Visit Wadi Rum Desert
A UNESCO listed must see desert destination, known as ‘the Valley of the Moon’. Visit Wadi Rum Protected Area is a famous red sand desert landscape with steep sandstone cliffs. Cliffs rise a hundred metres above the valleys and create long narrow canyons. It is a major Jordan tourist attraction, second only to the world wonder of Petra. Part of the Jordan tourism trinity along with the rock hewn tombs of Petra and the ancient Roman city of Jerash.
Due to Wadi Rum’s altitude, above 1,000m, and a cooler climate than other parts of Jordan. Long narrow valleys and high cliffs provide ample shade. Wadi Rum has been used as a passage on ancient trade routes for millennia as a result. The area has been inhabited continually by man throughout the ages despite limited water sources.
Jordan’s dual listed UNESCO site!
Due to its unique landscapes as well as cultural significance it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. There is an amazing concentration of natural beauty within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Red sand valleys, natural arches, canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves and sand dunes are part of the scenery. The Mars like desert landscapes host a variety of prehistoric rock art, inscriptions and historic ruins. Lawrence of Arabia related sites make up most of the 20th century attractions. The area has evidence of continual human habitation for over 12,000 years. The ability to exist with few resources dictates the desert culture of the Bedouins. Local nomads have kept high levels of autonomy in the region, despite several significant changes of power and influence.
Modern Wadi Rum is inhabited solely by Bedouin families tracing their origins in the region over 300 years. The people are passionate about their Bedouin identity. Wadi Rum society has kept much of its historic cultural identity and is distinct from other regions of Jordan.
Wadi Rum is dual listed by UNESCO. For its natural beauty as well as its cultural significance. Therefore there are a multiple experiences on offer for visitors. Overnight stays in Bedouin camps allow close contact with the nomadic local cultures. The camps location inside the Protected Area allows guests to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Why is Wadi Rum famous?
The rocks and sand reflect a wide range of colours, effected by the high levels of iron oxide. Wadi Rum draws its fame from the red ochre desert colours and sandstone rock formations. It is a particularly photogenic landscape and has been used as a location for several major films. The eroded sandstone cliffs create a variety of interesting features. Light and shadows in the deep gorges and wide valleys provide beautiful lighting that create unique photo opportunities.
Wadi Rum’s cultural value is both current and historic. Tangible present day opportunities to experience:
- Nomadic Tent living
- Bedouin lifestyle
- Camel caravans
- Desert survival
- Unique cooking techniques
- Music and dress
Additionally historic elements of:
- Ancient rock art
- Nabatean and Roman ruins
- Evidence of human irrigations systems
- Arab WW1 revolt sites related to Lawrence of Arabia
The Bedouin cultures of southern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia are closely related. Little removed from lifestyles during the Arab expansion they provide an interesting insight into history and culture. Experience a true desert culture that holds its traditional routes.
Best Sights in Wadi Rum
We provide summary information on all the attractions within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Before you visit the desert, prepare by making yourself aware of the best sights and find out which attactions appeal to you.