Easy to answer:
The Wadi Rum Protected Area is one of the most incredible environment on planet Earth!
Wadi Rum is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape.
There are many ways to enjoy the attractions of Rum, including jeep, camel and hiking tours and you can stay overnight in a Bedouin tent and gaze at the amazing panoply of stars.
To safeguard its unique desert landscape, Wadi Rum was declared a protected area by Jordan Government in1998 and an intensive conservation programme is now underway.
“It features a varied desert landscape consisting of a range of narrow gorges, natural arches, towering cliffs, ramps, massive landslides and caverns…”
Wadi Rum lies in the south western corner of Jordan 58 kilometers north of the coastal town of Aqaba. It can be reached easily by main roads from Amman (3.5hrs), Aqaba (1hr) and Petra (1.5hrs). Car-hire and bus tours can be arranged through hotels and travel agents and taxis can be negotiated from Aqaba and Petra. Daily internal air-flights operate between Amman and Aqaba. Check the “How To Get” page for detailed information.
Virtually all the people living in and around Wadi Rum are of Bedouin origin and, until recently, led nomadic lives, relying on their goat herds. They belong to seven tribal groups, of which the three largest are the Zalabia tribe who make up the majority of people living in Rum Village (see Rum map); as Rum village is the only village inside the protected area; the Zalabia tribe is largely responsible for tourism services and operate many of the jeep and camel tours. These services are organized through the Rum Tourism Cooperative, a locally run society that shares the tourism business between the villagers.
See “Cultural Heritage” Menu to Learn more.