Beauty, Charm & Adventure
Located on the Southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is filled with beauty, charm and adventure. Oman is the ideal place for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable experience suitable for all travel types.
Oman is a small, laid-back country with a lot to offer. Perfect for both culture junkies and adrenaline enthusiast.
I spent about 2 weeks going back and forth trying to pick a destination for my 29th birthday. With a world as beautiful as we have, it’s hard to pick just one place you want to see, and if you’re anything like me you want to see and do everything. I wanted to visit somewhere new and specifically somewhere where I could drink champagne & enjoy myself on my birthday. So, after hearing from several people about Muscat Oman, I decided to book.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m one of those people who read through travel websites and put some serious research behind the place I’m going to visit. I even did a Google image search just to see what things may look like.
I booked the trip with 4 other girlfriends & was looking forward to the getaway. Once I arrived at the airport a really special surprise awaited me! It was 3AM & it took some time to register what had just happened…but I literally cried when I saw my brother crashing our trip! That was the beginning of our amazing trip to Oman…
I wanted this trip to be a mix of adventure & relaxation, so I booked my stay at the Crowne Plaza Muscat. The hotel is located right on the beach with incredible views of the Oman Gulf. The hotel staff was incredibly attentive and helpful. The rooms were a bit small, but they were clean & well put together. The pool was the perfect place to relax & let’s not forget about the bar with pool service. On my actual birthday, the hotel sent up a delicious chocolate cake, which was a nice touch & the hotel concierge was amazing! During our stay recommended some fun spots for dinner & a night out with the girls. Definitely would stay there again.
The first day was meant to just settle in. After checking-in we headed to the pool where we spent most of the afternoon sunbathing & drinking. Of course a nap was completely necessary in the middle of the day.
For dinner we headed to a place called Kargeen Café. The pictures on all the review websites don’t do this place justice. Kargeen is absolutely beautiful. Offering both indoor and outdoor sitting areas, dim-lit tables, funky decorations and a great vibe. We ordered pineapple shisha for the table and each of us got different entrees. I went with the Safron chicken dish. The food presentation was incredible! However, I did get nervous with the grilled meat dishes because they come with a mini grill, coal burning and all! The service was mediocre, but they made up for it through everything else. Of course the birthday note was dropped to the server, so they brought me a nice chocolate cake to share with the table.
The next morning we had to be up early for our tour to Wadi-Shab. We arranged our tour through Lifetime Tours Oman prior to arriving in Muscat. They were really helpful, informative and even surprised me with a birthday cake. Our tour guide Khaled was awesome! The whole ride to Wadi-Shab he told us a lot of stories about his beautiful country.
The journey towards Wadi-Shab almost made me feel like I was back in the states. minus the camels of course, but definitely felt like somewhere between Colorado or Texas. The views were spectacular. The mountains and scenary looked like they were straight out of a postcard.
Once we arrived at our destination we had to take a little boat ride across the canal and begin our hike towards Wadi Shab. It was a fun 40 minute hike. Lots of jumping, climbing, slipping, walking through water and sweating. Great workout! The views during our walk were incredible. As we continued our way into the Wadi the water kept getting bluer and bluer and at some point I was dying to jump into the water, but there was a sign that said “danger, no jumping very deep water” so I followed the rules.
We reached a sort of “ending” point for our walking part of the hike. If we wanted to go into the cave to see the waterfall (the highlight of the tour) we needed to do a bit of swimming to get to it. Our tour guide stayed behind with our belongings and we started our swim.
There were some parts where you could just walk through the water, but then all of sudden it got deep and you had to swim. We must have crossed about 3 small wadi’s until we reached the entrance of the cave. You literally had to swim your way through a small entrance to make it to the other side. It was challenging to maneuver your body trough the small entrance because it wasn’t perfectly straight. All the exercise you went through was absolutely worth it though because what waited for you inside was an awesome waterfall.
Once inside the cave the water was coming down really powerful. Thankfully you can grab onto the rocks and keep yourself afloat while you took in the beauty of the waterfall and water crashing down.
Next to the waterfall they put a rope that you use to pull yourself up, our of the water as it crashed down and climb up the waterfall. This was super challenging and required balance and strength. I tried to climb up by myself about 5 times and just kept falling. I had given up and was upset I wouldn’t be able to climb up and take the jump down!
One of the local tour guides saw me struggling & called his friend. They managed to not only pull me out of the water but also guided me up the waterfall until I reached the top. It was super slippery, I was terrified of falling. I’m not typically scared of heights or water but I was afraid of falling and hitting my head on a rock. I reached the top and had to jump over a few rocks to try and get behind some other rocks where you could actually just stand & relax at. During my attempt to cross I slipped, hit my elbow on a rock and smashed my camera lens. While all this is happening one of the guys grabbed my arm and used all his strength to pull me up to the other side and to what I call safety.
I’ll be quite honest after all that I was pretty tired and shaken up. I didn’t want to move. The guide asked me if I wanted to jump down and I said yes. He gave me few minutes to calm down, told me to take off my shoes and helped me around some super slippery rocks, around the back of the waterfall to the side where I could make my jump back down. I of course slipped once more. I was terrified by this time.
I was so mad at myself. I jump out of airplanes for fun. I’m a good swimmer. Why was I so worried?! We finally reached the right area I needed to jump from. The tour guide gave me a pep talk and jumped into the water.
My friends jumped from another rock. I watched all of them jump down 1 by 1. I must have sat on that rock for 40 minutes waiting to jump. At this point everyone else had jumped and everyone was cheering for me, including strangers.
I sucked it all up and finally jumped. Of course I screamed like a little girl but it was definitely because I was relieved to be off the rocks. The jump itself was super fun, the water felt perfect, and I was so happy to make the jump. I wish I could’ve gotten it on video but the memory in my head will last a lifetime.
We made our way back to meet with our tour guide. The hike back down to where the camp was, was a lot smoother. What an amazing day spent hiking & swimming. I felt pure bliss. How blessed am I to spend my 29th birthday doing something so adventurous, with family and good friends.
After our tour to Wadi Shab the remainder of our trip was really relaxing. We enjoyed the time at the beach and shared some drinks by the pool.
One of the nights the girls and went to a place called The Cave that our hotel concierge recommended to us. It was different than clubs from back home, but we had an incredible time.
My visit to Oman was worth every penny. It was my first relaxing-adventurous trip. The country itself is absolutely stunning and the Omanis are really friendly & welcoming people.
I wish I could have spent more time with them, but that just means I’ll have to plan another visit soon!
Oman is the ideal place for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.