Information about Wadi Rum

Information about Wadi Rum

Information about Wadi Rum



The Wadi Rum Protected Area is a 720 square kilometre mixed UNESCO world heritage site. It is situated about 60 kilometres east of Aqaba and 300 kilometres south of the capital Amman, nearby Jordan’s southern border with Saudi Arabia. There is at least 12,000 years of human occupation in the region, evidenced from the 25,000 petroglyphs and 20,000 inscriptions located around the site. Consequently, this is one of the richest collections of rock art in the world.

Also called Valley of the Moon, this ancient territory is punctuated with mountainous rocks and narrow gorges draped in burnt orange sand dunes. Wadi in Arabic means valley, and this is the largest Wadi in Jordan; a vast, empty desert with some of the most surreal scenery on Earth.

Several thousand inhabitants including Bedouin wanderers make Wadi Rum their home, despite the unforgiving terrain. A large portion of this local population live around Wadi Rum Village. This is where your Wadi Rum Jeep tour will kick off, or where your lodging choice will pick you up if you choose to sleep in the desert.




WADI RUM: Quick facts

HIGHEST POINT – 1854 metres, Jebel umm ad dami

POPulation – 2000

AREA  – 278 square miles, 720 square kilometres


ENTRY FEE – 5 JOD (Free with jordan pass)

national bird – Sinai rosefinch

number of visitors – 250,000 a year





There are various ways of getting to Wadi Rum, depending on your transport preferences and starting location. Some basic hints and tips:

There is no direct public transport to Wadi Rum from Madaba, the Dead Sea, Dana, or the King Hussein Border crossing. It is best to head to Wadi Musa or Aqaba in these cases (or hitchhike).

Always check ahead of time with your accommodation or at the terminal for bus schedules; Friday services are often non-existent and in low season (winter and summer) the frequency of public services decrease.

JETT buses are a tourist bus service that is reservable online. Check the schedule.

Self-driving in Jordan is the easiest and often most economical way of getting around a Jordan itinerary. If you are unable or less keen to drive though, below are some other options.



How to get from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

Renting a car in Aqaba is easy and reasonably priced (only a little more than a taxi in most cases). If you are stretched for time, this is a great option for getting to Wadi Rum and the drive is very simple. Other choices include:


Buses from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

Local buses and minibuses run from Aqaba Bus Station. There are many that travel to Amman, Wadi Musa (Petra) and Ma’an, all of which pass the (well-signed) junction to Wadi Rum on route 47 (the Desert Highway) at Rashidiyah. From the junction, you can hitchhike the final 30 kilometres if you are comfortable (a widespread practice in Jordan). Instead of hitchhiking, there are also shared taxis that will take you and any other passengers they pick up at the junction to Wadi Rum.

There are direct public buses that run from Aqaba to Wadi Rum, but with few daily services (likely don’t run on Fridays). Visit the bus terminal in Aqaba to get up-to-date schedules and information. The fee should be about 3 JOD. The buses can get busy with tourists and locals as it is a popular route with minimal services. Be wary if you have a lot of baggage. 

JETT buses are a tourist service that can be reserved online (the website is a bit glitchy, so if you have time, head to the JETT office in Aqaba to book directly). The buses are air conditioned and have allocated seating so tend to be more comfortable than the public bus. They run at 8am and return around 6.30pm for a cost of 18 JOD round trip or 15 JOD each way. This route drops you at the visitor centre, seven kilometres from Wadi Rum Village.

Departing Wadi Rum, the public bus leaves quite early, around 6.30am. If you miss that, it is possible to catch any other bus, rideshare or taxi to the main desert highway, then cross the road and grab any of the many buses heading to Aqaba. This approach is not advisable on a Friday.



Taxis and Tours from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

Local taxis will make the 75-kilometre journey from Aqaba to Wadi Rum for around 25-30 JOD and take a little over an hour. It is possible to ask them to wait for the afternoon and then drive you back which will cost about 40-50 JOD. If you stay overnight, getting a taxi to depart from Wadi Rum Village is simple, or your accommodation can arrange a taxi driver for you.




How to get from Petra/Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum

Public buses run from Wadi Musa Bus Station to Wadi Rum Village and take about three hours. There are two services a day, around 6am and 9am and both stop at the Wadi Rum visitor centre on the way. We would suggest you organise this transport via your accommodation in Wadi Musa since it can be busy and there are not many services.

As with public buses from Aqaba, there are also options to get the public bus towards Ma’an and Aqaba and get off at the junction to Wadi Rum, then hitchhike.

JETT buses provide a direct service from Petra to Wadi Rum which you can reserve online, and this runs at 5pm daily at a cost of 15 JOD.

