Mt. Pinabuto Crater Lake Mt. Pinabuto Crater Lake Mt. Pinabuto Crater Lake (Photo: nucksfan604/Flickr)

7 of the most beautiful crater lakes in the world

Check out these wondrous bodies of water formed from volcanic impressions.

Nature is a powerful and perpetual force, but one that leaves a lot of beauty in its slipstream. Take, for example, these crater lakes. Usually formed by pools of water in the impressions of either dead or active volcanoes, from Indonesia to Israel, they all have in common a rugged, ethereal beauty.  

Yugama, Japan

Yugama lakeYugama lake (Photo: Worakit Sirijinda/Shutterstock)

Yugama sits at the summit of Mt. Kustatsu-Shirane, which gained renown when it was included in "100 Famous Japanese Mountains," a book by famed mountaineer Kyūya Fukada. Its milky turquoise water makes it the most acidic lake in Japan – and a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Can you blame them?

Lake Ram, Israel

Lake RamLake Ram (Photo: Asaf Eliason/Shutterstock)

Known as Birket Ram ("High Pool") in local parlance, this crater lake sits 3,000 feet above sea level, about 4,000 feet lower than nearby Mount Hermon, Israel's highest peak. This type of formation is called a maar, meaning it was caused by an explosion of groundwater coming into contact with hot lava or magma. It’s believed to be the collapsed crater of a volcano. Whatever the case, one thing's for sure: this crater lake is a beauty, especially when covered in snow. 

Blue Fire Crater, Indonesia

Blue Fire Crater, Kawah Ijen Volcano, IndonesiaBlue Fire Crater, Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia (Photo: P. Burghardt/Shutterstock)

This crater lake's greenish-blue water may look pretty, but don't be fooled: the high sulfuric content ensures your nose won't be nearly as pleased as your eyes. Recognized as the largest highly acidic crater lake in the world, it's home to an active sulfur mine. In the past few decades it's also become a hot tourist destination, especially at night, when sulfuric gas escaping from cracks creates beautiful blue flames.

Poas, Costa Rica

Poas CraterPoas Crater (Photo: Wikipedia)

In a country with such an abundance of nature attractions, Poas ranks near the top. The crater's sulfuric pool still bubbles, and geysers explode into the air up to 820 feet high. One of the largest active volcanoes in the world, it emits enough sulfur at times to shut down the whole park. Still, it's hard to thumb your nose at something as beautiful as this. 

Kerid, Iceland

Kerið Kerid (Photo: Wikipedia)

One of several volcanic craters in the area known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, Kerid is regarded as the most popular of them all. It derives much of its beauty from the red volcanic rock that forms it. Only 900 feet across at its widest point, its makeup and acoustics have made it a fun location for unorthodox outdoor performances.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crate LakeCrater Lake (Photo: Wollertz/Shutterstock)

At 5-by-6 miles across, Crater Lake is large as far as crater lakes go. Its waters are also really deep, nearly 2,000 feet at maximum depth, making it one of the deepest lakes in the world. Acclaimed for its blue waters, Crater Lake also sets itself apart from others on this list by virtue of the fact that it boasts two islands. 

Lake Pinatubo, Philippines

Mt. Pinabuto Crater LakeMt. Pinabuto Crater Lake (Photo: nucksfan604/Flickr)

An infant compared to the rest of the crater lakes on this list, Lake Pinatubo was formed only in 1991, created from the collapse of the volcano's summit during its eruption. Its blue-green waters have helped to make it a major tourist destination in the country, which has been helped along by the fact that with a 2,000 foot maximum depth, it's the country's deepest lake.  


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7 of the most beautiful crater lakes in the world
Check out these wondrous bodies of water formed from volcanic impressions.