One of the wettest wadis in Oman, Wadi Bani Khalid is truly an oasis where villages and plantations spread out across the fertile floor. Famous for its natural beauty, there are two particularly popular spots to visit in Wadi Bani Khalid: Moqal Cave and the crystal clear natural pools at the narrow end of the wadi.
Moqal Cave is a half-hour walk past the village of the same name near the end of the valley floor. It’s possible to head into the narrow cave without a guide; just remember to bring a torch and be prepared for some scrambling.
At the spring-fed natural pools, mini waterfalls tumble down limestone crags to the pools popular with swimmers. Fancy a free pedicure? If you dangle your legs in the water, little fish will come up to nibble away your dry skin! For stunning views of the wadi plantations, stop at the Tourist Service Center parking lot on the approach road from Moqal Cave.
Wadi Bani Khalid is 126 miles (203 kilometers) from Muscat. Both the pools and Moqal Cave are well signposted from the Muscat-Sur Highway, and the Tourist Service Center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the natural pools, it’s respectful to dress modestly with shorts and a T-shirt covering your swimming costume. There are picnic huts by the pools, which get busy with families on holidays and weekends.