Wadi Rum Travel Guide: Is Visiting Wadi Rum Worth it?

Is Wadi Rum worth it?

Is Wadi Rum worth it?

So you are thinking of traveling to Jordan and have heard about Wadi Rum want to know is Wadi Rum Worth it? Short answer – 100% YES. Wadi Rum is a majestic desert landscape, a place that effortlessly captures the imagination and transports you to a world of breathtaking beauty and idyllic desert landscapes.

What Is Wadi Rum Famous For?

Often referred to as the “Valley of the Moon,” this stunning area is renowned for its awe-inspiring sandstone mountains, towering cliffs, and ever-changing sand dunes, painting a picture straight out of a Martian landscape. For those who seek a deeper connection with nature, camping under the star-studded sky in a traditional Bedouin tent – there is no place like this.

What to See in Wadi Rum

Is Wadi Rum worth it?

If you’re still wondering whether Wadi Rum is worth it, consider this – epic camel rides, sleeping under a star-packed sky, and sunsets that turn the desert into a sea of gold and red..almost otherworldly.

The perfect itinerary for Wadi Rum involves exploring the desert landscape and visiting the main attractions which can be done through booking a Wadi Rum Full Day Jeep Tour and staying at a Wadi Rum Local Camp for a the night. There are overnight tours offered at various price points starting from $80 for a basic tour to $200 for mid level or luxury. Most tours with an overnight stay will also include a Camel ride in Wadi rum. We ours through Wadi Rum Nomads (insert link) and loved every minute of the tour!

Best things to see in Wadi Rum

The best things to see in Wadi Rum include:

  1. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: Named after T.E. Lawrence’s book, this stunning rock formation is a must-see for its unique, natural architecture.
  2. Al Khazali Canyon: This narrow canyon is famous for its ancient petroglyphs and inscriptions, offering a glimpse into the area’s rich history.
  3. Burdah Rock Bridge: One of Wadi Rum’s highest arches, it’s a popular spot for climbers and offers breathtaking views from the top.
  4. Lawrence’s Spring: Named after Lawrence of Arabia, this natural spring is surrounded by palm trees and is a perfect spot for a refreshing break.
  5. Um Fruth Rock Bridge: A smaller but easily accessible rock bridge, it’s ideal for a quick climb and photo opportunities.
  6. The Red Sand Dunes: These large, red sand dunes are a favorite for visitors, offering a classic desert experience and fun sandboarding opportunities.
  7. Jebel Um Ishrin: This massive mountain provides stunning landscapes and is home to several Bedouin camps, offering an authentic desert stay.
  8. Lawrence’s House: Although now in ruins, this site is believed to have been one of Lawrence of Arabia’s residences and holds historical significance.
  9. Anfishiyyeh Inscriptions: These ancient rock carvings, depicting humans and animals, offer a fascinating insight into the early inhabitants of the region.
  10. Sunset and Sunrise Spots: Every tour guide has a go to spot for these and ours did not dissapoint! Wadi Rum is famous for its dramatic sunsets and sunrises so make sure you make time to soak up the evening sun and capture some iconic desert shots.
Is Wadi Rum worth it?

How to get to Wadi Rum?

There are several ways to get to Wadi Rum in Jordan. Petra or Amman are the main cities you are likely to be commuting from to get here.

Flights to Wadi Rum Jordan

There are no direct commercial flights into Wadi Rum itself, primarily because Wadi Rum does not have a commercial airport. However, there are plenty of convenient way to get to Wadi Rum from Amman and other places in Jordan:

Wadi Rum From Amman

Amman to Wadi Rum distance: 193 – 205 miles (310 – 330 kms)

Amman to Wadi Rum by Car

First up, consider renting a car. It’s like your own personal road trip through Jordan’s stunning landscapes. The drive from Amman to Wadi Rum takes about 4 hours, and it’s pretty straightforward. You’ll head south on the Desert Highway (Route 15), and then switch to Route 35. The freedom of having your own ride means you can jam to your favorite tunes, stop for snacks, and take in the scenic views at your own pace. Plus, you’ll have the flexibility to explore more once you’re in Wadi Rum.

