As whole Oman has beautiful places, you need a lot of time or many days to cover each area, this time I concentrated on the Muscat region and nearby areas and therefore read about things to do near Muscat and let’s go from Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole tour which is a long and hectic day trip.
Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do near Muscat. The Sultanate of Oman’s geographical location makes it an excellent destination for nature lovers.
STAY RECOMMENDATIONS AT MUSCAT
- Chedi Muscat
- Ramada Qurum Beach Hotel
- Somerset Panorama
- Holiday INN Al Seeb
- I stayed in the city center at Levatio Hotel for 2 nights and 1 night at Fraser Suites.
It is blessed with incredible landscapes like rugged mountain valleys, naturally formed caves, sink-hole, Wadis(dry river bed which is full of water in the rainy season), deserts, fjords, and secluded beaches, canyons, and many more.
Oman is located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in western Asia and is surrounded by mountains, deserts, and water. In this post, let’s go for a natural wonders day trip from Muscat.
Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
After having a fascinating Muscat City tour and a historical tour to Nizwa fort from Muscat, let’s go for a nature tour from Muscat, which is also top listed in Oman sightseeing tours. Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole is Oman’s most recommended day trip, with many enchanting stops.
FIRST STOP – QANTAB BEACH | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
A slight stretch of rocky beach is 15 km from Muscat. Located in a fisherman’s town, this beach is tranquil and peaceful. This beach has many fisherman’s boats, and you see many naturally cut rocks taper down to blue waters.
I loved how the waves were crashing on these black rocks, and the shades of deep blue are amazing here. Walking on the pebbled beach is fun here.
This beach is surrounded by many traditional quaint Omani-style houses and huge rocks on another side. Camping is not allowed here, and I am not sure about wearing a swimsuit.
Many fishermen will approach you and ask you to have a sail across the sea for a few Omani rials, and they promise to show some hidden gems of this area in traditional wooden boats.
You can also wander around this small town of Qantab, which is actually inhabited by a fisherman. Some of the houses are very interesting, and you can also see how locals live.
SECOND STOP – BANDAR AL KHIRAN | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Not many people know about the hidden beauty in Oman, and even this place was not added to our itinerary. It was added last minute due to a recommendation by local staff in our hotel, so we made our second stop to this last-minute addition.
A hilly drive of approximately 20 km from Qantab town and through sand mountains, you can reach Bandar Al Khiran. It is a very secluded and windy area, but the view of deep blue waters surrounded by sand-colored mountains is impressive from here.
This place is beat for relaxing as it is very peaceful and the views are stunning.
You can camp overnight and plan a day picnic from Muscat to here. If you descend down or hike down, you can enjoy the beach and waters too.
The coral-filled waters of this area are home to many exotic marine life creatures like turtles, sea horses, and unique species of fish, making it a favorable location for divers, snorkelers, and swimmers.
The nearest Luxurious Beach Resort to enjoy this area is Shangri-la Al Jissa. Click here to book this resort.
To reach here is slightly tricky as from the main road there is a sharp curve to the unpaved side road. This unpaved side road is a very steep upward curve, and once you head onto it, there is no chance of taking a reverse.
When you reach the tip of the curve and move down, you will feel that your vehicle will fall from the cliff into the water, but there is an unseen flat area after the tip, from where you can take a turn and move down. A highly photogenic place.
When we descended, we met some excellent road barriers. Check the local and favorite animals of Oman. Carefully drive because sometimes a fleet of goats come between the road or cross the street.
THIRD STOP – BIMMAH SINKHOLE(MAIN ATTRACTION) | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR – THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Driving through the beautiful Quriyat town(where you can take a short glimpse of the city and can wait for a few minutes for freshening up or some snacks in between), go along Highway 17 towards the city of Sur.
Bimmah Sinkhole is also known as Hawiyat Najm; you will find the signboards of Hawiyat Najm Park. Follow these signboards, and when you reach the destination, there is an exit with a signboard named Sinkhole.
Follow it, and from the main road, you have to drive a few kilometers on the side road to reach the exact place. Don’t get confused with the signboard named Bimmah and take the wrong exit as Bimmah is a nearby village. Many people get confused here and cannot reach the exact location.
So the thumb rule is to follow the signboard with the name Hawiyat Najm Parm and then sinkhole. If you are coming from the Muscat side, the mountains are on your right, and the sea is on your left. The drive is across the ocean.
From the park’s entrance to the sinkhole, the walk is 100-150 meters, and you have to take approximately 80 long steps to reach the 30 m deep sinkhole.
