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Wadi Al Arbaeen

Jan 3, 2013 by     46 Comments    Posted under: Al Sharqiyah, Natural Attractions, Outdoors, Wadi

Wadi Al Arbaeen (5)

Wadi Al Arbaeen (وادي الـعـربـيـيـن) also spelled Wadi Al Arabiyeen or Wadi Al Arabieen, is one of my favorite outdoors places in Oman. Wadi Al Arbaeen is not very accessible due to the lack of signage, and the stretch of off-road that you need to get through. However, you should definitely visit if you enjoy taking a dip in fresh water pools, which are in abundance here, and want to experience the serenity of walking through a wadi that feels very untouched. You almost get an eerie feeling wading through the wadi, especially further in. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours to explore Wadi Al Arbaeen, and much longer if you plan to really explore!

Wadi Al Arbaeen (4)
Wadi Al Arbaeen is located in the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman, you can combine your visit to this wadi with an overnight camp on the Sharqiyah beach and a visit to the popular Wadi Shab, Fins Beach and Bimmah Sink Hole, or you can go there for a day trip as the drive from Muscat is just over an hour.

Wadi Al Arbaeen (10)

Before you go:

If you’ve been to any wadi in Oman before, you’ll probably know what to expect here. I found the walk in the wadi to be a bit more challenging due to having to climb rocks and go through a few ponds and shrubs, so keep that in mind when heading out, especially when packing your footwear.

You’ll need the following:

  • Four Wheel Drive car is a must, you have to go off-road to get there
  • Sun-screen
  • Food and snacks
  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Swimming Clothes and Towel
  • Slippers or sturdy water-proof footwear.
  • Water proof bag for your camera and gadgets (or leave them in the car)
Wadi Al Arbaeen (6)

How to Get There:

I will try to be as detailed as possible here as I lost my way the first time and ended up driving off-road for over an hour in quite dangerous roads near cliffs, so try to stick with those and if you find the road too dangerous then you have probably taken a wrong turn somewhere.

On the high-way to Sur, take a right turn where the sign says Wadi Al Arbaeen (or one of the other variations on the name). The sign says 17 km to Wadi Al Arbaeen and will lead you to a straight road, the end of it you will see a turn to the right or left. This is where asphalt road ends and where you may also see some heavy machinery and trucks working in the area.

Take the left turn and continue on the road past the first right turn, then take the next right after it (after about 250m). Keep driving on this road, don’t take the right turn that comes a bit later, you will eventually see a sign that points to Wadi Al Arbaeen to the left. Take left and keep going until you reach a village, by-pass the village and go for another 5 km and you will reach the Wadi, and see this sign:

Then you will be greeted by a water fall and something like this:

Wadi Al Arbaeen (2)

The off-road drive is about 12 km. These directions were correct as of our last visit in January 2014.


View Wadi Al Arbaeen – OmanTripper in a larger map

In Wadi Al Arbaeen:
As you are driving in you will notice another village and palm grooves ahead of you, and probably a few cars and maybe some families having picnic near the water fall there. You may want to spend some time here, but I recommend going deeper in the wadi since it is cleaner and more serene.

Park your car somewhere and get your bag and start your hike. You will see lots of water falls and rocks, which only get more magnificent the further you go in. You will have to go through lots of lakes and rocky areas, so be prepared to swim and climb a bit of rocks, which could be challenging especially if its really hot.

The best thing about Wadi Al Arbaeen for me (compared to Wadi Shab at least) is that the it feels more natural and un-touched, which is because less people visit it. So please don’t throw any rubbish while you are in the wadi and enjoy your time.

Wadi Al Arbaeen (3)

 Wadi Al Arbaeen (7) Wadi Al Arbaeen (8) Wadi Al Arbaeen (9)

Have you visited Wadi Al Arbaeen before? How far did you go inside?

46 Comments + Add Comment

  • The easiest way to get to the Wadi is to continue on 17 until you get to Dibab, exit into the village, follow the road until you see the bridge over the wadi and drive up the wadi road. Have done it both ways and the signed one from the highway through the mountains roads has too many unmarked options to be reliable – unless you have it in your GPS already. Only went as far as the village at the end of the road, indeed a lovely spot with some swimming options and a nice waterfall or two.

    • It is indeed pretty tricky, I personally got lost even after going there the first time as there are no marks whatsoever. But the directions in the post should be accurate as of mid 2012. I need to go there again this year to confirm if they still are 🙂

  • Is it a place to bring quads?

    • Definitely not! Besides the rocks and water pools, you will have a hard time getting them there on the graded road 🙂

  • Do you require a SUV to get to this Wadi??

    • You definitely need a 4×4 to get there. Most SUVs should be fine getting there, but some might be too low and get hit by rocks on some stretches of the road.

