Wadi Rum is a desert in the south of Jordan and is known for its red cliffs. You feel like you’re on the moon when you’re in the Wadi Rum desert, that’s why the valley is also called ‘Valley of the Moon’. There are several films shot in Wadi Rum, like The Martian, The Last Days on Mars, Mission to Mars and of course Lawrence of Arabia. Wadi Rum covers an area of 720 km², making it the largest wadi (literally meaning river valley) of Jordan. The wadi is, like the old city of Jerusalem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is still inhabited by a number of Bedouin tribes. They do not longer live in tents, but mainly in stone houses in Wadi Rum Village.
In this article, you will find information about spending the night in Wadi Rum and I will tell you more about the things to do. We stayed here for one day and stayed overnight in the Beyond Wadi Rum Camp. Highly recommended!
Wadi Rum Visitor Center and Wadi Rum Village
If you want to enter the wadi, you have to buy a ticket at the Wadi Rum Visitor Center. You pay 5 JOD per person. Do you have a Jordan Pass? That means the entrance is free of charge. Once you’ve purchased the tickets you can drive to Wadi Rum Village, the village where most Bedouins live nowadays. Here you will be met by an employee of the organization where you booked your stay or tour.
Car parking Wadi Rum Village
Did you take a car to Wadi Rum? You can park it in Wadi Rum Village. As soon as you enter the village, you will see a parking place on the right side behind the building of the tourist police where you can park your car for free. This parking lot is a good and safe place to park your car, but just to be on the safe side, don’t leave valuables in the car.
Staying in a Bedouin tent camp
It is possible to spend a night (or more) in the valley as a tourist, in one of the many Bedouin tent camps. A very unique experience! You can make it as luxurious and expensive as you want. From wild camping, to cheap basic tent camps with cold water and without electricity to very luxurious tents with a private bathroom. We stayed in the Beyond Wadi Rum Camp, a small, but beautiful camp with about 15 tents. The location of this camp is great! The tents are next to a large, red rock wall and close to a small arch (natural arch) from where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset!
The Bedouins provide dinner in the evening. A number of dishes are prepared under the sand, in the ground. Quite special and tasty! Finished eating? After dinner the manager of the camp offers you the chance to walk through the desert in pitch dark and look at the stars. A great experience!
We came here in the month of June, when the weather was nice and at night it was still pretty warm. Do you visit in spring or autumn? Then it may cool down at night. Bring a thick sweater, just to be on the safe side.
Tip: Don’t want to spend the night in Wadi Rum, but only do a jeep tour? You can! The entrance fee for the Wadi Rum desert is 5 JOD per person and the prices for the tour depend on the organization you choose. It is wise to arrange this in advance, so you can compare the prices of different organizations. We paid 55 JOD per person for the tour, the food and drinks and the overnight stay. If we only did the tour, the jeep tour would cost 70 JOD per person.
Wadi Rum Jeep tour
Looking for a great way to explore the valley? Go for a jeep tour! You sit in the back of a pickup and cruise through the desert. Therefore things get rough at times, so hold on tight! We booked our tour with the accommodation we stayed, Beyond Wadi Rum Camp, in combination with an overnight stay. The jeep tour is offered in tours ranging from 2 to 8 hours. For us, the 4-hour tour was perfect! We saw the most beautiful sights and had plenty of time to look around everywhere.
It’s wise to bring headgear, like a cap or a real keffiyeh (Arab headgear) during daytime. Not all jeeps have a roof, which means you can be in the soaring heat all day long.
Some of the spots we visited: the Nabatean Temple, Al Shallaleh, Lawrence Spring, a large sand dune, old inscriptions, Lawrence house, Chicken Rock, Khazali Canyon, Um Fruth Rock Bridge and the Small Arch next to our accommodation. More information about the jeep tour can be found here!
Tip: Depending on the season, it can get hot in the desert in the afternoon. Therefore I recommend you to plan the tour early in the morning as you will have to climb and walk up some of the sights. Bring plenty of water! Ran out of water? You can find a Bedouin tent at almost every attraction where you can drink tea and buy water!