Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan: where it is, how to get there and what to see

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

"Immense, echoing and divine" is how TE Lawrence described Wadi Rum.
In this timeless place, also called "Valley of the Moon", Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and TE Lawrence set up their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans.

It is an amazing place characterized by fabulous and unspoiled landscapes.

You can choose different solutions to visit this desert but the best way is to be accompanied by the Bedouins of the place and spend at least one night in a tent to admire splendid sunsets, sunrises and the immense starry sky.


  1. Where is it and how to get there
  2. Hours and prices
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. What to bring: recommended clothing and equipment
  5. What to see and how to visit Wadi Rum
  6. Excursions and guided tours in the Wadi Rum Desert
  7. Where to sleep: tented camps, bubble rooms and Martian tents
  8. Useful tips for visiting the Wadi Rum desert
  9. User questions and comments

Where is it and how to get there

Wadi Rum it is located in the southern part of Jordan, about 60 km from Aqaba and 112 km from Petra.

It is a valley carved by the flow of a river, from sandy soil surrounded by granite rock. It can be reached via an asphalted road that branches off from the Strada Del Deserto to the visitor center.
The route is spectacular especially as you get closer to the entrance to the desert from where a 4x4 jeep is required in order to continue.

How to reach us

  • From the main European capitals: both Jordan's airports are well connected by direct flights to all major capitals in Europe (approximately 4 hours flight from Berlin, 4-5 hours from Paris, 5 hours from Madrid)

How to get there from Amman

  • By bus: there are no direct buses from Amman to Wadi Rum but it is necessary to take a minibus to Aqaba (336 km away, ticket cost JOD 7, € 8,84). From here take a JetBus bus (69,7 km from the desert, 8 JOD, € 10,10). Duration of the trip about 5 hours in total
  • By car: From Amman, head south following the desert highway and allow about 4 hours of travel (distance 321 km) - Get directions
  • Private tours: Private One Way Transfer Between Airport and Wadi Rum 3-Day Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea Day Trip Petra and Wadi Rum with Hotel Pickup

How to get there from Aqaba

  • By bus: One or two buses a day connect Aqaba to Wadi Rum (8 JOD, € 10,10)
  • By car: head north; in this case the journey takes less than an hour (distance 60 km) - Get directions
  • By taxi: A taxi ride from Aqaba costs approximately JOD 30 (€ 38,00) and takes 1 hour
  • Private tours: 2-hour Jeep tour from Aqaba

How to get there from Petra

  • By bus: usually we agree with the hotels to be picked up by collective minibuses which take 1 hour and 30 and have a cost of 7 JOD (€ 9,00) per person
  • By car: follow the desert road heading south for 112 Km (duration 1 hour and 45 minutes) - Get directions
  • By taxi: they cost about 50 Jod (€ 64,00) and take 1 hour and 45

Hours and prices

To be able to visit Wadi Rum you need to go through the visitor center which is located at the entrance to the protected area 7 km north of the village of Rum.

Here you buy tickets, book off-road or camel excursions and you can organize trekking, overnight stays in tents or hire guides.

  • 8:00AM - 16:00PM
  • Best time: it is advisable to arrive early in the morning if you will only spend one day, if instead, you will spend the night arrive in the afternoon, enjoy the sunset, stay overnight in the tents and the next day visit the Wadi rum
  • 5 JOD, € 6,30
  • Free: included in the Jordan Pass
  • Guides and Jeeps: access is allowed only to those who have 4x4 Jeeps (personal or can be rented with a guide at the visitor center) and we recommend the presence of a guide who knows the areas to visit within the desert

When to go? Info on climate and best time

  • Weather: desertic; winters are mild with temperatures between 10 ° C and 22 ° C, in April the values ​​begin to rise until reaching the hot 40 ° C during the day and 25 ° C at night.
  • Best time: The best months are January to May and October to December when temperatures are perfect for hiking.
  • Period to avoid: from June to September the daytime temperatures are torrid and not ideal for hiking

What to bring: recommended clothing and equipment

  • Clothing: wear comfortable and light clothes for the day and bring a sweatshirt for the evening (in winter / autumn pay attention to the temperature range, it is much colder and you need a thick jacket). A pair of flip flops / sandals, a pair of hiking shoes, a hat to cover you from the sun.
  • Equipment: sunscreen, camera, simple first aid kit, a flashlight, sleeping bag and sheet for sleeping in tented camps not provided.

