Day 5 – Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum
Another early start at 6am; and while we were having breakfast at Saba’a Hostel, our ride to Wadi Rum was already waiting for us at 6:30am. The 20-seater bus from Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum starts exactly at 6:30am and takes about 2 hours. Make sure to check with your hotel well in advance and reserve your seat because the buses get full in an instant.The bus brought us to the Wadi Rum Visitors Center, where we purchased the entry ticket for JOD 5 (per person). Many tourist guides meet you at the visitors center, and it is advisable to carry the print of your reservation because you may not be saying the name of the guide that you booked your reservation with. For example, we booked with Bedouin Directions and our guides name was Mehedi al-Hewaitaat, but this company has different guides and if another person (from the same company) is at the center, he will not entertain you and ask you to contact the person you booked with. At this time you may feel lost because there may not be a way to call your guide or get in touch. Fortunately, the bus driver knows all the Bedouin guides and he will call the guide and direct you onwards.
We found out that Mehedi was at the Bedouin Village inside the Wadi Rum protected area, so we got back in the bus and 5 kilometers down the road, we were dropped off with some different person. He drove us to Mehedi’s house where we were greeted with Arabic ‘welcome’ tea.
Mobile (outside Jordan): + 962 776886481
Mobile (inside Jordan) : 0776 886481
A day trip to Wadi Rum with an overnight stay at the Bedouin tents is good to visit the desert and also experience the Bedouin hospitality. For a full day jeep tour including lunch it costs JOD 40 per person; and add a night in the camp including dinner and breakfast (next day), it is JOD 25 extra per person. Remember that the JOD 5 per person entrance fee to Wadi Rum is not included. They accept payment in cash (JOD) at the end of your tour. Please note there are no credit card machines, ATMs, banks or exchange shops in Wadi Rum.
After some sweet Arabic tea, we were given a short orientation with the map of the protected area. We selected their “Classic Jeep tour” that will cover the best and most beautiful areas of Wadi Rum, where at each stop we had the opportunity to hike and scramble, and explore in our own time.
Our driver and guide Salim started by taking us to our first stop – Lawrence Spring. We hiked (one hour hike) up through rocks and boulders to reach the lovely fig tree to rest under, maybe find the water. During spring time you are greeted by the heady smell of herbs. The view across the Wadi from here is legendary!
Next stop was Khazali Canyon which was once used by the local Bedouin to rest in the shade, especially in the hot summer. Once you are there, you can easily imagine how it would have looked with Bedouin tents, family’s resting, drinking tea, and children playing. See the many ancient rock inscriptions on the canyon walls – spot the inscriptions of feet and the Orynx.
It was a 15 minute ride to the Red Sand Dunes which has differing colors of rock and sand. We climbed up the sand dune for the wonderful view at the top. And as locals and everyone else does, we ran down it!
Another 5 minute ride around the next bend and we were at Anfishieh Inscriptions which are rock inscriptions on the Anfishieh Jebel from the Thamudic and Nabatean periods.
Next up was House of Lawrence, a Nabatean structure that, according to hearsay, Lawrence of Arabia used during the Great Arab Revolution to store weapons. There used to be caves here, but no one knows anything about them, so without lingering on the possible academia of this site, we climbed up for a wonderful view.
Around about now, Salim, our guide, found a beautiful, shady and quiet place to rest and enjoy some food which he prepared for us – yogurt, tuna, Gallayh, pita bread, chips, oranges, and some more Arabic tea. While he prepared lunch, we were asked to take a stroll around for an hour at the Burdah Canyon, which was nothing but rocks and boulders.
It was sweltering hot and the walking around made us starve and dehydrated. After the meal, we all took a nap for an hour under the shade of the boulder.
After that refreshing and hearty meal, out next stop was Burdah Arch. This natural rock bridge is set high up on the mountain, so we just had to see it from a distance. Although you can do the two-hour hike up to the arch.
We were disappointed for not being able to climb the Burdah Arch, but that soon turned into excitement when we reached Um Frouth Arch. This is a natural rock bridge, created by many years of water and wind, which you can climb to the top. It takes less than 10 minutes to reach up there.
The last stop was quite a drive away. And we reached at this huge rock standing on two legs called “The Chicken”. This is where we were asked to sit on top of another rock besides ‘The Chicken’ for a wonderful view of the white desert and the sunset. This place is considered as the best position for sunset viewing.
Immediately after the sunset, we were hurried to the Bedouin camp. We were with a few other tourists at the camp, where they served one of the best dinners we’ve had in Jordan, some live music and after a late night walk in the dark, we settled in the Bedouin tents, with mattresses and blankets.
|Bedouin Music at Wadi Rum, Jordan|
Bedouin musicians performing at Wadi Rum desert tent, Jordan. May 2012
The camp has two toilets (one WC and one Arabic/India style) and one shower. The main tent, with a fire, has sitting and relaxing area. The camp is in the white desert in a unique and beautiful location, secluded and away from any other tourist camps.
After breakfast in the camp the next morning, we headed back to the Rum village at 7am for our onward journey to Amman, via Aqaba.
|How to reach Wadi Rum|
|Rental car/ Taxi
If you are driving to Wadi Rum by rental car/ taxi firstly you will reach the visitor center, where you will need to park the car, and go to the desk to buy your entrance ticket. If they ask you what your plans are you can tell them you have an e-mail reservation and that you are meeting your guide in the village.
Once you have your ticket, continue down the road with your car/taxi for about 5 kilometers. You will reach the village. Your guide will meet you either at the visitors center or at this guest house which is the 1st building on the right as you enter the village. There is a car park where you can park your car safely. It’s advisable to call or text your guide from the road when you are close to Wadi Rum, so that they know you are on your way and on schedule.
Bus from Petra
If you are arriving on the bus from Petra, then please tell the driver you have a booking and that you are meeting your guide in Wadi Rum village at the Guest House. He will firstly stop at the visitor center, where one of you should quickly go to get your tickets, while the other one stays with the bags and bus, to make sure he doesn’t leave without you. Once you have your tickets, the bus will continue to Rum village. The Guest House is the 1st building on the right as you enter the village and if he doesn’t stop please indicate to him that you want to get off there.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = JOD 0.75. Each cost is for one adult.
|Saba’a Hotel, Wadi Musa||JOD 50.50 or $71.25||For 2 persons, two nights, including lunch for Petra & water|
|Bus to Wadi Rum||JOD 6 or $8.50||For 1 person|
|Wadi Rum Entry||JOD 5 or $7||For 1 person|
|Bedouin Directions||JOD 65 or $91.75||For 1 person|
|Total Costs||$142.85||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$2,177.70||Per person|