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Flaming Crater, Derweze - Turkmenistan

Derweze is an isolated village in Turkmenistan with a very sparse population of just 350 inhabitants located in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The Derweze Area is rich in natural gas. Whilst drilling in 1971, geologists tapped into a cavern filled with this gas, and the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a huge gaping wound in the Earth's very crust about 70m (230ft) in diameter.

It was decided that the best way to avoid the poisonous gas discharge was to burn it all off. The geologist had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but the gas is still burning today some 40 years later. Locals have dubbed this flaming crater 'The Door To Hell'.

The best way for the ecotourist to pay an eco-friendly visit to Derweze is to stay there using the most environmentally friendly means of accommodation and spend your time there camping. Check out Travelnut.me, which gives lots of information on how the green traveller might go about such a venture.

Imagine sitting in the desert drinking a nice glass of green tea right next to the Gates of Hell. Sound's intriguing, so give Derweze, often called Darvaza, in Turkmenistan a chance. It's not as spooky as you might think!

If you want a tour and also relish the idea of pumping some cash into the local economy, then Stantours.com can offer the green traveller a tour of the Gates of Hell via a camel back ride right up to the burning hole - another excellently green means of transportation to view what has been dubbed 'the most beautiful ecological disaster in the world'.

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