Onekotan Island, Russia
Located toward the northern end of the Kuril archipelago, Onekotan Island is home to the imposing, 4,000-foot-high Krenitsyn volcano. Krenitsyn is considered among the most breathtaking volcanoes in the world, its flooded crater forming a massive lake with a volcanic cone rising from the center. The island’s other volcano, Nemo, has its own crescent-shaped crater lake favored by a variety of wildfowl. Onekotan also boasts a number of waterfalls, along with lush tundra abloom in summer wildflowers and patches of dwarf birch and stone pine stunted by the harsh winds. You can explore World War II fortifications built by Japanese forces, as well as abandoned dwellings of the indigenous Ainu people who once lived here. Today’s inhabitants are ezo red foxes, northern fur seals, and sea lions, as well as red-faced cormorants, storm petrels, and other seabird species.