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Wadi Rum, Jordan Jeep Tour – Is It Worth Doing?

A vast desert landscape in Wadi Rum in Jordan. The sun shines in a clear blue sky overhead.

Wadi Rum, a.k.a. “The Valley of the Moon,” and the closest I’m likely ever going to get to Mars! It’s a little under a 2-hour drive from Petra. We drove straight here after we were done hiking Petra, so we could embark on a 2-hour Jeep tour that would then drop us off at our desert camp.

But before I get started on explaining the tour, I want to give a little background on what Wadi Rum even is and why you would want to visit it in the first place.

The Wadi Rum desert in Jordan, a vast and sandy desert landscape with brown and red sand and rocky hills and a clear blue sky overhead.

What is Wadi Rum?

Wadi Rum is a beautiful desert valley in Southern Jordan. The only people who live here are several thousand Bedouin nomads and villagers. There is no real infrastructure here, either.

The sand in Wadi Rum is known for being the reddest in Jordan (colored by iron oxide). Wadi Rum looks so much like Mars – many movies have been filmed here for their otherworldly scenes, such as The Martian, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Prometheus, Red Planet, and…of course, Lawrence of Arabia – just to name a few.

Ancient petroglyphs carved into the desert stones in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan tell stories from thousands of years ago.
Check out these amazing ancient petroglyphs in Wadi Rum

Many humans of different cultures inhabited Wadi Rum as early as 12,000 years ago. There are over 20,000 ancient petroglyphs inscribed throughout the desert.

An expansive landscape view of the red sands and rocky mountains of the Wadi Rum desert. In the center of the image, far off in the distance, is a couple riding horses through the desert.
A couple riding horses through Wadi Rum.

There are many different options for how you can see Wadi Rum – from taking 4-wheeler tours to horseback riding or camel riding. We opted for a Jeep tour as we were also transporting our bags with us to spend the night at a desert camp under the stars.

Wadi Rum, Jordan Jeep Tour Review

Three white Jeeps head out into the Wadi Rum desert for a Wadi Rum jeep tour on a bright and hazy day.
Heading into Wadi Rum on a Jeep Tour!

The tour will begin just outside the Wadi Rum visitor’s center. You can hire a tour directly from the visitor’s center (which will be the luck of the draw for who you get as a guide), or you can book ahead of time through a tour company. We aren’t ones to leave these things to chance, so we booked our tour ahead of time.

Vehicles on the Wadi Rum Jeep Tour

A white four-door pick up truck idles in a Wadi Rum desert valley while tourists admire the rust-red sands and rocky mountains on a clear, sunny day.

The Jeep tours consist of pickup trucks that have their truck beds converted into seats, so you can “comfortably” sit in the back of the truck and watch the scenery go by. Below is a brief video I took of riding in the back. It’s pretty bumpy, and I don’t have proper filming equipment, so you may get a bit of motion sickness from watching it!

Wadi Rum Tour Driver/Guide

Our driver was a pro! He knew what he was doing when it came to driving in the desert, and despite going quite fast at times, I never felt unsafe riding with him.

However, he only spoke a few words in English, and we only know a few words in Arabic. So, we didn’t get a whole lot of information about what we were seeing on this tour until after the fact.

A Jordan man wearing a head scarf and white top is seen walking towards sandy, rocky cliffs in a Wadi Rum valley.
Our Wadi Rum Jeep Tour guide leads us through a Martian-like valley.

That being said, though, he was very kind and enthusiastic for the entire 2 hours we were with him. (Sorry, didn’t take the best photo of him!)

The Scenery in the Wadi Rum Desert

The scenery in Wadi Rum is unbelievable. Even if you had the worst guide in all of Wadi Rum, I still think you would have a memorable time visiting Wadi Rum, just from the breathtaking views alone.

The sun raises over the Wadi Rum desert valley, soaking the red sand and rocky mountains in a golden light. Tire tracks from four wheelers and Jeep tours are seen on the valley ground.

I was also able to take about a million more photos of camels too. Our driver stopped by some local Bedouins to say hello, and let us check out their camels. The group of Bedouins we met were all very kind and even offered to let us ride their camels.

However, I just wanted to take photos and pet them. There was even a baby camel!

Four camels rest, enjoying a hot and sunny day in the Wadi Rum desert. Two camels are sitting, two are standing, and Wadi Rum natives stand close, talking with tourists. The camels are wearing saddles and blankets on their backs.
An intimate look at a baby camel nursing from it's mother in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
A heard of camels stand and rest in the Wadi Rum desert as natives visit with tourists.

Our driver stopped at a few different viewing points along the way to let us take photos – he also pointed out some spots from Lawrence of Arabia. Then he ended the tour by taking us to a Bedouin tent for tea and snacks (there were also a few souvenirs for sale inside the tent).

Bottom Line – Is the Wadi Rum Jeep Tour in Jordan Worth It?

Despite the language barrier and not really getting any info from the tour itself, my husband and I both really enjoyed seeing the landscape of Wadi Rum and checking out the Bedouin camps. Our guide was really kind, too, and did his best to make sure we were comfortable.

The Jeep tour will also get you to the sights faster than taking a camel or horse tour (but you’ll miss some of the novelty of those experiences too). It’s also going to be more comfortable – and will come in handy if you’re hauling your suitcase with you for an overnight stay in the desert. (You can read my full review of the Wadi Rum desert camping experience here.)

After just seeing how awe-inspiring Petra is – I didn’t think anything would top it. However, Wadi Rum really gave Petra a run for its money in terms of memorable moments of our Jordan trip. It is incredible to see in person! So, yes, absolutely, I say it’s worth doing. If you can spare a day in your Jordan itinerary, you should head to Wadi Rum. You won’t regret it!

A man stands atop a low rock formation in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert. He's surrounded by vast sandy valleys and rocky mountains under clear blue skies.

What to Wear for a Jeep Tour in Wadi Rum

We wore the exact same outfits as what we had worn for Petra – and we were perfectly comfortable. The Jeep tour doesn’t have a ton of walking, and a lot of it is on sand, so you would be OK wearing your sandals as well.

Wear something you’re comfortable in, and nothing too loose or flowy, as you’ll be cruising along in the back of a truck. (I took my hat off for this and hid it under a seat, and also took off my scarf.)

A woman stands on a sandy hill in the Wadi Rum desert on a sunny, clear day. She's wearing a white long-sleeve linen shirt, red scarf, and long khaki hiking pants, and looking out over the desert landscape.

Is Wadi Rum on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments! And feel free to ask me any questions about visiting in the comments section as well.

Don’t forget to check out all my posts from our trip to Jordan, as well as a complete itinerary for Jordan and Egypt!

Wadi Rum Jeep Tour Photo Gallery

A collage of two photos of the Wadi Rum desert on a bright and sunny day, Text across the center of the image reads "Is It Worth Doing a Wadi Rum Jeep Tour?"
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9 Comments

  1. I often go on trips with my jeeps. This place looks incredibly hot for me. Hope I can make a gallery-like you soon.

    1. That is awesome, Bruce! Have a wonderful time, and feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.

  2. It looks absolutely amazing! I love the photos and I imagine it’s so much better in person – even with the language barrier it would be breathtaking to see! 🙂

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  3. Gosh, this is so amazing!! I would have loved to hear the info about it as you’re touring around, though. To me, that’s the best part!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

    1. I agree! It would have been better to get a bit of information while on this tour, but it’s one of those places where the scenery kind of speaks for itself.

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