A private taxi from Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum should cost around 40-50 JOD and take around two hours. Your accommodation can easily arrange a driver.




How to get from Amman to Wadi Rum

There is no direct public bus from Amman to Wadi Rum. The best option is to travel to Aqaba or Wadi Musa/Petra and then travel from there. 

Numerous JETT buses travel from Amman to Aqaba, check their online schedule (7th Circle means Amman on this website). There is one bus daily from Amman to Wadi Musa, where it makes sense to check out Petra before heading on to Wadi Rum! 

Another option is to take any public bus travelling towards Aqaba and get off at the Wadi Rum junction on the Desert Highway, as mentioned above. You can then hitchhike or rideshare to the visitor centre.

A taxi directly from Amman to Wadi Rum will set you back around 110 JOD per journey.




How much does it cost to visit Wadi Rum?

The entry fee for the protected area of Wadi Rum has tiered pricing:

Non-residents – 5 JOD

Jordanian residents – 1 JOD

Jordanian Students – 0.5 JOD

Under 12 years old – free 

The entry to Wadi Rum is included with a Jordan Pass, so no fee is needed, however you still need to check-in at the counter within the visitor centre.

Arriving and Parking at Wadi Rum

Firstly, you will need to visit the Wadi Rum visitor centre at the north end of the site. Here, you check-in and buy your 5 JOD entry ticket at counter (free with a Jordan Pass). Do not pay anyone the fee outside the visitor centre, these are not official staff and will not provide you with a ticket.

There is parking available if you arrange a tour guide to pick you up from the visitor centre, however most people meet an arranged guide at the Wadi Rum Village, seven kilometres further down a paved road.

At Rum Village, on the right just before the Wadi Rum Rest House, is a large car park marked ‘parking for wadi rum tour’ on Google Maps. Here, there is an information centre and picnic area. Any guide you arrange, or your accommodation’s representative, should meet you there



Things to see on a Wadi Rum Jeep Tour

Deciding what to see in Wadi Rum will depend on your chosen Jeep tour and whether you customise it to include something specific. Here are some of the main places to consider:


Nabataean temple

 Ain Shalalaleh/Shallalah Spring

Lawrence’s Spring (Ain Abu Aineh)

rock map

Lawrence’s House






Little Rock Bridge

Burdah Rock Bridge

 Um Fruth Rock Bridge



How many nights do you need in Wadi Rum?

Most say 1-2 nights is sufficient, however this will depend on what activities you are interested in. 

One night: for just a quick Jeep tour around the desert to have a look around, then one night is adequate. 

Two nights: with a list of specific sites which include some hiking, I recommend two nights.

Three or more nights: this is ideal for seeing all the standard tourist hotspots, taking a few hiking opportunities in the red desert, visiting the White Desert and climbing to Jordan’s highest point to look out over Saudi Arabia.


Where should you sleep in Wadi Rum?

There are loads of lodging options in the protected area of Wadi Rum. From posh, Martian tent pods with private bathroom to hanging out in a bivvy under the stars,

Bedouin tents

you determine your experience!




Can you do a Wadi Rum Jeep Tour from Aqaba as a Day Trip?

Yes, you can arrange a day trip for your Wadi Rum Jeep tour. It makes the most sense to organise this as a day trip from Aqaba, the closest major town. 

When is the weather best to visit Wadi Rum?

You can visit Wadi Rum at any time of the year; however, the desert suffers from extremes of hot and cold. The best time to visit is between March and May, and September and November. These have mostly mild weather and comfortable conditions for hiking and sleeping. 

Spring (from March to May) in Wadi Rum has warm days, between 20-30 C, and lovely night temperatures between 10-20 C. It is also wildflower season. This is the most popular time to visit Jordan so it may not be quite as idyllic as you’d hope! Autumn is similar in temperature and conditions, but with slightly fewer tourists.

The summer in Wadi Rum can be very hot and dry. You can expect day times to reach highs of 40 C (over 100 F) and night time temperatures around 20 C. This makes the open top Jeep tours in Wadi Rum and midday hiking uncomfortable and, in some cases, dangerous. Wadi Rum Jeep tours tend to take large, shaded breaks during the middle part of the day to remedy this. If the temperatures are no problem, this is a fantastic time to visit as it is the quietest season.

In winter, it can rain in the desert and most precipitation falls during the cold season. Apparently Wadi Rum only receives rain a couple of weeks throughout the entire year so it’s not that likely. The day times are around 10-15 C and can dip to freezing on the colder nights. This is another great time to avoid the tourist masses.


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