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After diving in Aqaba

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After diving in Aqaba Wondering what to do after you’ve finished diving the beautiful coastline of Aqaba? Why not take a trip to the world-famous Wadi Rum to discover what delights the desert has waiting for you?

Exploring Wadi Rum: A Visitors Guide

Wadi Rum is Jordan's famous desert landscape and one of the country's best places to visit.

This rugged landscape's raw beauty has made it the country's major film star, playing leading roles in movies as diverse as The Martian (where it stood in for Mars) and Jordan's award-winning Theeb (where it played itself).

The movie it is most famous for is, of course, Lawrence of Arabia, which first flaunted Wadi Rum's panoramas of orange and pink sand desert loomed over by vast rock outcrops to a global cinema audience.

Today, visitors come to camel-ride, hike, or 4WD across the desert, and scrabble up the rock ridges and cliffs to soak up the scenery for themselves. Just being amid this grand landscape is a major tourist attraction, but the offered desert tour circuits take visitors to some of the most famous photography spots and rock formations.

If you want to experience Wadi Rum fully, camping overnight should be at the top of your things-to-do list while here.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

History of Wadi Rum

Enjoying the view of the Wadi Rum desert

Wadi Rum's landscape of sandstone mountains was carved out by millennia of erosion, with wind and water slowly carving out the rock to create wadis (valleys) between.

Human habitation here can be dated back to the Neolithic era, but it was in the Iron Age when Thamudic tribes from the Arabian Peninsula began using this area as part of their trade routes, that Wadi Rum's importance begins.

The Nabataeans had taken control of the desert by the 2nd Century BC as part of their trading empire, which stretched across much of this region of the Middle East. The area's importance, though, fades in later centuries.

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During World War I's Arab Revolt, the Arab fighters led by Emir Faisal and T. E. Lawrence spent some time here, and Lawrence's book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, brought Wadi Rum to the attention of the world. It was the 1962 movie, Lawrence of Arabia, with its sumptuous desert panoramas, though, that really kicked off interest in Wadi Rum's tourism potential.

Wadi Rum became a national park in the 1990s. The local Bedouin communities of Wadi Rum are closely involved with both managing the park and providing tourism activities for visitors.

Activities at Wadi Rum

Camels in majestic Wadi Rum, aka Valley of the Moon

Wadi Rum is prime territory for travellers itching for adventurous things to do.

Activities and tours of the national park can be arranged at Wadi Rum Visitor Center upon arrival. The list of activities that can be organized quickly without any prior booking includes camel-trekking tours (ranging from a couple of hours to a full day), hikes of various lengths, and half and full-day 4WD tours.

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Hiking and camel-trekking tours allow for a slower, more close-up desert experience. If you want to cover all the major attractions within the national park area, the 4WD tour circuits are the easy option.

Overnight camping, combined with one of the activities and tours, can also be arranged on arrival at the centre.

Wadi Rum is Jordan's top rock climbing area, and a couple of qualified local guides operating out of Rum Village offer rock climbing tours of several climbing routes across the cliffs and crags of the area. Specialized tours such as these should be booked in advance.

Camping at Wadi Rum

Campsite inside Wadi Rum

Although a Wadi Rum day trip offers up plenty of panoramic beauty, the best way to experience the desert scenery here is to stay a little longer and camp overnight.

An overnight Wadi Rum tour means you get to see the desert at sunset and sunrise, when the colours of the cliffs and crags, and sand below, mellow and shimmer in the changing light. With the lack of artificial light, the night sky here is phenomenal and offers some of the clearest stargazing you'll ever have the chance to see.

Several small Rum-Village-based and Bedouin-run tour companies have campsites within the park. These can be booked beforehand through their individual websites or on arrival at Wadi Rum Visitor Center.

The campsites are small and scattered throughout the parking area. All offer a "glamping" experience, with individual tent accommodation (usually with actual beds) and a basic, shared bathroom block. Dinner and breakfast (and transport back to the Wadi Rum Visitor Center in the morning) are usually included in the overnight stay.

Note that overnight Wadi Rum tours are booked with larger tour agencies that operate from Aqaba, Petra, and Ammanusually don't use these campsites. Instead, they use campsites on the edge of Wadi Rum - not actually in the national park area.

The desert surrounding these large camps is not as dramatic as the scenery within the park, and the camps are sprawling affairs, as they're built to facilitate large tour groups.

Coral Garden Diving Center Opening Times:

Monday - Sunday: 9 AM - 7 PM

On request, we are open earlier/later for sunrise, sunset & night dives.

Book your trip via Email/WhatsApp

Email: info@dive-inaqaba.com
Website: dive-inaqaba.com

For quick booking and information contact us on WhatsApp

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