Hold the railing as these steps are steep, and when you look down sparkling emerald waters, those who fear height can tumble down.
THE STORY / FORMATION OF BIMMAH SINKHOLE – It is one of the most stunning sinkholes in the world. According to Daily Mail it the world’s most stunning sinkhole.
LOCAL BELIEF – According to local belief, it is said that this sinkhole was created by a falling meteorite which caused a depression in the earth, and water came out. That is why it is called Hawiyat Najm, which translates into Meteor Falling in Arabic.
SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION – According to geologists, it is caused by erosion of the Earth’s upper crust layer due to the interaction of limestone with underneath water. Underground it is connected with the Arabian Sea, which is 600 m from the sinkhole.
This 50 m x 70 m(approximately) and 30 m deep depression filled with beautiful emerald-colored water is a must-visit attraction in Oman or included in things to do near Muscat.
When you descend the steps, you can see the changing colors of emerald shades of water due to the angle of your vision and the sun above. Also, you can see each layer of rock/crust and shades of water vary.
The water is apparent and is comprised of fresh seawater. You can spot little fish in it. At first, take a walk around the rim for the best photos and descend slowly. This is a perfect example of unique natural creation by underground water reacting with limestone rocks and carbonates with erosion and forming a depression.
These limestone rocks dissolved and left a hole filled with emerald clear waters. Here the sound is also echoed.
GENERAL TIPS FOR BIMMAH SINKHOLE – Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
- This sinkhole is located in a gated park with picnic benches and an eating area. Restaurants/cafes are not present, so carry your own food/drink.
- Basic facilities toilets, washrooms, and changing areas are located at the entrance. In the park, swimming costume is not allowed, but near the sinkhole, you can wear your swimsuit.
- No Public transports take you here; therefore, you have hired a local tour or can drive your own vehicle.
- Taking a leap/jump in the sinkhole is prohibited, and swimming is allowed at your own risk.
FOURTH STOP – WADI TIWI OR WADI SHAB – MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR – THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Wadi Shab is one of Oman’s most beautiful and peaceful Wadi. But this Wadi cannot be reached by car as you have to hike on a mountainous trail and steep ravine for 60 minutes from the main area. You can read more about the best Wadis in Oman, which are worth visiting.
Wadi Tiwi is on the other side but can be reached through 4 x 4. So we opted for Wadi Tiwi because it was a long day, and we were totally exhausted. Wadi Tiwi is in the Al Sharqiyah region and had after nearby Tiwi village.
It is 160 km from Muscat on the way to Sur. The unpaved road can be dangerous during rain, and the steep slope has many blind curves.
After this hectic trip, we returned to Muscat and had dinner in the city. If you want to go further, do a night’s stay in Sur. Either you can return to Muscat and stay there, or you can proceed further for a night’s stay in Sur. Sur is a famous tourist attraction for the rarest marine species.
You can find the rarest breed of turtle here on the beach. Turtle laying eggs at night is the most famous attraction, and many reserves arrange the tour for this. Also, Sur being a coastal town, is renowned for centuries-old shipbuilding and as a port town.
It is said that Sur is the hometown of Sindbad the Sailor. As I have to return another day to Dubai, so skipped Sur this time but will visit soon as the road trip to Oman from Dubai is a very convenient option for long weekends or during a small break. Sur is one of the best places to visit near Muscat, Oman, due to turtles beach.
GENERAL GUIDELINES – Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
- Carry a Towel and another pack of dry clothes as you have to take a dip in the water at many places the whole day.
- Wear comfortable footwear, preferably waterproof
- Don’t eat very heavy meals as the drive is often steep, and you can have dizziness or mountain sickness.
- Prefer to drive or rent a 4 x 4. If you are not driving 4 x 4, park your car beside the unpaved road and hike down or climb up the region on foot.
- You must walk and climb the whole day, so be prepared for this. Some places are not strollers or wheelchairs.
- Fuel your car/vehicle to a full tank from Muscat.
- Carry small eatables and loads of water with you. Also, carry a hat, sunscreen, and shades as it is an open-air
- You will not find many fancy eat-outs or restaurants in between.
- Start as early as possible. I started around 8:45 – 9:00 A.M., but it is better to start at around 8:00 A.M.
- Follow Google maps as it guides you perfectly, even on unpaved roads.
- Public transportation will not take you there. You can reach driving on your own and on local tours.
- Very Safe, and the locals are welcoming. Oman is a conservative country so be respectful in wearing dresses. No exposure of knees and shoulders( both men and women).
