Wadi Rum is the most popular desert area in Jordan and one of the most popular deserts in the world. This is because a lot of films like The Martian, Star Wars, Aladdin, etc. have been filmed here.
The name of this desert can be translated as Sand Valley. Although once translated it seems to be a simple name, it describes perfectly this desert.
Wadi Rum is in the south part of Jordan, but it is very easy to reach. You have the highway that crosses the country, and after the town Rashidiyah, you take a left. Then go to Wadi Rum Visitor Center to pay the fee to enter the desert or to check your tickets if you have purchased the Jordan Pass. More details you will surely receive from the company/hotel from which you booked the trip/night in the desert.
24 hours on Mars
There are more and more talks about Mars and how we will move there in the near (or far) future. If you want to get an idea of what Mars might look like, well, then Wadi Rum is perfect for that.
Wadi Rum is known for its resemblance to Mars, which is also exploited by many movie makers who wanted to reproduce this planet.
We stayed on “Mars” for 24 hours and it was a unique experience. The reddish earth in contrast to the blue sky, the ocean of stars that cover the sky at night, made this experience an unforgettable one.
What we visited
Wadi Rum is a desert made up of valleys, canyons and slopes up to 1850 m and of course a lot of red sand. This environment gives it uniqueness and similarity to Mars.
When exploring Wadi Rum, you can choose between two main methods:
- Rent a jeep to drive wherever and explore what part you want
- Jeep tour with driver and guide who will explain what you are visiting.
We chose to stay one night on Mars, which allowed us to take a 3 hours tour, organized by our host. In this, 3 hours tour we visited the following objectives:
- Lawrence’s Spring
- Al Ramal Sand Dune
- Khazali Canyon
- Burdah Rock Bridge
- Little Bridge
The tour was organized around noon, so the sun fried us a lot, especially since we were here in July. Remember to have a bottle of water with you so you don’t get too dehydrated. Each objective has a small tent made of goat hair nearby, where the drivers can rest in the shade, together with the tourists. And we received the delicious Jordanian tea at every stop.
The organized tour we think is the best way to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the desert. That’s because you won’t have any worries, hop in the jeep and enjoy the road. If you are driving you have to be careful at the road, so you don’t get stuck or get lost. So, it’s better to get in the trailer of a jeep that takes you exactly where you need. Another plus is the cold wild you will enjoy when exploring by jeep.
How was to camp in the Wadi Rum Desert
Our accommodation was exactly near Little Bridge and was included the following:
- Traditional two-person tent (simple) (bed, socket, chair)
- Common bathroom located a few meters away,
- A dining room where the served dinner and breakfast,
- Wonderful view over the desert.
However, we did not come to the desert to spend too much time in the room, so the simplicity did not bother us. The real reason we came here was to spend time outside and in the dining room. 😊) We wandered through the desert, admired the landscape and enjoyed the quiet of the desert until sunset.
The sunset in the desert admired quietly has a special charm that must not be missed.
Immediately after sunset, we had dinner. Dinner was traditionally prepared in barrels in the sand. Specifically, a pit was dug, where the fire was made for several hours, then the food was lowered, it was covered with sand and left there to cook for several hours. In the end, it resulted in very tasty and tender food that we ate a big portion of.
After the meal, we enjoyed the spectacle of the sky. From minute to minute in the sky more and more stars appeared. So, we spent a few hours admiring them without getting bored. I think it was one of the most beautiful experiences in Wadi Rum, together with the sunset.
How it was to choose our accommodation for Wadi Rum
Choosing our stay in Wadi Rum proved to be a much more difficult task than we had imagined. Because there are a lot of people online that give negative (probably fairly) or false positive feedback, and you don’t have much choice. Especially since most campsites have the same pictures and description.
After a lot of research and reviews read, we chose an accommodation that had the most recommendations. And I think we were lucky to get to a place where we had no issues. And we even could pay for the accommodation and the tour, by card (for a fee), although everywhere it was written that it is not possible. The staff was very nice, and they made the time spent on “Mars” amazing.