Jordan should be at the top of every traveler's list of "must-see destinations". A Jordan tour should include the legendary Petra, the Wadi Rum desert and a few places near the Red Sea, they are all epic! I assure you that Jordan is one of the most underrated destinations in the world and that a trip there is absolutely worth it.
- Security, Passport, How to get around and useful info
Whoever loves solo travel knows well that getting around independently has pros and cons.
The positive side is that you move at your own pace and you are not tied to itineraries and schedules already set. On the other hand, you have to take care of all the logistics and this, in addition to taking your time, forces you to organize everything yourself.
SAFETY and HOSPITALITY : Geographically Jordan is located nexto to some not very quiet countries like Syria, Iraq and Israel. Nevertheless, it is a safe nation where many people of different faiths and customs live together peacefully and welcome visitors in a hospitable and impeccable manner. It's recommended not to stay next to the borders, where there might be tensions from time to time.
VISIT and PASSPORT: To visit Jordan you must hold a passport and a visa. The passport must be valid for 6 months from the moment you enter the country. The visa allows you to stay there for 30 days. It must be requested before leaving from your country or at the border. Obtaining a visa at the border can be complicated, so it is better to do the paperwork in your country, at Jordanian embassies or consulates.
JORDAN PASS: Before you leave, you should purchase online the JORDAN PASS, a card that includes entry to the main tourist sites in Jordan (from Petra to Jerash to Wadi Rum) and also the cost of the visa to enter the country; a good option to save money.
Jordan is much more than just seeing Petra's treasure. Between the deserts and the Dead Sea there's so much to do: with so much excursions, canyoning and scuba diving, you won't never get bored! Tourism in Jordan is growing at a fast pace, let's get there now, before it becomes a crowded destination!
GETTING AROUND IN JORDAN: booking guided Jordan tours is definitely the easiest option. Though, even if you move around on your own and on a tight budget you have different options to enjoy a Jordan tour. Once you cross borders, it is hard to find decent public transport so the taxi may be a plausible way to get around. As an alternative you can rent a car and travel to the various destinations and to the capital, Amman.
- Jordanians drive on the right-hand side of the road. Road directions are in Arabic and English and most tourist destinations are situated within 4 hours from the capital.
BEST TIME TO TAKE JORDAN TOURS: if you consider hiking in archaeological sites and desert walks, the best time to visit Jordan is in late spring - April and May - or end of September/beginning of October. Those are definitely the best months for a swim in the Dead Sea or the Red Sea. Consider a minimum stay of 7-10 days.
The main reason to experience Jordan tours is to see the city of Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It is worth the trip on its own, but there is much more to do: think about diving in the waters of the Red Sea, walking in the desert of Wadi Rum and between the Roman ruins in Jerash.
Accommodation in Amman and Jordan tour
I suggest you to book a hotel in Amman, the capital, and from there leave for your favourite Jordan tour, day-trips or multi-day excursions to various destinations such as Petra and Wadi Rum. Forget about public transport, the car rental is a cheap and practical solution.
Below is a list of the best Jordan tours. If you find that organizing a self-guided tour to Jordan, Petra, Amman and the other destinations takes too long or you think it's hard to get around by car, you can always book Petra tours, Amman tours, Wadi Rum tours.
Petra, is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the main reason why you decide on Jordan tours. An ancient city carved into the rock that houses an unimaginable archaeological site.
The visit to the whole site of Petra - the "Treasury" - and any possibile off-route excursions could take a whole day. I advise to leave early in the morning if you want to do everything in a day. Bring plenty of water, light clothing and sportswear and comfortable shoes (trekking shoes are strongly recommended if you plan to do excursions).
If you travel without a guide, you can follow a map of Petra in your language - you can get one for free at the entrance of the site. The itinerary on the map takes you to the most important stages: the Pharaoh's Treasure, the Theater and the Royal Tombs to the Monastery. Along the way, you can take a few detours (from the Royal Tombs to the Palace Tomb or, just before the Theatre, a staircase takes you to the The Altar of Sacrifice).
- The visit is challenging due to a uphill climb. Throughout the day you will be harassed by locals who offer rides on donkeys, horses, camels and small buggy. It could be a good solution to relieve fatigue but please consider that it is a paid service and that animals are exploited.
Amman to Petra tour and night tour
If you don't want to have fixed timetables, you can get to Petra by car or taxi from the centre of Wadi Musa, a little town not far from Petra and main stopover hub for those leaving from Amman. An alternative? Check with your accommodation if they provide a shuttle service that takes you to the archaeological site. We advise to take a spectacular Petra night tour: in that case, there are several guided tours. An evocative one: "Petra By Night" tour.
Besides Petra, the stop at the ancient ruins of Jerash is one of the most beautiful things to do on Jordan tours.
The site of Jerash (ancient Gerasa) - has 4 entrances. It can be visited without a guide, which is a good thing for solo travelers. It takes about 3 hours to visit the entire Jerash site.
