One place that needs to be part of every Jordan itinerary, regardless of the duration of your stay, is Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a mesmerizing desert wilderness located in the southern part of Jordan.
Renowned for its surreal landscapes, this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts a unique blend of towering sandstone mountains, narrow canyons, and vast, wavelike dunes that create an otherworldly panorama.
To make sure your stay is unforgettable, it’s crucial to know key details such as where to stay, what attractions to visit, and what essentials to pack.
This guide to visiting Wadi Rum is based on my own experiences and should help you with planning and ensuring a smooth and enjoyable trip.
If you need any more tips, feel free to contact me at any time. Otherwise, enjoy reading and planning your trip to this incredible place!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)
Basic Facts & Information About Wadi Rum
Besides its fascinating landscape, one of the most captivating features of Wadi Rum is its rich historical significance.
You can find prehistoric rock carvings, ancient inscriptions, and archaeological remnants dating back to the Nabatean era scattered throughout the entire region.
Due to its remote location and minimal light pollution, Wadi Rum has also gained international acclaim as a prime location for stargazing. Justifiably so, because during our stay we were treated to the most beautiful starry sky we’d seen in a long time!
Beyond its natural wonders, Wadi Rum has served as a backdrop for numerous films, including the iconic “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Martian”.
Location & How to Get There
As already mentioned, Wadi Rum is situated in the southern part of Jordan, approximately 60 kilometers east of Aqaba and 320 kilometers south of the capital, Amman.
There are several ways to reach Wadi Rum. If you’re seeking convenience you might consider opting for a guided tour. Such tours are available from major Jordanian cities and provide a hassle-free experience with knowledgeable guides.
Tours you might find interesting:
Public transport is also available with buses connecting Wadi Musa and Aqaba to Wadi Rum Village. Just keep in mind that schedules may be limited!
The third option, and how we traveled to Wadi Rum, is by car. We decided to rent a car for our time in Jordan because we wanted to be flexible and discover lots of different places in the country.
Before Wadi Rum we stayed in Wadi Musa from where we then took the 2-hour ride to Wadi Rum Village.
The village marks the furthest point accessible by a regular car. There’s a designated parking area where you’ll be picked up by a person from the camp you’ve reserved.
While it’s possible to find accommodations upon arrival in Wadi Rum, booking a camp in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons!
If your time is limited, there’s also the option to do a 2-hour jeep tour from Wadi Rum Village that covers all major sights.
Where to Stay in Wadi Rum, Jordan
There are about as many camps in Wadi Rum as there is sand – well, almost.
But seriously: there are a lot of camps in Wadi Rum and choosing the right one can be quite difficult. I’m speaking of experience.
From traditional Bedouin-style camps to more luxurious options with modern amenities, Wadi Rum offers an array of choices that ensure a comfortable stay.
After extensive research and comparing different camps, we booked one that looked phenomenal in the pictures and had lots of exceptional reviews.
Spoiler alert: The reviews are justified as it was equally stunning in real life!
The place we stayed at is called Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp and is nestled in the heart of the protected area, not far from the village.
When making a booking, you have the option to choose between two distinct room categories: the Deluxe room, situated in luxurious tents at the front row, or the Superior room, housed in Martian-style tents at the rear.
We opted for a Deluxe room in our booking, mainly because we wanted to enjoy uninterrupted views from our terrace of the otherworldly landscape.
Regardless of the category you choose, all rooms come equipped with the finest amenities, including a large double bed, air conditioning, a rain shower, a private terrace, and more!
Beyond the wonderful accommodations, Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp boasts an unparalleled location opposite one of the most iconic sandstone mountains featured in the movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’
The camp also provides a continental breakfast buffet, a selection of Jeep tours, desert hikes, and “Zarb”, a type of Bedouin barbecue cooked underground.
Plus, the owner Mohammed is very kind and loves sharing insights about Wadi Rum and Bedouin life.
For us, there could have been no better camp and we truly enjoyed our stay there!
If you’d like more accommodation options, here are some camps we also had on our list of favorites:
- Memories Aicha Luxury Camp
- Wadi Rum UFO Luxotel
- Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
- Harmony Luxury Camp
- Sun City Camp
- Palmera Camp Wadi Rum
What to See & do in Wadi Rum
One of the absolute must-do experiences in Wadi Rum is embarking on a jeep tour that takes you to all the unique places scattered across the desert.
Typically, every accommodation provides specific tours and we conveniently booked a 3-hour jeep tour through our camp as well.
During the tour, we hiked towering dunes, petted camels, and savored traditional tea in bedouin tents. Of course, we couldn’t leave out the most important sights, which I’ve listed below.
Khazali Canyon is a narrow slot canyon with ancient inscriptions and petroglyphs that provide a glimpse into the region’s rich history.