  • Very easy to get there. From Muscat take the highway to Sur. You Will find an exit indicating Wadi Al arabeen 🙂 then it´s an easy dirt track till some construction (probably a new road to come). Take on your left. Look for a slop. Or ask anybody working Around.
    Beware because after the slop the track needs to have a 4×4.
    Thought it would be less poluted than wadi shab but unfortunately it was not. Worth it to stop by the village; there the wadi was still clean and quiet and nice.

  • […] Bani Khalid so much that it took the number one spot for “Best Wadi To Visit” from Wadi Al Arbaeen (Wadi Shab is number three now!). This is mostly due to the unique rocks, crystal clear blue pools […]

  • Thanks for the nice review and information, however you might want to update the directions as they are not accurate anymore due to the completion of many new asphalt roads that were under construction.

    I drove there yesterday (16.08.2014) and after a while of going out and about,I couldn’t find my way to the wadi via the exit (Wadi Al Arbieen 17 km mark). I drove further to Dhabab and found my way from there.

    On the way back I decided to drive back the way I wanted to come from and saw that I should have taken the first right after entering the exist, continue with the long new asphalt road that goes down a steep hill and reaches a T junction at the end, turn left and continue till the end of the asphalt road and pass a football small field on your left hand side. This is where you’ll start the off-road drive.

  • You reckon we can go there with a dog?

  • Hi there,

    I know this is super short notice, but we’re heading to Oman tomorrow and wanted to go to the Wadi on Monday. We don’t have a 4×4 vehicle. I seem to remember reading somewhere online that it’s possible to walk to the waterfall and that it’s about a 6km walk. I imagine it would mean parking at the village 5km before, and that this is what that other post I read was referring to?

    Again, I know it’s super last minute, but if ever you do have a chance to reply, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers!

    • Hey,

      Sorry I just saw your comment so obviously didn’t get a chance to reply. I hope you did manage to get there in the end? The last time I went there was June 2014 and a good stretch of the road was paved, with the graded road probably do-able without a 4×4.
      Either way, I hope you didn’t walk all the way from the village to the wadi because its probably not a very comfortable walk along the graded road.

      Ali

  • Visited this wadi in December 2014. Finding it is no longer an issue- it is well marked off Rt 17, with more signs for each turn as you go in. I found the road to be good- it changes to graded dirt part of the way in, and I did see one sedan in the wadi parking area. Still, 4WD is a good idea for some of the steeper parts of the gravel road coming back.

    The wadi is ridiculously beautiful, with pool after pool of picturesque green water among huge boulders, some of the pools being deep. The top of the wadi is a large, deep pool with a waterfall- very beautiful. You can go no farther than this, unless you are a serious rockclimber.

    I’m 50+, in fair shape, with some knowledge of boulder climbing. I found the hike challenging. There is no trail- you have to choose what you guess to be the best route, not always correctly. The next to last pool before the waterfall pools requires a very tricky climb on slippery rocks- I almost baled here, but was glad I didn’t. There are many possibilities for spraining or breaking a limb, and not easy to get out. I went alone, sprained a wrist, and should have gone with someone else. I camped in a hammock part of the way up. I think doing the whole hike to the falls and back in one day is a pretty big challenge. Also, there are areas which require somewhat lengthy swims in deep pools in narrow gorges- you should be a decent swimmer and expect everything you have with you to get wet. Good shoes for climbing rocks are a must.

    A remarkable canyoneering experience with beautiful water- just be sure you are prepared for it!

    • Hi John,

      Thank you for the update and the information about the waterfall. I have actually done the trek to the waterfall a couple of time. But I have to say, you are pretty brave to do the whole trek on your own!

      We made it in a single day every time we visited the waterfall but its a good 9-10 hour hike and it is very challenging (especially if you’re not very smart and go in the June, like us!). But the waterfall is definitely worth it, and the scenery gets more amazing the deeper you go through the wadi.

      Glad you enjoyed it, make sure you go with a group next time and thanks for sharing 🙂

      Cheers,
      Ali

      • Hey Trippers:

        I went back to this wadi with a friend on March 7. The wadi was completely dry about a third of the way up. Kind of strange, since there was plenty of water in the big pool and waterfall downstream from the parking area. We still had nice swims in four or five decent pools in the lower section, as well as a fun hike, but the point at which I had to swim in the big pool up the wadi in December, and up from there, was completely dry.

        • That’s very strange indeed. I have been there in the middle of summer last year and it was still pretty full so that is really surprising. Definitely need to check it out soon once I am back 🙂

          Thanks for the updates!

        • Hi john,
          If u are still in muscat.I need some buddies to goto such wadis.I have a 4 *4.
          Just new to muscat.not sure of safety here.
          Hows the wadi now if u know?

