Wadi Rum is a valley desert in southern Jordan and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Now, those visiting the area can stay in a Martian tent in Wadi Rum, a truly unique experience that’s sure to take your trip to Jordan to the next level.
The Wadi Rum Protected Area is about 4 hours from Amman, Jordan’s capital city. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has narrow gorges, sandstone arches, towering cliffs, caverns, inscriptions, rock carvings, and archaeological remains.
Wadi Rum’s unique terrain has been featured in a number of Hollywood movies including Lawrence of Arabia, The Martian, Prometheus, Rogue One and the live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin. The otherworldly landscape attracts visitors from all around the world. Whether you choose to stay overnight in traditional Bedouin camps or luxury star tents, Wadi Rum is an essential stop.
The martian tents in Wadi rum
Camping out in the desert in these dome-style tents has become known as “glamping” and they are marketed as “Martian Domes”, “Star pods” or “Bubble Tents”. They aim to create an outer space experience in the vast and empty desert. Some tents have a transparent panel designed for stargazing in the clear desert sky, while others have a transparent roof. Be prepared that neither design provides much privacy but is worth it for the view.
Sun City Camp is one of the best camps in Wadi Rum. The tents are spacious and modern, and each has an en-suite bathroom. Visitors rave about the warm hospitality and service. The camp offers regular Bedouin-style tents for approximately $200 USD per night, and the Martian Domes with a transparent panel for around $300 USD per night. The rooms are equipped with beds, air conditioning/heating, a kettle with tea and coffee, a wardrobe, a small sitting area, and an en-suite bathroom. There is one main dining tent with an outdoor dining area. Meals are served buffet-style. The camp supports the Bedouin community and works with local Bedouin guides to run the desert tours.
The Martian tents in Wadi Rum make you feel like you are sleeping on Mars. It is a unique experience you are unlikely to replicate anywhere else in the world. The night reveals thousands of shimmering stars. The beds are comfortable and there is something heavenly about falling asleep in the silent desert.
Getting to wadi rum
Wadi Rum is easy to get to from within Jordan or from Israel. Wadi Rum is about a 3.5-hour drive from Amman, Jordan, and a one hour drive from Aqaba and the southern border of Israel. Public transportation is available from both cities to the Wadi Rum Visitor Center. The ideal time to visit is between March and May or September to November. The summer months can be extremely hot and the winter months have very cold nights.
Negotiating the border and Jordanian roads can be a challenge. There are lots of potholes and no one seems to keep to the prescribed speed limits. It can all be a little unnerving for tourists unfamiliar with the region. One of the best ways to experience Wadi Rum is with a tour. All arrangements are handled for you, making the whole experience stress-free and enjoyable. There are several Petra and Wadi Rum combination tours that leave from Eilat, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Aqaba and that include entrance fees to Petra.
Because of the desert climate, it is important to wear a hat and carry water with you at all times. In accordance with Bedouin culture, please ask permission before taking photos of the Bedouin people. Jordan is a Muslim state, so please dress modestly as a sign of respect; this means covered shoulders and knees.
good Things to know
- Queen Alia International Airport (airport code AMM) is located in Amman.
- Most visitors need a visa to enter Jordan, but citizens from a large number of countries can buy a visa on arrival at the border. Be sure to read our information on visas for Jordan to see if your country qualifies.
- The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). While cash is king, most hotels and restaurants also accept Visa and Mastercard.
- Stay connected by purchasing a SIM card. Most camps in Wadi Rum offer wifi in the common areas, but mobile reception in the desert is unreliable at best.
- The weather in Jordan fluctuates throughout the year. Wadi Rum experiences extreme weather, so prepare for searing heat from May to October (over 30 degrees Celsius) and cooler temperatures in winter from November to February.
- Arabic is the main language in Jordan. Most people, especially those in hospitality, understand and speak basic English.
- Pack a light scarf to protect your nose and mouth from the dust and sand, especially if you plan on taking a jeep.
- Modest dress is required.