The rock walls display carvings dating back centuries, offering a fascinating archaeological experience.
Um Fruth Rock Bridge
One of the natural arches in Wadi Rum, Um Fruth is a stunning rock bridge that spans a gap between two sandstone cliffs. If you dare, climb to its top to enjoy an excellent perspective of the vast desert landscape.
My partner did it but I wasn’t brave enough, I preferred watching him from the safety of the ground 😉
Burdah Rock Bridge
Burdah Rock Bridge continues the list of the most remarkable natural wonders in Wadi Rum.
Just like the Um Fruth Rock Bridge, this rock arch stands out with its large size and unique shape, making it a key feature in the captivating desert scenery.
Here, you also have the opportunity to climb onto it (this time I dared), providing another fantastic view of the surrounding sandstone mountains and the expansive desert landscape.
Although not created by nature but instead man-made, Lawrence’s House is another must-see sight in Wadi Rum.
The simple stone structure, weathered by time, is believed to have been home to T.E. Lawrence during the Arab Revolt.
Adjacent to the house is a rock plateau that shouldn’t be overlooked. Make sure to climb onto it to discover an array of hundreds of small stone cairns.
Apart from the inscriptions in Khazali Canyon, there are numerous others carved into the craggy rocks throughout the desert.
Among the most famous ones are the Alameleh Inscriptions, depicting a large number of camels and lively hunting scenes. They’re believed to be over 2,000 years old.
Big Red Sand Dune
While Wadi Rum may not boast as many towering dunes as the Sahara or other deserts you may have explored already, there is one that stands out as quite extraordinary.
The Big Red Sand Dune truly deserves its name because the sand on it is much redder than the sand nearby. Plus, it not only looks pretty awesome but is also an excellent place for sandboarding.
Of course, no Bedouins without their camels, and you’ll see quite a few of them in Wadi Rum.
During our jeep tour, we encountered a herd of camels belonging to our camp owner. As soon as we saw them, our guide stopped the car whereupon the camels approached us right away.
To our delight, they were incredibly friendly and not at all shy but rather extremely curious. They seemed to enjoy all the attention and even engaged in playful fights just to be petted by us.
How Much Time to Plan
When my partner and I were planning our Jordan itinerary including the stay duration in each place, we often came across advice saying one night in Wadi Rum is enough.
Contrary to popular opinion, we decided to book a two-night stay. Personally, I believe that’s the minimum time you should spend there and we didn’t regret our decision at all – quite the opposite.
Our initial worries that we’ll get bored in the desert have quickly evaporated.
The evening we arrived, we experienced a breathtaking sunset, as the camp faced towards the west. On our full day, we embarked on the adventurous jeep tour and returned right in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, my partner and I enjoyed a relaxing time on our terrace, reading our books and playing card games.
What you’ll quickly notice in Wadi Rum is the complete silence that is incredibly pleasant. The sand absorbs all sounds, creating an environment where you can’t hear anything. It’s truly perfect for unwinding and disconnecting.
On our last morning, we needed to get up very early since we booked a sunrise tour. The camp owner himself took us to one of the best spots that was a 15-minute jeep ride away.
As we sat there, witnessing the sun rise above this incredible landscape, I could hardly believe how fortunate we were. It was my favorite moment and a perfect end to our two-night stay in Wadi Rum.
So if you truly want to savor your time in Wadi Rum, blending relaxation and adventure, then be sure to plan a stay of at least two nights!
What to Pack For Wadi Rum, Jordan
Since Wadi Rum experiences a desert climate characterized by extreme temperatures, it’s crucial to pack accordingly for a comfortable stay.
In the summer, temperatures soar, often exceeding 40°C (104°F) during the day, while winter brings milder daytime temperatures ranging between 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
When we visited in September, it was around 40°C. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too humid, unlike the Dead Sea or Aqaba, but rather dry, which I find more comfortable.
If you visit Wadi Rum in summer as well, pack lightweight, breathable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and high SPF sunscreen to shield against the intense sun. Sturdy, comfortable shoes are essential for exploring the rocky terrain.
In the winter months, bring layers to accommodate fluctuating temperatures. A jacket or sweater for evenings is advisable, along with a good pair of hiking boots for desert treks.
Before heading to your camp, I advise you to check whether they offer complimentary water to guests.
Most camps, including ours, typically provide complimentary water as part of their services. Nevertheless, it’s still wise to bring enough water, just to be on the safe side.
Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture the stunning landscapes, a power bank to ensure your devices remain charged, and a small backpack for day trips to store essentials like water, snacks, and other essentials.
Pack some books or games as we did for relaxing at your camp or enjoying some downtime in the desert!
Do you need more info for your trip to Wadi Rum or have other questions?
Feel free to reach out!
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