Socotra, one of the most exotic islands on the planet

Socotra Yemen
The world is full of amazing places, but sadly, most of us don’t have the time or money to visit them all. For this reason, at Vuela Viajes we take care that you get to know some of the most surprising ones without having to leave the sofa. Today, for example, we move to the island of Socotra , a place that you may never have heard of but that is truly worth knowing.

This curious archipelago made up of four islands belongs to the Republic of Yemen . Specifically, it is located in the south of the country, off the coast of the Horn of Africa. Would you like to discover what makes Socotra one of the most unique places on the planet? Well, you just have to join us!

A unique biodiversity

Due to its tropical desert climate and its isolated situation, Socotra has developed a unique biodiversity in the world, being able to find numerous endemic species. Specifically, here you can find 700 species that are not found anywhere else in the world. For this reason, this territory was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008. Of course, we refer to both plant and animal species, especially reptiles and birds.

Socotra Yemen1

Dragon blood tree

Of all the endemic species of Socotra, the so-called “dragon blood tree” stands out, whose scientific name is dracaena cinnabari. As you can see in the following photo, it is a kind of tree that has a shape similar to that of an umbrella . It can be found mainly in the mountains area. Its resin, which is red in color (hence the tree’s nickname), has been used as a dye for thousands of years. Also notable is the dendrosicyios socotrana, also known as the cucumber tree.

Socotra Yemen2

Spectacular scenery

Beyond the endemic flora and fauna, the landscapes that can be found in Socotra are truly amazing. On the one hand, we can see mountains full of trees; on the other, a completely deserted coast where we can find warm and crystalline waters. However, the population is far from the sea. And speaking of the coastline, its gigantic dunes and caves full of bats are surprising.

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Organized into councils of elders

On the main island, which has an area of ​​130 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide, only about 50,000 inhabitants live, who organize themselves politically from councils of elders. Furthermore, the vast majority live without running water or electricity and are engaged in livestock, fishing and agriculture. Despite belonging to Yemen, the culture and traditions of Socotra have little to do with those of this country. In fact, the people of this archipelago are the result of the mixture of many peoples located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Physically, they resemble the Hindus. Also, due to their isolation, they have their own language.

Socotra Yemen4

Travel to Socotra

Despite the fact that getting to Socotra is not very easy and the tourist infrastructure is practically non-existent (there is only one road that runs through the island), many travelers arrive each year in this spectacular Yemeni archipelago. Many of them do it to discover the seabed of this place, which is tremendously rich. In fact, the Socotra Sea is considered by many expert divers to be one of the best in the world for diving. Of course, you must bear in mind that many countries advise against visiting Yemen due to its terrorist threat.
Then we leave you with our gallery , where you will find more images of the island of Socotra. Do not miss it!