif. At the height of 2,830 meters among sharp peaks stretches smooth surface of three beautiful lakes.

They call these lakes “Sofia lakes”, because of the dramatic height of Mount Sofia, which is 3,637 meters, towers above all this splendor. The deepest and the largest one is 17 m deep.

All three reservoirs are connected by small channels, and the water in them is crystal clear, because it is filled with melted water from the glaciers.



In Oregon, about 7,700 years ago, a massive caldera of Mazama Volcano formed and partially filled with water. It is one of the most beautiful lakes of volcanic origin in the United States.

The crater lake amazes tourists with the rich blue hue of the water, as well as its enormous depth. Researchers have found that the bottom is at a depth of 360 meters from the surface.

The lake also has its own attraction, the “Old Man of the Lake”. So the locals call the log, which has been floating in it for more than 100 years, but not horizontally, but in half-sunk position almost vertically.



The last eruption of the Taupo volcano, according to geologists, occurred in 260. A huge caldera after the eruption filled with water. This lake on our website and will continue the list.

Bora Bora Island and Tahiti. Beautiful places in French Polynesia

It is the largest body of water in New Zealand, with a total area of 616 km². Its maximum depth is 144 m. It is the largest freshwater reservoir in the Pacific.

More than 1.2 million tourists visit the rocky shores of the beautiful lake every year. The locals also like to rest here, and in ancient times, the indigenous tribes of the island worshipped the lake as a deity.


In the Indonesian Sumatra in a huge caldera of the volcano Toba at an altitude of 902 m above sea level formed a beautiful lake.

It is 505 m deep and 87 km long. The greatest width is 27 km. Such a size makes it navigable, and tourists are happy to buy tickets for pleasure boats.

Along the banks of the river are scattered villages, where national traditions are still preserved. Attracts tourists to this part of the world and the amazing nature. Thus, the lake became an important target of ethnographic and ecological tourism.



Iceland, a country of volcanoes and geysers, can offer wildlife lovers to visit beautiful lakes in the craters of extinct volcanoes.

The photo shows one of these lakes, called Kerid, in the Grimsne area in the south of the northern and rugged country. Of all the crater formations in this part of the island, it is the youngest. Surrounding the waters of the lake are volcanic deposits of red color.

The unique natural monument, which is about 3 thousand years old, attracts tourists and is included in the tourist itinerary. You can get to him along the mountain road from the town of Selfoss.



Volcano on the island of Flores height of 1,639 m, and in its crater formed an amazing body of water. The three crater lakes differ from each other in size and color of the water.

Each of them has its own special name. The names of the reservoirs are related to the national traditions of the indigenous tribes living in the vicinity of the mountain range.

The locals consider them sacred and believe that the souls of dead ancestors live in their waters. The change of color is associated with the anger or blessing of the spirits.


In the crater of the Icelandic volcano Askja formed a wonderful lake, the waters of which are colored green.

It was formed as a result of a powerful eruption in 1875. After the release of lava, the crater filled with water, and the minerals colored it greenish. The coastal rocks have the same greenish hue.

Seychelles: Dream or Tall Tale?

The Viti is 50 meters below the caldera, and it is only 8 meters deep. The water in it is always warm. You can make movies about other planets in this place, as the scarce nature and the green color of the water and rocks create quite a surreal lifeless landscape.



The caldera of a volcano in Ecuador, 3 km in diameter, is filled with a lake 240 m deep. The edges of the crater rise up to 400 m above the water surface.

Around the lake rise unusually shaped domes formed by lava during eruptions. Such lakes of volcanic origin have fumaroles, peculiar cracks in the crater and on the slopes of the volcano.

In the eastern part of the crater there are hot springs and the water contains products of mineral deposits. Quilotoa is a popular tourist destination in Ecuador.



Lava lakes are a unique natural wonder. One of them is located in the crater of a volcano in northeastern Ethiopia.

The African volcano has been periodically active since 1967, with red-hot lava flowing out of its crater lake. Because of this, the level of the lake is constantly changing. In recent decades its level has risen by 30 meters.

Due to the activity and overflow, explosive emissions of red-hot lava droplets occur. Scientists and residents of nearby settlements periodically observe such emissions since November 2010.



There are lakes in the craters of meteorites that have fallen to Earth. A striking example of such a reservoir is Pingualuit crater (Pingualuit) in the province of Quebec, Canada. There are some in Russia as well. On the vast, snow-covered Anadyr plateau of Chukotka, the crater lake is spread out. Difficult to pronounce the name in the Chukchi language means “White Lake”.

It was formed about 3.5 million years ago, and was first described by Soviet researcher Sergei Obruchev. Water filled the impact crater, although for a long time it was thought that it was of volcanic origin. The water columns are home to fish, including the dangerous predator Boganida palia.

The meteoritic origin was proven by Russian geologists who drilled a hole under 225 meters of lake sediments in 2008.



It is known to the world as Heavenly Lake, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Of all the reservoirs listed above, it is the highest, as its surface extends to a height of 2,189 meters.

The Algarve, Portugal - the infinity of the sea

It was formed in the caldera of Mount Pektusan on the very border of China and North Korea. In China, Cheongji is part of a unique nature reserve.

In the clear water you can see the little inhabitants – the River Malma fish. The Erdaobaikhe River flows out of the lake, forming a beautiful waterfall nearby in a mountain gorge.

By the way, there is an interesting article about the highest volcanoes on our website



A natural landmark in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture was formed on a mountain as a result of a strong volcanic eruption.