          • Dear Mamoona, I’ve been there few months back. Its absolutely safe out there. I faces no issues at all. 4×4 is good but one can do that with a 4×2 too. Hope you enjoy and please don’t forget to post your experience. Good luck!

  • Bro, I just wasn’t to say thank you for the unselfish information. I’ve got to see this place before the summer heat.

    • You’re welcome, hope you get to visit soon 🙂

  • Hey John, when you guys describe the hike, are you starting at the main pool with the waterfall that you can drive to? From there, after about 100 – 200m, there are two main valleys…..which option did you take when you went upstream? Left or right? Right had some nice pools within a short distance of the main pool….not sure what left had but interesting as well…I didn’t go very far but would like to next time.

    • Hi Cindy-

      Sorry- I just now saw your question. On both hikes, I parked at the end of the road right by the big pool with waterfall that you mention. I went to the right both times after first asking a local kid. I think that’s the main hike, as I encountered other hikers on the first trip.

      The pools got better and better on the first hike up the canyon, and the headway slower and more difficult as the canyon narrowed. It was really odd that the pools dried up in March halfway up the canyon. Not nearly as much fun without water to enjoy. Normally, you have to start swimming halfway up.

      Maybe someday someone will hammer in a piton and short cable/rope at the most difficult percipice at the end, just short of the waterfall. Sure would help completing the hike safely.

      Enjoy your wadi hiking- I think it’s a fantastic experience!

  • Excellent wadi. Loved every part of it…the drive, the location (surrounded by mountains), the serenity in the place, crystal clear waters, brilliant swim and hike…
    Getting there is pretty easy…on the muscat-sur highway just after Dibab, there will be sign-boards for the wadi and then you follow them for 17 kms (4 kms of tarmac and then off-road) and you reach right at this spot….you cant miss it…

  • Hi my family member! I wish to say that this post is amazing,
    great written and include almost all significant infos.

    I’d like to see extra posts like this .

    • Thanks, I am getting back into it and plan to write about a few more places in the upcoming months. Stay tuned 🙂

  • Hi All. Just wanted to say thank you for the lovely informative posts. My family and I are new at hiking and exploring Oman. And this wadi is top of our list to try and explore. Thanks.

    • Hi Shahira,

      Thank you for your kind words, I am very glad that you find our information helpful. If you’d like follow us on social media channels as I regularly post small updates there (and hopefully I’ll start updating the website soon as well).

      Best,
      Ali

  • Dear All, I visited the Wadi yesterday the 27th of August 2016. It is indeed one of the best Wadi I ever saw. Please note that many messages on 2013/2014 say that its tricky to arrive there but now it seems to be easy. My GPS showed the road and there are sign boards too. Initially they have made a new road and then there is a 15kms drive off-road but its a graded road. Drive slow and safely and some heights and curves are sharp. The mobile coverage is lost in some parts but near the villages you get your connection back. At the end of the Wadi you have your 3G/4G connection. The water fall is amazing and the pool too. There was still a 5kms walk/swim to the final water fall but for that one should be equipped. I reached until my Jeep drove me to a dead end. It’s worth a visit and I was lucky enough to take the exit from the highway without a plan to go to this Wadi. I cam share some amazing photos I took. Drop me your details and I will. Thanks. Happy & safe adventuring!!

    • Hi Aziz,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It is indeed an amazing wadi, one of my favorites in fact. The roads are much better than how it was back when I wrote the post, so perhaps I should update it soon 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

    • hi, am planning to do this in this month end . Would love to see your photos. Have a 8 yr old with us. He has done wadi Shab, but not all the way to the end. Do you think he can do this?

    • Hi Aziz,
      Thanks for your useful information. I have visitors next month, I want to take them to this beautiful wadi. Can u please explain me how to get there.
      Thanks and regards.
      Chandrashekaran.

  • Hi…possible to go hete with a toddler and baby in a baby carrier?

    Wouldnt expect to go so deep but atleast see few shallow pools and play in the shallow pool waters?

    • Hi Fab,

      Unless you are taking your toddler on one of those ‘back-pack’ carrier’s, I don’t think its possible to go very deep in the wadi. However, there is a big pool with a waterfall right by where you park your car, and you can see many families having a picnic there, so that is an option for sure.

      Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Ali

  • Can you take your dog here?

    • Hi Sonam,

      There is no ‘law’ forbidding taking dogs there; however, please keep in mind the start of the Wadi is right next to a village and some might find it offensive to have a dog running around there. If I was to take a dog with me, I would make sure to head straight inside the wadi away from the village as soon as I get there, and keep them on a leash. That’s my take on it.

