Red Alert contemplating Wadi Rum and its very red sand. We watched a sunset and spent the night out under the stars. I slept like a baby and I'm pretty sure Red stayed up all night with a flashlight and a big stick
My dad and I can't thank you ENOUGH for recommending the tour group in Wadi Rum and the hotel. OMG IT WAS AMAZING! We're thinking about taking my Mom to see Ramm if we end up vacationing in Jersulam this summer!
Jordan was FANTASTIC though I do admit it felt a bit odd being like the ONLY female wearing a T-shirt among a bunch of Saudi's and locals.Other than that it was great!
Just thought I'd let you know that.
Heh, yeah, it's like that outside of Amman or touristy places. I'm used to it by now though
I'm really glad I contacted you after seeing your photos...you have no idea how much of a help it has been !
Guess I'll have to try and get over it next time I go, haha! I shouldn't have read the travel book saying that it MIGHT happen...otherwise I wouldn't have noticed
I came across this looking for images of Wadi Rum. I'm ACTUALLY trying to get there this summer. I'll be in Aqaba for a few days and I still have yet to find a day trip to Ramm. I see over night things and buses that go there but...it looks like they don't return to the next day. I've been warned by a few friends that live in the Middle East NOT to rent a car and try to drive there on my own. Do you have any suggestions?
We did our tour through the Bedouin Lifestyle Camp ([link]), and I think the one we did was the half-day jeep tour and camp out under the stars ([link]), and I cannot recommend them enough. They were EXCELLENT.
What you do is take a taxi from Aqaba to Rum Village (costs about 20 JD one way, and they will know how to get there), and then the Bedouin drive you out for the tour and to the campsite, provide dinner and breakfast, and then drive you back to Rum Village the next day where you catch a taxi-cab back to Aqaba. You need to arrange the cabs, though.
I recommend that while you are in Aqaba, you get in touch with the taxi-cab company through the hotel you're staying in. That way you can arrange a cab both to take you to Rum Village and pick you up when you get back. You'll need to talk to the Bedouin Camp organizers in advance anyway to book your excursion, so make sure to get a time schedule to give the cab company for pick-ups. It takes maybe a 1/2 hour to an hour at most to drive between Rum Village and Aqaba.
I also recommend arranging this trip in advance, and with a large group if you can. The price per person goes down significantly the larger the group you have. Their price information is on their website as well.
You'll have the option of sleeping in a tent, or out on top of the hill overlooking the Wadi. The tents are fine, but TAKE THE HILL. There is no greater thing than to wake up in the middle of the night and see the Milky Way just staring you in the face.
I will warn you, if you are planning your trip to Aqaba in July or August, check if your planned dates overlap with Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month. This year it will be from July 9th to Aug 7th. During Ramadan it is forbidden for Muslims to eat or drink while the sun is up, and even in Aqaba a lot of places outside the very expensive tourist districts will be closed for most of the day. This won't affect the Bedouin Tours (we did ours smack in the middle of Ramadan, and the only difference is we had a very late supper because they had to go back to the village to break their fast), but it might make your stay in Aqaba more difficult than you anticipated. Jordanians are good people but they can be cranky when they haven't eaten all day
Oh, and also: Aqaba is hot and muggy even at night, it is like an oven, and the sun is evil. So bring the highest SPF sunscreen you can find and find shade frequently, especially when on the beach, because you will sweat that stuff off so fast. Tip: the South Beaches are WAY NICER than the beach in Aqaba city. The South Beaches are the ones with the coral reefs, where they take you for snorkeling and scuba diving. Aqaba beach has seagulls and cigarette butts, and way too many people
Okay I'm gonna stop or I'll just go on forever, lol. If you have any other questions feel free to ask! Enjoy your vacation, and check your shoes for creepy crawlies after you sleep in the desert!
I haven't heard of that tour group yet ! I looked at the website and I'm completely looking more into this! Thanks so much! It's great to hear from someone who has been! My dad is pretty nervous about this since it's in the middle of no-where, haha! This looks great though! I'm going to E-mail this to my dad right now. I'll probably contact them soon also, I'd completely prefer a larger group.
I'm not sure how agreeable my dad will be to camping there but I sure want too, sounds amazing! I'd probably be up half the night taking photos. I'm a huge fan of that sort of stuff anyways.
I'll actually be in Palestine during most of Ramadan, I'll be in Jordan just after EID so that's almost perfect timing! ! I'm pretty glad to be there after EID or Aqaba will be crowded as hell I bet! However it'd be awesome to see the holidays over there IMO, I like seeing different things from other cultures, etc.
Good to know! I'll keep that in mind if we end up going to the beach while we're there. And speaking of that, did you see the Dead Sea while you were there? If we stop in Amman I so want to hop up there to see that. I think I'll only have about 5 days max in Jordan so I don't know what all I'll really have time to see and do.
