10 Best Things To Do in Wadi Rum
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
If you're pressed for time, a 4x4 jeep tour will let you explore the desert in a day or less. Jeep tours start in Wadi Rum village or after your overnight stay at our camp or cave. A typical tour allows you to explore the red desert, including sites like Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, the Sand Dunes, Little Bridge, Lawrence House, Mushroom Rock, Kashaba Canyon and Um Fruth Rock Bridge. At each site, you can walk around, take photographs, and enjoy tea at the Bedouin tents beside each stop. If you're looking to get off the tourist trail, we offer trips to Wadi Sabet, the stretch of desert beside the Saudi-Jordan border where few cars or tourists visit! Jeep tours end with the sunset at Um Sabbatah or Khor al Ajram, and your guide will make you Bedouin tea over a campfire. This is an excellent time to get to know your guide and ask questions about Bedouin life and culture in Wadi Rum.
Check out our jeep tour packages to find a tour that suits you!
2. Take a Hike
There are many beautiful hiking trails in Wadi Rum that allow you to get away from it all and spend time in nature, taking in the vastness of the desert from up high.
One of the most famous hiking trails is Burdah Rock Bridge, a hike up a mountain in the white desert to a famous rock arch. Jabal (mount) Burdah has a few different trails depending on your fitness level, but even the easiest is a steep ascent followed by a section using a rope - you need good hiking shoes and some experience hiking and scrambling to make it to the top. Due to the difficulty in finding the trail, it's wise to take a local guide. Your guide will also make you Bedouin tea on the fire and cook you lunch at the end of your hike!
Another popular hike in Wadi Rum Protected Area is Jabal Um ad-Dami, the highest mountain in Jordan. Despite it's size, it's not a difficult hike - it's just pretty long! There is less scrambling involved than Burdah, but you need to be fit enough to walk for 4 hours. Um ad-Dami is also located in Wadi Sabet, which is about an hour's drive away from Wadi Rum village - so factor this in to your planning.
Two hikes worth doing close to Wadi Rum village are Raqabat Um Ajl a trail starting in the village, and the Ain Shellaleh. The Ain Shellaleh means 'Spring of the Waterfall' in Arabic, and the trail starts after the Nabatean Temple, located at the base of Jabal Rum.
3. See the Sunset
Wadi Rum is famous for beautiful sunsets - you only need to see the photos to understand why! The best place to watch the sunset in summer is Um Sabbatah. In winter, Khor al Ajram, Wadi Rum's main valley, is the best location to see the sunset. Sunsets are best enjoyed with a glass of Bedouin tea by the campfire - on your tour of Wadi Rum, your guide will set up mattresses and a campfire for you to end the day.
Stargazing in Wadi Rum is an incredible experience, as there's almost no light pollution. On clear nights, you can even see the Milky Way Galaxy!
Whether you stay at a camp or in our cave under the stars, it's easy to do some stargazing. At a Bedouin camp, you'll have a traditional dinner like zarb, which is cooked under the sand in hot coals. You'll hear live music like the Oud being played, sit around the campfire, drink tea and meet Bedouin guides and other travellers.
If you choose to sleep under the stars in a cave, you'll be alone in the desert with just your guide(s) who will make you dinner and provide you with everything you need to sleep - sleeping bags, mattresses and blankets. Your guide will also make you a fire, tea, and keep you entertained with stories of life in the desert. This is a really beautiful experience for guests who are looking to spend time in nature and experience authentic Bedouin life.
5. Ride a Camel
Take a short camel ride to experience the desert from the top of Arabia's traditional mode of transport. Camel rides can start from Lawrence Spring or Khazali Canyon in the red desert, and last for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
You can also choose to take a half-day or full-day camel tour. This is a much slower and more relaxed way to see Wadi Rum, and you'll have an English-speaking Bedouin guide to show you around (and lead the camels).
6. See the Sunrise from a Hot Air Balloon
Seeing the landscape of Wadi Rum from a hot air balloon is an unmissable experience. You'll be in the balloon for approximately an hour, and availability depends on the weather the day before. You can read more about Rum Balloon on TripAdvisor and ask us to arrange it for you.
7. Visit the Arabian Oryx
The endangered Arabian Oryx are gazelles native to the Middle East. A conservation program is underway to increase their population and reintroduce them into the wild, led by the government of Abu Dhabi in the UAE. You can read more about them here. Wadi Rum is fortunate to have a herd of 60 Oryx - you can contact us to arrange to see them!
8. Visit the Burdah Women's Cooperative
The Burdah Women's Cooperative was founded by a local woman in 2002 in tandem with the Wadi Rum Visitor's Centre. The Bedouin women make handicrafts using traditional weaving methods like bags and rugs. They also make jewellery and olive oil soap! If you're lucky, you can watch handicrafts being made when you visit. Contact us to arrange a visit. You can learn more about the Burdah Women's Cooperative on their Facebook page or YouTube.
9. Enjoy a Bedouin Lunch Cooked in the Desert
Although we're still waiting on our Michelin Star, Bedouin guides know how to cook some amazing dishes for lunch - the best part is, you can watch! A Bedouin desert lunch will include gilayet bandora (fried tomatoes), ful (beans), hummus, baba ghanoush, and local cheeses.
It's great fun to see your guide making everything for you from scratch - and you can learn more about how Bedouins traditionally cook in the desert, without modern appliances!
Bedouin Lunches can be added on to all jeep, hiking and camel tours in Wadi Rum.
10. Get to Know the Locals
Maybe we're biased, but we think Bedouins are some of the funniest people around - they've grown up meeting visitors from all over the world, and have plenty stories to share about working in tourism.
Locals of Wadi Rum have preserved their ancient traditions for centuries, and are keen to share Bedouin culture and history with guests. If you're lucky, you might get to hear your guide playing the Oud, a traditional string instrument, or listen to some traditional songs.
Book your desert experience with us today, and get to know Wadi Rum like a local!