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WADI RUM FAQ`S

How do I get to Wadi Rum?

There is no airport access in Wadi Rum, most visitors will either travel to the ancient city from Amman (3.5 hours), Aqaba (1 hour) or Petra (1.5hours) via road. Travelers can fly into either Amman or Aqaba and take further transportation such as a bus, taxi or rental car to get to Wadi Rum.

What types of transportation are offered to get to Wadi Rum?

Renting a car is an excellent way to drive yourself to the exciting landscapes of Wadi Rum, it takes around 1-1.5 hours to reach from Amman and Aqaba by car. Off the Desert Highway, there is a side road named the Wadi Rum junction in Al-Rushdiyye that leads to the main entrance where Wadi Rum Visitors Center is located. Here there are different transportation options and tours through the desert.

There are bus tours that can be arranged for visitors who are staying in Amman and Aqaba through their hotels or travel agents. Taxis can also be negotiated from Aqaba and Petra. Passengers will be dropped off at the intersection to Wadi Rum, where rides to the Visitors center are available including minibusses that cost around JD1-2. The cost to enter the Wadi Rum Protected Area is JD5 per person.

There are daily buses available from the main bus station in Aqaba with one bus per day that leaves at 1 pm and 3 pm. There are daily buses from Petra to Wadi Rum with pick-ups at your hotel at 6 am.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

There are no private vehicles allowed past the village of Wadi Rum, the main ways to explore the massive desert are by hiring a guide who will take you by 4x4 or camel ride into the desert to see the sights. Most of the tours will take a circular route through the desert and wadis and return to the visitor`s center. There are options to drive your vehicle to the village and park there to proceed on foot which can be very hot and hard work.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis line up outside the visitor`s center waiting to transport visitors back to their beginning destination.

Is Wadi Rum a walking city?

Yes, most of the sights and attractions located inside the Wadi Rum desert will be reached on foot. Although a vehicle is needed to get you around, for the most part, the first set of campsites are located a 1-2 hour hike away from the Wadi Rum Village. Four-wheel drive vehicles can be hired to take you around the desert, stopping at the main attractions where you walk and hike from there. The stunning desert scenery here is filled with mountains and giant rock formations with several high peaks, the highest soaring 6,000 feet above sea level. There are many hiking and climbing possibilities in the desert, especially in the low season when it is a little cooler.

Where can I take a camel ride in Wadi Rum?

Camels are referred to as `the Ships of the Desert` and are an important part of the local Bedouin life in the Wadi Rum desert. They are fascinating animals allowing the locals to make long journeys through the desert. Taking a camel ride to explore the massive grounds of Wadi Rum is a great experience and many tours are offered in the desert. There are full-day camel treks offered that start early in the morning and shorter treks that can be taken anytime during the day, most start and finish at the Wadi Rum Village.

Where can I take a hot air balloon ride in Wadi Rum?

Taking an early morning hot air balloon ride over the stunning sights and landscapes of the Wadi Rum desert is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many of the hot air balloon tours are offered at sunrise providing passengers with some of the most spectacular, mind-blowing experience with views of the majestic mountains and sandstone structures spread throughout the desert floor. We recommend you try this unique experience when visiting Wadi Rum. The hot air balloon flights are offered to visitors who are either staying overnight in the desert or plan a trip with pick up from your hotel in the area.

What are the main attractions found within Wadi Rum?

The desert is filled by many inspiring rock formations, mountains, and canyons to explore. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is close to the Wadi Rum Visitors Center, a large striking rock formation that was named after the book by T.E. Lawrence `Lawrence of Arabia` about his experience in the desert during WWII. The Burdah Rock Bridge is the largest of three natural rock arches found in the desert, this bridge was formed by precariously perched rock that stands 114 feet tall. Visitors can hike to the summit to enjoy rewarding views over the valley. The Jebel Rum Mountain Range runs along the western flank of Wadi Rum standing 5,688 feet above sea level, this mountain soars above the village and valley and is said to be the highest peak in Jordan. The famous Khazali Canyon stretches for 300 feet, the canyon is formed by the Jabel Khazali Mountains that soar 5,400 feet above. Taking a walk through the canyon is an amazing experience, the rocks feature thousand-year-old authentic Nabatean and Thamudic inscriptions and petroglyphs. Visitors should be sure to check out Lawrence`s Springs, the natural springs stand on the edge of the open sands and provide water to the local Bedouin families. They were named in honor of British Army Officer, T.E. Lawrence who crossed the desert during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in WWII. Lawrence`s House is situated close by where he stayed during the Revolt to endure the tough desert winters.

