Dragon's Blood Tree
Stunning Sand Dunes
4x4 Off-Road Drive
Hiking and outdoor activities
Did you know that about one-third of the island's plant life is endemic,
meaning it is found exclusively on Socotra. One of the most iconic and unusual plants on the island is the Dragon's Blood Tree
Arrival in Socotra
You will meet the Crazy Puffin team at terminal 1 in Abu Dhabi airport. Then we will depart on Air Arabia flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra island. Arriving at the airport in Socotra we will meet the local team and get ready to explore the island; first, we will help you to clear immigration and customs procedures. After lunch in Hadibo, the capital of Socotra, we will drive to Delisha beach which consists of pristine white sands full of crabs. You will relax while swimming both in the sea and in a freshwater lagoon. Later we will move to Arher, a spectacular camping spot on the beach in the far northeast of the island, where a fresh creek comes out from a crack in a granite mountain. You can relax on the beach around the creek, swim in the sea, or if you feel up for it you can climb a huge (100+ meters) sand dune to get a fantastic view over this charming spot and enjoy an amazing sunset.
Dinner and overnight: camping at Arher Beach.
Hoq cave – Ras Irisseyl
You will start early today, with a drive to the base of Hoq Cave in Terbak village. Before the sun gets too strong, you will hike up to the entrance of the cave. The cave itself is more than three kilometers long, with a water pool at the end. Inside, you will see stalactites, stalagmites, and crystalline formations, with wide chambers, much like an ancient cathedral. Later in the afternoon, as the tide goes out, you’ll drive to Ras Irisseyl, the easternmost point of Socotra where the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. There is a small fishing village here where you can see the locals returning with the afternoon catch. You will also visit “crab city”; this beach is home to thousands of sand crabs who build small castle-like structures above their holes during low tide.
Dinner and overnight: camping at Arher Beach.
Homhil national park
After breakfast, we will drive on the north side, to the natural zone of Homhil which is home to many sorts of endemic plants like the Dragon’s Blood Tree, Frankincense Tree and Desert Rose; in Homhil, we will walk along a selection of trails, on one of which takes us to a viewpoint where there is a natural swimming pool and a view of villages below on the plain and of the Arabian Sea. So you can swim and enjoy a breathtaking panorama view over the Arabian Sea which makes you to feel you are in a natural infinity, like all of your days in Socotra. On the way, you’re likely to come across local children selling dragon blood resin and frankincense from the nearby village. After lunch we will explore the surreal snorkeling site in Dihammri. Once in Dihamri, you can swim, snorkel and dive in one of the richest coral reefs on the archipelago. Dihammri is blessed with more than 200 fish species and 4 of the 5 coral species that inhabit to the island. This shallow reef will let even the inexperienced snorkeler enjoy its beauty. The many marine creatures to be seen whilst swimming /snorkeling include: parrotfish, moray eel, rays, turtles, etc.
Dinner and overnight: camping in Dihamri Marine Protected Area.
Wadi Kalisan – Momi plateau
Today we drive through a series of dirt roads to the far southeast of the island. At Daburk we will photograph an impressive waterfall and you will be able to swim in the pool. Next, we drive to the Kalisan. It’s a deep swimming wadi, replete with numerous crystal-clear freshwater pools and waterfalls. The hike down (and back up) takes about 45 minutes and you’ll pass Bottle Trees along the way. We will meet a hermit who lives in a nearby cave. He will demonstrate how he calls his goats and he will show us how he milks them. Finally, we will drive to Momi Plateau for new amazing views over the sea. Momi Plateau is home to Frankincense trees, cucumber trees, and bottle trees. In the late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, you’ll visit the “sea of sand” at Omak Beach/Hayf and Zahek. There you can wander this incredible landscape, climbing between the dunes all the way to the sea. Finding pieces of ancient pottery is not uncommon here, as much of this area was under the sea not too long ago.
Dinner and overnight: camping in Omak.
