Stunning in its natural beauty, Wadi Rum epitomizes the romance of the desert. With its “moonscape” of ancient valleys and towering sandstone mountains rising out of the sand, Wadi Rum is also home to several Bedouin tribes who live in scattered camps throughout the area. Climbers are especially attracted to Wadi Rum because of its sheer granite and sandstone cliffs, while hikers enjoy its vast empty spaces.
There are several options available for exploring Wadi Rum. At the Government Rest House, located just inside the village, you can rent out a four-wheel-drive jeep with a Bedouin driver for short or longer day tours of the area. Also available are camels, which you can hire for short excursions or for the desert trip to Aqaba. The only accommodations in Rum are in the Government Rest House, where tents are available.
For those with a bit more time and/or sense of adventure, the best way to see Wadi Rum is by hiking and camping in it. Indeed, the vast silence and grandeur of the landscape is best experienced on foot. All you need for hiking in Wadi Rum is plenty of water (at least 2-3 liters per day), some food, good shoes and a sleeping bag. Those with a four-wheel drive, a map and plenty of fuel can see more of the landscape, while saving their energy for spectacular hikes such as the Rock Bridge of Burdah, one of Wadi Rum’s most popular attractions.
True adventurers can test their skills and endurance by climbing Jordan’s highest mountain, Jabal Rum. The climb is a grueling and treacherous challenge which should only be attempted by those of stout heart and indomitable will. A guide is recommended for the ten-hour round trip to the summit, and arrangements should be made the previous day at the Government Rest House.
Jordan has been blessed with a rich religious history. Located between Mecca al-Mukarrama, the holiest place on earth for Muslims, and al-Quds (Jerusalem), which is sacred to each of the three great monotheistic religions, Jordan has played a central role in the history of the ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book).
The land around the Jordan River Valley and the Dead Sea plain is revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews as blessed. The Bible calls it “the Garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13: 10), and the Holy Qur’an says that God blessed the land “for all beings.” Indeed, half of humanity views the land and the river of Jordan as the geographic and spiritual heartland of their faith.
The southern Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea plains, and the surrounding hills and mountains are the home for some of the most momentous events in the history of man’s relationship with God. Here Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) arrived in the Holy Land, Jacob and Esau made their pact, God protected Lot while destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses saw the promised land which he would never enter, Joshua crossed the Jordan River into Canaan, Elijah crossed the Jordan River and rode a “chariot of fire” into heaven, Elisha cured the leper in the waters of the river, John the Baptist preached, baptized Jesus, and was killed by King Herod, Jesus received the Holy Spirit and resisted the temptations of Satan, and the Prophet Muhammad made his nighttime journey from Mecca to al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The Millenium celebrations in Jordan are an excellent opportunity for religious pilgrims from throughout the world to rekindle their faith and commitment to God by visiting the land and river that have inspired prophets and formed the geographic and spiritual backdrop for God’s covenants with mankind. Many of the sites of biblical events and miracles have been identified, protected and made easily accessible to visitors. Jordan looks forward to hosting more religious tourists returning to the roots of their faith in the Holy Land of Jordan.