Public transport option – JETT Bus

If you’re not into driving, no sweat! Hop on a JETT bus. It’s a super popular option for travelers. You’ll need to book your ticket in advance (you can do it online), and the bus usually leaves early in the morning from Amman. The ride takes about 6 hours, giving you plenty of time to catch up on your travel journal or dive into that book you’ve been meaning to read. It’s a relaxed way to travel, and you’ll get to meet other adventurers heading to Wadi Rum too.

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Wadi Rum from Petra

How far is Wadi rum from petra: About 68 to 75 miles (110 to 120 kilometers)

Wadi Rum from Petra by Car

If you’re all about that road trip life, renting a car is the best way to get to Wadi Rum from Petra. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Petra to Wadi Rum, and the route is pretty straightforward. There are plenty of car hir options in Petra, however in peak season I recomment booking these in advance. Just remember, driving in Jordan can be an adventure in itself, so be prepared for a bit of a wild ride!

Wadi Rum from Petra by Public Transport

JETT bus is again a super affordable and comfy option for the journey. The catch? It doesn’t run every day to Wadi Rum from Amman, so you’ll need to plan your schedule around it. Its again only slightly longer than car option, taking about 2-3 hours, depending on number of stops and the traffic. The most convenient way is to book your ticket online. Visit the JETT bus official website (www.jett.com.jo) where you can check the schedules, availability, and prices. You can book and pay for your ticket directly on the website

Dead Sea to Wadi Rum

How far is Wadi rum from Dead Sea: About 204 miles (328 kilometers).

Wadi Rum to Dead Sea by car

This is probably the most straightforward option given if you are happy to rent a car in Jordan. The drive from the Dead Sea to Wadi Rum is about 4 to 5 hours, depending on how many cool stops you make along the way (hello, Instagram!). It’s super straightforward – just head south along the Dead Sea Highway (Route 65) and switch to the Desert Highway (Route 15). The roads are in good shape, and the signs are clear, so you won’t miss a beat.

Wadi Rum to Dead Sea by Public Transport

Unfortunatley, there are no current public transport options from Dead Sea to Wadi Rum. However you can still head to Wadi Rum via Amman. Your best bet is to catch a shared taxi, known locally as a “servees.” These shared taxis usually operate from near major hotels or tourist spots. Just ask at your hotel reception or a local shop for the nearest servees stop. The ride to Amman will take about an hour, depending on traffic and where exactly you’re starting from. Once in Amman, change to a JETT Bus to get to Wadi Rum (see above).

Tel Aviv to Wadi Rum

How far is Wadi rum from Dead Sea: About 217 to 248 miles (350 to 400 kilometers).

Tel Aviv to Wadi Rum by car

You’ll need to cross the border into Jordan, which is an adventure in itself. The best crossing point is the Yitzhak Rabin/Wadi Araba Crossing near Eilat. Once you’re in Jordan, it’s a straight shot to Wadi Rum. This route takes longer – think 4 to 5 hours from the border – but it’s totally worth it for the epic views and the bragging rights of a cross-country road trip. Plus, you can make pit stops in cool Jordanian towns along the way.

Tel Aviv to Wadi Rum by plane & shared bus via Aqaba

Catch a flight from Tel Aviv to Aqaba, then get a shared taxi to Wadi Rum.This is your fastest route and, let’s be real, who doesn’t love more time for exploring? Flights are pretty frequent, so you can jet off almost any day of the week. Once you land in Aqaba, get a shared taxi, often referred to as “service taxis. These run several times a day, but there’s no set schedule. The drivers will wait until the bus is full before they head off, which can sometimes take a bit of time. You’ll find the buses near the Aqaba Police Station. Super affordable, too – only 3JD, or $4.25. Heads up, you can’t book these in advance. And since these buses are also used by school staff and students, they can fill up super fast. So, you might want to get there early to snag a seat!

wadi rum lawrence of arabia

Activities in Wadi Rum – Wadi Rum Guide Camp & Tour

If you’re still wondering is Wadi Rum still worth it, then a tour is the desert is guaranteed to convince you. A Wadi Rum Guide Camp & Tour is hands down the best way to see Wadi Rum.