“Lake of five colors” changes the color of the water depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Ocama is 3,690 m in diameter and has a maximum depth of 62 m.

One of the most beautiful volcanic lakes in the world is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Zao mountain range. Because of this, it got its name Okama, which means “cauldron” in Japanese.



In 48 km from the northern coast of New Zealand among the blue expanses of the ocean lies the islet of White. It is an active stratovolcano, and inside its crater there is a picturesque lake.

The lake was formed, as all similar reservoirs, after a lava eruption in 2000. Therefore, it can rightly be considered one of the youngest in a series of crater ponds. It has high rocky shores, behind which the endless ocean surface opens. Tourist boats do not go to it yet, and you can admire the beauty from a helicopter.

Geologists have not yet fully investigated the geology of the volcanic pond, but have conducted a chemical analysis of the water. The salt water contains chemical elements and mineral deposits of rocks.



We began our journey in Kamchatka, and we will finish it here. Hangar volcano is unique in that the edges of its caldera are covered with forest, and there is a lake inside it.

The width of the reservoir is almost regular round shape of 2 km, and the shores are decorated with the outcrops of obsidians. The reddish, spotted deposits have ornate patterns, and the material itself is widely used in decorative art.

The volcano of Kamchatka was thought to have been extinct long ago, but recent research has put it in the category of potentially dangerous.

Lakes in the volcano crater

Many volcanic lakes contain chemical impurities, and therefore it is impossible to live in them. Because of all kinds of impurities, such reservoirs can have bright, colorful colors.

Attractions of Kiev. Saint Sophia Cathedral

Red Lake

But this beauty sometimes poses a serious danger. When hydrogen oxide becomes saturated, a limnological explosion can occur. This effect, when carbon pushes water out, is also called “eversion of the reservoir”.

Wonders of the planet, lava lakes of volcanoes.

Wonders of the planet, lava lakes of volcanoes.

I once read a Vinsky forum about travel. In people’s reviews of trains to Ethiopia I found a description of such an amazing place, where you can look into the mouth of a volcano and look at the lava. I was very interested in this information, because before I did not even know that you can almost see the heart of the volcano. That is why I decided to share with you such interesting information and look where in the world there are such wonderful places like lava lakes.

One of the most famous and accessible to tourists lava lakes, as I wrote above, is in Ethiopia, it is the volcano Ertale.

Its accessibility is conditional because the volcano is located in a remote area of Ethiopia, in the north-east, in the Danakil Desert. Ertale lies below sea level and is part of the so-called “Afar triangle”, a zone of strong volcanic activity. Ertale is a basalt shield volcano that has been active continuously since 1967. With each eruption it rises above the Danakil Depression and now its height is 613 meters.

Places there are not welcoming, no hotels, tourists can not go alone, only in groups, camping conditions, overnight stays under the open sky. On the account of independent travel. I realized that the danger lies in both adverse weather conditions, and the local tribes, the Afars are considered quite unfriendly, they do not like strangers.

But the chance to see such an unusual place is there, who is not afraid of a little extreme tourism in such a poor and unsettled country like Ethiopia.

I searched for pictures of tourists from the volcano, yes they are, still people go. a little jealous of their determination. It turns out that it is necessary to walk almost 13 km to the base camp near the volcano and they are walking at night, it is hot in the daytime. Apparently, it is impossible to drive straight up to the volcano. I have even more respect for everyone who visits Ertale.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? It’s like looking into the underworld.

And the frozen lava all around, it’s picturesque, too.

I read on the wiki that Ertale has 2 lava lakes, but honestly, you can’t see it in the photos.

Beautiful Canada

Ertale Volcano’s lava lake is not the only one in the world. There aren’t many of them, but they are there.

Masaya volcano in Nicaragua has a lava lake. Its size is 40 by 40 meters.

The volcano is accessible to tourists, you can go up there. The lake is small and not always visible because of the steam rising from the bowels of the volcano. The current lake is young, having only appeared in 2015. Previously, Masaya had a large lava lake about a kilometer in size, as it was in the 17th century, but then it disappeared. this happens often, lakes are very dependent on volcano activity and everything is variable here.

Erebus, a volcano in Antarctica on Ross Island, the southernmost volcano in the world, also has a lava lake.

The lake is 40 to 60 meters in diameter, Erebus is one of the most active volcanoes in the world today. tourists, as I understand it, do not go there, it is too dangerous.

Two volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nyamlagira and Nyiragongo, are the lucky owners of lava lakes. They are accessible to tourists. The volcanoes are very active and eruptions are frequent.

Nyiragongo lava lake is currently the largest in the world, with a diameter of about 250 meters.

Villarrica volcano in southern Chile acquired lava lake in 2004.

Villarrica is a volcano with a height of 2867 meters. It is covered by a glacier, the area of the glacier – 40 square kilometers. The volcano is active, eruptions were observed since the 16th century, but then they were not large. In recent decades, however, the activity of the volcano has increased. Lake Villarrica lava is not large, with a diameter of about 40 meters. You can visit the volcano, but the ascent there is quite extreme.

As I wrote before, volcanic processes are unstable and lakes can come and go. Several very impressive and long-lived lava lakes have disappeared in the last few years. Perhaps someday they will return, but for now there are none. These are the lava lakes of the Ambrim Volcanic Complex (Vanuatu), which were in Mbwelesu and Benbow craters; they disappeared in 2018.

A lake in the crater of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii also disappeared in 2018. It had existed since 1823 and was relatively easy to access.

Well, too bad, of course, but nature is a volatile living organism and lives by its own laws.

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