      Hope your enjoy your visit.

      Best,
      Ali

  • Is it possible to go without 4WD. I am very much interested to visit this place but I am having only 2WD car only. Thank in advance.

    • My cousin joined me with his 2WD Kia Sportage without any problem. You can with a saloon too. Drive safe! Yes you can take ur toddlers. I was there with my 1 year old twins!!

  • […] flat, and you don’t get the challenge of scrambling between wadi rocks like in Wadi Shab or Wadi Al Arbaeen; however, I suspect I wouldn’t have felt this way if we were pushing to go faster to cross […]

  • I guess you must explore the left hand side fork of the wadi to find the waterfalls. I have been there at least 10 times since 2002 but always with families and limited time. We may venture for hiking next time.

    Pls advise with some more info ti hit the right track.

    • Hi,

      I am not sure which side is the left hand side fork, we just walk through the wadi in front past the village. I have prepared a rough sketch of the path, send me your email and I can share it with you if you’d like.

      Ali

  • Hi,

    I was just wondering if there was a full update on the roads in the area? I will be driving by myself, and am finding it hard to rent a 4×4. Or is that quite easy in Oman? I am a woman and will be travelling by myself. Any advice on car rental, or whether a 4×4 is still definitely required, is very much appreciated! I am also happy to park the car somewhere and go hiking instead, I don’t need to drive myself the whole way there.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Nayela,

      I need to update the driving directions in the post at some point, as it is quite outdated. The asphalt road has been extended a bit to the sign pointing to the Wadi Al Arbaeen; however, it is still a good couple of kilometers away from the wadi so I would not recommend you hike there, as it is quite long, as well as dangerous due to narrow road with cars coming & going!

      Hiring a 4×4 is definitely possible in Oman, but will obviously cost you more. You may get away with getting a small car through but it highly depends on the road conditions, and I would just advise against it as you don’t want to be stuck there half-way through. You can try parking where the asphalt road ends and trying to get a ride to the village, but then you’ll also need a ride back and with the summer season ending there might be less people there.

      If I was you, I’ll try going to Wadi Shab instead, much easier to drive to and then you can hike there. If you want to go to Wadi Al Arbaeen, I advise a 4×4, and preferably going with other people in case you find trouble in the hike. I often go on trips there, so feel free to email me (ali (at) omantripper (dot) com) maybe you can join 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

  • Hi,

    I am planning to go wadi-al-arbaeen with my GMC Terrain. Is it ok.!!or shud i rent a 4×4.? Please suggest

    • Hi Libi,

      I am not familiar with the GMC Terrain but I assume it is an AWD car. Generally, you can still go through Wadi Al Arbaeen with AWDs as the off-road section is not that bad, just be aware that there could be a chance that you’ll hit the bottom of the car in some sections since it is a bit low.

      Best,
      Ali

  • Hi !

    First I would like to thanks Ali for this great blog, very interesting and helpful – I’m reading a lot of sections to prepare our first visit to Oman in February 2018 🙂 !

    I’m planning to make the trip to Wadi Al Arbaeen at the end of February with my boyfriend – we’re both in good shape (30 & 36 years old, used to via ferrata and hiking in our Swiss mountains for example), but I was wondering about the difficulty regarding the hike and the estimated time needed to achieve it. On the reply from Ali to John the estimated time mentioned is 9 to 10 hours. But while making researches on other bogs and websites some people says they achieved it in 5 hours (go and back, 2h30 per way until Al Hail waterfall…but maybe it’s not the end of the wadi ?). Does anyone have more information to share about this ? Also, do we HAVE to jump in some parts (I’m very comfortable with rock climbing, steep places or narrow paths, however I don’t like having to jump into the water…) or can we avoid this if we want to ?

    Thank you all your lights – we’re very impatient to discover beautiful Oman soon 🙂 !
    Regards from Switzerland, Mélissa

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thank you, glad to hear you find the information helpful.

      I should probably update the blogpost at some point, but I should clarify about the duration in the wadi. The 9-10 estimate was during *peak* of summer and by trekking inside the wadi without any idea of the route to the water-fall – so it was time that also accounted for exploration of the wadi. I have done the full trip to the water-fall & back in 5-6 hrs in subsequent trips (but not in summer!). I would say it is possible to do the wadi in shorter time, but unless you go with someone who knows the wadi well I would definitely allocate more than 5 hrs for the trip (perhaps 7-8 hrs?).

      As for the water jumps, don’t worry there are no spots where you must jump in the water. There are a couple of pools you must swim through, but you can just walk into those.

      I have a very rough sketch of the route from memory (which I should also probably update at some point) that I will email to you in a minute. I also offer guiding services if you want a guide for the wadi 😀

      Best,
      Ali