There are parts of Wadi Rum which are only accessible by licensed individuals, given the status of Wadi Rum as a Uniseco World Heritage site. So if you are looking for an adventure and want to capture the most instagrammable shots across the desert, your best bet is to book a Wadi Rum Guide Camp & Tour. These are typically 2 days 1 night tours (or longer) and will typically cover all 10 of the must see sites noted earlier in the blog (insert link to top).

We booked our tour 2 day 1 night Wadi Rum tour through Wadi Rum Nomads and highly recommend them! We did a jeep tour through the desert, covering all the must-see sites on the first day. Like most overnight tours, our day ended with a traditional Bedoiun dinner over a campfire. Dinner was accompanied by some traditional music played by the guide’s friends. We then sat around a campfire and the guides shared some folkore history about the desert. The sky had darkened sufficiently post dinner, which provided an excellent view of the sky for star gazing! This was an absolute highlight for me. If this stargazing in a desert sounds like your kind of thing, many of the local tours offer a ‘Wadi Rum camping under the stars experience’ which is well worth it!

Wadi Rum Entry Fee

desert landscape

The Wadi Rum entrance fee is typically paid at the Wadi Rum Visitor Center, to get here just look up on google maps ‘wadi rum visitor center parking’. This is the main gateway to the area and hard to miss. It’s located near the village of Rum and sits at the entrance of the protected area. When you get there, you’ll see it’s pretty well set up with a bunch of facilities, including a parking area, a few exhibits, and, of course, the ticket counter.

The fee is usually around 5 Jordanian Dinars (which is about 7 USD), but it’s always good to check for the latest rates as these things can change. If you’re part of a tour, sometimes the fee might be included in your package, so double-check with your tour operator.

Once you’ve paid the fee, they’ll give you a ticket. Keep this handy because you might need to show it at checkpoints within the reserve.

Best Time To Visit Wadi Rum

The Wadi Rum desert temperature fluctuates throughout the year, however, the best time to visit Wadi Rum is definitely in the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). Why? Well, during these months, the weather is just perfect – not too hot, not too cold, but just right for all those desert adventures. Imagine clear, sunny days for epic jeep tours and cool evenings perfect for chilling around a campfire at a Bedouin camp. Summer can get seriously hot (we’re talking mercury-busting hot), and winter, while beautiful, can be pretty chilly, especially at night..but is Wadi Rum worth it despite the heat or chill? 100% Yes! Plus, spring and fall have this magical vibe with the perfect light for your photos – think Instagram gold.

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What to Wear in Wadi Rum

Lightweight, long-sleeved tops are your best friends here. They’ll protect you from the sun while keeping you cool. Pair them with comfy, breathable pants – think hiking trousers or loose-fitting joggers. The desert can be hot during the day but cools down at night, so layering is key. Bring a cozy sweater or a light jacket for those cooler evenings under the stars.

I found that sturdy sneakers or hiking boots were a must for exploring those gorgeous rocky terrains. And for those chill moments at the camp, a pair of flip-flops or sandals is perfect. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses to shield you from the desert sun, and a scarf can be super handy for protecting your hair and neck.

And there you have it. So is Wadi Rum worth it? Absolutely 100%! This was the highlight of my Jordan trip and a unique and beauiful experience you don’t want to miss! If you are looking to for the perfect Wadi Rum Itinerary, check our detailed blog post here!