CAMPING, FOOD, WHAT TO BRING, CLIMBING GEAR, GUIDE BOOK

How to get to Wadi Rum

Visas

The Visa Requirements for entering Jordan as a tourist have recently been changed. Citizens from most countries (ask your travel agent to be sure) are now allowed to enter jordan on a entry permit which is free. A entry permit is ussually valid for a single entry and for a stay of two weeks, but can be extended at a police station. This will cost you a day since the nearest police station that will extend your visa is in Aqaba. Do not try to do it later than two weeks. This will cost you more trouble than its worth. After two weeks in Rum, you may feel like spending a day or two diving or snorkeling in the Red Sea around Aqaba anyway.

Medical Regulations and Recommendations

Contrary to what you may read in the guide book, no inoculations are now required for entry into Jordan, although preventive shots for hepatitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid are recommended.

Money

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, symbol JD, which is often called "JD". There are 1/2, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 JD notes. The dinar is divided into 100 piasters (pronounced "pee-aster") or 1000 fils ("fills"). The fils is used more than the piaster, and you will usually see prices written as 4.750, that is 4 JD and 750 fils, or 4 JD and 75 piasters. Coins come in the following denominations: 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils; and in 10 and 5 piasters.

There is no good place to change money in Wadi Rum, so do so in Amman or Aqaba, before depparting to Rum. Also do not rely on a credit card in Rum, you will need cash there for all transactions.

Getting There

Fly to one of the following airports; Amman, Aqaba, Eilat (Israel) or Tel Aviv (Israel). Unless you plan to visit Isreal too, it is best to fly to Aqaba or Amman, unless you manage to find a considerably cheaper flight to Israel. Aqaba is the nearest International airport to Wadi Rum.

It is not nescesarry to rent a car to visit Rum, the public transport in Jordan is very cheap and entertaining.

From Aqaba Airport

Take a taxi or a ride to the central bus station in Aqaba. There is normally a bus at around 9 or 10 am directly to Rum, and it should cost around One and a Half JD. If you miss this bus there is often one in the afternoon again, but it is a little unpredictable. One can also take a bus to Petra or even Amman, provided they are prepared to stop and drop you of at the Junction (Rashdiya) to Wadi Rum. It is usually easy to get a ride from this junction to Rum (around 30km).

One can also take a private taxi directly to Rum from the Aqaba Bus Station, however it costs around 15JD. This may be a little expensive if you are less than four passengers.

From Amman

Take the airport bus to the central Bus Station, from there take a bus to Aqaba, ask/convince the driver to drop you at the junction to Rum (Rashdiya), from there follow the instructions above (also if the ride goes all the way to Aqaba - unlikely).

From Israel

Take public transport to Eilat. Then take a taxi to the border crossing to Jordan/Aqaba. Crossing the border ussually takes around an hour but can take longer if there is a lot of traffic. The border closes at 20:00 and opens at 06:00 in the morning. Any food you take across the border could be confiscated by the Jordanian customs. All baggage is X-Rayed and often searched. It is illegal to carry climbing ropes across the border between Israel and Jordan, but this is overlooked at the crossing between Eilat and Aqaba, but is a serious problem at the crossings further north. It is also not possible to take Israeli Rental Cars across the border into Jordan. There is a 66NIS ($16) exit tax payable on the Israeli side (Credit Cards Accepted).

Leaving Jordan

A departure tax of 5 JD is payable at the border crossings, so keep a few of JD's when you are leaving for this purpose - its frustrating to have to go and buy some JD's to pay the tax!