Wadi Rum, Jordan: 7 Unmissable Things to do Wadi Rum, Jordan: 7 Unmissable Things to do

Wadi Rum, Jordan: 7 Unmissable Things to do

In the heart of Jordan lies the captivating Wadi Rum, a destination that promises adventure and unique natural beauty. Here, a Mars-like desert landscape unfolds before your eyes, beckoning you to explore it. Go on exciting 4×4 adventures between rugged cliffs, admire the rippled sand from above in a hot air balloon, and spend your evenings looking up at the star-filled skies: there are many incredible things to do in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Things to do in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon) is a protected UNESCO site that covers an impressive area of over 720 km². Unlike the Sahara in Morocco or the desert in Oman, you’ll find unique rock formations, ancient inscriptions, and Bedouin campsites between the enchanting red dunes. Can you believe that this incredible, Mars-like terrain was once the bottom of the ocean?

things to do Wadi Rum Jordan sunset

Time takes on a different pace in this serene desert realm, allowing you to really embrace Jordan’s wonders. Experience the true Bedouin culture as you camp under a dark sky full of stars or roam through otherworldly desert landscapes, uncovering fascinating history etched in the stones.

walking through wadi rum jordan

Wadi Rum is one of the most popular stops in Jordan, and you’ll quickly see why so many blockbuster movies (for ex., The Martian, Dune, and Star Wars) were filmed in this incredible location. 

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Wadi Rum, Jordan: 7 Unmissable Things to do

1. Stay in a Dome

Dotted across the vast deserts between the high rocky hills is where you’ll find accommodations straight out of science fiction. These glamping spots are eco-friendly domes designed to blend in with the natural environment and offer a luxurious camping experience in the Jordanian desert. 

things to do wadi rum dome hotel stargazing

From stargazing through the glass ceiling to relaxing on a private terrace as you soak up the desert views, spending the night in a desert dome is fun to do in Wadi Rum. Whether it’s a glass bubble or a yurt with a private hot tub, there are many options to choose from.

desert wadi rum Jordan dome camp

2. Jeep Tour

Perhaps one of the most popular things to do in Wadi Rum is to drive through the endless sand dunes, narrow canyons, and hidden valleys. Make your way across the vast open space, only stopping to admire ancient rock formations and their inscriptions. You’ll also spot camels roaming through the desert, thousand-year-old Nabatean petroglyphs carved into the rocks, and local Bedouin camps with souvenirs and fresh tea.

things to do jeep tour Wadi Rum Jordan

Jeep tours are a great way to explore the desert, as it’s the easiest way of getting around. Here, an experienced guide will take you to many iconic photo spots, movie scenes, and hidden gems. For example, the Um Frouth Rock Arch, different canyons, and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The last plays a significant role in the story of Lawrence of Arabia, a British officer who led the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during WWI.

sunset desert Wadi Rum Jordan

Jeep tours can usually be arranged at your campsite and typically last 2 – 6 hours. Ideally, you experience sunset, too, where you can witness the landscape changing colors. 

Jeep open back desert Wadi Rum

3. Go Stargazing

Watch how the dark night sky comes alive with thousands of stars by stargazing in Wadi Rum, one of the best places in the world to do this. With an altitude of over 1000m, clear skies, and very little light pollution due to its remote location, the stars above Wadi Rum shine as bright as ever. 

stargazing desert Wadi Rum jordan

Spread out a blanket on the soft desert sand and gaze up at the stars. This is the perfect moment to decipher constellations and look for falling stars. Many desert camps in Wadi Rum offer guided stargazing experiences led by knowledgeable Bedouin hosts who’ll tell of ancient stories and myths while pointing out celestial wonders. Suddenly, that ‘otherworldly’ feeling just became much stronger!

dune climb Wadi Rum

4. Hot Air Ballooning

If staring at the sand dunes and desert rocks of Wadi Rum on the ground level is already incredible, imagine soaring high above the landscape. A hot air balloon ride gives you a unique perspective of the Martian-like terrain, calmly flowing above the vast expanse of rusty-red desert.

group of people dune sunset Wadi Rum

Watch how the stunning rolling sands stretch across the horizon, only broken up by wind-carved sandstone formations. The hot air balloons usually take off around sunrise when the winds are calmer, and a ride is about 1,5 hours. This incredible experience comes with a premium price of around 140 JD (200 USD) per person, but it’s well worth it if it’s a view you’d like to see.

camel group Wadi Rum Jordan

5. Spend a Night in a Desert Camp

One of the best and most unique things to do in Wadi Rum, Jordan, is to spend the night at a traditional desert camp. Experience the true Bedouin lifestyle by savoring the silence of the desert while you huddle around a cozy campfire under a sky full of stars. Our top camp recommendations are:

stay at desert camp with swimming pool wadi rum jordan

These traditional yet comfortable camps offer a glimpse into authentic desert living. Cozy tents in vibrant colors protect the Bedouins from the intense sun rays during the day. At night, soak up the warm hospitality and delicious cuisine of the camp.

Listen to the beautiful songs played after your Zarb dinner before settling into a comfortable bed and watching a starlit spectacle play overhead. In the morning, you’ll wake up to the sounds of the birds that live between the rocks. This immersive desert experience is a must-do on any Jordan itinerary!

