Camping in Wadi Rum – Visiting Jordan’s most iconic desert

JUAN MARTINEZ

April 21, 2018

Camping in Wadi Rum – Visiting Jordan’s most iconic desert

Are you thinking what to do in Wadi Rum during your next trip to Jordan?. Camping in Wadi Rum is inexpensive, easy and breathtaking.

Gigantic rocks surrounding the red sand and two camels walking in the middle of the desert. Images like these are very common in Wadi Rum, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and the perfect camping spot for outdoor lovers. Camping in Wadi Rum is something everyone should do at least once in a lifetime

Camping in a place from another planet

It was 5 am in Wadi Rum and we woke up in order to see the sunrise from a higher spot. To get us there, two camels were waiting for us at the entrance of our camp. Moving around on camels is very common in Wadi Rum and with the magnificent surroundings, I didn´t want to skip this opportunity.

Astonishing views in Wadi Rum
Astonishing views in Wadi Rum

Camping in Wadi Rum does not necessarily mean being out in a tent by yourself and worrying about getting food every day. Bedouin camps are located all over the area and can range from a simple tent with a toilet, to more luxurious and better equipped camps. Prices are not very cheap, but Jordan is a relatively expensive country for tourists anyway. While camel and jeep tours have comfortable prices, food and accommodation tend to be more expensive.

Wadi Rum is not a place to see in a couple of days. In contrast to Jordan´s main attraction, Petra, Wadi Rum covers a much larger area and with at least a dozen of activities to do in your free time, and the possibility to explore many areas by yourself, I think fast travelers will at least need three to four nights to get a better impression of this majestic area.

What to do in Wadi Rum?

Getting and driving to Wadi Rum is not very difficult either. Many tourist buses come and go all over the day connecting Jordan’s main cities like Aqaba, Petra and Amman to the protected area. However, a better and more comfortable choice is simply coming with your own vehicle. Renting a car in Jordan is not very difficult and highways are in a very good shape. Distances which a bus usually needs 3 to 4 hours for, you can drive with a car in two.  Although we managed our trip in a small sedan car, we would have loved to travel with a 4×4 vehicle. Driving in Wadi Rum with the wrong vehiclecan be very problematic and you might easily get stuck in the sand. Traveling with a 4×4 vehicle will give you more freedom to move around Wadi Rum and visit places most tourists won´t see. Of course, many companies and camps offer a day driver for a relatively good price.

Read more: Road trip in Jordan – Renting in a car and planning a route

Camels resting after a day tour in Wadi Rum
Camels resting after a day tour in Wadi Rum

Days are very calm in Wadi Rum, so take into consideration that you will spend a lot of time for yourself for relaxing and simply wandering around without a specific destination. Most tours offered by the camps usually take a couple hours only, leaving you with a lot of free time.

Wadi Rum got on the map for tourism after the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. The unique landscapes of this location attracted thousands of tourists not only interested in the natural wonders of the reserve, but also following the adventures of Lawrence. Jordan started investing more money for developing tourism in this region and nowadays, there are more than 20 different camps, daily tours offering all kinds of activities and even the possibility of doing a hot air balloon ride. What to do in Wadi Rum is definitely up to you.

Tours you can do in Wadi Rum

  • Bedouin life style day tours
  • Half day or full day tours around Wadi Rum
  • Camel tours for sunrise or sunset
  • Bedouin dinner
  • Stargazing tours
  • Hot balloon rides for sunrise
Aerial view of Wadi Rum from a hot air balloon
Aerial view of Wadi Rum from a hot air balloon

Wadi Rum offers peace and quiet that most travelers can´t experience in the hectic Petra, where masses of sellers offer you souvenirs, the itinerary is based on very long walks and hikes and everything is extremely expensive.

Nights are chilled and quiet. Tourists can freely move in Wadi Rum as they please, so getting a lamp, wandering 40-60 minutes in any direction far from light and simply lying on the sand and watching the beautiful starry night, was one of our favourite activities when the lights went out.

Read more: How I photograph the milky way when traveling

Seeing the milky way on a clear sky in Wadi Rum
Seeing the milky way on a clear sky in Wadi Rum

Camping in Wadi Rum is simple and fun. It was the most memorable activity we did in Jordan and it´s one of the few locations during my travels, for which I would plan an extra trip soon.

Next time we will just bring our own tents, some drinks for the nights and a better vehicle to travel around.

Read more: I could enter Petra without paying entrance fee and nobody seems to care

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