Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat

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Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Bimmah Sinkhole

The Sultanate of Oman’s geographical location makes it a wonderful destination for nature lovers and is blessed with amazing landscapes like rugged mountain valleys, naturally formed caves, sink-hole, Wadis(dry river bed which is full of water in rainy season), deserts, fjords, secluded beaches, canyons and many more.  Oman is located in 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. As whole Oman has wonderful places, you need a lot of time or many days to cover each area, this time I concentrated on 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.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Road trip in Natural Oman

Day Trips From Muscat | Oman Sightseeing Tours

After having interesting Muscat City tour and historical tour to Nizwa fort from Muscat, let’s go for nature tour from Muscat which is also top listed in Oman sightseeing tours.  Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole is the most recommended day trip in Oman with many enchanting stops in between.

MY TRIP – Muscat- Qantab Beach – Qantab Town – Bandar Al Khiran – Quriyat Fishing town – Bimmah Sinkhole – Wadi Tiwi/Wadi Shab – Return back to Muscat.

FIRST STOP – QANTAB BEACH |  MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole TourDay Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

A small stretch of rocky beach which is at 15 km from Muscat. Located in fisherman’s town, this beach is very quiet and peaceful. This beach has many fisherman’s boats and you see many naturally cut rocks tapers down to blue waters. I loved how the waves were crashing 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 of wearing swimsuit here. Many fishermen will approach you and ask you have a sail across the sea for few Omani rials and they promise to show some hidden gems of this area in traditional wooden boats.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Peaceful Beach of Oman – Qantab Beach

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 actually live.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Qantab Town

SECOND STOP – BANDAR AL KHIRAN | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

Hidden beauty in Oman which not many people know about it and even this place was not added in our itinerary. It was added last minute due to a recommendation by local staff in our hotel and 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 area and windy too, but the view of deep blue waters, surrounded by sand-colored mountains is amazing from here. This place is beat for relaxing as it is very peaceful and the views are stunning. 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
View from top

You can camp overnight here and can also plan a day picnic from Muscat to here. If you descend down or hike down then 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, unique species of fish makes it a favorable location for divers, snorkelers and swimmers. 

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 headed on to it, there is no chance of taking a reverse. When you reach the tip of the curve and move down then you will feel that your vehicle will fall from the cliff into the water, but there is unseen flat area after the tip, from where you can take a turn and move down.  A highly photogenic place.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

When we descended, we met some of the very beautiful road barriers. Check the local and favorite animal of Oman. Carefully drive,  because sometimes fleet of goats come between the road or sometimes cross the road. 

CAUTION – If you are not traveling through 4 x 4 then park your vehicle near the main road on sideways and then climb up the curve on the cliff.

THIRD STOP – BIMMAH SINKHOLE(MAIN ATTRACTION)  | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Bimmah Sinkhole

Driving through the beautiful Quriyat town(where you can take a short glimpse of the city and can wait for few minutes for freshening up or some snacks in between), go along the highway 17 towards the city of Sur.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Quriyat Town

Bimmah Sinkhole is also known as Hawiyat Najm and therefore you would find the signboards of Hawiyat Najm Park. Follow these signboards and when you reach very close to the destination then there is an exit with signboard named Sinkhole. Follow it and from the main road, you have to drive a few kilometers at side road to reach the exact place.  Don’t get confused with the signboard named Bimmah and take a wrong exit as Bimmah is a nearby village. Many people get confused here and they cannot reach on 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 Muscat side, the mountains are on your right and the sea is on your left. The drive is across the sea.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Drive to Bimmah Sinkhole

From the entrance of the park to the sinkhole the walk is of 100-150 meters and then you have to take approximately 80 long steps to reach 30 m deep sinkhole.  Hold the railing as these steps are steep and when you look down sparkling emerald waters, those who have fear of height can tumble down.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Steps to Bimmah sinkhole

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

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Inside Bimmah Sinkhole

LOCAL BELIEF – According to local belief, it is said that this sinkhole has been created by a falling meteorite which caused a depression in earth and water came out.  That is why it is called Hawiyat Najm which translates into Meteor Falling in Arabic. 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Different shades of Emerald

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION – But according to geologists, it is caused by erosion of 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 must visit attraction in Oman or included in things to do near Muscat.

