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PETRA AND WADI RUM
Jordan

PETRA AND WADI RUM

  • 4 days
  • singles, couples, w/ kids
  • spring, fall, winter

A short road trip which is, however, rather demanding because of a few longer drives. But it is full of great experiences and beautiful places. In four days, you will discover the legendary rock city of Petra, one of the most beautiful places in Jordan, Wadi Rum, and have the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea. Due to the length of the trip, it is necessary to arrive in Amman as early in the morning as possible, and also to leave on the fourth day as late as possible. The ideal time for this vacation is early March. The journey is a bit more challenging because of the longer crossings, so it's not really suitable for smaller children.

4.7 / 5

Upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport near Amman, pick up your rental car at the rental agency. Choose a comfortable and a bit more powerful car, as there are quite some drives ahead of you. The very first crossing to Wadi Musa is long. There are two different routes you can take: either the motorway or the King's Highway. Both have their pros and cons. It also depends on how much time you have and whether you are an experienced driver. In Wadi Musa, choose your accommodation as close to the entrance to Petra as possible. Once in Wadi Musa, you can take a short trip to Little Petra. In the evening you will go to a great restaurant for dinner – especially the appetizers are great in Jordan! If you're lucky, you can also go see the Petra by Night event in the evening. This programme only takes place 1-2 times a week, and it's very much a tourist attraction though.

The next day you need to wake up very early, ideally you should already be at the main entrance to Petra by 6am. There are fewer people in Petra this early in the morning, and the sunrise is beautiful. To do a basic tour of Petra, you need 6-8 hours. It's an incredibly large site. I remember how surprised we were the first time we were there. Wear comfortable shoes. After lunch, it's time to head out for another nearly two hour drive to Wadi Rum. But don't worry, the drive is beautiful, you won't know what to admire first. You will leave your car at Wadi Rum Village and a jeep from the campsite where you have arranged to stay for the night will come pick you up. The scenery here is absolutely incredible.

The whole third day will be dedicated to a jeep tour in the desert. Each time, the jeep tour is a little different. It always depends on your guide. But one thing these tours have in common is that they are great!

On the last day there is a long ride ahead of you, and you have several options again. Either take the fastest route, which will take you to the airport in just over 3 hours. Or you can take the scenic route along the Dead Sea, you can even go for a swim. Alternatively, you may visit the mythical Mount Nebo – this route takes over 5 hours but is very nice. A third option is to drive part of the King's Highway and then drive down to the Dead Sea. It depends on how much time you have before your departure. A four day road trip is really short, but you will have a great time, nevertheless. Financially it's not too bad, so if you have 4 free days...

Author: Jirka Maleček
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Travel Info

Plane tickets – use your favourite flight search engine. If you don't have a favourite one, try kiwi.com. Ryanair flies to Amman often. Time is very tight for this trip, so get tickets with arrival to Amman as early in the morning as possible, and return tickets with departure from Amman as late as possible in the afternoon, or ideally in the evening!

Visa – a visa for Jordan is compulsory and the Jordan Pass option is ideal if travelling for 3 nights or more. Buy the Jordan Pass online in advance and print it out. The Jordan Pass includes entry to virtually all the places you visit. For this type of trip, you only need a Jordan Pass with one entry to Petra.

Accommodation – choose SunSet Hotel as your accommodation in Wadi Musa next to Petra. For accommodation in a campsite you can check out the Wadi Rum Nature Tours website.

Car RentalAVIS – consider paying for full insurance, not only is the traffic a bit chaotic at times, but you will be leaving your car in various places along the way and other drivers are not too worried about any scratches and stuff.

Wadi Rum Jeep Tour – make arrangements ahead of time with the campsite where you will be staying. If you use the campsite we suggest, then you can arrange your jeep tour together with the accommodation. Don't forget to agree on the form of payment, usually it's cash in JOD on the spot.

Petra by Night – evening tour of Petra. Entry is not covered by the Jordan pass. You can either get tickets on the spot or better yet, ask your hotel in Wadi Musa to arrange tickets for you.

Prices at the destination – prices in Jordan are reasonable. Of course, you can encounter big differences – prices are usually significantly higher on the tourist routes than a few streets away.

Calls and data – check with your provider for current prices. WiFi is common in hotels and restaurants and is free. Don't forget that in Wadi Rum Village will have your last chance to make a call or send a text – there is no signal at the campsite, the signal is not great on the Jeep Tour, either.

When to come here – pretty much anytime. However, in the summer months it will probably be very hot here, and there will also be a lot of other tourists. So, early spring or late fall are ideal. You can also come here in winter, but it might often rain or even snow. I have experience from the end of February when it was almost 20°C during the day and 3-5°C at night, so it was ideal for hiking.

TIP – there is even more to experience in Wadi Rum! Through Wadi Rum Nature Tours, you can arrange to sleep in the desert in the open air – after dinner they will drive you out into the desert and bring you back in the morning for breakfast (don't worry the guide will be with you the whole time!). Alternatively, you can arrange to travel to or from the campsite on camels – but be prepared it's not a short journey. Due to tight schedules, a camel ride to the campsite would only be possible on your arrival at Wadi Rum Village. Your suitcases will be taken to the camp by a jeep, and you will be riding a majestic camel.

Process

  • Check the availability of accommodation – especially at the campsite in Wadi Rum

  • Book your plane tickets

  • Book accommodation in all destinations – preferably with the possibility of cancellation

  • Arrange your car rental

  • Buy online your Jordan Pass

  • Look up whether the Petra by Night event will be taking place – and buy the tickets straight away

  • Get your travel insurance

  • Download the maps.me app and download the relevant offline maps as well

What will you see on the way?

Petra By Night (variable)

Petra By Night

Touristy, but if you are a romantic, why not. You go to the treasury, the path is lit by candles, as is the area in front of the treasury. This is followed by a musical performance. ATTENTION usually Petra by Night is organized only twice a week. In addition, the Jordan Pass does not apply here, and the entrance fee is 17 JOD.

WADI RUM JEEP TOUR

WADI RUM JEEP TOUR

Wadi Rum Nature Tours and Camp – not only do they run a great camp, but their jeep tour is perfect. It’s a full day trip – you leave right after breakfast and return after sunset. Lunch will be prepared for you by your guide in the desert. Wear good shoes, sometimes you need to walk a bit.

Mujib Nature Reserve

Mujib Nature Reserve

The lowest nature reserve in the world. You will wade upstream to a waterfall; the path is secured with ropes and sometimes an iron ladder. A life jacket is included, and you can take a waterproof bag for an extra cost. The base price is 30 JOD, which is definitely worth the fun.

Daily itinerary

Day 1

Arrival and transfer to Wadi Musa

Arrive in Amman and drive along the beautiful King's Highway to Wadi Musa. Accommodation. Tour of Litlle Petra.

Day 2

Petra and transfer to Wadi Rum

Tour of Petra and afternoon transfer to Wadi Rum. Accommodation at the campsite. Walk through the desert.

Day 3

Full day jeep tour

Full day jeep tour of Wadi Rum.

Day 4

Long transfer to the airport, departure

You can make the long drive to the airport more pleasant by swimming in the Dead Sea or visiting the Mujib Nature Reserve. Depending on your departure time.

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