Duogab cave - Firmin forest
After breakfast you will visit Deogab cave, facing the Ocean. Later we will drive to Dixam in the Hajhir mountains. The Dixam plateau is home to nomadic Bedouin herdsmen who move from one site to another with their goat herds. You’ll then visit the Dixam middle and high school, where you will visit classrooms, meet teachers and students, and if you’d like, volunteer to teach an English class. You will trek to the Firhmin Forest, which is the last woodland comprised of Dragon's Blood trees. Nowhere else in the world can one find Dragon's Blood trees in such density. Nur, a local goat herder, will show you how they used to collect, and still collect on a smaller scale the precious red resin of the tree. You will continue hiking down into the Derhur canyon, where we will see unusual rock formations and can swim in freshwater pools. Later in the afternoon, from Shebanon viewpoint you can watch the sunset amongst the Dragon’s Blood Trees and canyon below.
Dinner and overnight: camping in Dixam.
Qalansiah – Detwah lagoon
We will drive to the northwest of the island to the old city of Qalansiah, the second-largest settlement on Socotra. It is nearby the Detwah Lagoon, a marine protected area renowned for its magical landscape and incredible coastline for swimming. You’ll be charmed by a white sandy peninsula jutting out into the sea surrounded by turquoise waters, where you can swim. There is also an array of sea birds and marine wildlife to be seen in the lagoon. There, you’ll meet Abdullah the Caveman and he’ll take you exploring marine wildlife from his cave over the lagoon.
Dinner and overnight: camping at Detwah Beach
Sha’ab beach – Ayhaft canyon
After breakfast, we will hire local fishing boats to take you to see spinner dolphins and go snorkeling in the warm turquoise waters off Shu’ab Beach on the west coast of the island. You’ll relax on the beach for a while, and head back to Detwah for lunch. After lunch, there is still time to relax and enjoy this amazing part of the island, before moving to Ayhaft Canyon National Park. In the canyon, you will enjoy large freshwater pools where you can swim or soak. All around you, there will be a variety of endemic plants like Dessert Rose, Tamarind trees, Cucumber trees, and a wide variety of birds. We finally move to Hadibo, the only “city” in Socotra, where you will arrive in time for shopping: some local clothes and products if interested at the Woman’s Association shop.
Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Hadibo
Hadibo – Abu Dhabi
After breakfast, before driving to Socotra Airport for your flight back to Abu Dhabi, there is still time for a short visit to the Dragon’s Blood Tree nursery where young trees have been growing since 2006. Since goats were introduced to the island, many of the young trees have been destroyed by the goats when their leaves are still soft, so it’s essential to grow new trees in protected environments.
Flight back to Abu Dhabi.
What's included ?
Airport pick-up and drop-off
All meals on the trip
4-star Hotel on the last night
Tents and camping equipment.
English-speaking local guide.
Soft drinks and water throughout the tour
Return flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra ($930)
Tips for local guides
Visa fee on arrival ($150)
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I am a solo traveler and book a shared room?
That’s absolutely not a problem! You will be paired with another like-minded solo traveler and share the room with him/her.
We try our best to pair travelers of the same gender but in the odd case, you might have to share a room with a traveler of the opposite sex.
How does the booking process work?
Your spot will be secured as soon as we receive your deposit payment. For this trip, the deposit payment will not be refundable since we will use it to book your flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra and back to Abu Dhabi.
You will receive an invoice for the final tour payment 9 weeks before the trip starts. The final payment will be $1,790 USD
Do I need to book the return flight from Abu Dhabi?
No, we will take care of that. We will make a reservation for you as soon as you have made the deposit payment. The cost of the flight is $930 USD.
What about Visa
We will apply for the visa on your behalf and get it approved. When you arrive in Socotra you will need to pay $100 in cash for the visa.
How much does the trip cost in total for me?
The tour itself costs $1,790,
The return flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra is $930 and the Visa fee is $150.
Which brings the total cost to $2,870
Is it safe to travel to Socotra?
Yes, Socotra Island is absolutely safe, and the civil war in Yemen does not reach the island.
What should I bring for this trip?
The essentials for this trip are: light but covering clothes, sun protections (hat, sunblock, glasses, scarf), power bank, rain/windproof jacket and flashlight.
Definitely don't forget your swimwear, there will be a lot of options for swimming ;)
How much cash should I bring on this trip?
We recommend to bring a bit of cash to pay for the visa, souvenirs, and to give as tips to the local team. The equivalent of 300 USD should be more than enough (unless you plan to buy some more expensive souvenirs).