The Wadi Rum desert is a place straight from Mars.
Unforgettable landscapes, a unique and one of a kind place on earth.
We dreamed of the Wadi Rum desert for a long time … Bedouin singing, camels, red views straight from Mars … The sky full of stars, sunrise and sunset that changes the colors of the desert … Wadi Rum Desert is a place that you must see at least once in your life! Find out how to organize your trip around Wadi Rum, how much it can cost and, above all, what views await you! This post will guide you through your tour of Wadi Rum.
Road to Wadi Rum
We went to Wadi Rum by car from Aqaba at dawn, where we had spent the previous two nights. We dived there among the beautiful coral reef of the Red Sea. Aqaba is around an hour’s drive from Wadi Rum. We arrive at the Visitor Center, where you must show your Jordan Pass or, if you do not have the Jordan Pass, you pay the entry fee to the desert. Admission to Wadi Rum is 5 JOD per person (included in Jordan Pass). If you do not pay the fee, you will not be allowed into the desert.
Wadi Rum Village
Then we reach the Wadi Rum Village – the last place where you can still stock up on water and something to eat. Then there will be only the bosom of nature and an amazing desert. If you have booked a desert tour, this is where you will meet your driver. If you haven’t booked, no worries. In the car park you will find a lot of representatives of local organizers. We leave our car in the local parking lot and off we go. You don’t have to worry about security. There is a lot of cars here, so there is a doubtful risk that someone will steal your car.
To Wadi Rum by taxi
If you don’t have your own car, you can also get a taxi to Wadi Rum. There are several groups on Facebook where travelers exchange experiences. They also write announcements that they want to jointly rent a taxi to get to a given place in Jordan. If you are in Aqaba or Wadi Musa the cost of a taxi for several people will be quite friendly.
How to dress for a trip to Wadi Rum?
If you chose the option of a trip around the desert by jeep, you can take all your belongings with you and you can safely put in the jeep. You will travel it all day until sunset. So you can get to your luggage at any time. How to dress for the day in the desert depends mainly on when you come here. First of all, it is very important that you have a sunscreen with you. You are in the desert and the sun here really burns your skin! For this, remember to bring something to cover your head / face. A shawl, from which the Bedouins will help you make a turban, works best. It protects against the sun as well as against the wind, which will not be missing on the jeep. Additionally, bring something warm with you. No matter what time of year you are here, you will be exposed to the wind at all times by taking a Jeep tour. And this one can give you a hard time. And the temperatures drop drastically at night too!
How much does a Jeep trip around Wadi Rum cost?
As a rule – there is no one specific price. Remember that you can choose different options – both for a trip and an overnight stay in the desert. You can also choose the full day excursion option, but without an overnight stay. You can choose the option with board, camel / jeep transportation. Do not mindlessly compare your price with others, because there are plenty of options for visiting Wadi Rum. It all depends on what is included in your price. The price also matters when it comes to how many people will be on your jeep. So if you want to have a driver and a jeep exclusively for yourself – you will pay more than the same jeep and a driver carrying 5-6 people – as in our case. The fact is that one more person would already be a crowd, so in our opinion, 4-5 people on a jeep are most optimal.We chose the option of a trip around the desert in the morning, and then a night in the desert in the camp. We included jeep transportation with a local guide, lunch, dinner and breakfast in the morning. You can also choose the reverse order – i.e. start with a night in the desert and continue exploring the desert from the morning of the next day and end up in the parking lot in Wadi Rum Village. Always ask each of the organizers about options and try to match them so that it best fits your plan.
How long does the Wadi Rum tour take?
Here, it really all depends on what option you choose. If you choose the offer all day in the desert and night in the desert back in the morning after breakfast – you start your trip in the morning in the parking lot in Wadi Rum Village and most local guides offer tours of about 6 hours. About halfway through the tour, a desert lunch is served, cooked by your driver – a Bedouin. A nice opportunity to talk to your guide, learn a bit more about local customs. Make sure you carefully check how much time you want to spend in the desert before starting your tour. In our case – we made a mistake – we set off around We arrived at the camp at 9:00 am and we reached the camp for sunset around 5:00 pm and it was from here that we watched the sunset. From the perspective, we regret a bit, because we expected to admire the sun hiding below the horizon from one of the numerous arches. But our mistake – we didn’t ask because we took it for granted.
