Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

There was I, staring down at the emerald waters in this massive hollow on the limestone. The water was as green as I had seen on pictures the week before, and the surprise stop at this small park by the road, just made that moment more remarkable.We had stopped at Bimah Sinkhole, located at the small Hawiyat Najm Park, by the dual carriageway from Muscat to Sur, and only 600m from the beach. Locally it is also known as Bait al-Afreet, and is a 40m wide and 20m from the surface.

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

A week earlier, when I saw pictures of it in a magazine at my Muscat hotel, I regretted the fact I wouldn’t have the chance to visit this natural wonder. When my Omani friends made this unexpected stop, I was not only happy, but also amazed by this beauty. I looked down and saw some young locals halfway up the walls, ready to jump, their voices echoing loudly. If only I could join them!

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

Soon we started climbing down the staircase to the natural pool. At roughly 9am, and only a few minutes out of the air-conditioned car, the summer heat was making me sweat and burned my skin. The water was so inviting that, even though I’m not a good swimmer, I was determined to go for a dip. When we arrived at the bottom of the stairs, my friend explained to me that “a piece of the moon fell, creating such a hole, and the water from the sea came from underneath”.

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

My friends refused to go swimming, so I stripped to my shorts, tested the water temperature with the tip of my toes, then jumped went into the cool emerald water. After a few seconds, I noticed some tiny fish were biting my feet. It was quite ticklish, and I realised they were the same “pedicure” fish used in some Oriental spas. Great, not only was I having a refreshing swim at an idyllic sinkhole pool created by a piece of the moon, but I was also having fish eat the dead skin off my feet. Sweet!

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

As I continued swimming, the guys I watched earlier climbed the walls again, jumped into the water, and a family of expats arrived. We spent about one hour at the spot, before heading to the rocky beach nearby. The sunlight was so intense that I could hardly keep my eyes open without sunglasses. This time I didn’t go into the water, as the sea was very rough, despite the calm appearance.

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, Oman

Swimming in Bimah Sinkhole, OmanWhen we returned to the car, I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend’s explanation for the sinkhole. That is based on old local belief, but the truth is, it was caused by erosion, like any sinkholes in the world. To me this makes it even more special – being a commoner who managed to stand out of the crowd, to be one of the most beautiful sinkholes on the planet!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Location: Bimah Sinkhole is located near the highway between Muscat and Sur, around 48km (30 miles) from the latter, and makes for the perfect stop if you’re visiting the wadis nearby.

Facilities: There are toilet facilities at the small park, and the area is popular with families on pic-nics. There are no bars or restaurants, so you must bring your own food and plenty of water.

Entry Fee: Entry is free.

Getting There: There is no public transport. You must have your own vehicle or hire a driver in Muscat or Sur.


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14 Responses

  1. Visiting Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman: A Desert Paradise – Travel with Pedro

    […] I visited the place during a road trip to the Sharkquiya region with some Omani friends. Wadi Bini Khalid is located near the main road that connects the capital Muscat to the city of Sur. It’s possible to go there on a day trip from Muscat, but given the distance of 255km each way, it’s better to go there as part of a longer trip to the wadis and Bimah Sinkhole, which I talked about on this post. […]

    Reply
  2. Mohammed YS AlAmri

    Hi Pedro,
    I really liked your photos about my country.
    Keep up.
    Best regards
    Mohammed

    Reply
    • Pedro @ Travel with Pedro

      Hi Mohammed, thank you for your visit, I’m really glad you liked the pictures.

      Cheers! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Natalie

    Free pedicure! LOL! that is both awesome and creepy!! We always travel with the kids and they would just love this! I’m not so sure about myself. LOL! I think fish nibbling would feel so creepy!

    Reply

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