Desert camp Wadi Rum Jordan

6. Sandboarding

The majestic rolling desert dunes of Wadi Rum make the perfect place to go sandboarding. This is a thrilling activity like no other as you glide down the soft, golden slopes with the wind in your hair and the vast desert before you. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time sliding down the sand, it’s one of the more unique things to do in Wadi Rum. 

Sandboarding Wadi Rum

Most sandboard tours can be organized with your Bedouin camp or accommodation and are best planned in the morning before the heat of the day comes in.

things to do wathing sunset wadi rum desert

7. Have a Traditional Bedouin Dinner

One of the most memorable experiences in Wadi Rum is savoring a traditional Bedouin dinner under the vast desert sky. As the sun sets over the rugged mountains, the camp’s chef will prepare a delicious Zarb dinner, a traditional Bedouin meal. This barbeque usually consists of lamb and chicken, includes some locally grown vegetables, and is cooked in an underground oven. 

bedouin dinner Wadi Rum

Watch how the camp leader expertly digs a hole in the desert sand, fills it with hot coals, and places the food into a large pot. They then carefully lower it into the makeshift oven before covering it with sand. This meal takes several hours to cook, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes. The Zarb is typically served with delicious hummus, fragrant rice, a warm flatbread, and salad.

After the meal, the night comes alive with the crackling of a campfire, shisha, and stories and songs of your Bedouin hosts. As you sit under a starry desert sky, soak up the warm hospitality of the beautiful and ancient Bedouin culture.

BBQ desert Wadi Rum Jordan

Where to Stay

There are many incredible stays and camps spread across the deserts of Wadi Rum. It’s just about finding the one that works with your budget and travel plans. From stunning desert domes straight out of science fiction to beautiful Bedouin camps or cozy hotels, there’s something for everyone. 

dome hotel room desert Wadi Rum Jordan

If a desert camp is not your thing, you can also stay in Wadi Rum Village, which has a few restaurants, hotels, and hostels. If you want to see the famous arch, make sure to stay in a nearby camp, as many sunset or sunrise jeep tours will only pick you up from accommodations in the vicinity.

How Many Days in Wadi Rum?

Many people visit Wadi Rum on a one-day tour from other destinations like Amman and combine it with Petra. However, there are many incredible things to do in Wadi Rum, making it worth spending at least two days here. 

entrance Wadi Rum Jordan

How to Get to Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum makes a must-do on any Jordan itinerary, and there are numerous ways to get to the desert. It’s not difficult to reach, as a road goes straight through Wadi Rum, and most camps are just a short bit off-road.

Camel sign Wadi Rum Jordan

By Car or Private Driver

The most popular ways to get from Amman to Wadi Rum are by car, private driver (or taxi), or an organized tour. Renting a car in Jordan gives you the flexibility to make up your own schedule and allows you to see many of the things to do in Jordan. 

If you’d rather not drive yourself, then a private driver (or taxi) is the second-best option. From Amman, it takes about 4 hours to get to Wadi Rum. From Petra it’s 2 hours, and only 1 hour from Aqaba. Note: Every visitor to Wadi Rum needs to get their Jordan Pass stamped at the Visitor Center or pay 5 JD (7,05 USD) for entry. 

jeep desert blue hour Wadi Rum

By Organized Tour

Alternatively, if you’d rather have your itinerary planned already, you can join an organized tour from Aqaba or Amman. 

men scarf Wadi Rum Jordan

Your Budget for Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum offers a range of differently-priced options when it comes to its accommodation and activities. Choose campsites, hostels, and local eateries if you’re looking for more affordability without compromising the desert experience. Transportation costs can be kept low if you use shared taxis, and most activities in the desert are reasonably priced.

Costs of Traveling in Wadi Rum

Travel on a budget in Wadi Rum, from $510 − $710 USD weekly per person, mid-range $880 − $1270 USD, and high-end from $1340 − $1640 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
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Top Tips for Visiting Wadi Rum

  • Get a Jordan Pass when traveling through the country, which gives you access to over 40 incredible sites, including the ancient city of Petra and Wadi Rum.  
  • Though exploring Wadi Rum by yourself is possible, it’s not recommended. Because of the region’s size, its vast open space, and the heat, it’s safer to travel with a guide instead. You can easily make your way to the Visitor Center or your camp. From there, join an organized tour into the desert. This gives you a chance to get to know more about the Wadi and is less risky.
  • If a guide or host impresses you or helps you, make sure to tip them!
  • Avoid walking around the desert dunes between 11 AM and 3 PM. During this time it can get extremely hot, making it a good time to rest at your camp or go for a swim at your accommodation’s pool. After 4 PM, it cools down again and is perfect to head out to explore.
  • You’ll be out in the open back, so expect a sandy situation for the time you’re in Wadi Rum! 
  • Remember that there are no toilets on the 4×4 tours or Bedouin camps. All your business is done in the desert (but don’t worry, as everyone does it!).

Best Time to Visit Wadi Rum

Every season has its benefits in Jordan. However, the best time to visit Jordan is in spring (March-May) or fall (September-November). During this time, the desert temperatures aren’t as high as in the summer, leaving more time to explore during the day. 


Nevertheless, it’s possible to visit during the other seasons, too. Just remember that summers can be an uncomfortable time to visit because of the high desert temperatures (40 – 42 °C). If you stay in winter, it can get really cold at night (sometimes as low as 4 °C). Though still a nice time to visit, it requires a bit more preparation. 

14/02/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/jordan/wadi-rum/
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