When you descend down the steps, you can see the changing colors of emerald shades of water which is due to the angle of your vision and sun above.  Also, you can see each and every different layer of rock/crust and shades of water vary.  The water is very clear and is comprised of a mixture of fresh and seawater. You can spot little fishes in it.   At first, take a walk all around the rim for best photos and then descend down slowly. This is a perfect example of amazing natural creation by underground water reacting with limestone rocks and carbonates with erosion and formed a depression.  These limestone rocks got dissolved and left a hole which is filled with emerald clear waters.  Here the sound is also echoed. 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

GENERAL TIPS FOR BIMMAH SINKHOLE –

      • This sinkhole is located in a gated park with picnic benches and eating area. Restaurants/cafes are not present and so carry your own food/drink. Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
      • Basic facilities toilets, washrooms, and changing areas are located in the entrance. In the park, the swimming costume is not allowed but near the sinkhole, you can wear your swimsuit.
      • No Public transports take you here and therefore you have hired a local tour or can drive your own vehicle.
      • Taking leap/jump in the sinkhole is prohibited and also swimming is allowed at your own risk. Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

FOURTH STOP – WADI TIWI OR WADI SHAB – MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT 

Wadi Shab is one of the one of Oman’s most beautiful and peaceful Wadi.  But this Wadi cannot be reached by car as you have to take a 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. 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

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 Al Sharqiyah region and had after nearby Tiwi village.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

It is 160 km from Muscat on the way to Sur. The unpaved road can be dangerous during rain and the slope is steep with many blind curves. 

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour

After this hectic trip, we returned to Muscat and had dinner in the city. If you want to go further then do a night stay in Sur.  Either you can return back to Muscat and stay there or you can proceed further for having a night stay in Sur. Sur is a famous tourist attraction for rarest marine species. You can find the rarest breed of turtle here on the beach. Turtle laying eggs in the night is the most famous attraction and many reserves arrange the tour for this. Also, Sur being a coastal town is famous as for centuries-old shipbuilding and 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.

Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Going back to Muscat

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THIS DAY TRIP FROM MUSCAT |  MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT 

      • Carry Towel, another pack of dry clothes as you have to take a dip in the water at many places whole day.
      • Wear comfortable footwear, preferably waterproof
      • Don’t eat very heavy meals as many times drive is very 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 then you park your car beside the unpaved road and hike down or climb up the region by foot.
      • The whole day you have to walk and climb a lot, so be prepared for this. Some places are not stroller or wheelchair
      • Fuel your car/vehicle to 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 local tours.
      • Very Safe and 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.
Day Trips From Muscat | Things to do Near Muscat | Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour
Road trip in Natural Oman

BEST TIME TO VISIT – OCTOBER TO APRIL

NEAREST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – MUSCAT

STAY RECOMMENDATIONS AT MUSCAT 

Chedi Muscat

Ramada Qurum Beach Hotel

Somerset Panorama

Holiday INN Al Seeb 

I stayed in city-center at Levatio Hotel  for 2 nights and 1 night at  Fraser Suites.

HOW TO REACH MUSCAT FROM DUBAI– From Dubai, you can reach Muscat by SELF-DRIVE or there are many buses which 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 arrive 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 take around 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.

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RELATED READS –

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

Check my Oman road trip video from Dubai 

So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………

All photos are taken by me and use of photos without permission would result in legal action.

DISCLAIMER – The content of the blog is solely my views of a place or a thing. This is not to offend any class, religion, ethnicity or nation. My views can change from time to time. This blog may contain some advertisements or links to commercial products and for that, this site is not responsible after you click those advertisements.  We are the independent owner of this site and views expressed in this are our own. All photographs are owned by me.  There can be slight differences in distances, locations or some details for which I (owner) am not responsible.  This post may contain some affiliate links, means at no additional cost to you.  I will earn if you will click through affiliates and make a purchase

 

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78 Comments

  1. 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!

    1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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 😛

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

  16. 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?

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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. 🙂

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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. .

  30. 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.

    1. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

    1. 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.

  33. 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

    1. 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.

  34. 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.

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