- Swimming at Wadis and sinkhole is at your own risk.
BEST TIME TO VISIT – OCTOBER TO APRIL
NEAREST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – MUSCAT
HOW TO REACH MUSCAT FROM DUBAI–
- From Dubai, you can reach Muscat by SELF-DRIVE
- or many buses run between these two cities. Mwasalat air-conditioned buses with toilets run between Dubai and Muscat.
- From Dubai, bus 201 leaves at 7.30am, 3.30pm, and 11 pm from 800m north of Deira City Centre and arrives roughly six hours with a stop at the border and later at Azaiba station in Muscat.
- The cost of a ticket is around 55AED. From Muscat bus leaves at 6.20am, 3.20pm, and 11.20pm and takes approximately 40 minutes longer. Buses make a small stop in Sohar (Oman). Women traveling alone usually sit at the front of the bus. The cost of a ticket is around 5.5OMR.
OMAN ROAD TRIP TOUR VIDEO – Bimmah Sinkhole Oman
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RELATED READS – Day trips from Muscat Oman
- Muscat City Tour
- Historical Forts tour from Muscat
- Dubai Travel Guide
- Abu Dhabi City Tour Guide
- Nature wonders of Oman
- Musandam / Khasab Fjords and Dolphins tour
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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The color combination of the vivid blue water and the warm colors of the rocks really helps to create a dramatic landscape. It looks barren, but you eye is drawn to the shapes and play between these two complimentary colors … it would be a great place to get your paints and easel out and capture the landscape.
Interesting! I didnt know much about it until now!
We had two day visits to Muscat and really enjoyed our explorations. But we did miss a few things. Bandar Al Khiran looks like a lovely spot out of town to visit. I would definitely want to bring snorkel gear with us. A trip to visit the Bimmah Sinkhole sounds like it would be totally worth it. I love the deep emerald colour. Good to know that we would need a tour or driver to get us there. Definitely a bunch of fun stops on this day trip from Muscat.
Oman has wonderful nature points.
This is so beautiful!
Thanks and yes it is very beautiful
Great article and such beautiful place thanks for sharing
This nature’s gift is awesome….naturally green…..the roads seem never ending……the ark work in town centres are superb. The Blue surrounding’s look great. Lovely post.
I have heard about the Bimmah Sinkhole before and was always intrigued by this place. I always wanted to read a more in-depth article about it but never managed to find one! The valleys, the caves, the rugged mountains and this fascinating sinkhole made me forget that this place is located in the Middle East. Thank you for sharing this lovely itinerary
Thanks Daniel and now you have found the article which you were searching from long time. Pin it or book mark it for your future visit to Oman.
Oh my goodness, the goats! They are so cute! Its like we have deer crossings over here, but they have goat crossings <3 I also thought it was cool that the fishermen offer to take you out to find hidden gems. When we were in Zanzibar, we were trying to find local fishermen to do just that, but we couldn't find anything beyond organized tours.
Thanks Cecilia and sometimes local fisherman are more knowledgeable to guide us as they know the place since their ancestors. Talking to such local people always enhance our knowledge for that place.
I have been to a lot of places in the middle east and beyond the glitz of the big cities, I love the natural beauty small little places. Unfortunately, I have never been to Oman but it looks breathtaking. The rugged mountain valleys, naturally formed caves, sink-hole, Wadis, deserts, fjords, secluded beaches, canyons….you have listed down everything I love.
Thanks for reading through
I have not had the chance to visit Oman yet but I am seeing a lot of good things being said and posted about it . Posts like yours do help promote places which are not as popular tourist destinations. I must say the desert terrains and the drive itself looks very interesting to me and the pit stops you can make on this are really fascinating including the small fisherman’s village.The Bimmah Sinkhole maybe a long hectic trip but the visuals are certainly a treat and worth the long trek. Would be good if you could camp out there and enjoy some more time. A swim in that pristine blue water is definitely on the card and you wouldn’t want to miss this in the world. Thanks for sharing Oman with the world.
Thanks Amar for going through the long post. I love to explore hidden beauties in the world and try to promote them to my readers. It would be great if you visit this beautiful place one day.
I have been reading a lot about Oman recently and it is definitely on my list to visit. I love the fact that it seems to be a safe place to travel and that the scenery is so beautiful and unique. I would love to visit the sinkhole it really looks amazing and your journey was incredible. .
Oman is very safe Joella.
