Jordan’s Wadi Rum has been the location for films like Lawrence of Arabia, The Martian and Prometheus, and Petra was a site for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which undoubtedly helped spike tourism to the area. Still, these sites are much more than a location where a movie took place.
Anyone visiting Wadi Rum is bound to take a jeep tour through a few key areas of Wadi Rum and hope to see where Matt Damon may have been stuck on Mars. Unbeknownst to some visitors, you can ride past those key sites and also enjoy an authentic, private camping experience with a local Bedouin guide. At night and in the more desolate portions of Wadi Rum, you can enjoy a meal cooked by your guide, fireside chats and a quiet, peaceful evening of incredible stargazing.
This has been a main attraction to Jordan for years, having been named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 and a New Seven Wonder of the World in 2007. There’s much more to Petra than the location of the holy grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — Al-Khazneh, or the Treasury — and the “tomb of the primes” from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — Ad-Deir, or the Monastery. Though these two sites are the most visited, and for good reason, visitors should seek to explore the historical context behind these tombs and other facades, structures and monuments, as well.
Click here to learn about ways we’ve explored Petra before you visit the ancient city.