Wadi Rum: Backpacking adventure in Jordan’s desert

As passionate backpackers, we have already experienced many adventures in the world. The Wadi Rum in Jordan is definitely one that has left a lasting impression in our minds. Wadi Rum is an impressive desert landscape in Jordan, also known as the “Valley of the Moon”. It covers an area of more than 700 square kilometers and is characterized by unique sandstone and granite formations. This breathtaking desert landscape has a long history and was once the homeland of the Bedouins, who still live in the region and preserve their culture and hospitality.

Blick durch einen Canyon im Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes, but also for its adventure activities such as hiking, climbing, jeep tours and sandboarding. It also offers unique cultural experiences where backpackers can learn about Bedouin culture, from traditional dishes to local music and dances. A visit to Wadi Rum is a must on any backpacking trip to Jordan.

Adventure in Wadi Rum:

Once you arrive in Wadi Rum, there are plenty of adventures and activities available to make your stay an unforgettable one. You can lace up your hiking boots and explore the desert landscape on your own. Just don’t forget to mark your location on an offline map app like maps.me beforehand, so you can find your way back. There are countless hiking trails and paths that allow you to discover the unique beauty of Wadi Rum. Climbing enthusiasts can try their hand at the rock faces and enjoy breathtaking views from the peaks.

Burdah Rock Bridge Jordanien
Burdah Rock Bridge

Another popular activity in the wadi is sandboarding. Glide down the high sand dunes with your board and feel the adrenaline rush while enjoying the endless expanse of the desert. Or how about a jeep tour through the desert? Let a local Bedouin driver guide you through the reserve and discover hidden treasures like ancient petroglyphs and hidden oases. We took a day tour by jeep as a group, where we also stopped for sandboarding. The tour was okay, but it becomes much more touristy. The camps are relatively far apart, which is why you are alone most of the time with the people from the camp. The sights in Wadi Rum, however, are approached by all tours at the same time, which is why it suddenly becomes much more touristy. Although we would do the tour again but our highlight was actually the endless expanse and just something to wander around the camp.

Cultural experiences in Wadi Rum:

The Wadi Rum has not only an impressive landscape to offer, but also a rich cultural history. The desert has been inhabited for centuries by the Bedouins, the nomadic desert dwellers. You can take the opportunity to get to know the Bedouin culture, experience their hospitality and learn from their way of life. There is also the opportunity to stay overnight in a Bedouin tent and get a glimpse of traditional life in the desert. Taste local dishes and listen to Bedouin stories about their customs and traditions.

Beduine beim Feuermachen


For backpackers on a budget, getting to Wadi Rum is easy and affordable. A cheap option is to travel by bus from the nearby city of Aqaba. There are regular bus services that will take you directly to the entrance of Wadi Rum Reserve. The journey takes about an hour and gives you a taste of the impressive landscape with majestic mountain scenery and endless sand dunes on the way.

Food and accommodation

As a backpacker on a budget, you will also find cheap options for food and accommodation in Wadi Rum. There are simple guesthouses and camps in the reserve that offer cheap accommodation. Here you can sleep in simple tents or Bedouin tents under the stars and enjoy the authentic desert experience. We spent the night in a camp. Some blankets are provided for the cold at night. Meals at the inns or camps are often served in the form of traditional Bedouin dishes and are usually inexpensive. We had an excellent dinner prepared in a traditional Bedouin oven underground. There was chicken as well as vegetarian alternatives.

Camp im Wadi Rum

Tips for backpackers in Wadi Rum:

  • Take enough water with you
  • Pack sunscreen & headgear
  • Wadi Rum is a protected nature reserve, so please take your trash with you and be sure to respect nature and cultural sites.
  • Talk to the locals: Bedouins are known for their hospitality, so take the opportunity to interact with them, learn from them and respect their culture.


Wadi Rum is a true paradise for backpackers on a budget looking for a unique desert experience. With its stunning landscapes, adventure activities, cultural experiences and budget accommodation, it is a perfect destination for adventurers who want to be enchanted by the beauty of nature and the hospitality of the Bedouins. Pack your backpack, lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Wadi Rum – the desert paradise for backpackers on a budget!

Frequently asked questions about your visit to Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a desert landscape in the south of Jordan and is one of the most famous desert areas in the Middle East. It is also known as the “Valley of the Moon” due to its spectacular rock formations and red sand dunes that resemble a lunar landscape. Wadi Rum covers an area of about 720 square kilometers and is located about 60 kilometers east of Aqaba and 320 kilometers south of Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Wadi Rum is best reached by car or organized tours from nearby towns. There are several transportation options to get to Wadi Rum. One can either rent a car, take the public bus, hire a private driver or join organized tours offered by tour operators or local guides. Most tours include transportation from nearby cities such as Aqaba, Petra or Amman to Wadi Rum and back. Of course, the cheapest way to get there is by public transport


There are many activities and sights to discover in Wadi Rum. Some of the most popular activities include jeep tours through the desert, camel rides, hiking and trekking, sandboarding, rock climbing, stargazing and visits to Bedouin families to learn more about their culture and way of life. Among the most famous sights in Wadi Rum are the impressive rock formations such as Burdah Rock Arch, Lawrence’s Spring, Khazali Canyon and Jebel Umm Fruth Rock Bridge. However, we do not recommend the camel tours for ethical reasons.

The recommended length of stay in Wadi Rum can vary depending on what activities and sights you want to visit. However, it is generally recommended to allow at least 2 days for a visit to experience the highlights of the desert landscape. For longer stays and more detailed explorations, 3-4 days or more can be planned, especially if you want to participate in multi-day trekking tours or enjoy the desert at leisure.

Yes, there are accommodation options in Wadi Rum, from basic Bedouin tents to luxury desert lodges. Popular options include staying in traditional Bedouin tents to enjoy the authentic desert experience, or staying in desert lodges that offer more comfort and amenities.

It is important to prepare well for a visit to Wadi Rum to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience. Some of the preparations one should make are: Bringing enough water and snacks as there are no water points or supermarkets in the desert, bringing sunscreen, hat and sunglasses as the sun can be strong in the desert, packing weatherproof clothing as it can get chilly in the desert both during the day and at night, wearing sturdy shoes for hiking and trekking, bringing a camera or smartphone for photos, and learning about Bedouin culture and etiquette to show respect and sensitivity towards the locals.

Yes, there are some restrictions and rules that should be followed in Wadi Rum to respect the nature and culture and to ensure safety. Some of the important rules are: Avoid leaving marked paths and trails to protect the fragile desert environment, Do not leave trash in the desert and take everything you brought with you, Do not disturb or damage any plants or animals, Do not make open fires or allow smoking in the desert, Respect the locals and their culture, Do not exhibit culturally inappropriate behaviors, and Follow the instructions of guides or local Bedouins, especially in activities such as climbing or trekking, to ensure safety.

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About Us

We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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