Wadi Rum tour - which one should you choose?
From our experience, we can tell you what to look for. If you book a trip in advance – make sure you find out exactly what the trip includes in the price. So … do you have board and how many meals are included in the price, what camp will you sleep in, what places you will see. You will find a lot of options on the Internet – we are talking primarily about accommodation. You can choose traditional Bedouin tents, you can also choose luxury capsules. Of course, the standard of accommodation also determines the price. We chose the accommodation in traditional Bedouin tents. The tents consisted of a bed with sheets and that was it. In addition, the camp had bathrooms with running water, the main tent where meals were served. If you leave the booking until the last minute – remember that in the most crowded months – April, May, September, October, November – many camps are booked and the choice is much smaller!
Traditional Bedouin tents and Bedouins in Wadi Rum
Traditional Bedouin tents are generally black with white stripes. To create them, goat and camel hair are used. Today it is said that only 2-3% of Bedouins still lead a real, nomadic way of life in the Wadi Rum desert. Most of them now live in Wadi Rum Village and a very large part lives from tourism. Needless to say, the Bedouins are definitely very welcoming and generous. According to the tradition, they do not ask random people, for example, about the reason for their visit, considering it to be tactless. And without a doubt – Bedouins are definitely experts in the Wadi Rum desert!
A different face of the desert
Most people think of the desert – they imagine sand dunes. But Wadi Rum is a bit different. It is not only sand dunes, but also beautiful rock formations, hills, canyons. The landscape is so diverse that in our opinion, it is impossible to get enough here and Wadi Rum is never enough. Each and every nook and cranny is completely different. Additionally – there are rains in the desert, many times very heavy. Therefore, it is worth remembering about the phenomenon of flash floods that occurs in Jordan (very dangerous in the famous Petra!). The rains come off the hook. And since the ground is very dry, it cannot absorb this amount of water. This is how flash floods form, a very dangerous phenomenon. So if you see the rain coming, go to a safe place! The rains that occur in Wadi Rum make the desert change its face for a long time and sparkle with flowers that bloom in the desert. The view must be impressive.
History of Wadi Rum
In the Wadi Rum desert we can find traces of many different cultures, including the Nabataeans. Certainly, during your trip around the desert, your guide will stop to show you reliefs, rock paintings and petroglyphs. The story of Thomas Edward Lawrence – a writer, archaeologist, but also a soldier is also connected with Wadi Rum. It played a significant role during the anti-Turkish uprising in 1917-1918. It was then that it was effectively driven out of the Ottoman region. Lawrence joined the Arab forces, fighting side by side and becoming a Jordanian hero. Years later, he described the war in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and several rock formations in the desert were named after him.
Night and sunrise in Wadi Rum
There is something you need to keep in mind no matter when you are going to Wadi Rum. The night is cold! You are in the desert! Whether you’re at the height of summer and it’s hot during the day or not, temperature variations in the desert are great! At night, the temperature drops to 0. And you sleep in a tent. You can of course choose a luxury camp with air conditioning and heating, but how much has this to do with tradition? So we slept in a normal, traditional camp – in clothes, under 3 blankets. If you’re cold – Bedouins can give you traditional thick coats that are very warm. We used them at dawn, getting up for sunrise, they work great. And yes, when you get up for sunrise, it will be hard for you to stick your nose out from behind the blankets … But do it! You will not regret! We were not expecting what we saw in Wadi Rum. We did not expect that after the Sahara desert, something could touch us so much. And yet Wadi Rum has great power. We liked the other places in Jordan but nothing beats what we saw in Wadi Rum. The diversity of the landscape, which instantly transforms from sand into ever greater peaks that change their colors depending on the position of the sun. The sunset, when it hides behind the horizon and the sky begins to sparkle with a thousand stars. An evening spent with mint tea, Bedouin dishes and a hearth. And the sunrise … the most beautiful one. When the desert comes to life, shrouded in mist … And the sun rises, changing the colors of the rocks and sand all around. The sky is nowhere as beautiful as in the desert! Wadi Rum is the most beautiful place in Jordan!