Wadi Rum is captivating.
I first visited Wadi Rum back in 2005 and have been back numerous times since. Each time I visited, I felt so mesmerized by its landscape. Being in Wadi Rum is like you have just landed on Mars. I mean it’s no wonder the movie “The Martian” was filmed here.
I don’t see the desert as barren at all; I see it as full and ripe. It doesn’t need to be flattered with rain. It certainly needs rain, but it does with what it has, and creates amazing beauty.
– Joy Harjo
Also known as “The Valley of the Moon”, visiting Wadi Rum is a unique experience. Its landscape is surrounded by stretches of red sand dunes and spectacular monolithic rock formations. The history of Wadi Rum goes as far back as prehistoric times, but it is most known for its connection to T.E. Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia.
With so much to explore around Jordan, you definitely should make time to see Wadi Rum. If you don’t have much time, a half-day tour can suffice. But if you can spare more time, I would definitely consider spending the night under the stars in Wadi Rum.
This is the most popular type of tour to do in Wadi Rum. Spanning from a couple of hours to a full day, there are a lot of sites to visit in Wadi Rum. There are a few ways to get around, which includes 4×4 Jeep, camel, horse and ATV.
Many tourists opt to do a “follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia” style tour, which is already fantastic. You’ll visits sites such as Lawrence’s spring, the Nabatean inscriptions, at least one of the canyons and the red sand dunes. Every tour company will offer a slightly varied version, but they usually will cover the main sights.
Try to stay at least for the sunset, because it is magical, dramatic and peaceful all at the same time.
Camping under the stars
Wadi Rum doesn’t stop being dramatic when the night falls, because this is when the stars and Milky Way come out to play. If you have time to spare, spend the night in Wadi Rum.
There are ‘glamping’ options if camping is not your style. The Bedouins run these camps and they offer their guests a taste of the Bedouin lifestyle and customs. It’s a great experience worth considering.
But if you are happy to camp, there are guides who arrange camping under the stars.
Hot Air Ballooning
A perfect add-on to the Wadi Rum experience is a sunrise hot air balloon trip over the desert. A bird’s eye view of this dramatic landscape gives a whole new perspective to Wadi Rum.
Most balloon flights will last approximately 1 hour and the balloon will go up to about 3,000 feet.
I have been on a hot air balloon before, such as when I was in Cappadocia. But, as I write this, I am finding it difficult to select the right words to use that best describes how incredible this hot air balloon experience was. You can read more about my experience hot air ballooning in Wadi Rum here.
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