Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
The desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan is a vast place full of secrets, views and inspiring places. While you could explore this region on your own, you’ll do much better hiring yourself a Bedouin Guide and 4 X 4 Truck in order to maximize your time and achieve the full potential out of your visit. Our visit gave us the highlights of the area, and provided some great Wadi Rum travel memories. Take a look at these highlights:
This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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✈️ Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Driving 1,265 kilometres in Jordan, Israel and France via Icelandair, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian Business Class
- My Favourite Long Layover Restaurant at SeaTac Airport: 13 Coins
- The Club at SEA Business Lounge, “S” Concourse, Seattle Tacoma, USA
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Seattle – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavik – Paris Charles de Gaulle
- The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France
- Salon Paul Maxence Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Paris – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge: Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Amman
- What to Expect Driving through the Kingdom of Jordan
- Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spa, Jordan
- Top Five Tips for a Day of Canyoning – Hiking the Wadi Mujib Trial, Jordan
- Petra Marriott Hotel, Jordan
- How to Tackle the Ruins of Petra, Jordan
- Is it Worth Seeing Petra by Night?
- Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan
- Going Local: Al Mohandes Cafeteria, Aqaba, Jordan
- Memories Aicha Luxury Tented Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
- Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
- The St Regis Amman, Jordan
- Views from the Citadel in Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- The Petra Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Business Class: Amman – Tel Aviv
- The Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- The Intersection of the World’s Religions, Visiting Jerusalem, Israel
- Visiting Tel Aviv’s Beaches, a Day at Gordon’s Beach, Israel
- The Dan Lounge, Ben Gurion International Airport – Terminal 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Tel Aviv – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Sleep Pod, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Paris
- The Westin Paris Vendôme, Paris, France
- Returning to the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- What’s Left of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, Paris, France
- Bateau Mouches Seine Cruises, Paris, France
- Le Cafe de la Paix, Paris, France
- Bouillion Pigalle, Paris, France
- Le Café du Trocadéro, Paris, France
- Extime Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2B, France
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Paris – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavík – Seattle
Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
The Wadi Rum desert is one of the pinnacle tourist attractions throughout the Middle East. The Wadi Rum desert is world renowned for its views, its glass domes that allow for a terrific desert experience, and it’s wonderful desert experiences that can include tours, camel rides and desert exploration.
Why Visit Wadi Rum?
The Wadi Rum Desert is the most famous desert landscape in Jordan and perhaps even the whole Middle East. It is surrounded by red mountains which makes for striking landscapes. The Wadi Rum Desert has been featured in many movies and remains a premier tourist attraction for those that are interested in spending some time outdoors in the desert under the warmth of Jordan’s sun.
Getting to Wadi Rum, Jordan:
Wadi Rum is located approximately one hour’s drive outside of Aqaba, Jordan in the other part of the country. We were staying at the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp which was located inside the gates of the Wadi Rum. We self drove using a rental car, which was the most convenient option. Public tourist transportation is pretty limited through this area so your best bet is to share transportation or rent a vehicle privately.
Arranging a Wadi Rum Tour:
While it is possible to self drive through the desert, the majority of travellers take a bedouin driver in a converted pick up truck. These vehicles range in quality and durability, so if scheduling and timeliness is important to you, you may wish to spend a little extra for a vehicle that isn’t likely to break down and leave and your driver stranded in the desert.
If you find yourself in Wadi Rum village without an overnight stay at a camp in Wadi Rum, it is possible to arrange tours on arrival at the Wadi Rum Village through the tour centre. Similar to a taxi rank, there are usually drivers available to take you on a day or evening sunset tour.
In our case, we booked a three hour entry level tour through the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp. In our case, our three hour 4WD tour was priced at 60 JOD ($85 USD) for private car booked through Memories Aicha Luxury Camp.
If we were staying longer, we might have considered the longer five hour tour, which was priced at 100 JOD ($140 USD). We had a four and a half hour drive in the afternoon planned up to the St Regis Amman up in Amman Jordan up the King’s Highway. As a result, we opted for the shorter tour.
Setting Out into Wadi Rum:
Our tour ended up taking us from Memories Aicha Luxury Camp in a clockwise circle through Wadi Rum around to the Wadi Rum Village.
