Why go to Jordan?
Jordan is a country located in the Middle East. It has a number of ancient ruins, biblical sights, and UNESCO world heritage sights — most notably, Petra.
What to See:
Petra: Petra is a must-see UNESCO world heritage sight! It is absolutely incredible. While you can see Petra in one day, you really need two days to do it justice. Afterall, the two day pass into Petra is only 5 dinar more. Included in the price of the daily pass is a horseback ride to the entrance of the Siq. (Yes, this is free, but you will be asked for a “tip” at the end of the ride).
You should be in fairly good shape if you intend to go ALL the way up to the treasury, which is several kilometer hike up a steep mountain pass that will leave you completely out of breath! Need not to worry if you get too tired. You can ride a donkey up part of the way for 2-3 dinar, depending on your haggling skills. Here is more information about Petra.
Float in the Dead Sea: The Dead Sea, or the “Salt Sea,” is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. The Dead Sea is so salty that you become that you float on the surface of the water at ease. It’s thick black mineral rich-mud is also good for the skin (not so much for bathing suits). Here is more about the dead sea.
Baptism Site: There are many Biblical sights in Jordan. The “Baptism Site,” is one of three of the ‘holiest’ site for Christians. This is where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptism. Many people like to dip in these waters just as Jesus had (back in the day). You can purchase a cover up (as you can’t simply just jump in the water with your skin tight bikini or short swim shorts) at the shop before entering. You can purchase tickets for entrance to the Baptism Site, which includes a short shuttle bus to the site. (You can visit the Dead Sea and Baptism Site in the same day; they are relatively close to each other).
Spend the night with the bedouins in Wadi Rum:
Wadi Rum is a protected area of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. There are many ways to enjoy Wadi Rum. Jeep tours and hiking tours are popular. Some people also opt for an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent, as Bedouin people still live in the region. Public transport is very limited and information has to be researched.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea (Aqaba): Aqaba is located at Jordan’s southernmost point, where it meets the Red Sea. The Red Sea is world-renown for some of the best snorkeling and diving.
Roman Ruins (Amman and Jerash): If you happen to be in Amman (the capital of Jordan), you will have the opportunity to see Roman ruins. There are a few examples in city center itself! (Roman Amphitheater, Citadel and Nymphaeum). Just north of Amman (48km/30 miles) is the city of Jerash, which also has Roman ruins.
What are must-do’s if I have limited time to visit Jordan?
Must-Do’s? Petra (2 days), Dead Sea/Baptism Sight (one day), and Wadi Rum (one day/night).
While Amman is the capital of Jordan, there are far more interesting places (Petra, Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum) to visit in Jordan other than Amman. Your time is better spent visiting Petra, Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum. Amman’s Roman ruins were not as impressive as pictured (ahh! the magic of photoshop!). Furthermore, the infamous “Rainbow Street” was nothing more than a long road with over-priced coffee shops and shisha.
What I wish I had known before?
- Jordan is expensive! Between the visa, entrance into Petra and Dead Sea, transportation…and you have already broken the bank! However, you can purchase a “Jordan Pass,” which includes the price of the entry visa and offers discounted rates into many tourists attractions.This will offset the price of many of the more “pricey” places.
- Suggested Itineraries: Wish I had also known this before — the government of Jordan suggest itineraries based on your likings — UNESCO enthusiast? Ancient ruins? Religious? Museum buff? Say no more! All of the itineraries are right here for you.
- Jordan is primarily a Muslim country. If you are a woman, it is wise to wear more conservative clothing, as you most likely will be stared down by wandering eyes if you’re wearing short shorts, spaghetti straps, or other “revealing” clothes.
- Public transportation is a nightmare. There is no metro, taxis are EXPENSIVE, and busses are notoriously unreliable. It is best to either hire a driver to take you around or rent a car to get to places.
- On that note, all of the most-see places are pretty far away from each other. (Again, taxis are expensive…so unless you’re splitting the cost of a taxi four ways, you’re probably better off just renting a car or hiring a driver).
- You should spend 5jd more to get the TWO day pass for Petra (you can also purchase the entrance pass as part of your Jordanian Pass). It’s well worth it.
Have you been to Jordan?
What were your must-sees?
Keep me “posted.”