Everywhere you turn in Jordan, there’s another breathtaking backdrop begging to be Insta-official. Brace yourself for an adventure like no other as you uncover the hidden gems scattered across this remarkable land. From the ancient marvels of Jerash and the tranquil beauty of the Dead Sea, Jordan offers an abundance of breathtaking sights that will leave you in awe. You’ll want to secure your Jordan Pass online before you travel as it grants you prepaid access to over 40 incredible sites, including Jerash, Petra, and Wadi Rum.
Explore the Ancient City of Petra
There’s something magical about wandering the ancient ruins of Petra, one of Jordan’s main tourist attractions, and navigating the ancient walkways and structures. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a map and plenty of signs in the park to guide you around. Since Petra is a hundred square miles large, most travelers opt for 1-3 days of wandering the grounds, taking in the labyrinth of structures and aqueducts cut directly into the distinctive red sandstone of the beautiful “Rose City.”
But experiencing Petra by night’s is a whole other vibe you won’t want to miss! You’ll have the chance to see the dramatic walls of the Siq by candlelight before finding a seat in front of the Treasury building for tea and traditional Bedouin music under the starry skies. Petra by Night is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8:30 PM. You can purchase entrance tickets at the visitor’s center. To view maps and ticket prices visit Petra. Keep in mind Petra by night is not covered by the Jordan Pass. It only covers visits between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Float in the Dead Sea
Did you know that Jordan’s Dead Sea earned its name because it’s the lowest point on the surface of the Earth, and plants and animals cannot survive because of how salty it is? And since the density of the Dead Sea water is extremely high, it’s almost impossible to sink. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea is shrinking at a fast rate due to human practices that are unsustainable, so do try to cross it off your bucket list soon! The Entrance fee to Amman Beach is 20JD.
Take a Therapeutic Mud Bath
While you’re at the Dead Sea, why not slather yourself in some detoxifying mud? With legends of the near-magical healing properties of the mineral-infused mud, it’s no surprise that countless resorts and spas have found their home along this legendary waterfront. You’ll find signs posted near most of the shore breaking down the guide to maximizing the benefits of Dead Sea Mud. You can get the mud either from the bottom of the Dead Sea in the public areas, or, at the resorts there are usually buckets of the mud placed in sheltered areas near the shore.
Enjoy a Boat Ride in Aqaba
If you want to catch a boat ride in Aqaba, you’ll have to wake up a bit early since they depart from Aqaba port in the morning. The duration of trips generally last two or three hours, without venturing too far from the Jordanian coast. The Jordanian Red Sea waters are home to more than 450 species of fish and more than 127 types of coral formation, making it the perfect location for diving and snorkeling as well. While diving you might even spot some old shipwrecks! After your boat trip, you may want to explore Aqaba’s historic sites or just relax by the pool and sip some fresh juice at any of Aqaba’s beach clubs. The cost of a boat trip varies depending on the duration and extra activities you choose.
Go Canyoning in Wadi Mujib
What better way to stay active than a canyon hike? At 410 meters below sea level, the Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve on Earth. The canyons contain over 300 species of plants, and 10 species of carnivores, so be on the lookout for any wilding! If you do decide to go, it would be a good idea to bring along sturdy footwear that can get completely soaked. You should also pack a bathing suit and upper body rash wear for the heat. Keep in mind this activity may not suit everyone as the trail is long and tiring. The cost of a canyon trail tour at the Mujib Biosphere Reserve is from 21-44JD depending on the trail you choose.
Visit the Ancient City of Jerash
One wouldn’t expect to see such a magnificent Roman complex in the Middle East, but the Roman Empire stretched far and wide at the height of its power. Jerash is considered the most well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Believe it or not, it was hidden for centuries under the desert sand and has only recently been excavated in 1925. It’s recommended that a guide accompany you as they can help you navigate the massive complex. While inside make sure to visit the Forum, Temple of Artemis, and the North Theatre of Jerash. And don’t miss out on the Soldiers re-enactment of Roman legionnaires displaying military drills followed by gladiators fighting as they did in the days of Roman rule. The site opens at 7:30 and closes at 7:00 pm, and the entrance fee is 10 JD.
Take a Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
Get your adrenaline fix twisting and turning with a jeep ride between the sandy dunes of Wadi Rum. Since you won’t find roads there, you won’t be able to explore the desert without a jeep tour. As nature has decided to carve some pretty impressive shapes into the rocks of Wadi Rum, It’s best to have an experienced driver that will know every corner of this desert. Most jeeps don’t have a roof to keep you shaded during the summer, so try to book a jeep that does have one. And for the cinephiles out there, you may be interested to know that Wadi Rum was the shooting scene for many movies, including Matt Damon’s ‘The Martian’. While you’re at Wadi Rum you can also try sandboarding or a take a camel tour. The entrance fee to Wadi Rum is 3JD but the cost for a jeep tour varies depending on the duration of the ride and the number of riders.
Explore Amman Citadel
It’s impossible to visit the citadel at a bad time, as the ruins and breathtaking views of the surrounding city are stunning at any time of day. As one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited places, this historic site has been occupied by many great civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantine, Persians, and Greeks, and when Muslims conquered the site, they renamed it Amman. At the Citadel you’ll find old temples and statues showcasing the level of craftsmanship during the Bronze Age. If you plan on visiting the citadel, the entrance fee costs JD3.
Take a Dip in the Ma’in Hot Springs
Sink into the tepid waters and literally feel the aches and pains dissolving away. The hot springs of Ma’in emerge from the rainwater that comes from the highlands. There are around 63 Hot Springs that vary in size and temperature. It’s recommended to visit Ma’in between late autumn and early spring since the spring tends to get too hot during summer. You may want to plan to visit both The Dead Sea and Ma’in on the same day since they’re 25 minutes away. Entrance for Public Hot Springs are free while Ma’in Hot Springs day pass at the resort is 10 JD.
Visit the Dana Biosphere Reserve
If you’re looking for a hiking adventure with unmatched scenery, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is for you. One of Jordan’s largest nature reserves, it offers a variety of trails with sweeping views of the valley, taking you through picturesque wadis, and allowing you to experience its diverse plant and wildlife. From 2-hour introductory hikes to multi-day treks, there’s a trail for every skill level. Some trails require a guide year-round, because of this, it’s good to plan your itinerary in advance. The entrance fee to the reserve costs 10 JD.
So be sure to check out these unique Jordan experiences for your next adventure.
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