- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Turtles by night is a two day tour package, where we will get an opportunity to drive down the coast of Oman visiting seaside villages, spectacular Wadis, awe-inspiring sinkhole, dazzling desert sands and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go turtle spotting at Ras Al Junaiyz sanctuary.
On the first day of the Turtles by night tour we have lots to cover with visits to Quriyat, the Bimah Sinhole, Wadi Arbayeen and more sights on the way before heading to the Ras Al Junaiyz turtle reserve to spot turtles during the evening so we head out early morning at eight ‘o clock via the scenic coastal road that carries us from Muscat to these sights. The route offers breathtaking views of clear blue waters, pristine beaches and mountain roads that are found all along the Gulf of Oman.
Our first stop of the day is at the town of Quriyat or Qurayyat as it is written by some. It is the ideal place to start the tour as it lies barely 80km from Muscat and is the first town of importance on the drive South from the capital. We will be driving through the mountains as the road here cuts straight through rugged Eastern Hajjar range and is a pleasurable drive with smooth roads and views of rocky mountains, narrow valleys as we cross tiny mountain villages. When we arrive at this seaside fishing town, we can spend some time exploring the town itself before heading over the four hundred year old Quriyat fort. Afterwards, we will visit the Fish Souk(marketplace) where we witness the day to day workings of a fish market. You will notice that a variety of fish is available and traded here, both for local consumption and export. We then proceed to drive along the picturesque waterfront passing by an inland stream where you will have an opportunity to spot flamingoes, eagles and other birds before heading towards the picturesque Wadi Arabayeen with its deep pools of water set among the date palms.
We’ll cross through spectacular green mountains as we take an adventurous route through these green giants to reach Wadi Arbayeen, situated in the Al Sharqiyah region of Oman. On exploring this Wadi you will be delighted to find that its rocky face is surrounded by date trees and liberally populated with numerous lakes, waterfalls and deep pools of water.
Afterwards, we head to the coast to for a tour of the Bimah Sinkhole. This spectacular Sinkhole, also known as Bait al-Afreet is located at the small Hawiyat Najm Park and consists of a giant limestone crater with clear blue-green water at the bottom. On clear sunny days while driving along the coast one might chance to see sharks in the deep blue waters or fleet-footed Gazelles sprint across the landscape.
We make a quick diversions off the highway at a hilltop overlooking palm trees and the site that was once the ancient town of Qalhat to visit Bibi Miriam's tomb which is also known as ‘The Mausoleum of Lady Maryam’, The tomb is one of the only sights of the ancient town to survive the ravages of time. We will explore the ruins of this once great city before heading towards the coast. As we continue from here the road winds through mountain terrain offering breathtaking glimpses of the blue waters of the ocean en route.
After a set menu lunch at Sur Beach Hotel, we continue our drive to Ras Al Junaiyz, a sanctuary for the green turtles. On reaching our destination we will check in to the Ras Al Had Hotel and take a break to freshen up and relax. Post dinner at the hotel we will set out for a turtle viewing session with a night tour of the Ras Al Jinz beach.
At the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve visitors get a unique opportunity to be witness the birthing of hatchling turtles at the sandy beach during season or get a look at their nesting sites and get to spot rare species of turtles like the Green Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, and the Hawksbill Turtle. There are plenty of safeguard established (which you will be briefed upon) to ensure that the tour gets you as close to these creatures without endangering or unduly disturbing their lives and birthing cycles. While visiting the turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz one can also visit the interactive museum, research laboratories and explore the plethora of information available learn more about these wonderful animals.
Post the tour we return to the hotel to rest for the lengthy day tomorrow.
Wake up next to the sea at this scenic beachside hotel in Oman and enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the second day of the tour.
At sharp eight ‘o clock we set out, driving towards Wadi Bani Khalid also known as Wadi Hayer or Wadi Hawer, which is a desert paradise in the middle of the sweltering sands. It is an oasis in the middle of date palm trees with of a network of pools with sparkling blue water surrounded by intimidating rock valleys. As your guide will go on to explain, the wadi is not a single spot but a wide expanse of area covering numerous villages in these rocky hills. The wadi is home to numerous pools with absolutely crystal-clear sparkling waters and there is even a waterfall here. Some parts of the Wadi are home to a network of tiny caves, but these should not be explored without a guide. The Wadi is also home to numerous small but picturesque villages that are hidden away deep in the mountains.
After visiting the Wadi we drive southwards till we arrive at a vast expanse of desert which is part of the Al Sharqiya Sands of Oman, also known as the Wahiba Sands or Ramlat al Wahiba. Here you will experience the Omani desert in all its glory as wide swaths of undulating red and white sands swell across the landscape forming dunes that rise up to 200m in ever-changing patterns as the winds sweep them from here to there. Driving over the rolling dunes is yet another thrilling experience that you will encounter on this tour as our experienced drivers expertly navigate through the sand to arrive at the settlements here.
With the sparse flora and fauna that populated the land here it is hard to believe that any civilization could survive in these harsh conditions, however, it was home to the Bani Wahiba tribe after which the Wahiba Sands were named. Nowadays there are only a few Bedouin houses that still stand in this wilderness, and we can visit one of the houses to talk to the people. We will partake of some of the famed hospitality of the Bedouin tribes and hear from them about their knowledge of the sands and their lifestyles in this barren land.
Post the visit to the Bedouin tribes, we will drive over to the Al Sharqiyah Sands hotel where we will be served a set menu lunch, after which we will return to Muscat. We should arrive at the capital by 5:30 pm, so you are free to plan additional activities you may wish to take part in.
Available around the year although some sights might be shut during certain periods
You should never approach turtles emerging from the sea or disturb nesting Turtles.
Keep an eye out for disoriented hatchlings and direct them seaward.
Never leave waste on the beach as this disturbs the natural habitat of the turtles.
Avoid making noise around the nesting beach.
Using the flashlight during the tour is prohibited. The best photo opportunity would be during early morning at around 05:30 AM.
Carry light pullovers in dark colours only.
Carry only one small overnight bag due to the limited baggage space.
If you require, then visa assistance or flight bookings can be made on request at a nominal charge.
Please let your tour advisor know at the beginning if you are allergic to anything, so your food options follow the same.
Kindly let your tour advisor know at the time of booking if any special assistance will be required during the tour.
This tour is on a Chauffeur drive basis only and not available as a self driven tour.
Children 8 – 12 years are charged as adults.
Places We Visit- Highlights
Tour of Quriyat Fort and Fish Souq, Waterfront drive
Qalhat ‘The Mausoleum of Lady Maryam
Sur Beach Hotel
Turtle Sanctuary at Ras Al Junaiyz
Wadi Bani Khalid tour
Al Sharqiya Sands of Oman, also known as the Wahiba Sands or Ramlat al Wahiba, visit Bedouin houses.
- Two days 4WD with English speaking chauffeur.
- Set menu lunch at Sur Beach Hotel (Day 1).
- Dinner and Breakfast at Ras Al Hadd Hotel.
- Set menu lunch at Al Sharqiyah Sands hotel (Day 2).
- Twin sharing accommodation at Ras Al Hadd Hotel
- Guided tour by experienced multilingual guides.
- Any personal shopping
- Additional areas you may wish to visit
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