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Russia
Volcano-Hop in Kamchatka
When the Russian government petitioned UNESCO to protect the volcanoes of Kamchatka Peninsula as a World Heritage site, it made its case simply: "[Kamchatka] represents the most volcanically active region in the world." The 29 active cones alone were enough to warrant World Heritage status in 1996, and they were enough to lure KE Adventure Travel here in 2009. KE’s trip hits four peaks (one contains 11 craters); clients rest between summit attempts in three-star hotels, tents, mountain huts, and hot springs. The most difficult (and rewarding) day is the 6,232-foot ascent of 10,120-foot Plosky Tolbachik. The trek begins by traversing two steaming cinder cones and a petrified forest, then continues into lava caves created during the volcano’s last major eruption in 1975. En route to the summit, keep an eye out for gigantic volcanic bombs (boulders formed when globes of lava were ejected from the volcano). After the descent, vodka flows as freely as magma back at camp, which is set at the base of Vodopadnaya falls.

Outfitter: KE Adventure Travel; keadventure.com
Price: $4,195
Length: 15 days
Departs: July
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