If you are looking for the best things to do in Jordan, Wadi Rum is one of the world’s most impressive desert landscapes. Along with Petra and the Dead Sea, it is a must-see in Jordan. Keep reading for helpful tips for visiting Wadi Rum!
What are the best things to do in the Wadi Rum desert?
Wadi Rum is filled with drastic landscapes, rugged mountains, sweeping burnt-orange dunes, wild roaming camels, and even sand that changes colors. It’s no wonder this stunning desert has been the film location for many popular movies.
In this post we will share the best things to do in Wadi Rum!
What’s the best way to visit Wadi Rum?
The best way to see the unique landscapes of the desert is a 4×4 jeep tour. There are many options available from group tours to private tours that you can book directly from your hotel.
We arranged a private tour through Odynovo Tours. Our guide was Hashim and we absolutely loved him. The desert is a huge place, and there are many things to see. That’s why we think it’s worth booking a private tour so you can see exactly what you want to see. Be sure to communicate to your guide in advance what areas of the desert you want to visit. Keep reading below for our suggestions.
What movies were filmed in Wadi Rum?
Many blockbuster movies were filmed in Wadi Rum, and you can visit their actual film locations! The top 4 most popular movies filmed here are:
- Star Wars: Rogue One
- The Martian
- Lawrence of Arabia
Below we will show you the film locations of these movies. Maybe you will recognize them!
Wadi Rum’s vast remoteness, red-orange sand, and rugged mountains made this desert the perfect backdrop for The Martian!
Here I am standing in the same place Matt Damon stood in the movie!
There’s a certain spot in the desert where the sand changes from red to yellow! Can you see it?
Here’s a better look! This was so crazy to see!
The new, live-action Aladdin turned the Wadi Rum desert into the magical city of Agrabah. It was such an amazing experience to see wild camels just wandering around the desert!!
Rock Bridge (Star Wars: Rogue One)
Another popular movie filmed in Wadi Rum is Star Wars: Rogue One. You can see this rock bridge in the background on the Desert Moon of Jedha.
There’s a path up so you can stand on top of the rock bridge!
Did you know Titanic was also filmed in Wadi Rum??!
Just kidding!! But there’s a rock shaped JUST like the Titanic in the middle of Wadi Rum!! You know we had to do this pose!
Our guide told us you could see this mushroom rock in the new Aladdin, but I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t confirm. Have you seen it??
Lawrence of Arabia
One of the first movies filmed in Wadi Rum was Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. The entrance to this cave was one of the film locations.
Fun Tricks to Try in Wadi Rum:
- Stand in the spot pictured above, turn around, and yell. You will hear a huge echo!!
- Rub one of the rocks nearby, then rub it on your skin. It looks just like blush! The ancient Bedouins used the sand as makeup.
Ancient Civilizations in Wadi Rum
There are over 25,000 petroglyphs in the Wadi Rum desert. You can see them, touch them, and run your fingers along the carvings. You can see a few pictured above on the left!
On the right is an ancient Roman well. You can still see water in the well!
Sunset in Wadi Rum
Because of the rugged mountains and vibrant sand, Wadi Rum is an amazing place to watch the sunset. When booking your tour, be sure it includes sunset!
How many days should you spend in Wadi Rum?
Most travel guides recommend 1 or 2 nights in Wadi Rum. We felt 1 night was enough time to see the desert and experience staying in a Bedouin camp.
We arrived to Wadi Rum in the early afternoon, took a 4-hour tour of the desert, spent the night in a desert camp, then left the next morning.
What is the best Wadi Rum camp to spend the night in?
We did a lot of research on which Bedouin camp to spend the night in Wadi Rum. We found at most camps, the tents did not have their own private bathroom. The bathrooms were in a separate tent and shared by all guests. Some reviews said the camps did not change the sheets between guests, and recommended bringing your own sheets.
However, we kept looking for something a bit more modern, like when we spent the night in the Sahara Desert.
We were thrilled to find The Martian Dome tents at SunCity Camp.
Martian Dome Tents in Wadi Rum
The Martian Dome tents at SunCity Camp have all the amenities of a modern hotel room in the middle of the desert:
- Private bathroom and shower
- Hot Water
- Air conditioning
- Mini Fridge
- Complimentary Water
- 24- Hour Electricity with outlets in the room
- Wifi in the main areas
- Complimentary Breakfast and Dinner
Dinner in the Bedouin Camp
A traditional Bedouin-style meal is included at SunCity Camp. The Bedouins had a unique style of cooking in the desert. Instead of an oven, the food is cooked in a cast iron pot buried underground, in the hot desert sand, with hot coals on top and bottom. The meat is placed on an upper grill inside the pot, and the drippings flavor the rice below.
Every night before dinner you can watch the Bedouins pull the pots from under the sand, and then you get to enjoy the incredible food prepared in the pots. There’s also a huge buffet with a wide variety of options for any appetite — including a huge desert section!
This was our private bathroom in our Martian Dome Tent. It was completely modern with hot water and decent water pressure.