Thanks to Indiana Jones and Transformers movies everybody overheard this wonderful country's name at least once.
Jordan is a pleasant short break travel option from Dubai. It is only 3 hours and 10 minutes plane ride away.
It has been on my radar as long as I can remember. I am obsessed with the seven wonders of the world old and new both. So, when the opportunity presented itself to travel to Jordan (discount on plane tickets), I jumped on it.
Before the trip, I thought the most exciting thing to see in Jordan was Petra. Now I can't choose between Wadi Rum, Petra, Wadi Mujib and The Dead Sea. With this in mind read about the exciting things to do in Jordan below and decide which one is the most interesting for you.
Things To Do In Jordan
On my way to Petra, my driver made a quick stop on the hills before the entrance of the city. I tried to locate the ancient lost city. I couldn't! The canyon hides it perfectly in plain sight. No wonder it took Western world archaeologists hundreds of years to locate it.
- Tickets: Tickets are available to buy at the entrance. You can get a discount by showing your passport.
- Guide: You can hire a local guide at the same place where you buy tickets. I strongly advise it, because there are no written explanations near the monuments.
- Donkey & Carriage Rides: They are available on the way up and down. For the most part, animals transporting tourists are suffering from exhaustion and cruel treatment. Not to mention, if you ride in a carriage, you’ll miss the beauty of the road.
Here and there in the Siq, you'll pass by niches once the statues of ancient Pagan Gods stood.
Towards the end of the road, Siq gets narrow and winding. All of a sudden you'll come across to the most Instagrammed part of Petra, the Treasury.
Treasury is approximately 40 meters high and covered with friezes, figures, and sculptures.
According to a legend, this massive architecture hides the pharaoh's treasure. It is forbidden to visit inside of the treasury. Don't worry there is plenty to see and do outside.
Hike To The Monastery in Petra
Distance from Petra Treasury to the beginning of the monastery hike (Basin Restaurant) takes about 20-25 minutes. Keep in mind that, there are no toilets pass the restaurant. Hike to the monastery is about 850 steps and around 40 minutes long.
I found it was easier to climb in the afternoon because the trail was shady and less crowded. When I reached the top, I practically had the monastery for myself. There were only 4-5 tourists besides me.
Petra was on top of my things to do in Jordan list. Certainly, it didn't disappoint.
Get ready to be mesmerized! Since it is only two hours drive from Petra, it'll be a shame if you skip it.
Best way to see the Wadi Rum is through a safari tour. Surely, you will feel like you are on a movie set. As an illustration, it is Mad Max meets Star Wars.
What To Expect To See On Tours?
- Red sand dunes
- Giant rock bridges
- Ancient rock drawings
- Watching the sunset while drinking tea
- Starry nights
All visitors are required to register at the visitors center. At the center, you can find information about Wadi Rum and Bedouins. Given these points, it is a good starting point for the tours.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Although it is called the Dead Sea, it is not a sea, as a matter affect it's a lake.
Why is it called the Dead Sea?
The Dead Sea is approximately 10 times saltier than the ocean. Due to its harsh environment animals and plants can't live in it.
Can You Swim in the Dead Sea?
Yes and no. You can't sink. Therefore, you can't swim. On the other hand, you can effortlessly float.
Mud Baths And Beyond
I was skeptical about the benefits of the mud masks before I experienced it. I loved it so much that I bought some to take back home with me.
Here is how did it. First I soaked in mineral-rich water of the Dead Sea. Then I put mud all over myself and let it dry under the sun. Once it was dry, I washed it off. The result was smooth and purified skin.
Give it a shot! You'll be amazed by the results.
Wadi Mujib Canyoning
Wadi Mujib definitely must be on your list of things to do in Jordan. Mujib Biosphere Reserve is half an hour car ride away from the Dead Sea. There are four different types of trails allowing you to see more of the biosphere. Of course, I chose the beginner level trail.
The Siq Trail
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Requirements: 18+ years old, know how to swim, average fitness level
Self-guided or guided; the trail starts from the Adventures Center. I began canyoning without a guide. I don't know what was I thinking. Hence, I got stuck in front of the first rock I needed to climb.
Luckily, I ran into a guide who offered to help me. With the guides help; I climbed and jumped from places that I could have never by myself.
We followed the river until we reached to the base of the waterfall. Well, it is worth the effort!
On the way back, (under the guides supervision) I jumped and slid from every rock I climbed. I let the river take me back to the Adventure Center. In brief, I floated all the way back with the help of my lifejacket.
4 Tips About Canyoning
- If you wear quick drying clothes, you'll be more comfortable.
- For your safety wear non-slippery shoes.
- Don't carry anything but essentials. You are going to need both of your hands for climbing.
- You are going to get wet. For this reason, only take waterproof cameras with you.
A Day In Amman
This a light itinerary for a day in Amman. There are a lot more you can see and do. I didn't plan on spending a lot of time in Amman because I was interested in other things to do in Jordan. I regret that this city has a lot to offer.
Things to do in Amman
First things first, breakfast. I recommend street style falafel. It'll keep you full and energized for the day.
After breakfast hop on a taxi and go to Darat Al Funun. It is safe to say this gallery is a highlight of Amman art scene. When you are finished visiting the exhibitions, it's time for a cup of coffee. Head over to their serene garden cafe overlooking Amman.
Next, visit the Citadel and admire at the Temple of Hercules.
Last, for dinner, eat mansaf. It is a traditional Jordanian dish.