What To Do In Wadi Rum: 20 Best Activities And Attractions

Wondering about a visit to Jordan and what to do in Wadi Rum in particular? Visitors to this amazing desert are spoiled for choice. 
The Wadi Rum desert is vast, and there are many amazing sights and activities to be enjoyed here.
From rugged desert adventures to luxurious experiences under the stars, the list of Wadi Rum attractions is long. Many people don’t realise just how much this desert has to offer. 
No matter what kind of traveller you are, here’s a complete guide to what to do in Wadi Rum and how long to stay in Wadi Rum in Jordan - including a list of some of the most beautiful places in Wadi Rum.

How to Visit Wadi Rum

Visiting Wadi Rum, located in Jordan, is an incredible experience offering diverse trips for all kinds of travelers. From desert treks to luxurious glamping sites, you can experience luxury, adventure, and plenty of raw natural beauty on your trip to the Wadi Rum desert.
Before we get into what to do in Wadi Rum, let’s first lay the foundation for your trip. Here's an overview of the types of trips and experiences people can have in Wadi Rum.
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Taking a Jeep tour at sunset in Wadi Rum.

Types of Trips

Wadi Rum travel is done one of two ways - either via overnight or day trips. 
  • Day Trips: Some visitors opt for day trips from nearby cities like Aqaba or Petra with independent travel through Jordan. These trips typically involve a few hours of exploring the desert by jeep, experiencing iconic landmarks, and returning by evening. You can fit in some of the best Wadi Rum must-see attractions like a Petra to Wadi Rum hike, but you’ll need to be prepared for long commutes to and from the desert.

  • Overnight Stays: Staying overnight in Wadi Rum is highly recommended to truly immerse yourself in the desert experience. Various options are available, including campsites, traditional Bedouin camps, and luxury desert camps. If you want more time to experience the best things to do in Wadi Rum, then an overnight stay is a must.

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Camping in the Wadi Rum desert.

Accommodation

In order to fit in all of your Wadi Rum activities, you’ll want to spend the night. As this is an undeveloped desert, camping in the Wadi Rum desert is your only option. However, there are campsites to suit the needs of every kind of traveller.
  • Camping: Many visitors choose to camp in Wadi Rum to experience the vast desert landscapes under the stars. This can range from basic camping with tents to more comfortable setups with amenities like beds, meals, and shared facilities. One of the biggest attractions in Wadi Rum is experiencing the night in a tent in the desert.

  • Bedouin Camps: Traditional Bedouin-style camps offer a more authentic experience. These camps provide a glimpse into Bedouin culture with communal meals, traditional music, and sometimes, guided tours by local Bedouins.

  • Luxury Desert Camps: For those seeking luxury, there are upscale desert camps offering private tents or lodges equipped with modern amenities, including private bathrooms, comfortable beds, gourmet meals, and personalized services.

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A Jeep tour is one of the best ways to explore Wadi Rum.

Getting to Wadi Rum

Before exploring what to do in Wadi Rum, you’ll need to get there first. This can be tricky, as the desert is fairly out of the way. 
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are various options for driving to the desert, renting a car, taking a guided tour, or using public transport. If you drive to Wadi Rum, make sure that your vehicle is suitable for the desert terrain. A 4x4 is recommended. 
You can also hike into Wadi Rum via a multi-day desert trek. This is an exciting way to experience the desert up close. 
Whatever way you choose to travel to Wadi Rum, going with an experienced guide is always recommended. 

Best Things to Do in Wadi Rum

Now that we know how to get there, let’s explore what your itinerary could include. Here are some of the top Wadi Rum things to do for all kinds of travellers.
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A hiker in the heart of the Wadi Rum desert.

1. Trekking and Hiking

Wadi Rum's rugged terrain offers fantastic opportunities for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. 
Trails wind through the desert, taking you past towering sandstone cliffs, narrow gorges, and expansive valleys. The various trails cater to different skill levels, from easy walks suitable for beginners to more challenging routes for experienced hikers. 
Exploring the canyons, discovering hidden rock bridges, and witnessing the ever-changing desert landscapes make trekking an immersive and rewarding experience.
At Skyhook, we offer a guided Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea tour. This multi-day experience is truly one of the most amazing ways to see Wadi Rum up close and witness many of the best things to see in Wadi Rum.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then a guided desert trek comes highly recommended.
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Learn more about Bedouin culture during a Jeep ride.

2. Jeep Tours

Embark on a guided 4x4 jeep tour, a quintessential way to explore Wadi Rum's diverse landscapes. 
Accompanied by knowledgeable Bedouin guides, these tours navigate through iconic tourist places in Wadi Rum, such as Lawrence's Spring, Khazali Canyon, red sand dunes, and ancient rock formations. 
The guides share stories about the desert's history, geology, and Bedouin culture, providing a deeper understanding of the region's significance.
If you’re wondering what to do in Wadi Rum and don’t have a lot of time to see the desert, then a guided 4x4x trip might be your best option.
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Camel rides are a fun thing to do in Wadi Rum.

3. Camel Riding

For a more traditional desert experience, opt for a camel ride. 
Traversing the desert atop a camel allows you to absorb the serene beauty of Wadi Rum at a relaxed pace. Bedouin guides often accompany these rides, sharing insights into camel husbandry and the nomadic way of life.
This is definitely one of the best ways to see Wadi Rum from a more traditional perspective.
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Modern accommodation in the Wadi Rum desert.

