Oman remains one of the last great undiscovered parts of the Middle East. Here, ancient heritage melds beautifully with modern living. Overnight in the dramatic Wahiba Sands desert. Still looking for something off the beaten path? Visit Wadi Nakhr, also known as the Grand Canyon of Oman, to get even deeper into Oman’s ethereal beauty — natural and otherwise.
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned until our 6 PM group introduction meeting in the lobby of our start hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
In the morning you will meet your Oman tour leader and have a brief introduction meeting. We will then spend the day exploring some of the highlights of Muscat.
We start with a visit to one of Muscat’s finest architectural sites, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Covering an area of 416,000 square meters, this mosque can accommodate 20,000 worshipers and offers visitors a labyrinth of grounds to explore.
Next we visit the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Boasting one of the largest heritage art collections in Oman, it is a must-see for those eager to learn more about Omani culture and history.
Then we go to the Muttrah Souq to take in the colorful sights, and perfumed scents of this winding marketplace. Opt to hunt for authentic Omani artifacts and handicrafts (you won’t have to go far), or sip on an aromatic Omani coffee and gaze out at the local hustle and bustle.
In the afternoon we travel to Old Muscat and take in the sights and sounds of this sleepy coastal area. Visit the forts of Al-Mirani and Al-Jelani to get some perspective on Omani history.
We leave Muscat behind and drive along the coast to the picturesque Bimmah Sinkhole. Feast your eyes on one of the world’s most breathtaking sinkholes. Surrounded by the sea and towering mountains, this sinkhole measures 40 meters wide and 20 meters deep. With its glittering turquoise waters, it isn’t hard to believe the local folklore that maintains that the sinkhole was created by a falling star. Jump in and cool off.
We the drive to Sur, home of the last remaining factory that builds Oman’s traditional dhows. The production of these wooden boats have a 6000 year old history, which has established ancient Oman as a prosperous trading port in the region. Visit the shipyard and learn how these ships are made.
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs by 4×4
Today we drive Drive through red rock formations and vibrant green plantations and take in the natural beauty of this oasis-like region of Wādī Banī Khālid. Running through this area are the natural blue-tinted springs that receive a constant water flow throughout the year, making it a lifeline for villages of this area. Enjoy lunch before taking free time to explore the area. Opt to take a easy hike to the surrounding waterfalls, or swim in the wadis (natural springs).
We will arrive at the desert camp just in time to enjoy the sun set. Enjoy a traditional meal and learn more about the ancient Bedouin culture. Spend the evening sitting under the stars, around a fire, listening to stories and music from the Bedouin hosts.
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs by 4×4
Leaving the desert behind, we head towards Ibra and visit the impressive Jabrin castle. Jabrin Castle is one of best-preserved castles in Oman. Built in 1675 by Imam Bil-arab bin Sultan, this fort was a center for astrology, law, and medicine.
Continue towards Nizwá, stopping at the historic fortress of Bahla along the way. This impressive walled-city, had some of its oldest parts built as early as 500 BC. Gaining UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1987, this complex is an grand example of ancient Omani architecture.
Estimated travel time: 3 hrs by 4×4
In the morning you will have the option to visit the mid-seventeenth century Nizwa Fort (50 MR per person).
We then drive to the town of Al Hamra and visit the renowned mud houses of Misfat Al Abriyeen. Built into the mountainside of the Al Hamra region, this authentic Omani village is known for its unique residential architecture. The homes are constructed using rocks excavated from the mountain and plastered together with mud, making the structures look as though they are part of the mountain. Some houses are still being lived in. Learn about this building method that has allowed this community to stand the test of time.
We also learn about the Aflaj irrigation systems. This water network is made up of ancient channels that used gravity to carry the water from the source to farms and mosques, since 500 AD. This complex system is representative of a system that is still in use in Oman today.
Estimated travel time: 1 hr by 4×4
Start off the day exploring Jebel Shams and take in view of Wadi Nakhr, otherwise known as the Grand Canyon of Oman. Drive through Wadi Bani Awf and take in the beauty of the steep mountain cliffs before reaching the end point (“Snake Point”) of the gorge. We then continue to Muscat.
Estimated travel time: 6 hrs by 4×4
Depart at any time.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
This program will be led by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. For those who have booked arrival transfer, your driver will meet guest in the arrival hall with a G Adventures placard (after immigration & customs clearance) and guide you to our vehicle.
If you have not booked arrival transfer, there is an airport taxi counter in the arrival hall of Muscat International airport (after immigration & customs clearance) and guests can hire taxi from there. The approximate cost for one way transfer by saloon car from Muscat airport to hotel is US $50.00 per car per way.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Cairo, Egypt)
During office hours (Sun-Thu,10am to 6pm local time): +20 233 77 88 30 or +20 233 77 88 31
After hours Emergency number: +20 122 221 16 99 (Mohammed)
G Adventures Middle East Manager
Emergency number: : +20 122 221 16 99 -Mohammed (Cairo, Egypt)
If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures’ local office they have a toll-free line within North America which will connect you directly with their Toronto office: 1 888 800 4100. Outside of North America, call: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Oman requires US citizens to apply and purchase a tourist visa within 30 days of arrival in Oman. However, there may be a visa waiver for travelers coming via Qatar. We are researching this right now. Please do not attempt to purchase your Oman visa yet. If you do end up needing to purchase an Oman visa, this is done online following these steps:
The currency in Oman is the Omani rial (OMR). There are plenty of banks that can be found in Oman. ATMs are found within main cities (mostly in shopping malls and airports) in Oman and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will change a fee for overseas withdrawals. Smaller shops and restaurants will mostly only accept cash.
Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are all easy to exchange to the Local currency. Please note that you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.
If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 1996, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Tipping is important in the Middle East. Locals themselves will usually tip anyone who provides them with services. In many cases, people depend on the tips they receive to supplement the low salary and wages of the Middle East region.
While on tour in the Middle East, it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, taxis and van drivers. Tipping at restaurants in Qatar and Oman is expected at the rate of 10%. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry.
For the Oman portion, to make things as easy as possible and avoid embarrassing situations, G Adventures uses a tipping kitty system where your tour leader will collect a contribution from everybody at the start of your tour and use this kitty to tip anybody who has provided services to the group as a whole. A guideline for tipping is about $5-10 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your G Adventures tour leader). On Day 1 of your tour, your tour leader will be able to advise on the amount required from everybody to form the tipping kitty for your trip. You can pay in USD or the equivalent local currency (preferably local currency). The tour leader will be able to advise you on the exchange rate and the total required in either currency
If at any time you feel that any service provider failed in maintaining or delivering good service, please bring it immediately to the attention of your tour leader so a deduction of tips can take place.
At the end of your trip if you felt that your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however $40 USD per person can be used as a general guideline.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins and ends in Muscat. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Muscat and the earliest time you can depart Muscat.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Oman uses a Type G- British-style three square prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100 – 240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Oman has a dry desert climate, bringing warm weather all year round. Although we will be there during the winter, temperatures are warm and perfect for an escape in the sun. Temperatures should be in the high 60s to mid 70s. At night, temperatures cool down to the low 60s. There is very little, if any, rain. If you want to take a dip in the sea, the Gulf’s waters measure a lovely 75 F at this time of year.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.
See price in top right corner
Roughly $1,000-$1,800 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to help you.
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $40 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $40 to $80 for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Variable. Please consult your doctor.
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.