Many of us have experienced “lockdown life” recently. Perhaps you are looking forward to an escape to beautiful Jordan as soon as possible. What’s better than starting with overnight camping in Wadi Rum?
This beautiful desert will give you the sense of freedom you need. Get lost in large landscapes and horizon lines! The calmness far away from the cities will surely calm your spirit and your thoughts. This red-sand desert is famous for its inspiring sunsets through the mountain and rock formations at various angles. It creates the perfect mix of light colors to take your favorite pic. It makes you wonder if you have just landed on Mars! The best is yet to come after sunset. Relax around the fireplace, listen to the stories and enjoy the hospitality of Bedouins, the ancient inhabitants of this land. Their entertainment and guide through their trips have been the stunning skies full of stars. You will be surprised at how much time you can spend with your nose up in the magical Wadi Rum nights!
“When you sleep in a house your thoughts are as high as the ceiling, when you sleep outside they are as high as the stars.”
Is camping in Wadi Rum for you?
If you think you are not an outdoor-trip person or still indecisive on what to choose among the hundreds of possibilities advertised, we are here to reassure you. There is surely something that will perfectly fit you. We would like to share some of our favourites according to our direct experience and tailored to different needs. Budget-friendly or in luxury to spoil yourself. Fully equipped or in simple traditional Bedouin-style to escape modern life. Big groups or family-friendly infrastructures to feel comfy and safe. Built for your relaxation and meditation or with exciting activities to discover the desert’s secrets. There’s a Wadi Rum camp for everyone and we promise you will not regret “normal” hotels.
Below are a few camps worth checking out. Just pick according to what it is more important for you and let us include it in your trip with In2Jordan!
Genuine local style and hiking: Khaled’s Eco Camp
This camp takes the name from the charismatic owner, Khaled, who is also one of the reasons we love the camp together with the staff. The camp is simple and essential, in full Bedouin style. Undress from the unnecessary in life, here the luxury is already there. You will get about culture and nature from Khaled and with the unpriced kindness and impressive information of the staff. You are located in one of the best positions in the protected area of Wadi Rum. When you can enjoy incredible sunset and sunrise views, you are already having more than 5 stars.
While staying genuine and authentic, the camp offers different and affordable solutions for the overnight. From the iconic tent known as Beit al Shar (literally translated “hair house”, because of the goat hair involved in its production) to private tents. All with mattresses or beds. For an experience to try at least once in a lifetime, in Khaled’s words, the camp offers the possibility to sleep on sand dunes on particular locations or in caves, with blankets and mattresses provided.
There are clean shared facilities with solar panels to provide hot water (the camp is eco-friendly), but there are also tents called “VIP” with private bathroom and AC.
Khaled comes from a Bedouin family living in Wadi Rum for generations. One of the first to start offering guided tours, he and his family know the Wadi Rum inside out, literally. The only thing you need is to jump on a 4X4 jeep tour! Besides the classic jeep tour and camel rides, one of the specialities of this camp staff is offering unique and tailored itineraries for adventure enthusiasts. Climb Jebel Burdah Bridge, try sand surfing, scrambling, or trek with camels. It is even possible to have special wild hiking tours, spending the nights in canyons while you are having your ultimate desert adventure.
Five minutes’ walk from the camp there is also a newly installed telescope that on special occasions is operating to allow you discover the wonders of the desert nights.
Royal atmosphere and great New Year Celebrations: Memories Aicha Luxury Camp
When you think about camping in Wadi Rum, the picture of Aicha Memories Luxury Camp probably would not be what you would first expect. “Glamping”, an English neologism from the combination of going camping, but with glamour, works better to describe it. Only a 15 minute drive away from Wadi Rum Visitors center, this camp is an ideal base for your Arabian Desert luxury stay, with spectacular mountains in the distance. Perfect if you want to enjoy the beauty but without giving up the comfort and luxury.
The camp has 40 tents with several luxurious options to choose from- Executive, Panoramic (glass bubbles/Martian dome) and Junior. Inside, they all look somewhat similar, but the transparent roof of the bubbles give you the impressive view of the stars directly from your bed. The other options are kind of individual houses with a tent-shaped roof, beautifully decorated and warm inside (the luxury key in a desert). Each option comes with a private bathroom and a shower, as well as soft robes, perfect in the evening after your tours in the desert. If this is not enough to make you feel a princess/prince of the desert, add the dome restaurant built against the side of a cliff! Atmospheric and with a huge selection of wonderful food.