So good that you managed to get a recommendation from a local to visit Bandar Al Khiran – so worth the extra hilly journey because the view is just incredible! And what an awesome journey to make to the sinkhole – I so would love to try swimming here. I find it interesting that the local belief for the sinkhole is due to a falling meteorite…but the scientific explanation is quite different. What a beautiful gem in nature that you were lucky to explore!
Thanks Soraya for going through my jouney and sometimes local tip apart from guides are also worth.
The rocky beach looks like the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon. My kids would love to go swimming in the Sinkhole I can’t imagine trying to get all three of them down those stairs though. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Thanks Angelica for reading through
Wow, Oman looks incredible! I love that you had some local tips such as finding Bandar Al Khiran. I have never heard of the sinkhole before but think I will have to add it to my bucket list!
Thanks Anna for reading through
The pictures in this post reminded me of my Jordan trip. The terrain looks so similar. You have so well explained about the place and what to do around Muscat. BIMMAH SINKHOLE look so beautiful, it is like oasis in the middle of the desert. Also, it some how depicts iris of eye.
Thanks Stuti for loving the post. Yes Bimmah Sinkhole really looks like a iris of green eye.
I have not traveled to this part of the world yet, but I am very much wanting to do so. Muscat looks beautiful–especially the beach! I would like to swim in the Sinkhole. What a cool experience! Plus, you got fantastic pictures.
Thanks for reading through and one day hopefully you would make it soon
Snorkelling among corals, sea turtles, sea horses and exotic fish in the waters of Bandar Al Khiran area sound like much fun to me! Last time I have snorkelled was in the Red Sea on my last trip to Egypt. The corals in Egypt were amazing, and I would like to check some corals in the Gulf of Oman too!
Thanks Milijana and I am sure you would see some unique corals in Gulf of Oman too.
I really cant wait to get to Muscat and would defo do this as a day trip away from the city. Love checking out sinkholes and this one looks amazing. 🙂
Thanks Dainik and you would surely love it. Or you can watch video made by me on Oman at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hGaWXwYreM&t=454s
The more I read about Oman, the more I want to go! The color of the water is just fabulous; it reminds me a little bit of Greece! The legend behind the sinkhole’s name is also really interesting.
Thanks Kevin and yes I too got reminded of Greece when I was there in Oman due to color of water.
Oman has never been on my list of places to visit, partly because of its rocky beaches. But the Bimmah Sinkhole looks utterly magical. It truly deserves the title of being the world’s most stunning sinkhole. I’m definitely going to share this with my friends!
Thanks for reading through
The water is so incredibly blue! The perfect way to get a reprieve from the big city life and cool off! Great last minute find.
Thanks Shane and yes it was a great find at last moment
I’m a huge nature lover so these beautiful destinations are all screaming at me to visit! The Bimmah Sinkhole is especially breathtaking, so are the views at Bandar Al Khiran. How lucky you got recommended to visit last minute!
Thanks Jas and sometimes last minute recommendations are always worth
This post reminded me of my trip to Oman. Glad that you wrote about Bimmah. I have still not written about my visit to the sinkhole, though I had loved it when I visited it in 2015. Its quite unique. Whenever, I make an itinerary of Oman for my friends, I always recommend a visit here.
Thanks Manjulika and yes it is recommended thing in Oman trip
Wow!! what an incredible natural beauties near Muscat. I really liked Bandar Al Khiran. From your photos, it really looked amazing places with mountains. I have heard Oman is expensive country to travel. Is it true? Is it more expensive than Dubai?
Thanks Nitin for reading through. Oman is not expensive than Dubai but it can be expensive if you hire 4 x4 or private guide. Rest all things like stay and food are not costly.
Wow. There are sink holes in Oman? Had no clue about that. I always imagined going to South America for such spots. Oman surely has a lot more to it than just Muscat. This surely seems like a must do trip on my next visit. Thanks
Thanks Sreekar, even I was also not knowing this but when planned and looked out for nearby places of Muscat in Oman, I came to know this. It is an offbeat destination as not many people know about it.
I think this is such an amazing wonder and blessed! Hope this will be not overcrowded to preserve its beauty. Is the water fresh or salty?
The water is mixture of fresh and salty ocean water
This looks like such an interesting mini-trip, off the beaten track in Muscat. The scenery looks so different and interesting, I’d love to do this one day. Thanks for all the helpful tips.
Thanks Paul and yes you would love to do this interesting nature trip from Muscat
Wow that is one amazing sinkhole! I am amazed on it deep blue water (have someone tried to deep dive in there?). Who would have thought this wonder exist in the middle of nowhere.
Hope the guests will not vandalize this beauty.