Once again THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE TIPS !
Also tell him not to worry about the camping. You get mattresses, pillows and blankets, so you don't have to bring any gear unless you want to (though you do have to drag it up the hill on your own, but that's hardly difficult), and the campsite has working toilets I recommend bringing your own water, though. We brought at least two or three litres each, and it was nice to have during the jeep tour, lemme tell you.
Being in Jordan during Ramadan was an interesting experience. I'm not sure if it will be a bit different in Palestine, but we were careful not to eat or drink in public because it's kinda rude. Also much of the markets were closed from 4pm to sundown or so. The best times to do anything were in the early evening, just after everyone has broken fast. There were lots of parties and celebrations after sunset, even some free concerts. It was pretty cool.
I did see the Dead Sea on my first trip to Jordan. It's not terribly exciting (nothing really grows there and it's full of mud), but the resorts are very nice. But if you've never swum in the Dead Sea you might as well go, just to say you have. Just for the love of god, don't get it in your eyes!
Honestly, there's lots to do in and around Amman if you get there. The Roman Theatre, the Ammonite Citadel, the Suq market... you can book buses for day tours of a lot of cool sites around the country... personally I recommend checking out the Roman city of Jerash. It's not far from Amman and is pretty cool. And if you get the chance to spend a day in Petra (which is closer to Aqaba than to Amman, actually), definitely check that out. Petra is nothing like you will ever see again in your life.
OMG why have I not replied to this!
Well, I talked to my dad and we're going to be doing the full day Jeep your with overnight! I'm really looking forward to it! However, one thing just came to mind. What do us females do for restrooms out in the desert when we're not back at the camp? LOL x3.
I leave for Israel in only 13 days! I just got accepted into a school in AZ so I'll be driving across the country to take all my stuff there in a few days - so busy!
I think I have 5 - 7 days in Jordan and we're going to see Petra and Wadi Rum for sure now! ! I'm not sure what we're doing the other-days. We're probably staying in Aqaba unless we can find something super cool.
Also thanks SO MUCH for helping me ...I mean seriously this was a HUUUUGE help to us! The tour place looks fantastic and it's great to hear from other American's that have been there! My dad was a bit worried since the culture is different. Though we have been to Israel and Turkey before and he loved those. I'm hoping he loves Jordan as well! I'm super excited!
Bathrooms out in the desert? Hah! You tough up and hold it in like a champ, lol I definitely recommend going just before the Jeep tour and you shouldn't have a problem; the desert is usually so hot in the daytime that you'll be pressed just to keep drinking enough, let alone being able to pee. Bushes and rocks give no adequate cover there. Besides, Wadi Rum is a nature preserve so I think tourists peeing in random locations is probably discouraged. I'm sure the Bedouin do it, but it's their desert
Make sure to bring the standard traveler's staple of diarrhea medicine, though. You want to have control over that when in a place with no washrooms
In Petra though, there are a few public Restrooms for men and women. Though again, I didn't have to go at all the whole day there.
In Petra, I recommend heading into the park in the early morning because it will be cooler and there will be fewer people to stand in the way of your pictures. I usually try to make it up to the Monastery before 11am, then wait out the hot midday hours in the tent that's up there. There's also this AWESOME silver shop up there so save your JD because that stuff is fantastic. (This shop is usually on the level, but in case you didn't know, always look for the stamped "395" on any silver jewellery you buy!)
Last time I was there, cheap bottles of water were being sold all over the park. I still recommend bringing a couple litres in with you, just in case Also some snacks.
I hope you guys have a great time! If you're staying in Aqaba, try the Al Qidra hotel [link] ... it's a little ways off the really touristy area but still close to some really great food and shopping places, you can book online, it's fairly reasonably priced and looks like it used to be a very nice converted apartment building. Lots of character, and right next door to a Diving Centre where you can book an excursion to snorkel/scuba dive the coral reefs in the Red Sea.
You'll have to tell me all about it when you get back!
This looks almost exactly like Sedona Arizone (which, of course, I never thought to bring MY toys to--my spouse and I did--er--other things...). So all I can do is be happy for you and that gorgeous sunset. But at least if Red got sand on him, you could say its part of his paint job?
Red, you're more traveled than 85 percent of the human population, you know that?
Wadi Rum really does look like Mars. It's so red, photos don't do it justice. My camera washes out a lot of the colours and tweaking in photoshop evens them out again, but the actual sunset in real life turned the sand like blood. It was incredible.
That landscape seems very... martian, and I bet the stars were magnificent out there!
Oh man, I woke up in the middle of the night and bam, the Milky Way was just staring me in the face. I've never actually seen it with my own eyes before. It is quite possibly the most breathtaking thing.