For A One-Of-A-Kind Adventure, Samantha Brown Suggests This 'Dangerous' Type Of Hike

If you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie, there's no shortage of exciting bucket list adventures to check off during your travels. Unsurprisingly, many of them involve getting up close and personal with nature, from going on an authentic African safari to surfing the world's best waves.

Samantha Brown's recommendation for adding some adventure to your next vacation is no different. In an Instagram post, the travel expert suggested scheduling a volcano hike in your upcoming travel itinerary, particularly if you don't mind a little danger. As she wrote in the post's caption, volcanoes are "stunning, dangerous, worshiped, and feared, plus offer unique adventures, interesting wildlife and if you're lucky...some smoking hot lava."

Volcano hikes are just what they sound like: You trek to the top of the summit (or to another lower point), much like regular mountain climbing, but at the peak you'll find a crater. Depending on the conditions, hikers can ascend both active and dormant or extinct volcanoes, and there are spots all around the world to take on the challenge.

Where to travel for an exhilarating volcano hike

While it might not be every day that you spend time near a volcano, the natural wonders are surprisingly all over — in fact, an estimated 1,350 active or potentially active volcanoes can be found around the world, and that number doesn't even include those that are extinct. (In general, dormant volcanoes are ones that have erupted a long time ago and will likely erupt again sometime in the future, while extinct volcanoes are not expected to erupt.)

Samantha Brown shared some of her favorites in a post on her website. In the U.S., the TV host suggested heading to Hawaii to hike Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet. Alternatively, follow the nearby Humu'ula Trail to Mauna Kea, another stunning marvel on the Island of Hawaii. Another one of Brown's favorites not too far from the continental U.S. is the Arenal in Costa Rica. The volcano is currently in a resting phase but remains a powerful destination to visit nonetheless.

The seasoned traveler also highlighted Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world's most well-known volcanoes and — fortunately — one of the most accessible to climb, according to Brown. Her other top picks include the Maelifell Volcano in Iceland, Mayon Volcano in the Philippines, and Mount Fuji in Japan.

What to know before hiking a volcano

Volcanoes and their lava may be an extraordinary sight, but remember that getting too close at the wrong time can be deadly. In 2023, 23 climbers died after Indonesia's Mount Marapi unexpectedly erupted, and many before them have suffered the same fate at other volcanoes around the globe.

Though some risk is always involved during volcano hikes, planning your trek carefully — and knowing when to call it off — could save your life. First, always research your chosen volcano thoroughly, making note of its current activity, eruption schedule, and any extra precautions hikers should take. Some trails may be closed and officials may warn against visiting certain sites, so make sure to follow the rules and heed professional advice, even if it means your trip won't be as adventure-packed as you'd hoped.

If you've never climbed a volcano before, you might also want to hire a guide to lead the way. They'll teach you how to properly walk on the lava and what eruption warning signs to watch for. They can also help with packing the best and safest hiking gear. For volcano hiking, this can include gas masks to protect yourself from toxic fumes, along with other practical items.