What to see and how to visit Wadi Rum

A desert of extraordinary beauty, with bright red sand, rocks and natural stone arches.
Wadi Rum is a protected area from a nature reserve and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011.
Many areas have often been used as film locations for their charm, you will be enchanted.

Consider visiting the desert it is always better to be accompanied by a guide and it is necessary to have a 4x4 jeep.
There are several paths that allow you to discover the desert, some on board of cars, others on the back of a camel or at the gallop of a horse and others on foot. Everyone leaves from the visitor center and have a minimum duration of a few hours up to several days.

Here's what we suggest you see and do:

  1. Seven Pillars of Wisdom: a rock formation made up of 7 tubular towers that can also be seen from the visitor center. It is also possible to approach it with a nice 3 hour trek.
  2. Burdah Rock Bridge with its 35 meters it is the highest in Wadi Rum; those who are not afraid of heights and are in good physical shape can climb to the top to enjoy a magnificent view.
  3. Lawrence source: a spring of water peeking out from the trees just outside the village of Rum, where the British officer settled and named it in his book.
  4. Khazali Canyon: a siq easy to explore in the shade of the rocks that show rock engravings made by ancient populations.
  5. Al-Hasany Dunes: accumulated against the slopes of Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya are to be explored on foot by letting the jeep drop off a few meters to reach the top.
  6. Umm Fruth Bridge: hidden in a corner of the desert is another rock bridge that can be climbed without a guide and without equipment. Visit it in the late afternoon when the sun lights up the back side.
  7. Little Bridge: a stone arch where you can sit with your feet dangling and admire the view.
  8. Red sand dunes: reach the slopes of Jebel Umm Ulaydiyy and climb to the top of the dunes that are found here from where you will have a privileged point of view on the desert.
  9. Nebateo Temple: dating back to 2000 years ago these ruins have inscriptions of nomads and hunters.
  10. Sunrise and Sunset: these moments are the most magical to admire the sun rising or dying. Among the best points from which to observe the view in these hours is Umm Sabatah.
  11. Hot air balloon excursion: One way to see the beauty of Wadi Rum from above is to ride a hot air balloon at sunrise.

Excursions and guided tours in the Wadi Rum Desert

Where to sleep: tented camps, bubble rooms and Martian tents

There are no hotels or resorts and those who want to spend one or more nights here will have to do so in the tented camps.

Here, however, the term "camping" can mean several things: sleeping in a sleeping bag under the stars, on a mattress under an equipped towel or inside Bedouin tents.
Then they exist two types of camp: permanent ones with toilets and fixed structures, and temporary ones which are usually a little more basic and toilets are often in nature.

Those wishing to use their own tent can only do so in certain areas.
Finally the fields, usually, they offer a dinner in addition to the overnight stay which is eaten around the fire and breakfast.

  • 1 night in a tented camp (tent or standard room) from € 16,00 -
  • 1 night in bubble room from € 292,00 -
  • 1 night in a Martian tent from € 228,00 -

Useful tips for visiting the Wadi Rum desert

  1. Get up early: seeing the sunrise is an experience that remains in the heart.
  2. Minimum time: we advise you to consider at least one day to visit the desert, the ideal would be 2 days and 1 night.
  3. Choose open Jeeps: it is the best way to move in the desert having a good view.
  4. Organized excursions: if you don't have much time, rely on organized excursions that will show you the most characteristic points
  5. Trekking: if you are sporty, inquire at the visitor center for trekking, they last several days and allow you to walk around the desert, under the guidance of an expert.
  6. On horseback or with camel: if you have the time visit Wadi Rum in this way, it is an unforgettable experience that will make you experience the desert as the Bedouins have lived it for millennia.
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Travel informed: useful information on Jordan

  • Language: Arabic and English in tourist places
  • Local currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD) / € 1,00 = JOD 0,95
  • Weather: mild and temperate; dry and sunny winters with temperatures that never drop below 20 ° and summers that are hot but not torrid because they are mitigated by sea winds; between day and night there is a bit of temperature excursion especially in winter
  • Time zone: + 1h compared to Italy
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of 6 months; if you land at Aqaba airport the visa is free and you can leave the Aqaba area (to visit Petra or other locations) for only 48 hours, the same facility is also extended to those arriving at Amman international airport and declaring at the immigration office who intends to go to Aqaba within 48 hours, in this case, upon arrival at one of the Aqaba check points, a form must be filled in; otherwise, payment of the entry visa will be required upon departure from Jordan
  • Safety info: relatively safe location, however, before leaving, we recommend that you consult the official website of the Farnesina in the Jordan section
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

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