Another outstanding highlight is the stargazing tour led by Patrick. He has impressive astronomy knowledge. He does it every night! It starts at sunset, so just wear warm clothes, as you will walk through the desert until the nearest sand dune and away from the lights of the camp.
Another special characteristic which made Aicha Memories Luxury Camp one of our favourites are the special celebrations for New Year’s Eve! The staff does its best to make you start the New Year with a fabulous meal, live music and even a fireworks show. The place to be to draw up your good intentions for the months to come. Just be fast with the booking, it is one of the most popular events!
Groups and kids beloved: Hasan Zawaideh Camp
This camp shines with the warm and hospitable family of Hasan, who is also the owner of this camp; polite and with intense humor, he does his best to make the visitors have an unforgettable stay. A very friendly host who will help with anything, just like the other staff. Set among the red dunes of Wadi Rum, a 10 minute drive to the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Hasan Zawaideh Camp offers 30 private and shared Bedouin-style tents decorated with oriental carpets and colourful bed covers. Martian style dome tents are also available.
If you are looking for extra services in the desert, this is your place. It’s the closest thing to a hotel, not deep into the desert and with a great balance price/quality, perfect for families and groups. You can still see the road and there is another camp just in front so the place is not completely isolated. The tents are actually like an apartment with a private bathroom, wireless internet available also in public areas and AC. They also feature a dining area and a seating area and private parking on-site for free and 24-hour reception and 24-hour room service. Great if you are driving yourself straight to the camp.
This comes all along around the campfire and with tasty authentic, freshly prepared Bedouin dishes. Usually, that includes salads, sides etc with roasted chicken & lamb. They cook buried in the sand, called Zarb. Such an experience!
Usually, there are traditional dances after dinner and a communal space with a fire, shishas and tea. As per the deep hospitality tradition, join the entertainment from the Bedouin peeps around a roaring fire!
Luxury and bubble tents: Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
Another example of Glamping to have a fantastic treat to sleep in a luxury tent in the desert. The place has a private car park and meeting lounge located before Wadi Rum Visitors Centre. From their meeting Lounge, you board the 4×4 transport to this luxury desert resort free of charge. Bubble Luxotel is located in an isolated corner and the views are spectacular. Among various “camp-hotels” in Wadi Rum, this one seems definitely to stand out. Indeed, the camp is extremely comfortable, with all the modern conveniences but it’s the concept of the accommodations which is original and made it famous: the amazing Bubble tents!
The Luxotel has two connected camps in the same resort and the main difference between the UFO and Bubble is the camp style. Bubble one is the newest camp with transparent walls and top which they open up at sunset. Interestingly, the camps are designed from the movie “The Martian (2005)” which was shot near the camp as a number of other movies with desert or Mars setting, including Star Wars and the upcoming movie Dune!
The infrastructure of this luxury camp and of each of the bubbles are great. Together with transparent top above your bed such that you are literally sleeping under the stars, you will have air conditioning and heating, plus private shower and bathroom.
The food and the service impeccable, not to mention the bliss of having a private jacuzzi on your deck! Are you not dreaming about the surreal experience to be soaking in a hub tub at below 5C? In addition, there is plenty of space around the outside on the deck to be totally private. In2Jordan tip: the hammock is fantastic to see the stars at night!
With Bubble Suites you can truly immerse yourself within the beauty of the desert, having your personal stargazing in comfort. You can give yourself a world of luxury, with a large living space inside and out. There are King or Twin versions as well as Family Suites.
Don’t miss out on their jeep tours, camel rides and stargazing experiences. All wonderfully arranged.
Wellness and luxury for couples: Zeina camp
Wadi Rum is so beautiful that you cannot be unhappy there. Add to this the relaxation a luxury hotel can offer, and the experience is simply out of this world. With its lovely mountain views, Zeina Desert Lodge is another of the “camps” more similar to highly rated hotel and their amenities. Perfect for those who don’t want to give up on comfort even in the desert. To prove that, the lodge has not only a restaurant but also offers room service.
The accommodations, aka fantastic surroundings with clean well-appointed lodge cabins and bubbles, have amenities which in the desert double their value: heating, safety deposit box, fan, adapter and AC. Even hardwood or parquet floors, non-feather pillow and wardrobe or closet.