Is Wadi Rum a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?

Wadi Rum is not a dangerous city; there are very few incidents of violence, theft or harassment and tourist police do well maintaining the safety of the city. Travelers should still be cautious just as in any other city in the world, be aware of pickpockets in tourist areas and certain scam artists. Keep your bags and belongings close to you, especially at night.

Despite the country of Jordan`s troubled neighboring countries, it is a safe destination and visitors should not be put off by the metal detectors that are installed at hotels, malls, movie theatres, and supermarkets. These are there for safety and security measures to keep locals and visitors safe.

What are some popular areas for shopping?

Wadi Rum is not a shopping destination, but the Wadi Rum Visitors Center has a gift shop, which is a great place to pick up souvenirs. Many of the items for sale are handmade by locals and include ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. There is a workshop in Wadi Rum village which is worth a visit.

What is the best time to visit Wadi Rum?

Visiting Wadi Rum can be done year-round, found in the extreme desert weather varies from extreme heat to below freezing temperatures. The most temperate months are March to May and September to November, and April to September are the warmest time of year and January is the coldest month. During the springtime months, the desert is covered with vibrant wildflowers and baby goats and camels.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency in Wadi Rum is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD or JD) the Jordanian Dinar is divided into 1000 fils, it is also referred to as `leerah`. US Dollars are not accepted. You must exchange your dollars for Jordanian Dinar before or upon arrival. ATMs and banks exchange currency and are available in the city. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it is recommended to carry some cash with you at all times to pay for transportation, snacks, and purchases in outdoor markets.

Tipping is part of the culture in Jordan and leaving a tip is good etiquette throughout the country. A 10% tip is pretty standard across the board in the service industry. Always be sure to check your bill for any added service charges which can be common, in this case, it is always a nice gesture to leave an additional small tip for the workers as they rarely get any of the added service charges.

For information on tipping please see our Guide to Tipping in Jordan What is the food like?

Most of the food found in Wadi Rum is cooked by the Bedouin residents, if you are camping in the desert you can enjoy delicious authentic cooked meals including the national dish `Mansaf` and `Zarb` which is a Bedouin barbecue. Many of the meals include fresh meat and vegetables which are cooked under the desert sand. Bedouin tea is the number one drink served in the desert which is hot and sweet and flavored with mint which is very refreshing. Located at the park entrance there is a small restaurant found in a tent that serves traditional Jordanian food including bread and yogurt.

What is the nightlife like?

The best way to experience the desert at night is to stay at a Bedouin camp overnight to get the full experience. There are luxury campsites located within the desert where you can spend the night under the starry sky. Staying the night in the desert is highly recommended and gives you a once in a lifetime experience. Campers are treated to an unforgettable Bedouin experience with delicious food, storytelling, and live music. The desert is simply awe-inspiring at night when the sun sets behind the mountains and rock formations it casts some amazing vibrant hues of azure blue, pale pink, brilliant orange and burning red over the desert floor. Once the sun has set, the night sky appears and is blanketed by sparkling stars.

I don`t speak will there be many people who speak English?

The official language spoken in Jordan is Arabic, however, English is widely spoken by people working in the service and tourism industries. We recommend that you get a good English-Arabian guidebook and familiarize yourself with a few common phrases, such as hello, goodbye, please and thank you, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

Some locals will insist on speaking as much English as possible and ignoring your attempts to speak Arabic.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

In case of emergency, dial 193 for an ambulance, 191 or 192 for the police.

Hospitals:

Queen Rania Hospital tel. 962-3-215-0635