Just 113km away from Muscat, this legendary sinkhole can be found a short distance off of the main road. Although there are various stories behind the formation of the Hawiyat Najm, the locals have a legend that a meteor fell here which has given this sinkhole the name “Hawiyat Najm, meaning “The Falling Star”. Though a fascinating origin story, expert geologists have concluded that the crater was in fact formed as a natural consequence of the limestone dissolving, which resulted in the collapse of the top layer of earth.
Once you step off on location, you’ll notice a fence with an unlocked gate, along with some refreshingly clean restrooms and picnic tables. A short walk away under the palm trees and you’ll find the sinkhole with very convenient steps that lead you down to a shallow entrance. The water is more salty than the nearby ocean, so you’ll swim and float more easily than you’re used to.
If you’re feeling especially adventurous it’s possible to jump in from the top, but be warned it’s a dangerous leap – almost 20 meters down! For those who want a similar, yet safer, experience, we recommend you take the trail on the right side to a shelf 3-5 meters above the very deep water. Although at first glance this is an easy jump, the dark depths of the deep end easily conjure up imaginations of what creatures may lie below; but there’s really nothing to worry about. Divers have explored the inky depths and found several cave networks hidden in the depths, but no monsters – unless you include the tiny fish in the shallows above you might discover nibbling your toes! If, like most, you choose to stick to the shallow end, you’ll be able to see directly through the crystal waters and enjoy the little curious residents that congregate there.
Tips for the day:
- This is a great experience for young travelers. The gradual slope into the calm water makes for an easy entry for little feet – but do keep a close watch as the waters get deep after few meters.
- The bottom of the sinkhole is a bit rocky, and although it’s possible to enjoy it barefoot, others may feel more comfortable wearing water shoes or sandals.
- In your bag: plenty of water, snacks, a hat, and sunscreen. There aren’t any kiosks or convenience stores nearby.
- This would be a great stop on the way to another destination- perhaps on the way to/from Sur, Wadi Tiwi, or Wadi Ash Shab. If you want to spend a longer time in the area, there are beautiful beaches nearby complete with some wonderful snorkeling spots.