One week in magical JORDAN.
First things first: Buy a Jordan Pass before entering the country. You will end up saving plenty of money if you plan to go and see a few different sights. The Jordan Pass also includes your visa to Jordan. If you plan on only entering the country and visiting Petra - you will already save money. Win win!
The easiest place to start your ultimate Jordan trip would be to fly into Amman's airport. Being the capital city there is plenty to see and do. There are many ruins you can visit within the city. The Amman Citadel, the Temple of Hercules and the Roman Theatre are all worth seeing. You can knock these sites over within the day. Make it a jam packed day and use your Jordan Pass to its full potential. We purchased the Jordan explorer (which gives you 2 days access to Petra).
Eat at: Hashem - this local restaurant makes amazing/cheap falafels and dips.
From Amman, it’s up to you on how you want to travel around the country. You can hire a car, a personal driver or catch a bus. The car hire seems like a decent price if you are rushing through the country or have others to split the costs with. As we planned on spending a couple days in Petra and Wadi Rum desert, we thought car hire would be wasted for us as it would spend days sitting still.
Instead, we lashed out and hired a driver to take us from Amman to Petra, with a stop in at the Dead Sea for a couple of hours along the way. This does not come cheap at 85 JD (about $175 AUD) after haggling it down - Jordan is much more expensive than we expected!
Whilst we were in the Wadi Rum desert, we met a local driver who speaks great English and owns a private transport transport company taking you all over Jordan. Send him a message and tell him we sent you. He was a legend! Mark : WhatsApp +962-795599281
There are many places to pull over to enjoy the lake (thats right its a closed body of water, not a sea). Many of the resorts at the Dead Sea offer exclusive access to the "sea" for a fee. It's up to you but we are on a budget and majority were far too expensive for what it is. We ended up going to public beach which our hostel recommended (15 JD or about $31 AUD entry). It is important to note that there is no free entry to the dead sea as it is actually illegal to just swim anywhere. Some people do this anyway when they have their own transport, but this can be considered dangerous and it is important to have a shower straight after swimming in the salt.
We arrived early - which was great, we beat the heat and of course the crowds. Ask your driver before hand to negotiate a swim stop. At the Dead Sea you really don’t need a lot of time to enjoy the place. We spent just over two hours and it was plenty of time for us to float in the water and have a full body mud mask.
The one place I wish we stopped, where we didn’t was the Wadi al Mujib. You actually drive straight past it and it looks INSANE! If you have spare time, you should definitely pull over and explore through the canyon there. If we had spare time it would have been on the itinerary on the way to Petra.
MUST EXPERIENCE! Going to Jordan for the first time and not visiting Petra would be a highly frowned upon by us. It's a wonder of the world and should be compulsory to visit.
Yes we’re on our honeymoon but we will still stay in the occasional hostel (if they have great reviews). The Nomads hostel is located in a top spot. You’re in town for one major reason after all….to see Petra, so theres no use to be spending much money/time in a hotel or hostel room. From the hostel you can easily walk down to the Visitors Centre and start your trek. Have your camera fully charged and plenty of water in your bag. The hostel is new and still taking off. They offer well priced family dinners and the rooms are new, neat and tidy and only 10 JD (about $20 AUD) a night per person.
We cannot stress enough to get to Petra as early as possible. If you're lucky, you’ll practically have the place to yourself. We got up around 5.30am to be there by the 6am opening time, packed a quick breakfast picnic and walked down. You’ll need to activate your Jordan Pass at the visitors centre so bring I.D with you. Get there early because anyone else that is visiting Petra for the second or third morning in a row can walk straight to the entrance gate without lining up again.
We recommend 2 days at Petra. First day explore and walk as far as you can and the second day, take your time to get those fab Instagram photos. The place is huge and there are stacks of trails if you're into hiking.
MUST EXPERIENCE! A night under the stars in the Jordanian desert is a dream.
Where to stay: Wadi Rum Dream Camp
You will be met with a warm smile from Abdullah and the crew that work at the Dream Camp. This place is amazing with mint tea always on the fireplace and the best part, unlimited tea is included in your accommodation, so drink up. When you are there, it’s possible to laze around the camp or go for a walk off into the desert. When we arrived, we signed up for the afternoon 4x4 tour through the desert which is really sweet and worth the money. You will be taken around to 4 different locations having time to explore and hear about the bedouin history. You’ll catch the sunset just in time as it drops over the mountains. Once the sun sets you will return back to the camp and prepare for dinner. We also signed up for the traditional Bedouin feast. This is a must do! Bring your appetite, the food is DELICIOUS.
There are a couple of options to suit different budgets. We went for the deluxe suit with the ensuite…..that’s right it’s "Glamping" after all. If you are there on your honeymoon, you might want to ask for the camels milk (wink wink).
We booked the sunrise camel tour which was a fantastic way to start the day. You'll get up well before the sun, mount your new camel and take off into the darkness. It takes about 30 mins of riding before you stop to take a moment and watch the glow of the sun crawl up to grace us with a new day.
Tip: Bring a large bottle of water with you. There is water for sale but 2JD for a small bottle.
Aqaba (Red Sea)
What better way to finish off your tour of Jordan by heading down to Aqaba to experience the Red Sea for yourself. Down there you will find plenty of scuba diving companies, so take your pick. If it's your first time diving, no worries. There are many beginner sessions you can get involved with. If scuba diving isn't your cup of tea, the water is incredibly clear, so you can grab a snorkel and do it your way by wading in the water straight from the beach.
You can find a public beach which is free to use. Be sure to cover up as it is a public beach and with a muslim culture to be respected. If you want to wear a bikini, you better head for a private beach. There are beach clubs you can go to for a fee and make use of their beach chairs/facilities. Beach clubs normally isn't our scene but we only had bikinis and Budgy Smugglers so couldn't go to a public beach. We went to one called Berenice. They do a free shuttle from town and back with the cost of your entrance fee. It had some weird cross breed music of electronic/hard/pop/reggae playing (not our standard beach club haha), so we walked to the quiet end and relaxed. From this location you look out at 4 countries which is pretty cool - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
Jordan was 1000% more amazing than we could have ever imagined and we highly recommend a visit here. Remember to respect the Muslim culture and cover up. Other than that we felt incredibly safe and welcome the whole time. From here we recommend crossing the border over to Israel for your next adventure!