Jordan is a top destination for nature and history enthusiasts. As many people are deterred by the idea of the Middle East, Jordan proves to be a safe haven in the region and it’s the perfect introduction to the region if it’s your first trip there. It’s considered one of the Arab World’s most cosmopolitan countries and boasts a literacy rate of 97%. Visitors will be warmly welcomed and feel safe traveling through this friendly and panoramic country.
Jordan is also relatively small – the Kingdom of Jordan is only slightly larger than the state of Maine. So, if you are short on time, it is easy to explore many of its highlights.
In Jordan, not only can you gaze upon wonders like the Treasury in Petra, you can also trek around the Wadi Rum Desert and camp with local Bedouins. Explore the beautiful valleys by camel, 4x4, or even hot air balloon. Wander into a local café for shisha, tea, and colorful conversation. There are opportunities to visit religious and historic sights, as well as the bustling city of Amman and its treasures including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Float the day away in the Dead Sea and treat yourself to a mud spa treatment while gazing across the “navel of the Earth” into Israel.
While you’ll find many wonders to explore in Jordan, we think that the best part of visiting this Kingdom is the interactions with the enthusiastic locals. If you’re looking for a cultural experience, what better way to learn of the local customs than from locals themselves? People here are warm and friendly and are eager to get to know you and chat about almost anything. You’ll definitely return from a trip to Jordan feeling as if you’ve made many new friends.
Enjoy desert solitude – Participate in Bedouin culture – Float in the Dead Sea
Wadi Rum offers adventure and desert solitude, which we think is best experienced through desert camping. The feeling of staring up at millions of stars while in the middle of the flat desert will make you feel like a speck in the universe. Floating in the Dead Sea after a caking yourself in the skin-cleansing mud is great natural fun. Gazing across the Dead Sea at the lights of Israel is other-worldly – and for those with more of a religious inclination, it can be very spiritual. Sliding through the siq’s many twists and turns to finally gaze on the Treasury in Petra is an adventure and feels like you’re going back in time. Take a few days to stay at Feynan Eco Lodge in the Dana Biosphere Reserve – it’s your best opportunity for stunning scenery, hiking, and visits with local Bedouin families.
Jordan is wonderful for anyone looking for a well-rounded cultural, historical, and adventurous experience and a chance to detach from everyday life. It caters perfectly to those who prefer a natural, eco-friendly type of accommodation as a home base with excellent local food served. If you are interested in meeting locals and learning about others, you’ll find Jordanians to be the perfect complement to your travels.
If you’re looking for the most luxurious accommodations, Jordan may not be up to snuff. While new eco lodges are being built to high standards, they still don’t tend to reach Western five-star status. Some accommodations serve only vegetarian food and do not offer alcohol as a sign of respect for the neighboring communities.
For a small country, Jordan has an extraordinary range of climates. In terms of temperature, the best time to visit is in spring (March – May) and autumn (September – November), when the daytime temperatures aren't too extreme. April is probably the best month, when temperatures are warm and wildflowers are in bloom. March can be cold and rainy in the North but is balmy by the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Note that some of the best ecotourism projects in the nature reserves only operate between April and October.
The heat and humidity can be extremely oppressive in summer months of July and August. Winter can be quite cold and the desert can be freezing at night. Even snow in Amman is not unheard of. The month of Ramadan (exact dates vary each year) might be tricky, as visitors are encouraged to respect local customs and not eat, drink, or smoke in public.
Jordan is a relatively affordable place to visit. You can stay in a well-appointed eco-lodge for about $600 per night. The cost of your trip will of course depend on your desired level of luxury and what activities you choose. But you can always offset the cost by adding some cheaper city hotels. Some of the luxury hotels in the bigger cities are about $300 per night and well-appointed hotels in Petra can start as low as $150 per night.
Explore the beautiful valleys and desert by camel, 4x4 jeep rides, trekking, canyoning, or even a hot air balloon ride. Float the day away in the Dead Sea and pamper yourself in a mud spa treatment – either using the mud along the shore or by indulging at one of the spas of the area hotels. We highly recommend a boat ride and snorkeling in Aqaba on the Red Sea and galloping on an Arabian horse through the magnificent red rock desert landscape in Wadi Rum.
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