Amazing Places

5 of the World's Most Remote Places (and What It Takes to Get There)

As the world's infrastructure and technology continue to advance, it's becoming easier and easier to take off and travel the globe. Even so, there are still some places left on Earth that are far from easy to get to. These are five of the world's most remote towns, islands, and inhabited lands, and what it takes to get there — if you dare attempt it.

Related Video: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Antarctica

Oymyakon, Russia

Oymyakon, Russia

Tucked away in a remote corner of Siberia, this Russian town is known as one of the coldest inhabited places on earth. Winter temperatures average an unbelievable minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit: cold enough to give you frostbite within minutes. It's also impossible to grow crops in these temperatures, so people survive on reindeer meat, frozen fish, and horse-blood ice cubes with macaroni.

As if the cold wasn't challenging enough, it takes several days just to get in or out of the region. You can catch a flight from Moscow to the towns of Yakutsk or Magadan, but those are still 560 miles (900 kilometers) away from Oymyakon via the Road of Bones. Visit at your own risk!

Supai, Arizona, USA

Supai, Arizona, USA

The remote village of the Havasupai Indian Tribe is located in the westernmost part of the Grand Canyon and it's open to visitors who reserve a campsite. Sounds easy enough, right? Not at all. To get there, it's a four-hour drive from Grand Canyon Village to Havasupai Hilltop. Once there, you'd better lace up your hiking boots, because it's quite the trek down to camp — the National Park Service recommends giving yourself three days to get there. If you're looking to make more of an entrance, horseback or helicopter are also options.

Kerguelen Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Kerguelen Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Appropriately nicknamed "Desolate Islands," this group of islands in the Indian Ocean is only accessible by boat four days a year. Talk about remote! Part of the French and Southern Antarctic Lands, the Kerguelen Islands are 2,000 miles from civilization (on the southernmost part of Africa) and covered in inhospitable mountains and glaciers. The 45 to 100 researchers that inhabit the islands year-round must endure 300 days of rain, sleet, or snow and winds so strong that its flying insects have evolved to be wingless so that they don't blow out to sea.

Socotra Island, Yemen

Socotra Island, Yemen

An archipelago 211 miles off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, Socotra is so isolated that one-third of its plant and animal species aren't found anywhere else on Earth. Once part of the supercontinent of Gondwana, Socotra split off on its own millions of years ago, allowing its many unique species to flourish.

Many say visiting Socotra is like visiting another planet, which makes it a particularly popular bucket-list item. However, traveling there by sea has always been problematic due to two annual monsoons and the prevalence of pirates. Traveling by air, meanwhile, is only possible via mainland Yemen and that's ill-advised due to the country's ongoing civil war.

Motuo County, China

Motuo County, China

Motuo County, nestled on the southern side of the Himalayas, is the only place in all of China with no roads leading in or out — but it's not for lack of trying. Forces of nature like mudslides and avalanches have thwarted previous attempts to build any kind of access roads into the area.

Although it's one of the most remote places in the world, it is possible to visit Motuo — but be ready for anything. People looking to visit this beautiful and mysterious place must trek across the treacherous Himalayas and cross a 200-meter long suspension bridge to get there. Hold on tight.

If you're not in an adventurous mood, maybe the best option is to read about other people's daring escapades. For that, try "The Mammoth Book of Wild Journeys: 30 First-Hand Heart-Racing Accounts of Travel in Remote Places." We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Ashley Gabriel April 18, 2018

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