(Last updated on: 02/04/2020)
Wadi Rum was a highlight of my travels through Jordan!
Visiting Jordan, like many places in the Middle East, can seem slightly complicated. But it doesn’t have to be! During my tour through Jordan we visited many places and Wadi Rum was undoubtedly one of my favourites!
So if you’re thinking about heading to Wadi Rum, then here is everything you need to know about visiting!
What is Wadi Rum?
Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a valley in southern Jordan. It is cut into sandstone and granite rock, and is the largest wadi (valley) in the whole of Jordan.
Over the years, the area has been inhabited by many different cultures. They have left their mark in the form of paintings, graffiti, petroglyphs and even temples.
Now, the small village itself is home to a few hundred Bedouin people. They live in a mixture of goat-hair tents and concrete houses, and the village has two schools (one for boys and one for girls) as well as a couple of shops and the Desert Patrol headquarters.
Famous for its feature in the film Laurence of Arabia, the area of Wadi Rum is truly magical. It is like no other place I’ve visited before. The landscape is spectacular- I could literally sand board all day long and stare all the stars all night!
How to get to there
Despite it’s isolated location, getting to Wadi Rum isn’t particularly difficult. Here’s how to go about it…
We hired a car whilst travelling in Jordan. Once we got out of the crazy streets of Amman, it was a breeze. Driving is really easy and allows you to reach isolated places, like Wadi Rum, without difficulty.
If you don’t have a car, there are local buses that travel between Aqaba, Petra and Amman. These can drop you at the intersection of the Desert Highway that leads to Wadi Rum. From here, many people hitchhike the rest of the way – or, you can wait for another minibus costing a couple of Jordanian Dinar.
Taxis will take you from Aqaba, Amman or Petra to Wadi Rum. It will cost you between 15 and 30 JD to travel to Wadi Rum from any of these cities.
TIP: it costs 5 JD to enter the Protected Area. It is FREE with the Jordan Pass.
Be prepared for a bit of walking, especially if travelling by bus. The intersection leads to the Wadi Rum Visitors Centre, where there is an office for the police as well a plenty of guides around to offer camel or 4×4 rides, treks and camps.
Wadi Rum weather
The weather in Wadi Rum is quite temperate – it never gets extremely cold, or extremely hot (unlike some other deserts!). The winter months see lows of 3-5°C and highs of 14-16°C, while the summer drops to the lows of 18-20°C, getting up to highs of 32-34°C.
In the day time we were perfectly comfortable in shorts and t-shirt but at night it was a bit chilly, so we were glad that we packed a jumper!
August is the driest month in Jordan, while December gets the most precipitation in terms of rain, hail and snow.
Wadi Rum tours
There are many tours that can take you to the area. Whether that’s combined with seeing Petra and the Dead Sea, a hiking trip through the open desert, or just a full day of exploring Wadi Rum with a guide – drinking Bedouin tea, walking through sand dunes and even riding a camel. Tours are very popular amongst tourists, particularly solo travellers, so its worth taking a look at what’s out there.
As mentioned above, when you reach the Wadi Rum Visitors Centre, you will also find guides eager to show you the area. You can haggle with them for the best price.
Wadi Rum climbing
Traditional rock climbing is big in Wadi Rum, with climbers from around the world flocking to Jordan to climb. For the most part, climbers bring their own equipment and gear to protect from falls, removing it at the end of their climb. However, some permanent anchor points and protection have ben permanently installed in the area as climbing in Wadi Rum is so popular.
It is best to climb with a guide here. There are various climbs you can do, from one-day scrambles to 5-night climbing trips. You can find more information here, and for inspiration and advice head to Amazon to purchase Tony Howard’s fantastic book, Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
Wadi Rum map
Exploring the area at night
Visiting this slice of the desert at night is pretty special. Due to the location being so isolated and far away from other civilisation, the peace and quiet offered here is like nothing else. You can also see the constellations, especially on a clear night, completely unhindered by light pollution-it really is incredible, I’ve never the night sky so clearly!
If you arrive just before sunset, you’ll be treated to the most incredible sky as it changes colour before settling into dusk. Wadi Rum is family orientated, and children are welcome to camp in the desert. There are not many places that I would be happy to return to on my travels, but I know this is a place that the kids would LOVE! So hopefully we will return someday as a family.
Where to stay at Wadi Rum
Camping at Wadi Rum is seriously cool and it is such a brilliant experience. There are a variety of different types of camping: bubble tents, martian domes, Bivouac camping and more!
On our visit we stayed at Hasan Zawaideh Camp, which offers both private and shared Bedouin-style tents in the desert. Staff can organise jeep and camel tours, and there is a camp fire at night for guests to sit around while enjoying authentic (and freshly prepared) Bedouin dishes. Tents are traditionally decorated, and thick wool blankets are provided to keep you warm. There are toilet and shower facilities available too (phew). Reviews praise the kind staff, incredible views and good food- I would highly recommend this place!
Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp offers bubble tents with air-conditioning, BBQ facilities, a private terrace and traditional Arabian decor. There are toilet and shower facilities on site, and the location is phenomenal in terms of being able to see the stars – lights are off by 10pm, allowing you a clear view of the constellations. Reviews call it magical, and praise the staff and food too. Now that we have a little bit more money than we used to, I plan to stay here on our next visit!
Space Village Luxury Camp offers plenty of privacy. It isn’t crowded, and the rooms are spacious with – as reviews say – comfortable beds. You will be treated to complete peace and quiet here, and check in is 24-hours a day. Breakfast is included and there is a BBQ area too. Previous guests praise the cleanliness of the tent units, as well as the friendly staff and how safe they felt in the desert. Children are more than welcome here, too!
For a full list of accommodation options in Wadi Rum available on your travel dates, use the search options below.
So there you have it – all the things you could possibly want to know when planning a trip to Wadi Rum in Jordan and camping overnight in the desert. There’s a lot to experience, and it’s high on many people’s travel bucket lists!