Wadi Rum: an unmissable tour through Jordan’s desert
If you have more time to visit Jordan, it is very, very worthwhile to venture south of the country in the Wadi Rum Desert, where tourists, adventurers, climbers and hiking practitioners find plenty to explore.
This place is also sought-after by Hollywood filmmakers, so much so that the new movie “Aladdin”, whose production features actor Will Smith and premiered in mid-2019, was filmed just when I was in this desert (end of 2017).
My tour through Wadi Rum lasted less than 1 day, but there's a lot more to know locally - I suggest spending more time. I drove from the Dead Sea to Wadi Rum, which lasted about three hours, and from Wadi Rum we went to Petra, what took us two more hours travelling. It may not be the best route, because we went south to return, but we preferred sleeping in Petra to wake up at the archaeological site to enjoy a whole journey there. In the desert, many people choose to stay in Bedouin tents, which can range from having more to less infrastructure and thus absorb the purely local experience. I chose not to take a risk because it was my first time in the area, and I didn't know anyone who had ever had this experience. It should be interesting at the very least, but it does require, of course, some free spirit and detachment.
Throughout the tour of Wadi Rum, we were in the company of our guide Yazan (the one who picked us up at Amman airport and with whom we spent three wonderful days) and a driver who would take us everywhere planned in the trip. It's very convenient and gives us the security of being with two locals – it was curious that Yazan was a Christian and the driver was a Muslim. And finally, taste the tea that the Bedouins make for tourists, photograph the beautiful camels, and avoid climbing on them if you only want to take a selfie; remember to tip when finishing any type of tour.