Wadi Rum Experience
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Visiting Wadi Rum is a travel cliché. Incredible, unforgettable, otherworldly, this protected desert valley with gigantic sandstone formations is best experienced by staying overnight. The options range from glamping in luxury tents and pods to wild bivouac camping, while one lodge has some resort amenities.
The Bedouin culture is very family-oriented, and they welcome visitors and their kids. The area's many activities will surely enchant children: camel and horseback rides, climbing on rocks and dunes, and listening to traditional music around the fire, to name a few.
Stargaze & Wake Up in a Luxury Bubble Tent!
Wadi Rum Night Camp is a magnificent lamp-ground with three luxury tents—but what people come from all over to experience are the bubbles. The "Full of Stars Hotel" cluster of inflated, domed constructions made partially of transparent plastic. Guests sleep beneath the stars in absolute beds (equipped with luxury sheets) and awaken to a fantastic desert vista. The bubbles are heated and have their bathroom and balcony.
Wadi Rum Night Camp is modest, with only 25 reservations per night. The breakfast buffet is spectacular, with stacks of hot shark (flatbread akin to lavash) prepared right before your eyes. There are only a few dozen bubbles in the camp, so book early.
Book a "Martian Dome" at this Family Camp.
SunCity Camp is a Wadi Rum tourist favorite. This enormous camp provides loads of activities and various accommodations (including family-size tented chalet suites).
SunCity isn't a hidden gem, but that's not always a bad thing. The rooms are modern (even the cheapest tents have showers), the atmosphere is lively, and the large-scale Bedouin traditions like cooking Zarb are shown to a gathering audience of oohs and aahs.
The "Martian Domes," named after the 2015 blockbuster filmed nearby, are the most fantastic overnight option at SunCity. The Martian Domes are the camp's most unusual and luxury sleeping option, similar to the bubble tents. Each dome is air-conditioned, with a (non-alcoholic) mini-bar and a mountain-view patio. If you can't reserve one of the domes, don't worry: the vista of a dome-dotted desert is still stunning.
A Resort-Style Lodge Has It All
The Bait Ali Lodge is the nearest resort to Wadi Rum. Between the Desert Highway and Rum Village, this considerable estate has air-conditioned cabins, a shopping bazaar, a theatre, and even a swimming pool. (There's also a campground, although you're probably not camping here.) The restaurant offers more selections than many camps in Wadi Rum, including organic fruit, ice cream, and other European favorites, plus a DJ and traditional BBQ every Friday.
Take a Digital Detox Retreat
Yoga and meditation are enhanced by a spectacular, ancient desert setting, which is why wellness retreats are cropping up all around Jordan.
Get a night of peace with a "digital detox" yoga retreat near Wadi Rum. You'll be picked up and taken to a remote location with no mobile service or wifi to relax. You'll eat well and sleep outside. Depending on your group's interests, you can go on a meditation walk, do yoga, a fire ceremony, or a drum circle.
Enjoy the Desert on a Bivouac Camping Trip
If you don't want a healthy experience but want to spend time alone, you can plan a bivouac camping vacation in the desert. While your company explores the area, a knowledgeable Bedouin guide will transport you to a remote spot and set up a small encampment with beds and blankets. Enjoy sweet sage tea and traditional Bedouin food around the fire before falling asleep in the isolated wilderness.