When I heard the newly renovated Al Hoota Cave which has a train going inside the cave is finally open to the public, I didn’t miss the chance checking it out. Al Hoota Cave, located in Al Hamra, Oman is said to be the first and only show cave in the Arabian Peninsula with a total length of around 4.5km with 500m publicly accessible. Something interesting to be up on the mountain.
First, my friend and I have booked online tickets to Al Hoota Cave. They accept walk- in but to avoid long queue in buying tickets, I suggest doing it online and choose the time you want to go. Just make sure to arrive 15 minutes before the allotted schedule. By the time we went there, it was Eid Holidays. The line was long at the Visitor Center, and lots of people were visiting the place, locals, tourists, and expats. Since we bought our tickets online, we waited for our turn only for a while. There is a waiting area before you will hop in into the electric train that will bring you into the cave.
The train going inside the cave can carry 48 passengers from the Visitor Center into the entrance of the cave. The train ride was about 10 minutes going inside the cave. I enjoyed the rocky mountain view as we approached the cave. Kids and kids at heart enjoyed the electric train to the cave.
Before getting into the cave, there are some reminders to the visitors that must be noted:
1.Inside the cave is around 45 minutes of a walk, so it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
2. If you have a condition such as claustrophobia or illnesses such as asthma, I do not recommend the tour because of limited air circulation inside the cave.
3.Humidity inside the cave might reach 85% in some areas. Bring some tissue or handkerchief with you.
4.It is also not allowed to drink or eat inside the cave, but there is a restaurant at the Al Hoota Visitor Center where you can take some food or hydrate yourself before or after the visit.
5.Once inside the cave, a local guide will assist the tour which is knowledgeable in speaking English and Arabic languages.
6.Taking photos inside the cave is not allowed. If you plan to bring your camera, you have to surrender it to the personnel at the entrance of the cave.
In addition to the cave tour, there is also a geological museum and gift shop at the Visitor Center to complete your Al Hoota Cave experience. You can explore the ancient geology of Oman from the various display. As for last stop, you can visit the gift shop to buy local Omani handicrafts and cave souvenirs. As a foreign national, I paid 6.5 Omr for the ticket. For more information, you can check Al Hoota Cave website for schedule and ticket prices.
The natural beauty of the cave preserved million years ago is indeed one of the hidden treasures of the country. There is so much to see and discover other than the desert in the Gulf region. Adding a train to the exploration of the cave makes the whole experience unique in the Arabian Peninsula!
Tell me about your own cave experience on the comments below.