The cherry on top: fully equipped private bathrooms with hot tub and free toiletries. Because of that, this camp is especially loved by couples and honeymooners. They even have a special room built right into the side of the rock.
Food quality is great, especially when it comes to breakfast, a wide continental food choice offered every morning at the campground. Staff is well known friendly and professional, know what their visitors want and anticipate the needs of their clients. We personally remember entertainment as excellent, and tours offered phenomenal.
Fabulous location and pool: Palmera Camp
Palmera camp is a new entry in our favs’ list. It but since our crew visited it during our last team trip, we have soon fallen in love with it thanks to its surroundings and great quality. Indeed, it is a very recent camp in Al Zalabieh Wadi Rum Protected Area and in the vicinity of Al Hasany Dunes. The location is enchanting, in a kind of natural shelter made of rocks around, kind of protecting the camp, and one with a very particular shape marking the centre of it, like a natural totem. If you would love to discover the area, it can be a great base for hiking in the surroundings.
The general style of the camp is a delicate mix between modern and traditional Bedouin one, essential and elegant as it would like to enter on tiptoes in the middle of the ancient natural beauties. The tents and the common areas are a step up from the ground level and connected by wooden paths, lifted by short stilts. There is also kids’ outdoor play equipment.
Like ancient Bedouins looking for a welcoming and refreshing oasis in the middle of rocks and dunes, find the unexpected yet desired during your desert trip: a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, with lounge and a terrace!
Palmera Camp host twenty luxury tents with private bathroom. The limited number of the tents ensures also tranquillity and avoiding big crowds. Each one is very spacious, clean, and allows you to sleep while admiring the stars from the transparent wall in front of your bed. Indeed, each one has a breathtaking view of the desert.
The food offered is excellent thanks to the experience of the chef, and the staff assure an unforgettable welcoming for everyone. The owner, Sameh, makes sure you will not miss Bedouin traditions, offering the unique special saffron coffee and checking that everything is delivered to the highest quality standard, also during jeep tours and camel rides. You will not be disappointed!
Many options in the same place and great service: Sun City
Another pearl of Wadi Rum’s majestic desert! Sun City camp is veteran in our list and one of our first choices ever. In addition, it is located close to one of the legendary martian movie scene for only 15 minutes walk. This is a perfect camp also for a family with kids and the best compromise between luxury and simple style. Especially if you would prefer to avoid too much luxury but without giving up on Martian Tents.
Indeed you can choose among many options according to your budget and needs in the same camp: the Martian Dome, a Family Suites (Two – bedrooms suites), the Royal Tent (suite Room) or the Standard tent (Bedouin Style).
Each one is perfectly designed, spacious and clean, plus the service is excellent, with a great filling breakfast with lots of food variety. The dinner also comes with lots of choices, many with local food; from plenty of lamb and chicken to delicious vegetarian options, very good desserts. There is a main tent where you can have tea and access WiFi after dinner or during the day, or a simply to chat getting to know the stories of other travel buddies or Bedouins staff.
Watch the sun come out over the hilltops– it’s a humbling experience! We also surely recommend their sunrise camel ride, an experience like no other, or the sunset jeep tour just before your lovely dinner, nice chats around the fire and a much needed sleep.
In addition, Sun City camp is on short distance from Rum Sky Experience’s Location. it’s a special point of the desert where a passionate local group of Jordanians will show the beauty of stargazing in the desert also through the innovation of science, being able to get a little closer to the hidden wonders of the Universe. Stars, planets, nebulae seem so close thanks to a 11 inch Telescope.
Quad Bikes and balloon flights: Beit Ali Lodge
Bait Ali Lodge is easily accessed from the main Wadi Rum road and is more similar to a lovely little village than a camp, but built according to Bedouin- Middle Eastern styles and colours, blending naturally with its desert surroundings.
Here as well so many options are available. If you don’t mind a short walk to a bathroom and a shower room then the traditional tents are for you. Otherwise, upgrade to the different dimensions of chalets with complete bath facilities for more comforts. Large, medium, deluxe, small chalet or even VIP type.
