Jordan is a traveler’s dream, with diverse landscapes and thrilling activities to suit all types of adventure seekers. This active travel guide showcases six must-do experiences that will leave you awe-inspired and craving more. Get ready to embark on a journey that takes you through the ancient architecture of Petra, the vast sand dunes of the desert, and the underwater world of Aqaba. Join me as we unveil the top things to do in Jordan, perfect for those looking for their next adrenaline-fueled travel destination.
1. Hiking in Petra
Petra, also known as the “Lost City,” is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a famous filming location for Indiana Jones movies. Inhabited since prehistoric times by a nomadic tribe, Nabataeans, who made it their capital, the city was on a crossroad for the ancient trade routes between Arabia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea. Petra is an architectural marvel, with buildings that are half-built and half-carved into the rock, surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. While the carved buildings are impressive, the natural rock formations and canyons are even more stunning.
The most famous landmark in Petra is the Treasury, which is easily accessible and doesn’t require much climbing. It’s no wonder that it’s the most photographed spot in Petra, as visitors can easily snap a photo and head back to the entrance (imagine all those Instagrammers in fancy clothes hiking for hours:). However, the real gems of Petra require a long hike. While locals offer “taxi” rides up to the Monastery, these “taxis” are really just poor donkeys carrying your weight uphill – a shameful practice. For the best view of the Treasury, however, one must take a long walk with no “taxis” on this route.
But what’s so cool about Petra? The sheer beauty of it, of course, and the hike itself. Visitors need to put in some effort to get to the top places, making for a great workout. Just make sure you wear comfy shoes for the trek!
2. Jeep Safari in the Desert
The Wadi Rum desert in Jordan is a land of stark beauty, with its dramatic rock formations, vast sand dunes, and crystal-clear skies. With its surreal, lunar-like landscape, no wonder that it served as the backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters like The Martian and Star Wars. Hold on tight as your driver takes you off-road for an adrenaline-fueled ride over the dunes and between the rocks.
3. Watching the sunrise in the Desert
For a magical experience in the Wadi Rum desert, consider staying overnight in a glamping camp. This way, you can immerse yourself in the peacefulness of the desert and enjoy the spectacular night sky, free from the city’s light pollution. When the morning arrives, wake up early, as the sunrise is an experience not to be missed. The time of the sunrise varies depending on the time of year, but it typically occurs between 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM. Be sure to dress warmly, as temperatures in the desert can drop significantly overnight. Then, hike up to the top of the nearest hill or rock to get a better view. The stunning view of the sun rising over the desert is an unforgettable sight, and it’s well worth waking up early and braving the cold to witness it.
With its unique and otherworldly beauty, visiting Wadi Rum is an experience you will never forget!
4. Sandboarding in the Desert
Sandboarding is another must-do adventure in the Wadi Rum desert. The soft sand dunes provide a perfect opportunity to experience the rush of gliding down the slopes on a board. It’s a thrilling experience suitable for both beginners and more experienced boarders. Your guide will provide you with a board and some tips on technique before setting you free to carve up the dunes. Whether you’re a snowboarder or a surfer, you’ll love the unique feeling of cruising down the dunes. And the best part? Wadi Rum’s stunning landscape is the perfect backdrop for this exciting activity. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the thrill of sandboarding in one of the world’s most beautiful deserts.
5. Mud Bath in the Dea Sea
For a unique and rejuvenating experience, head to the Dead Sea in Jordan and try a mud bath. The mineral-rich mud is said to have many health benefits and is excellent for the skin. As you cover yourself in the mud, you’ll feel like a child again, playing and having fun. After the mud dries, take a dip in the Dead Sea, known for its incredibly high salt content that makes you float effortlessly. It’s an unusual feeling you’ll enjoy, even if you don’t know how to swim. However, be careful not to get saltwater in your eyes, as it can be pretty painful. Despite this, the experience of floating in the Dead Sea is a unique and memorable activity you won’t want to miss in Jordan.
6. Scuba Diving in Aqaba
If you’re looking for an adventure beneath the waves, head to Aqaba in Jordan for scuba diving. With its crystal-clear waters, Aqaba offers some of the best diving spots in the world. You can explore the vibrant coral reefs and see an array of colorful fish and other sea creatures. If you’re already a certified Open Water Diver, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the underwater world fully. However, even if you’re not, beginners have options. You can take a course with a certified instructor to get your license or try a Discover Scuba Diving experience. With this program, a guide will always hold you as you go down only a few meters to see the reefs and fish. It’s a great way to test the waters and see if scuba diving is a sport that you want to pursue. Whatever your skill level, diving in Aqaba is an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.
In conclusion, Jordan is a land of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and endless adventure. From hiking in Petra to sandboarding in the Wadi Rum desert, there are plenty of thrilling activities to satisfy any adventurous traveler. Whether you’re seeking a unique cultural experience, a physical challenge, or just a chance to explore the great outdoors, Jordan has something for everyone. So why not add it to your travel bucket list and discover the wonders of this fascinating country for yourself?