Exploring The Natural Wonder- Al Hoota Caves, Oman

‘The beauty of the natural rock formations and the dark corners of the never ending cavern catches your breath as you enter the cave, inviting you to explore further and not look back’

My Trip

Our last minute decision to drive to Oman during the Eid holidays proved to be an exciting one, with us going to places that we have never been to before. Our visit to the Al Hoota caves was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

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Al Hoota Cave

The Al Hoota caves are a short 30-minute drive from a quainimg_2503t city called Nizwa. The drive takes you through the beautiful Jebel Shams mountain range with clearly marked brown boards to guide you to your destination. Ensure you book your spot online, a day in advance as the cave restricts the number of visitors to 750 a day in order to protect the ecosystem within the cave.

We arrived there to see a huge crowd of people cumulated from all around the Gulf for the Eid break. I later found out that the caves received over 12,000 people during that week. While waiting for our assigned number to be called, we headed up one level to the geological museum where a local guide explained the history of the Jebel Shams formation and how the caves were formed through interactive video simulations and rock exhibits.

Inside the Cave

It was then time to hop aboard the electric train for a short ride to the cave, the main attraction which everyone was eagerly waiting for.

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Image Source: Y-Oman

 

Our eyes widen as we enter the cave, trying to take in all the natural beauty.

‘The beauty of the natural rock formations and the dark corners of the never ending cavern catches your breath as you enter the cave, inviting you to explore further and not look back’

The caves were formed over 2 million years ago and as you walk along the built pathway you feel a sense of awe at what nature is capable of. Guides present at three points along the pathway explain the history, ecosystem, formations within the cave and are open to answering any of your curious questions.

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Lights bounce off the uniquely shaped stalactite and stalagmite limestone formations around you. Certain famous recreations formed by the rocks will be pointed out to you as you make your walk, which I will leave as a mystery for your visit.

These lights are switched on and off as the tour continues and remain off when there are no tours, to protect the natural state and biodiversity within the cave.

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Our 45-minute walk observing the fossils and limestone rocks ends at the lake at the bottom of the cave. Cool air brushes against us from deep within the waters where we gape at the rare blind cave fish, these are bottom dwellers who lose their as eyes as they mature in order to adapt to dark environments.

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Recommended Visit

Overall I would list this cave as a must visit if you are in Oman, because it definitely ignited the explorer in me. My advice for your visit – stop and take in all the smells, textures and sights and don’t rush your walk through the cave.

Find out more from the Al Hoota Cave official website 

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