Picking the most exciting and beautiful hike in all of Oman on our first day? Yes, we can! The hike through Wadi Al Arbeieen had everything we were looking for: palm trees, very inviting turquoise swimming pools, a quiet atmosphere – free of other tourists – and plenty of opportunities for occasional “rock jumping”. In addition, the trail goes through a huge canyon and is therefore flanked by gigantic rock walls. Really, this hike is 100% a “must do”!!!
How do you get there?
Wadi Al Arbeieen does not attract many visitors yet – thank God! One reason is that you have to drive quite a bit off road to get there. We recommend leaving the highway at the village of Dibab/Thibab. Drive under the bridge, leave the asphalt and follow the road next to (or through) the riverbed for about 15 kilometers. Along the way we passed a few houses, a mosque and a two-by-two meter supermarket. We parked the car at these coordinates.
The hike itself
Only after a lot of trial and error did we find the start of the hike. The key is to stay on the left side of the river at first. About a hundred meters after the first bend, turn left into the palm forest. Here a narrow path runs parallel to an irrigation canal, which you have to follow for a while and which finally leads you out of the palm forest and into the now slightly narrower gorge.
You can follow the canal for a while, but then it stops and you have to find your own way through the gorge. This is where the hike gets really sporty: climbing and scrambling over rocks and through water.
After about four kilometers you should come to a waterfall that looks very cool on a photo. But we found out that after three kilometers you have no choice but to swim through deep water. That’s something we were not prepared for! Since we didn’t have a dry bag with us, we decided to turn around at this point. You can make the hike as long as you like, because you have to return to the car along the same trail.
What to bring!
You can swim along the way, so don’t forget to pack your swim gear. Since we were all alone, we could just jump into the water in a bikini or swimsuit. If you notice other (non-western) visitors, consider wearing something a little less revealing.
In addition, water shoes (or light athletic shoes) are also essential on this hike, because whether you like it or not, wet feet will be your portion!
Finally, we recommend bringing a dry bag if you want to get to the waterfall. This is the only way to protect your phone, camera, car keys, … from drowning. We regretted leaving ours in the car!
Wadi al Arbeieen