Wadi Rum is the area of the desert in the south of Jordan that has some amazing desert landscapes. What’s great is that the cost of admission is also included in your Jordan Pass ticket. There are 2 ways to tackle Wadi Rum:
First is to stay in one of the many tents that are spread out through the desert. I stayed at the Wadi Rum Luxury Hotel and it was nice for what it was. Would I stay there again? Probably not. It was pretty expensive and it wasn’t like you got a whole lot with your stay. Any excursion you want to do is extra so you are literally paying to stay in a very glamorous tent.
What is nice is that if you want to do any excursions, you do get somewhat of an early start since the park doesn’t open to the public who aren’t staying on site. I did a 3 hour excursion and it was nice since there was no one around for the first few sites. Of course, all the others who pay for excursions are doing the same route as you so you’ll see a few people but it isn’t crowded at all. It wasn’t until the very end where I was running into the folks who just pay for the excursion for the day.
Which brings me to the 2nd way of doing this. You can just come for the day and then pay someone to take you around for 3 hours or so. Don’t worry, they’ll try to upsell you on taking a 4 hour excursion so you’ll have plenty of time to “upgrade” if you want.
So how does this all work? First, as you get to the park entrance, you’ll see a parking lot on your left. Park and get out to get your Jordan Pass stamped inside. You’ll probably run into people trying to get you to pay for an excursion or a ride to your tent hotel there but you’ll have plenty of time later.
After getting stamped, get back into your car and continue driving for about 15 minutes. You’ll eventually come to this parking lot on your right. It’s the first thing you see and you’ll also see everyone else’s car parked there as well as trucks lined up to get you to go with them on any excursion. You’ll need to park there since the rest of the trip is going to have to be made with a 4×4. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to just drive into the desert if you rent a 4×4 but I would advise against it since there’s no road to guide you. I guess you could just follow the tire tracks in the sand but if something were to happen, you won’t have any help or cell reception.
So given the opportunity to do this all over again, I would advise you to just drive in that morning and just get a hotel in Aqaba or near Petra. Sure, you’ll have to get up earlier but you’ll save a lot more money this way and I really didn’t think sleeping in a bubble tent was really worth it. Especially for someone like me who needs glasses to see.