Of all the places I’ve visited, I think none surprised me (in the best possible way) as much as Jordan. It was just by chance that I even considered travelling here because Egypt was always first on my list when it came to travelling in the Middle East and Jordan was never a place I heard much about. Lucky for me I had made a good friend in Nepal who had been travelling the world for over a year and became my go-t0 person for any travel related suggestions. As soon as I mentioned to him that my Dad and I were thinking of taking a trip to Egypt he cut me off immediately and said YOU HAVE TO GO TO JORDAN. And that basically settled it! A week in Jordan was added to our itinerary and my goodness, it was spectacular.
It was also just our luck that I came across a phenomenal local travel company called Terhaal Adventures that went above and beyond in helping us create the perfect private itinerary since they did not have any general tours going on the dates we were arriving. They created a tailor made tour for us to see all the main attractions and also added unforgettable experiences like a traditional Jordanian feast at a locals home and biking 50km through the country side with professional cyclists. But no matter how you choose to go to Jordan, I highly recommend visiting the following five attractions:
#1 PETRA + Siq al-Barid
If there’s one attraction people will recognize about Jordan, it is most certainly the breath taking rose city of Petra. It is a world famous archaeological site that is revered for its rock cut architecture and incredible water conduit systems considering it was established as early as 312 BC. Pictures do not do it justice and it is easy to see why it is near the top of any world travelers list. A slightly lesser known (but well worth the visit) archaeological site that is fairly close to Petra is Siq al-Barid, otherwise known as ‘Little Petra’. If you’re looking for a much more secluded experience away from the crowds of the main gates, head there to discover the ancient Nabataean city for yourself.
#2 THE DEAD SEA
If you’re like my Dad who hasn’t yet learned to swim, but would like the opportunity to float sans drowning, this is the place for you. The Dead Sea is 423m below sea level, making it the lowest elevation on Earth. It has a 33.7% salinity, making it the saltiest body of water, thus allowing our human limbs to bob at the surface with no muscular effort. Because of such a harsh climate, few organisms are able to survive here giving it the ominous title of Dead Sea. It is also quickly becoming a major research center for health. Because of its high mineral content, low levels of pollen and other allergens and high atmospheric pressure, it is leading the way for alternative health therapies.
Jordan’s capital city certainly did not disappoint. Its grandeur layout through rolling hills presents a diverse map of attractions such as the Citadel, Roman Theater, Jordan Museum, beautiful mosques and leafy residential districts that give you a glimpse into the colorful life of locals. It’s a very artistic hub of the country that is a mix of both tradition and the up and coming.
#4 THE MONASTERY
The Monastery is a part of Petra but doesn’t receive the same amount of visitors as The Treasury because it is a bit of a trek to get to see the amazing monolith. Hidden in the hills, it requires an hour long uphill hike or the help of a donkey. Personally I wouldn’t recommend the donkeys unless absolutely necessary because they do not look as if they are getting the proper care they deserve and second of all, it can actually be much more dangerous when going down as the steps are quite narrow and steep on the back of an animal. The Monastery gets its name from the crosses carved into the wall, thus suggesting it was a church in Byzantine times. It is a jaw dropping site and I highly recommend making the trek to see it.
#5 WADI RUM DESERT
Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite attraction of them all; Wadi Rum Desert. This beauty holds a very special place in my heart because I don’t think I had ever experienced the true majesty of SILENCE (not even the brush of wind) before coming here. Standing in the middle of the bright auburn expanse that seemed to go on forever, canyons of rock rising up like skyscrapers, sleeping overnight in Bedouin tents underneath the blazing stars, eating traditional food that is cooked in the heat of the sand and last, but certainly not least, finding myself completely LOST when I decided to go for an evening run. It was terrifying to say least, but after approaching a nearby Bedouin family, they were able to reunite me with my guide and solidified the kindness and honor of the local population. I will never forget my time here and highly recommend staying overnight in this magical place.
I highly recommend travelling to Jordan if you are looking for an easy introduction into the Middle East (always check national travel advisories first, as with all destinations) and was very impressed by the hospitality, beauty and diversity of the country.
If you are interested in travelling with Terhaal like we did, check them out at: https://www.terhaal.com/
From other trips, I also highly recommend going with G Adventures:
Lots of love xo