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Ambassadors of underground

Volcanoes tempt the adventurous and laugh at the fearless

May 6, 1997

(CNN) -- Around the world and throughout history, people have worshipped, feared and marveled at volcanoes. They have also skied down, climbed up, lived on and, more recently, made blockbuster movies about them.

Visit these hot spots:
Mauna Loa and Kilauea - Hawaii
Pacaya - Guatemala
Mount Rainier - Washington
Mount Ruapehu - New Zealand
Mount Sakurajima - Japan
Volcanoes appeal to a part of the human imagination almost as deep and mysterious as the boiling cauldrons they draw upon beneath the earth's surface. Despite volcanoes' undisputed powers of destruction, people can't seem to stay away -- drawn by curiosity, a craving for adventure or merely by majestic dormancy that makes the slopes seemingly a safe place to settle.

Join TravelGuide for a virtual tour of five volcanic sites in the United States, Guatemala, New Zealand and Japan. All are open to tourists to some degree -- and with due caution -- offering activities from rigorous hiking to relaxing hot spring baths.

Of the six volcanoes you'll see, three have been designated "Decade Volcanoes" -- Mauna Loa in Hawaii, Mount Rainier in Washington, and Sakurajima in Japan. The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior has designated 15 Decade Volcanoes worldwide. The project encourages research and public awareness of volcanoes considered especially hazardous.


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