As you plan your Jordan itinerary you’ll quickly realize that while Jordan is a small country compared to many, it’s big enough to present some logistical challenges. This is especially true as Jordan lacks a robust public transportation system or passenger trains to help you get from one part of the country to another. If, for example, you want to get from Amman to Wadi Rum or reverse, you’ll need to arrange your transportation well in advance – it’s a half-day journey each way!
Don’t worry though: despite the lack of options and long distances, you do have some choices in arranging your Jordan trip and how you get between different places on your itinerary. In this post, I’ll cover your main options for traveling between Amman northeast of the Dead Sea to Wadi Rum in the south near the Red Sea.
Short on time? The best way to get from Amman to Wadi Rum is by taxi or private driver – unless you want to see other parts of Jordan, in which case, I recommend you book a tour!
If you want more detail on your best options for traveling from Amman to Wadi Rum (or back), read on to learn about each one and make the best choice for your Jordan itinerary.
How Far is it from Amman to Wadi Rum?
Wadi Rum is one of the top must-do’s when visiting Jordan. The desert is relatively close to Amman and you can reach it via different transport options in a day.
The Jordanian capital sits 201 miles (324 km) away from Wadi Rum. Time-wise, it will take you four to five hours to cover the distance. While Jordanian routes are in pretty decent conditions, traffic congestion isn’t uncommon, and it can extend your road trip.
The Desert Highway (Highway 15) connects Amman to Wadi Rum. It starts in Aqaba and runs from south to north. The Highway makes a beautiful road trip as it passes through some of Jordan’s most scenic landscapes.
Amman to Wadi Rum Taxi Options
If you want to travel to Wadi Rum from Amman, taking a taxi is a popular and affordable option.
There are two ways to hire a taxi for a longer trip to one of Jordan’s attractions. You can simply hail a taxi off the street, or you can ask your hotel to pre-book one in advance.
Once you have your taxi, you can hire the driver for a one-way trip if you’re staying at Wadi Rum for a few nights, or you can hire a taxi for a full-day trip. Whatever option you choose, make sure you negotiate a fare well in advance. Taxis can fit up to four travelers, and you can expect to pay JD 110 (around 155 USD) per vehicle. Also, establish your pick-up and drop-off points beforehand.
Private Driver from Amman to Wadi Rum
Not everyone wants to go through the hassle of negotiating the price for a drive. That’s when booking a private driver becomes a suitable option to travel from Amman to Wadi Rum.
Given Jordan doesn’t have a great public transport system, you’ll find many companies in Amman which offer reliable private transfer services to Wadi Rum and other locations. You can ask your hotel to recommend a few companies or browse online and compare their fares and services.
As expected, private transfers are more expensive than taxis. Booking a three-seat transfer for a day starts around JD 143,93 (around 203 USD).
Car Rental for Visiting Wadi Rum
Renting a car is arguably the best alternative to get around Jordan. While driving is certainly convenient, what paperwork you require to rent a car in Jordan is a bit confusing. According to the Jordanian tourism board and car rentals, visitors only need to be over 25 years old and have a driver’s license to rent a car. However, the International Driving Permit organization states that travelers must get an international driving permit.
There’s little chance car rentals will ask for your IDP, but if you want to avoid risks, just get one before you head to Jordan.
There are over one hundred international and local car rentals in Amman, and most have websites showing the services they offer. On average, you can expect to pay around JD 25-30 (35-40 USD) per day for a new model with air conditioning and insurance.
As for driving challenges, driving in Jordan doesn’t differ that much from other countries. The best news is that they drive on the right so it will be a bit easier for those coming from the US and Canada. As for the rest, just stick to basic rules, and you’ll be fine: respect speed limits, watch for pedestrians, and slow down when approaching police checkpoints.
Amman to Wadi Rum Tours
As I’ve mentioned before, Wadi Rum is a hotspot within Jordan, and as such, you have a myriad of tour companies going to the desert. The only drawback of booking Amman to Wadi Rum tours is that there are multi-day tours, meaning you’ll visit other locations along the journey.
Before reaching Wadi Rum, these tours usually last two to three days and include Petra and the Dead Sea as additional stops. You’ll spend less time in Wadi Rum and, most likely, a night at one of its camps.
I’ve listed two tour options you might want to check out if you’ve already decided you want to book a tour to visit Wadi Rum from Amman:
- On this two-day tour, you’ll visit four Jordan highlights: Petra, Wadi Rum, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea. It includes a night over a Bedouin camp and acres to one of the Dead Sea’s stunning beaches.
- On this three-day tour, you’ll visit Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and the Dead Sea. The tour’s highlight is that you get to spend one night in Petra and another in Wadi Rum. Both locations offer stunning night experiences you don’t want to miss.
Can You Take a Bus from Amman to Wadi Rum
If you’ve read articles on Jordan or some of my other posts, you might know that Jordan’s public transportation isn’t exactly the best. Despite being a country where you have to cover long distances to reach different destinations, and tourism is one of the most profitable industries, Jordan hasn’t invested much in developing and integrating its public transport system.
When it comes to Wadi Rum, there are no direct buses connecting the desert to Amman. However, you can still reach it by combining a JETT bus with a taxi ride.
JETT buses depart from Abdali station. While they don’t have a fixed timetable, they run frequent daily services to Wadi Rum. You can check out their website to learn more about their timetables.
If you take a JETT bus, you should buy tickets to travel to Aqaba and take a taxi to Wadi Rum. You can expect to pay JD 10 one way. Time-wise, it can take you up to eight hours to reach Wadi Rum.
The Best Way from Amman to Wadi Rum
As I always say, each trip is unique, and you’re the only person who can judge which option suits your needs best. However, I’ve boiled down the previous list to two transportation alternatives that offer the best services in terms of time, money, and flexibility.
If your goal is to visit only Wadi Rum, book a taxi or a private driver. These two alternatives will give you total freedom to decide when you want to visit and how long you want to stay in Wadi Rum.
Now, if your goal is to visit Wadi Rum and see other parts of Jordan, you’re better off booking a tour. You’ll save yourself having to plan a road trip and ensure you get to cover Jordan’s highlights in a few days.
Have any other questions about how to get from Amman to Wadi Rum? Let me know in the comments or join the conversation in my Jordan Travel Tips Facebook community.