Our tour started on request at 10 AM. We returned from breakfast and our dome at Memories Aicha Luxury Camp was already covered with silver foil. There wasn’t going to be any relaxing in bed watching the morning / mid day light colour the local mountains. Most of the other guests seemed to have already departed, and we were among the only remaining parties on the property.
We loaded up into a white Mitsubishi Pickup Truck with an open air back and no licence plates.. Our driver Mohammed didn’t speak much english, but I was able to ask him some questions using Google Translate from Arabic to English. With no particular itinerary announced, we set off northward from the hotel. The sandy roads and bluffs of Wadi Rum are simply spectacular to look at; no matter what your angle is.
The Memories Aicha Luxury Camp slowly disappeared into the distance under the mountain horizon landscape. We quickly found ourselves into the desert on the existing desert roadways. As we were in a desert pan, the roadways weren’t all that smooth, and occasionally it was a little bit of a bumpy ride.
Inspecting the Carvings:
Immediately, north of Memories Aicha Luxury Tented Camp, we found orselves inspecting the carvings. While our guide didn’t give us much on this, these inscriptions on the canyon walls have reportedly been at this location since.
The inscriptions reflect camel caravans across the Wadi Rum desert. They are intended to reflect a trading area and time from years past.
Calling on the Lawrence House:
Our next stop on the tour was a visit to the nearby Lawrence House. The Lawrence House.
The Lawrence House is located in a wide Wadi Rum valley with some towering mountains on either side of the valley. The eastern ridge is particularly impressive and contained the highest mountains on view for this area.
Today, the Lawrence House is mostly a clambering attraction which offers some great views across the Wadi Rum valley floor. We stopped for a fifteen minute visit to get out and stretch our legs. The Lawrence House is replicated along the edge of the bluff in square bricks.
After a short climb up between rocks and a small ravine, you are able to take a walk along an elevated ridge marked with rock piles and miniature cairns. The views (looking southward below) are impressive and stretch on for miles.
Looking north, we also had some majestic views of the eastern mountain horizon and ridge from the Lawrence House
Under the Mushroom Rock:
Our next destination on the tour was approximately fifteen minutes drive away. Our driver took us to The Mushroom Rock.
The Mushroom Rock was a popular meeting spot as there were a number of tour guides here. There were also some camel tours that were present, which would have been a long trek from Wadi Rum Village.
The Mushroom Rock has some interesting and photogenic angles that tease curiosity and whimsy. It’s a unique looking geological feature and unlike anything I have ever seen with respect to rock formations anywhere in the world.
The Mushroom Rock was truly one of the more interesting rock ruin formations I had seen in my travels. It’s unique shape was really memorable and made for an entertaining visit.
Scrambling Up Little Bridge:
Our forth stop after The Mushroom Rock was over to Little Bridge; about a fifteen minute drive way. Little Bridge is a popular Wadi Rum attraction. Due to it’s central location at the main intersection near the Wadi intersection south of Lawrence’s Spring.
The whole region is quite stunning and from Little Bridge, you’ll have the opportunity to take a few creative travel memory worthy photographs.
Climbing the Dunes near Jerko’s Rock:
A short drive off from the Little Bridge were the sand dunes near Jerko’s Rock. After. a short and hot climb, we had another spectacular vista across the red sands of Wadi Rum.
As our last stop, we didn’t stay too long. The views were inspiring, aspirational and motivating.
Departing Wadi Rum:
Our tour drew to a close, we departed Wadi Rum heading towards the Wadi Rum Village. We had another last view of the towering mountains on either side of us. They were especially spectacular against the blue backdrop of the desert skies.
These last views were a great way to leave Wadi Rum, Jordan. We returned to our rental car and loaded up for a four hour drive up to The St Regis Amman, Jordan for a two night stay.
My Thoughts on Wadi Rum, Jordan:
A visit to Wadi Rum in Jordan was a really inspiring and spectacular experience. I was really happy to have gotten a taste of what Wadi Rum had to offer. I also felt content with the shorter three hour tour experience within our one day visit. Although we could have entertained a longer five hour tour, I probably would have split a longer Wadi Rum visit up into a two day visit; strictly for comfort reasons. At the very least, we left something behind to look forward to for our next visit.
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