Crater lakes form as precipitation within the rim fills the created depression. The water level rises until an equilibrium is reached between the rate of incoming and outgoing water. Sources of water loss singly or together, may include evaporation, subsurface seepage, and in places, surface leakage or overflow when the lake level reaches the lowest point on its rim. Below you will find a photos of 16 most beautiful looking crater lakes in the world.
Okama Crater Lake, Mount Zaō, Japan
Photography by Tez Tagaya
Okama Crater Lake is known as one of the world’s most beautiful crater lakes. Located in the caldera of Mount Zao, Okama welcomes visitors to this recreational and ecological park in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Surrounded by 155 square miles of protected landscape that includes the entire Zao volcanic complex, Okama Crater Lake is the crown jewel of Zao Quasi-National Park on the border between Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures. Picture-perfect and displaying amazing changing colors, Okama Crater Lake is also known as Goshiki Numa, or Five-Color Pond. The highly-acidic, mineral-laden little lake changes colors due to mineral changes, often in conjunction with weather conditions. Created in the 1720s when the volcano erupted, the lake lies nestled among the barren domes and peaks of the complex volcano. Although currently dormant, Mount Okama is is the most active volcano in northern Honshu. That does not stop the many visitors from making this one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
Lake Quilotoa, Ecuador
Photography by Kevin Labianco
Lake Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera and the western most volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The crater is about 2 miles wide and the lake is about 820 feet deep. It is tinted green by dissolved minerals.
Lake Pinatubo, Philippines
Photography by Romain John
Lake Pinatubo is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991. It is the deepest lake in the Philippines at 800 meters (2,600 ft).
Crater Lakes in the Albertine Rift, Africa
Photography by Joel Sartore
The Western Rift, also called the Albertine Rift, is edged by some of the highest mountains in Africa, including the Virunga Mountains, Mitumba Mountains, and Ruwenzori Range. It contains the Rift Valley lakes, which include some of the deepest lakes in the world (up to 1,470 metres (4,800 ft) deep at Lake Tanganyika). Much of this area lies within the boundaries of national parks such as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwenzori National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Lake Victoria is considered to be part of the rift valley system although it actually lies between the two branches. All of the African Great Lakes were formed as the result of the rift, and most lie within its rift valley.
Heaven Lake, North Korea & China
Photography by Min Zhou
A crater lake on the border between China and North Korea. It lies within a caldera atop the volcanic Baekdu Mountain. The lake covers an area of almost 10 sq km (3.79 sq mi) with an average depth of 213 m (699 ft) and maximum depth of 384 m (1,260 ft). From mid-October to mid-June, it is typically covered with ice. According to the legend, here is the birth place of Korea. The climate on the mountain changes very quickly.
Viti Geothermal Lake, Iceland
Photography by Alexander Jikharev
Located within a complex of nested calderas called Askja, Víti is a small explosion crater approximately 150 meters diameter. It contains a geothermal lake of mineral-rich, sulphurous, opaque blue water, which is maintained at a comfortable temperature for swimming. Swimming in these craters is not a good idea because carbon dioxide can accumulate on top of the water, making the swimmer pass out and drown. Víti was formed in the eruption of 1875.
The Tri-Colored Crater Lakes of Kelimutu, Indonesia
Photography by Shann Biglione
Kelimutu is a small, but well-known volcano in central Flores Island of Indonesia, close to the small town of Moni about 50 km to the east of Ende. At the summit of the volcano there are three crater lakes of varying colors. Although they share the crest of the same volcano and are practically side-by-side, the lakes periodically change colors from red and brown to turquoise and green, independent of each other.
The peculiar colors and thick mist surrounding the volcano have earned Kelimutu a supernatural reputation. Local villages believe that the spirits of the dead go to rest in one of the lakes based upon the deeds performed on Earth. Consequently, the lakes are named Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Lake of Evil Sprits, or Enchanted Lake).
Crater Lake of Mount Katmai, Alaska, USA
Photography by Captain Budd Christman, NOAA Corps
Mount Katmai is a large stratovolcano (composite volcano) on the Alaska Peninsula in southern Alaska, located within Katmai National Park and Preserve. It is about 6.3 miles (10 km) in diameter with a central lake-filled caldera about 3 by 2 mi (4.5 by 3 km) in area, formed during the Novarupta eruption of 1912. The caldera rim reaches a maximum elevation of 6,716 feet (2,047 m). In 1975 the surface of the crater lake was at an elevation of about 4,220 feet (1,286 m), and the estimated elevation of the caldera floor is about 3,400 ft (1,040 m). The mountain is located in Kodiak Island Borough, very close to its border with Lake and Peninsula Borough.
Kerid Crater Lake, Iceland
Photography by Graeme Taylor
Kerid is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, on the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier, created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact.
Bláhylur Crater Lake (Hnausapollur), Iceland
Photography by Luminouslightbox
Hnausapollur, also called Bláhylur (Blue Pool), is one of two crater lakes of the Veidivotn System. The other is Ljótipollur, which is nearby. Travel in the Landmannalaugar region is only possible by 4WD vehicle, and letting some air out of the tires for a smoother ride on rough gravel roads.
Lake Segara Anak, Indonesia
Photography by Kelvin Won
Segara Anak is a crater lake contained within Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. The name Segara Anak means child of the sea given to the blue colour of the lake reminiscent of the sea.
Rano Kau Crater Lake, Easter Island
Photography by Peter Eastway
Rano Kau has a crater lake which is one of the island’s only three natural bodies of fresh water. Most of the volcano is on the coast and has been eroded back to form high sea cliffs which at one point have started to bite into the crater wall. On its northern side, the volcano slopes down to Mataveri International Airport.
Rano Kau is in the world heritage site of Rapa Nui National Park and gives its name to one of the seven sections of the park. The principal archaeological site on Rano Kau is the ruined ceremonial village of Orongo which is located at the point where the sea cliff and inner crater wall converge. One ahu with several moai was recorded on the cliffs at Rano Kau in the 1880s, but had fallen to the beach by the time of theRoutledge expedition in 1914. As well as basalt, it contains several other igneous rocks including obsidian (for which it was one of the major sources for the island’s stoneworkers) and pumice. The crater is almost a mile across and has its own micro climate. Sheltered from the winds that dry most of the rest of the island, figs and vines flourish at Rano Kau.
Deriba Crater Lake, Sudan
Photography by Lucky Trips
Jebel Marra volcano is located in Darfur provine, western Sudan, 200 km from the border with Chad, and about 100 km north of the town of Nyala. It is the second highest peak in Sudan. The Marra plateau covers 12,000 sq km Tabago Hills to Tebella Plateau. The Marra plateau contains montane woodland.
The Volcanic province is 80 km wide at its broadest part. The southern area of the volcanic rocks is generally known as Jebel Marra after the highest point, while the northern parts are centred around jebel Gurgei.
Lonar crater lake, India
Photography by Lovell D’souza
Lonar Lake is a saline soda lake located at Lonar in Buldana district, Maharashtra, India, which was created by a meteor impact during the Pleistocene Epoch. This lake, which lies in a basalt impact structure, is both saline and alkaline in nature.
Pingualuit Crater, Canada
Photography by Tez Tagaya
The Pingualuit Crater, formerly called Chubb Crater and later New Quebec Crater, is a young impact crater, by geological standards, located in the Ungava Peninsula of Canada.