Thanks Blair, I did not dived though stood in water for couple of hours and I promise you that it is very relaxing. Till date guests has not vandalize this beauty and hopefully they will not.
I didn’t know there was so much to do in Muscat. I will now surely plan a trip there. Thanks for the travel tips. The sinkhole looks interesting. Never seen one before so I am all the more curious.
Thanks Pooja and yes nearby Muscat you have many things to do.
It looks like there is so much to do outside of the city and its so varied too. That coastline looks incredible and the water is a beautiful colour. The sinkhole is so cool though, I would love to swim in there!
Thanks Nic for reading through and the colors of water is amazing in Oman.
I have been loving your Muscat content. You’ll put together quite the little guide. I think the Bimmah Sinkhole would be the top of my list so far. You inspired me to look up diving in the sinkhole since I have recently gotten back from diving in Tulum cenotes. It looks really cool.
Thanks for loving my Oman guide. Keep reading.
What an incredible day tour from Muscat of the area’s rugged landscapes, but that sink hole has to be the highlight. The emerald colour of the water is amazing. It reminds me a bit of the cenotes in Mexico.
Thanks Cindy, I too agree with you that the emerald shades of water is very unique and highlight of this tour.
This is an epic day trip. So many stunning locations in a single day is not common. The sinkhole looks gorgeous and makes me want to visit immediately. The local legend about meteorite is very interesting and something i would have liked to believe 😛
Thanks Sinjana, I too believe on that local belief as nearby areas also there are limestone rocks from several years and according to me why not they eroded as per science. So I believe the locals.
This was quite a day trip! Very cool. Great information about Qantab Beach (I love rocky beaches, reminds me of the Northwest US). That sinkhole is just so beautiful. I have to say, I don’t think I could have passed up Wadi Shab!
Have you seen anyone jumping in Bimmah Sinkhole? This place reminds me of a video shot by Casey Neistat when doing his Nike commercial – https://youtu.be/WxfZkMm3wcg?t=200
Yes it is the same place shot in commercial.
This BIMMAH SINKHOLE tour seems arduous unless you have 4×4. But it takes you through interesting stops and such a great reward of a view!
For Bimmah sink hole you don’t need 4 x 4 as it is located near main road, but for Wadis and other mountain stops you need 4 x 4.
What an amazing landscapes! Oman is famous for these rugged mountain valleys, caves, sink-holes. A friend of mine just returned from Oman absolutely in awe, so I’m sold on this place already. The water in these sink-holes is so clear! You share some great advice for traveling through the region. Having a full tank of gas and lots of water is paramount in such remote places.
Thanks Anda and you would surely love Oman
Oman is definitely on my list and with your posts I am closer to go there. Love the landscape of rocks and little oasis from time to time. THe water looks so pristine there. Do you recommend for solo woman to go there?
Oman is safe for solo woman and just you have to dress accordingly which do not hurt their local sentiments.
Thats an amazing off the beaten path you took. The pictures are gorgeous and I am now motivated to plan a trip to Oman to experience the same. Whats really interesting is the Bimmah sinkhole as well as the rich marine life around – thanks for the tips.
Thanks Adele, you are correct this is offbeat path but a worth
It sounds like you had an amazing trip in Muscat. I have never seen an actual sinkhole! I have never imagined that it would look so beautiful. Your photos of Oman look wonderful- I must visit it someday. Thanks for the detailed travel and culture tips.
Thanks for reading through
Bimmah Sinkhole is beautiful. I have never visited one and after reading your article I am now keen to. I have also not visited Oman, but it is high on my list of travels to do. The architecture in Qantab Town is interesting, I would like to see more. The blue waters of Bandar Al Khiran look very inviting.
Thanks Jane and yes Oman has many beautiful wonders. You can watch more on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hGaWXwYreM&t=367s
Wow what an epic mini road trip you had around Muscat! I love swim holes and sinkholes especially in a dry and hot country as Oman, they are a bliss! Bandar al khiran really is gorgeous but I am more curious of the marine life as I love to scuba and snorkeling! I didn’t know at all that there are incredible sea life over here! The Bimmah sinkhole is equally beautiful and mysterious I think! And you got the place almost for yourself! Did you swim? I would without any hesitation because that emerald water just pull you in some how! Too bad you had to leave so soon but I guess to see more of Oman than me! I need to visit this country once in my life time!
Thanks Dada, yes the natural wonders of Oman are stunning and worth visit. I did not swim as I don’t know swimming but I stood deep in water till my abdomen. You should plan soon for Oman