With its spectacular vistas of red sand and blue skies and incredible camping sites, this desert is an essential stop on any journey through Jordan.
Wadi Rum is the best way for visitors to experience the Jordanian desert. The “wadi,” or dry valley, is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Jordan. The area is populated by Bedouin people who historically lived in the valley. Today, many Bedouin groups offer excellent tours into the desert. Come for a day trip, or spend a night underneath the stars at a camp, such as the Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp, for a truly special experience.
The dramatic landscape was made famous by the 1963 Oscar-winning film Lawrence of Arabia. At only 275 square miles (720 square kilometers), the desert is relatively small, but it is home to a staggering array of beautiful landscapes. See how the red sand makes a striking counterpoint to the bright blue sky. The mountains here are among the highest in Jordan and jut out of the sand dramatically.
Hike to the top of Burdah Rock Bridge, a challenging trek that affords beautiful views of Wadi Rum. The Jebel Khazali hill is another scenic place to explore on foot. For an even more stunning view without the walking, take a hot air balloon into the sky above the desert. If you prefer to stay on land, take a camel ride or journey by four-wheel drive to the Al Hasany Dunes, some of the most picturesque sand dunes in Wadi Rum, especially at sunset. For a lesson in history, visit the Alameleh Inscriptions, rock drawings that depict camels, warriors and animals common to Wadi Rum.
Sleep in a camp to see the desert at both sunrise and sunset, the most magical times of day. See how the dunes seem to sparkle when the light hits them at the right hour. Desert camp operators are able to arrange sightseeing by camel or four-wheel drive and often include a trip to a Bedouin village.
The desert around Wadi Rum is harsh. It’s extremely hot in the summer sun and incredibly cold on winter nights, but despite these extremes, it’s a safe place to visit. Be sure to pack lots of layers.