Amman to Wadi Rum – Tour, Bus or Self-Drive?

The beauty of Jordan lies in its sandstone mountains and textured rocks. One such place abundant in natural rock formations is Wadi Rum.  

Also known as Wadi Al-Qamar or The Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum is located in Southern Jordan, 30 km off the highway between Amman and Aqaba. It is a must-visit place in Jordan because it is a natural valley cut into the sandstone and granite rocks.  

amman to wadi rum superimposed ove r a desert road through the wadi rum desert in Jordan

Plus, the valley has many fun activities, including 4×4 tours, camel rides, horseriding, rock climbing, and camping, making it a popular tourist attraction.  

Therefore, if you want to have a unique experience in the desert, do visit Wadi Rum.

In this article, we will take you through all the options for getting from Amman to Wadi Rum. 

How Far is Wadi Rum from Amman? 

The distance from Amman to Wadi Rum is 320 kilometres (nearly 200 miles), and it takes a little under 4 hours to get there. There is no airport in Wadi Rum, so the only way to get there from Amman is by road. Therefore, if you’re coming from another city, the best way is to get to Amman via flight and then take public transport to Wadi Rum. 

Let’s discuss all the possible options from Amman to Wadi Rum. 

What are the Best Ways to Get From Amman to Wadi Rum?

Amman to Wadi Rum Taxi 

The most convenient and affordable way to get to Wadi Rum from Amman is by hiring a taxi. You can get one directly from Queen Ali International Airport (AMM), hail a cab from the street, or ask your hotel to pre-book it for you.

In any case, the fare from Amman to Wadi Rum is approximately $155 USD or JD 110 per taxi, and each taxi can accommodate up to 4 passengers. 

However, if you have good negotiating skills, you can reduce the fare a bit! Also, discussing the drop-off point at Wadi Rum is better to make sure everything is clear.

Self Drive from Amman to Wadi Rum 

Another cost-effective way to get to Wadi Rum from Amman is by renting a car. There are plenty of local and international car rental companies in Amman, so finding a vehicle to travel between both locations won’t be a hassle.  

However, there’s a bit of paperwork involved, plus you need an International Driving Permit (IDP), or internationally recognised driver’s licence, to be eligible to drive across the country. Once you have that sorted, you just need to rent a car and be on your way! 

FTME Amman to Wadi Rum - Wadi Rum Desert
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

If you’re renting a new car model with air conditioning and insurance, you’ll have to pay around $40 or JD 30 per day, excluding the fuel charges.  

Note when self-driving, if your camp is in the Wadi Rum Desert Reserve, you will leave your vehicle overnight in Rum Village. Here’s a complete Wadi Rum guide if you’re self-driving with your family.  

The other advantage of self-driving is being able to make interesting stops along the way. Highway 15 is the main route, but if you detour to the west, you can take some (or all!) of the King’s Highway. Stops at Madaba and Kerak Castle are favourites of ours.

We have a more detailed guide here to driving in Jordan, with pros and cons to be aware of before you get behind the wheel in Jordan.

Private Driver from Amman to Wadi Rum  

If negotiating fares isn’t your thing or budget is not an issue, you can always book a private driver to take you from Amman to Wadi Rum. Many companies in Amman offer private transfers; however, asking your hotel to recommend the best ones is a good option.  

Moreover, you can also search for reliable private transfer companies online to check and compare their fares and services before opting for one.  

  • Welcome Pickups is a reputable car transfer service you can book online in advance
  • Get Transfer app allows you to have drivers ‘bid’ on providing your service and which sort of vehicle you would like – this can be a good option for family groups
  • Get Your Guide, a reputable tour reseller, offers many private driver transfer options that you can book online in advance with surety

While hiring a private doesn’t require much paperwork, compared to car rentals, it is significantly expensive. For instance, hiring a 3-seat transfer costs around $200 USD or JD 143 per day.  

Amman to Wadi Rum Bus  

While Jordan is a big country that requires you to travel long distances to get from one place to the other, you would be surprised to know that there isn’t any direct bus service from Amman to Wadi Rum!  

Therefore, if you must go to Wadi Rum via bus, you have two indirect options: The JETT bus or by air. You can take the JETT bus from Amman’s main hub, Abdali Station, to Aqaba, and from there, you can take a taxi or another bus to Wadi Rum.  

The distance from Aqaba to Wadi Rum is 69.2 km, which equals a 1-hour drive and costs JD 10 one way. However, the total time it will take you to get from Amman to Aqaba and then to Wadi Rum is around 8 hours.  

The second option is to take a flight to Aqaba from Queen Alia International Airport to King Hussein International Airport (AQJ) and then travel the remaining distance to Wadi Rum by JETT bus or taxi.

While both these options will help you reach Wadi Rum, they are time-consuming and expensive. Only those incredibly budget-conscious and with time up their sleeve should consider this option. 

Tours from Amman to Wadi Rum  

Going with a tour group is the best option if you want to extend your trip to Wadi Rum by a couple of days and include other nearby attractions like Petra, Aqaba, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea.  

FTME Amman to Wadi Rum - Red Sea
Sunset over the Red Sea

The reason? Because guided tour groups take care of everything from transportation, and accommodation, to the places to visit and how long to spend at a particular spot. This saves you the trouble of navigating unknown roads in a foreign country and looking for places to stay. 

Guided tours from Amman to Wadi Rum can be a bit expensive; however, they are quite convenient, especially if you’re travelling with your family and kids.  Do factor in tipping your tour guide and driver on top of the tour cost when evaluating your Wadi Rum transport options.

Day Trips and Multi-Day Trips to Wadi Rum 

Many tour companies in Amman will take you on day trips or multi-day trips to Wadi Rum. While a day trip might just take you to Wadi Rum and back, booking a multi-day trip is a better idea, as you can get a chance to cover the lost ancient city of Petra and other spots nearby. 

A two-day or three-day tour includes spending a night in Petra amidst the carved buildings from the past, staying at a Bedouin Camp under the stunning sky night, and experiencing the mesmerizing effects of the Dead Sea.  

FTME Amman to Wadi Rum - Bedouin Camp
Bedouin Camp in Wadi Rum

If you’re travelling around Jordan, we suggest a stop at the beautiful Wadi Rum is unmissable. However, as no direct bus goes from Amman to Wadi Rum, we recommend taking a taxi, a private driver, a rental car, or going with a tour group. 

More on Visiting Jordan With Kids

If you’re planning a family trip to Jordan, you may also be interested in checking out:

Further Jordan Transportation Guides

Jordan Guide Book

For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.

This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:

  • An interactive downloadable map
  • 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
  • Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
  • Tips from an expert
  • Accommodation recommendations

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Family Travel Middle East
Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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