Red Desert Dreams in Wadi Rum

Red Desert Dreams in Wadi Rum

A whole new world, a hundred thousand things to see, unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings. 

Flying over dunes in a jeep, magical sunsets, shooting stars, amazing views, delicious bedouin style food, …  We were blown away by the beauty of Wadi Rum. 

A visit to Jordan is not complete without a visit to the Wadi Rum Desert. In this blog post, we will share everything you need to know for a visit to Wadi Rum.  We stayed 2 days there and enjoyed every second of it. 

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a spectacularly scenic desert valley in southern Jordan. It is also known as The Valley of the Moon and inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List. 

Widespread rock carvings, inscriptions, and archaeological remains illustrate that many humans of different cultures inhabited Wadi Rum as early as 12 000 years ago since prehistoric times and interacted with the natural environment here. The carvings are mostly engraved on rocks, boulders, and cliff faces, and span all eras from the Neolithic to the Nabatean. They represent figures of humans holding bows and arrows and animals like camels and horses. 

Currently, its inhabitants are mainly Bedouin, about several hundred of them live in goat-hair tents and concrete houses in the Rum Village.

Wadi Rum is well known for being used by Lawrence of Arabia in the Arab Revolt during World War l and there are lots of carvings and ruins in Wadi Rum dedicated to T.E. Lawrence. 

Wadi Rum’s landscape is so beautiful that it has been the film location for some well-known movies like The Martian, Aladdin, Star Wars, and Lawrance of Arabia. 

How to get there

The easiest way to get to Wadi Rum is by car. We got there by uber from The Dana Biosphere Reserve. Another option is by bus from Petra or Aqaba. Whether you arrive by public bus, taxi, or in your own car, you will have to pay the entrance fee at the gate to Rum Village. The entrance fee for Wadi Rums protected area is 5 JOD, if you have the Jordan Pass the entrance is included.  

Best time to visit

June to August is the hottest time to visit Wadi Rum, temperatures are often over 40°C.
 
September to November and March to May is the best time to visit. We were there in October and had temperatures around 30*C.
 
December to February is winter season, you can expect rain, nicer daytime temperatures, and cold evenings and nights. 

Where to stay 

You have a lot of options for spending the night in Wadi Rum. You can go for a luxury camp, basic camp or simply sleeping in the open-air. Make sure you stay in a camp inside Wadi Rum’s protected area. A lot of camps are near to each other and closer to Rum Village, avoid them.  

We stayed at the rum planet camp, which is a basic and affordable camp. We recommend this camp if you want to enjoy the desert vibe and don’t need a lot of luxury and wifi. All camps in Wadi Rum desert pick you up at Rum Village in a 4×4.

The evening we were there we had a Zarb (a Bedouin-style barbeque) as dinner.  Zarb is meat, potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables cooked underground. The Zarb was served with hummus, fresh bread, and a lot of delicious camp-style Bedouin specialties. The Zarb was delicious! 

After dinner, they served us and the other tourists tea at the campfire where we relaxed and gazed at the stars. 

We enjoyed our stay at this camp! The owner was friendly and helped us with all of our questions and arranged excursions for us. 

Jeep Tour 

The best way to explore Wadi Rum is by jeep. All of the camps provide options for a jeep tour. You can take a jeep tour for a couple of hours or a full day. If you don’t take a jeep tour, you will only be able to see a small part of Wadi Rum on foot, unless you plan to spend several days hiking in the region. With a jeep, you will be taken quickly from place to place, and see as much of the desert as possible in however much time you have. 

We recommend you take a full-day tour to see all the must-see sites in Wadi Rum. 

The first stop on our tour was Lawrence’s Spring. Lawrence’s Springs is a freshwater spring where Lawrence of Arabia supposedly washed. It is quite high on a rock, and you can climb up. The views on top are definitely worth it! 

While there are dunes in several places around Wadi Rum, the most striking are the Al Hasany Dunes. This area is very beautiful with many different colors of rock and sand. 

Another highlight is Lawrence’s House. There is a little left of this building, erected on the Nabatean ruins of a water cistern. From here you have beautiful views over the red sand dunes. 

An unusual attraction to see in Wadi Rum is the Mushroom rock. It is simply a rock that looks like a mushroom. 

The Burdah Rock Bridge is the tallest natural rock bridge in Wadi Rum. You can hike up to the top but this will take around 2 hours. 

Um Fruth Rock Bridge is another natural wonder, this is an arch you can climb up quite easily. 

Little Bridge is the smallest arch in Wadi Rum. It is easy to climb to the top. 

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom; A rock formation named after the famous book by T.E. Lawrence.

Khazali Canyon; A long, narrow canyon known for the impressive number of ancient inscriptions on the rock walls. 

Riding on camels or hiking are other options to explore Wadi Rum. 

Sleeping under the stars

For our last day in Wadi Rum, we wanted to experience the real Bedouin lifestyle. So we decided to sleep in open-air. The camp owner arranged a Bedouin guide for us. 

The Bedouin guide picked us up in the afternoon. The guide brought the necessary items such as matrasses, pillows, blankets, food, and water with him. 

On the way, we stopped several times to pick up some branches to make a fire for dinner. 

After a while, we arrived at the location where we would spend the night. We took the matrasses out of the jeep to sit and relax. Our guide showed us how to make a fire and started to prepare a Bedouin dinner. While he prepared dinner we explored the area and enjoyed watching the sunset. 

Later that evening, we had a delicious dinner and bedouin tea.  After sharing stories, smoking shisha, and having a good time we enjoyed watching the bright starry sky and the absolute silence of the desert. This place was just breathtakingly beautiful and we felt like the only ones left in the world, it was so quiet and empty. 

We woke up by the light of the rising sun and the sound of birds chirping. This all felt like a dream, we slept very well and didn’t want to leave. 

Our guide showed us a good place to watch the sunrise while he prepared breakfast. 

This experience was by far the most magical we had in Jordan. We can’t wait to do this all over again! 

Wadi Rum took us wonder by wonder over sideways and under. Wadi Rum is by far, without any doubts, our number one place to see in Jordan. 

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