The meals are great and plentiful with some unique entrees to try. The restaurant is using is own organic salads and veggies from their latest desert farming experience, so good! From its professional experience, the staff there is used to tailor special dietary foods such as vegan, vegetarian or kosher. In general, there have long experience about flexibility in serving all types of requests upon availability. There are nice outdoor areas to enjoy it in the summer while in the winter there is a nice winter hall with a central fireplace for a warmer atmosphere. Be sure to climb the small hill adjacent to the site (Beit Ali Mountain), for a marvelous view of the sunrise.
What is really unique about Beit Ali? It is basically impossible to get bored! There are plenty of activities and entertainment opportunities.
Our favourite is surely the Quad /Buggy ride! Long-awaited from many and an exclusive just with Beit Ali Staff. The certified guide is friendly and fun, he will allow you to race your bikes through the mars landscape and scale the huge sand dunes. An exhilarating and full of adrenaline experience!
To see The Wadi Rum as never before, another unique experience is the Hot Air Balloon ride! Rise and shine for a very early wake-up, but it will totally worth it! The jaw-dropping landscape of Wadi Rum – already mesmerising on the ground, takes notches more amazing when viewed from the top. Much slower than a helicopter, other people prefer this method of flying to enjoy the view for a longer time. A hot air balloon will surely give you memorable images of Wadi Rum. The staff of the activity will pick you up and then take you back to the camp, to have a well-deserved breakfast. Hot air ballooning from Bait Ali can take from 3 to 16 people.
In addition, there is a nice swimming pool open from May to November. On Friday nights, the camp has his own DJ, to liven up your evening with a great mix of East, West, contemporary & traditional music. We can even organize and book your own event here with schools, business workshops and weddings. Coordinating with the staff there, we can put at your disposal a bar and all facilities both during the day and in the evening. From parties to birthdays and light candle dinners or Arabic dancers.
There is also a recent construction of an amphitheatre with a seating capacity for nearly 3,000 spectators. The idea behind it is to have the biggest location in the area, the first private amphitheatre in Jordan to host festivals, representations, fashion shows and much more. Like ancient Roman theatres, it has been designed to give an unrestricted view of the stage to each participant.
If you like true Bedouin experiences, there are unique programs at Beit Ali to ride famous Arabian horses, from a few hours to a week!
Good price and lovely atmosphere: Wadi Rum Dream camp
Wadi Rum Dream camp is a lovely genuine camp and it has become extremely popular based on word of mouth, which is the best indication of quality. The quality is indeed amazing, and for a very good price.
There are no bubble tents here but the staying is so comfortable and peaceful, for those looking for unpolluted experience. The tents are simple but extremely clean and you have all you need: beds, mattresses, blankets, pillows, linen and towels with shared or private bathrooms. Luxury category tents with great views are also available.
Its popularity is due especially to the staff and the service they provide. The camp manager or other staff member will come to the Visitor Center to take you from there to the camp, leaving the road and the crowded places far away from you, to take you deep into the desert. The location has beautiful views and a quiet feel of solitude. You will feel genuine concern and attention to your personal well being and experience. They go above and beyond to be as helpful and hospitable as possible, providing all the genuine authenticity of a Bedouin camp with all the modern day comforts.
Beside classic desert tours like camel riding, horseback riding and 4X4 jeeps, guests can also enjoy yoga classes and body massage at the camp. Enjoy the hospitality and kindness of Wadi Rum people and the beauty around you. All you need is a tasty traditional meal around the fire pit, listening to traditional Bedouin stories and music.
In2Jordan Tips&Tricks for your overnight in Wadi Rum:
- Please take in consideration that no ATM is available in Wadi Rum. If you need to withdraw cash, try to set your plans before coming, doing that from Amman, Aqaba or Petra.
- Weather changes on a dime in the desert. A hot and dry day quickly can turn into a frozen wasteland at night. Some camps have AC in the tents but you don’t want to lock up yourself there all evening. Temperature swings can surprisingly vary so be sure to pack to layer up.
- The Wadi Rum is home to many wonders, including traces from ancient cultures and it is a natural reserve. Please help us to preserve its beauty by not littering and not wasting limited resources, especially water, even in luxury camps.
- You surely will want to take thousands of pictures from this otherworldly landscape. Protect and be careful about your phone and cameras since the sand could damage them.
- It difficult to imagine that the desert can have a mosquito problem, but sometimes it gets annoying. Ward it off with a good mosquito spray.
- You will have to pay 5 Jordanian Dinars as a fee to enter into the protected area. If you have purchased the Jordan Pass, it is included.