Take a trip to the valley of the moon

(Photos: Envato Elements And Freepik)
AMMAN — Wadi Rum desert, 323km south of Amman, is a hub of nature, history, culture, and adventure.

This UNESCO world heritage site is a protected nature reserve that covers an area of 720sq.km.اضافة اعلان

It is known for its rose-pink sand dunes, towering mountains, ancient inscriptions, and natural rock formations.

The landscape of Wadi Rum resembles the surface of the moon.

This quality has earned it the title “the valley of the moon,” and made it a popular filming location for movies like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Martian, and Theeb.

In 2019, the number of Wadi Rum visitors reached 364,230, the site’s highest to date.

(Photos: Envato Elements And Freepik)

During Jordan’s government-imposed lockdown that spanned March, April, and May of 2020, the number dropped to zero.

To revive the tourist sector in Jordan, especially in the Golden Triangle (Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba), the government has eased some of its restrictions on tourists.

Coming from Amman or Aqaba, visitors can take an exit that leads to the Wadi Rum visitor center.

One of the highlights on the road to Wadi Rum is the railway station — a must-see landmark that offers a glimpse into the history of the 1916 Great Arab Revolt.

The center offers various tour options, including a two- or four-hour Jeep ride where the visitor is taken deep into the desert.

The driver makes stops at some of Wadi Rum’s most popular spots, such as its sand dunes, canyons, petroglyphs, unique rock formations, photo stops, and Khazali Canyon.

Historically, Wadi Rum was an important crossroad for the Nabataeans.

There, they dedicated a temple to their chief deity, Dushara, currently located next to Rum Village.

When a visitor books an overnight stay, the Jeep tour ends at a Bedouin-style camp that provides all basic requirements for a stay in the desert.

(Photos: Envato Elements And Freepik)

Star gazing is the spine of any trip to Wadi Rum, where visitors at camps need no telescopes to see “millions” of stars and consolations.    

Camps vary based on distance and services offered.

Some investors have built camps with “bubble tents” that allow for star gazing from the inside, in addition to swimming pools and other luxury services.

Some tourists, however, prefer to stay at basic or bivouac camps to enjoy a simpler experience of the desert.

(Photos: Envato Elements And Freepik)

Among the best ways to leave Wadi Rum is a morning camel ride led by a local, or a balloon tour of the Mars-like mountains.

In addition to being a setting for blockbuster movies, Wadi Rum is a destination for adventures such as trekking, long horse rides, quad bike driving, and rock climbing (some of the mountains are more than 1000m tall).

The highlights of Wadi Rum also include the house of Lawrence and a mountain called the seven pillars of wisdom, two landmarks linked to T.E Lawrence of Arabia, a British officer known for his role in the Great Arab Revolt during WWI.

In his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence describes Wadi Rum as a vast echoing and god-like valley.

The inhabitants of Wadi Rum are Bedouins who belong to Arab tribes that lived in the south of Jordan for centuries.

They are strongly devoted to their community values of hospitality and chivalry.

They are also the best tour guides in Wadi Rum because this desert is their playground, and no one can beat their knowledge of the place.
And each stay in Wadi Rum is bound to end with Zarb, a Bedouin meal cooked underground.

Read more Travel