The Temple of Artemis with its imposing columns, is one of the most beautiful and preserved monuments of the ancient city. From the Southern Gate you enter the monumental area and here comes the show: The Temple of Zeus and the Southern Theater are Jerash's top attractions. You should go up to the battlements for a wonderful view over the whole area while the music of bagpipe players will accompany your visit.
- Beware that the Temple of Zeus is situated in a hidden area. It happens often that travelers who visit Jerash without a guide do not spot the temple!
How to get from Amman to Jerash
The journey from Amman to Jerash takes a little less than 1 hour by car. There are also local buses and taxis that leave from the airport bus station but the rental car remains the best solution for an independent tour in Jordan. Consider also the opportunity to live a great experience in Jordan by booking a tours. You may want to consider guided tours from Amman to Jerash, then to the archeological area of Umm Qais - known as Gadara - and to the Ajlun Castle.
Consider the capital of Jordan, Amman, mainly as the area where you'll be staying. Besides a couple of noteworthy attractions there's not much else to see in the city.
The places of interest are the Roman Amphitheater - the largest one in Jordan - and the Citadel, which you can reach through a walk of less than 20 minutes following a small uphill road from the theater. In the Amman Citadel do not miss the Columns of the Temple of Hercules and the Archaeological Museum. On the way up you'll find a panoramic terrace which offers a beautiful view of the city from above.
The real surprise in Amman is the Al Balad district, a very special place where you can immerse yourself in the true Jordanian atmosphere. Take a walk around its outdoor market to live an exciting experience: colourful banquets, delicious sweets and souvenirs to take home. A suk with top marks!
Wadi Rum is a place unlike any other! It feels like being transported to a different world and, because of the red color of the sand, many compare it to Mars! This Martian walk in the desert should be absolutely included in your list of things-to-do on a Jordan tour!
The experience starts from the Rum Village. You can choose between different options: take a jeep tour in the desert, spend a day in the bedouin camp, where you can also stay for the night, and rent an off-road vehicle. Two places not to be missed: the Red Duna and the Burdah Rock Bridge. The camel ride is also nice. For the brave ones, there is also the possibility to parachute into the desert.
The entrance to Wadi Rum is included in the Jordan Pass and, once you arrive at the visitor centre, you move to the Rum Village, which is the starting point of jeep and truck tours.
You will be surprised by the hospitality of the Bedouins and the beautiful experience of spending a night in a tent under a starry sky. A night at Wadi Rum is like detaching yourself from reality: without internet, noise and other distractions, camped around the fire only with a pipe and a dish of Zarb.
From Amman to Wadi Rum
The road to the Wadi Rum area from Amman is fairly smooth and well signposted - it's pretty much the only one leaving the capital in the direction of the Red Sea.
- The problem is that it takes 4 hours from Amman so you'd better stay in the area at least one night or follow the alternative I'm going to explain.
Everybody dreams of swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. In Jordan you can! On a do-it-yourself trip of at least a week you should think about staying in Amman for a few days and then moving to Aqaba, a town overlooking the Gulf of the same name in the Red Sea.
Snorkeling and diving on the reef
Aqaba will be the most fun and "summer" style part of Jordan tours.
Visit the Great Mosque then reach the Marine Park, perfect for an exciting diving in the Yamanieh Reef, take a dip in the South Beach Highway. You can even rent a boat and do some snorkeling. One important advice: compared to Amman, from Aqaba you can reach Wadi Rum much more easily; it's less than 1 hour away by car.
So if you're thinking of staying a few nights in Aqaba, my advice is to visit Wadi Rum while staying around the Red Sea.
If you have 10 days or more, you could also include a visit to the Dead Sea and Israel, on your DIY itinerary in Jordan.
- If you plan it carefully, you can come up with a great itinerary which includes Amman, Petra and Wadi Rum, a detour to the Dead Sea and then Israeli most beautiful cities like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Canyoning in Wadi Mujib and swimming in the Dead Sea
The place where you need to go to Jordan to enjoy the Dead Sea at the fullest is Wadi Mujib. A historic river and hiking trails to be explored through canyoning and hiking. "Swimming" in the waters of the Dead Sea is a very strange experience: you are below sea level and when you enter the water you actually float because of the high amount of salt.
Do you know that the Dead Sea waters have beneficial effects on the skin? If you can, spend a day at the spa at the famous resort-spa Ma'In Hot Springs.
Amman and Jerusalem: Crossing the border Jordan - Israel
What about Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? They are among the most growing tourist destinations in the world and, in addition to their historical charm, they are places of leisure and summer tourism, ideal for a young target.
You can cross from Jordan to Israel through some border points. The easiest way to get from Amman to Jerusalem is to pass through the border at King Hussein Bridge or Allenby Bridge. Getting there from the Jordanian capital by public transportation is quite easy. Tourists are NOT allowed to cross it by rental car or taxi as you will need specific documents.
If the idea appeals to you but it seems too difficult to organize the whole thing yourself, have a look at the tours made up of several days which include stops in Israel, Jordan and the Dead Sea.
How was your trip to Jordan? Tell us about your experience in a comment!