4. Overnight Camping

Spending a night in Wadi Rum's vast desert is an enchanting experience. Choose between traditional Bedouin-style camps or luxurious desert camps. 
Traditional camps offer a glimpse into Bedouin culture, with communal meals, storytelling, and stargazing around a campfire.
Luxury camps provide modern amenities like comfortable bedding, private tents, and gourmet meals while still allowing you to appreciate the tranquillity of the desert night.

5. Rock Climbing

Wadi Rum is a rock climber's paradise, featuring towering sandstone cliffs that offer diverse climbing routes. 
With varying levels of difficulty, from beginner-friendly to challenging ascents, climbers can enjoy breathtaking views of the desert while testing their skills. Local guides and climbing outfitters offer equipment and expertise for a safe and thrilling experience.
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Star gazing in Wadi Rum is a magical experience.

6. Stargazing

The remote location and minimal light pollution in Wadi Rum create a perfect environment for stargazing. 
On clear nights, the expansive desert sky comes alive with countless stars, offering an awe-inspiring celestial display. Some camps and guides organize stargazing sessions, providing insight into the constellations and celestial wonders visible in the desert sky.
If you want to experience the sheer vastness of the desert, then stargazing is definitely one of the top Wadi Rum highlights.

7. Cultural Immersion

When planning what to do in Wadi Rum, connecting with the local culture and history is always a good idea.
Interacting with the local Bedouin community offers a deeper understanding of their nomadic lifestyle, traditions, and hospitality.
Enjoying traditional Bedouin tea, meals prepared over open fires, music, and engaging in conversations around campfires provide a rich cultural experience.

8. Hot Air Ballooning

For a unique perspective of Wadi Rum's grandeur, consider a hot air balloon ride. Soaring above the desert allows you to witness the vastness of the landscape, the changing hues of the sand, and the majestic rock formations from a bird's-eye view.

9. Sandboarding

Adventurous travellers can try sandboarding down the soft red sand dunes, an exhilarating activity reminiscent of snowboarding. 
Glide down the slopes and feel the rush while surrounded by the stunning desert scenery.

10. Visit Archaeological Sites

Wadi Rum is full of ancient history. Within the Wadi Rum desert itself, and in nearby areas in Jordan, there are plenty of significant archaeological sites to explore.
Exploring ancient inscriptions, petroglyphs, and archaeological sites scattered throughout Wadi Rum provides insights into the region's historical significance and the lives of early inhabitants.
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The Valley of the Moon.

Famous Places in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum, often referred to as the Valley of the Moon, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, ancient rock formations, and cultural significance. 
Here are some of the famous places to explore in Wadi Rum.

1. Lawrence's Spring (Maqam Lawrence)

Named after T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), this spring is believed to have provided water for Lawrence and his troops during the Arab Revolt. The area surrounding the spring offers stunning views of the desert and is often visited during jeep tours.

2. Khazali Canyon

Khazali Canyon is a narrow passageway with ancient Nabatean inscriptions and carvings adorning its walls. Visitors can explore the canyon's passages, admiring the intricate rock art while learning about its historical and cultural significance.

3. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

This rock formation is named after T.E. Lawrence's book and is an iconic natural landmark in Wadi Rum. The towering sandstone columns and cliffs create a dramatic and striking sight, drawing visitors for its impressive geological formations.

4. Um Frouth Rock Bridge

A natural rock arch or bridge formed by wind erosion over centuries, offering a picturesque spot for visitors to hike to and witness the stunning desert vistas from atop the bridge.

5. Jebel Rum (Mount Rum)

The highest peak in Wadi Rum, Jebel Rum stands approximately 1,734 meters (5,689 feet) tall. Experienced climbers often seek to summit this mountain for the panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape.

6. Red Sand Dunes

The vibrant red sand dunes of Wadi Rum create a picturesque setting, particularly during sunrise and sunset. Visitors enjoy climbing these dunes for panoramic views or for sandboarding.

7. Burdah Rock Bridge

Another prominent natural rock arch in Wadi Rum, the Burdah Rock Bridge is one of the highest and most challenging natural arches to access. It offers stunning views but requires experienced climbers to reach it.

8. Anfishiyyeh Inscriptions

Ancient rock engravings and petroglyphs, some dating back thousands of years, can be found in various locations across Wadi Rum. The Anfishiyyeh area boasts notable rock art depicting hunting scenes, animals, and human figures.

9. Mushroom Rock

A peculiarly shaped sandstone rock formation resembling a mushroom, this natural wonder attracts tourists for its unique appearance and makes for great photo opportunities.

10. Barrah Canyon

A beautiful canyon with towering cliffs and narrow passages, Barrah Canyon offers some of the best opportunities for Wadi Rum hiking and exploration amidst stunning rock formations.
Exploring these famous sites in Wadi Rum allows visitors to marvel at the natural beauty, ancient history, and geological wonders that make this desert region a globally renowned destination.
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Wadi Rum's vast landscape.

Conclusion

Wadi Rum can be experienced in a day or a week. Whichever way you choose to see it, there is a wealth of sites and activities to be enjoyed here.
From ancient historic attractions to beautiful sand dunes and starry skies, Wadi Rum appeals to all kinds of travellers. 
Just make sure you plan your trip carefully and wear a comfortable Wadi Rum outfit, as the Wadi Rum weather can be harsh during certain months.
With enough planning in place, and choosing the best time to go to Wadi Rum, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip to this awesome desert.

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