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 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.
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
- 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)
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:
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.
Have you visited Wadi Al Arbaeen before? How far did you go inside?