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Ambrym

Listed under Volcanoes in Vanuatu.

  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
  • Photo of Ambrym
Photo of Ambrym
Photo by mikelyvers
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The multiple active craters inside the gigantic caldera of Ambrym Island are known for their churning lava lakes that can light up the sky for 100 kilometers or more. A trek up the jungle-covered volcano and across the vast caldera floor to see the lava lakes is one of the world's most amazing volcano adventures. At the edge of the Marum crater, one can look straight down some 1500 feet to the brilliantly glowing lava, which looks like a gigantic orange amoeba in constant writhing motion. Large waves of lava crash against the walls of the vent, and frequent booming explosions may shower you with fine threads of fresh lava known as Pele's Hair. At least that's how it was when I was there; in recent years the lava lakes have reportedly retreated underground, though explosions and ash columns persist, and the lakes can re-emerge at any time. Malaria is a serious problem; permission to climb the volcano must be obtained from the local chief; and a local guide must be hired for the climb. Allow at least one night of camping in the caldera to see it all. Even in the dry season, Ambrym gets abundant rain, so be prepared for bad weather and give yourself extra days as a buffer. John Seach (john@volcanolive.com) is an expert on the Vanuatu volcanoes, especially Yasur and Ambrym, and leads trips to these as well as other active volcanoes.

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

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