7 Days in Jordan
DO NOT MISS
Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, Petra
Day 1: Arrive in Aquaba via early morning ferry from Nuweiba (Egypt), head to Wadi Rum. Embark on a camel back trip through Wadi Rum.
First, a 6-8 hour camel ride really hurts. Also, do not ask your guide to “make your camel gallop”. But there’s something extraodinary about riding through the desert in a camel caravan with your Bedouin guide singing, and his voice echoing through the valley of rock formations. The night sky in Wadi Rum is amazing. pull out your mattress from your tent and sleep under the stars!
Day 2: See more of Wadi Rum in a jeep.
You get to explore more of Wadi Rum in jeep. (e.g. rock bridges, sites with inscriptions on the walls) The best way to visit Wadi Rum is probably a package deal with one of the camps. The desert is vast with no signs. Having a guide really helps. If you can, go during the low season (July-September). It will be barely bearably hot but it’s worth having only a few people at the camp site so you can enjoy the quiet desert. In high season there could be up to 30 people at one camp site sharing limited facilities.
Day 3: Head to Wadi Musa (Petra).
The Treasury is the first thing you will see after passing through Al Siq (the gorge) both of which appeared in Indiana Jones. Make your way to the Ad-Deir (Monastery). Do take the climb (or ride the donkey) up. It is so worth it.
Day 4: See more Petra. Take the afternoon bus to Amman
Although you can see most of the sights in Petra in one day, it’s worth it to stay an extra day to hike the trails either to go up to the high place of sacrifice, or take the behind the royal tombs to see get a bird’s eye view of the treasury.
Day 5: Take a walking tour of the Amman. See the Roman Amphitheatre, The Citadel. If you happen to be in Amman on a Friday, go check out the market on Jara/Rainbow street.
Day 6: Do a day trip to the Dead Sea, on the way there visit the churches with mosaic in Madaba and mountNebo.
If you are not staying at the fancy resorts along Dead Sea, there is a tourist beach south of the resorts that has shower facilities with fresh water pools. Entry fee is 16 JD but it may be worth it having a place to wash the caustic Dead Sea water off.
Day 7: Head to Israel
In Wadi Rum we stayed with Rum Star Camp. The camp was clean and complete with showers (in the middle of the desert!) Their traditional Bedouin dinner (cooked underground – we watched them dig it up) was tasty.
In Wadi Musa we stayed at Saba’a Hostel. It is conveniently located in town but it is about 20-30 min brisk walk down hill to the Petra entrance (climbing the hill on the way back will be difficult especially if you spend all day hiking in Petra but taxi fare is only about 1-2 JD) The English lady running the hotel is really nice and resourceful. She helped us book our bus to Amman and Hotel as well.
In Amman we stayed at Jordan Tower Hotel. It is right next to the Roman Amphitheatre. Nearby is a famous falafel eatery called Hashim where the King of Jordan likes to frequent. The hostel can help organize tours and taxi but I suspect you will get better rates negotiating on the street.
There used to be a bus that runs from Wadi Rum to Wadi Musa but it is currently not running so you have to taxi. Between Amman and Wadi Musa, and Amman and Dead Sea there are buses. JET is the more organized company for buses. They also organize day trips.
For long taxi rides between cities you would negotiate ahead of time. It’s about 20-25 JD from Aqaba to Wadi Rum, around 30 JD from Wadi Rum to Wadi Musa (though you may be able to catch taxis on their way back from dropping off someone else and get a good rate) For short taxi rides within the city you should always insist on using the meter. most fares around Amman should cost less than 5 JD. Taxis at Dead Sea is another story, we heard ridiculous rates being charged for tourists.
TRAVELING WITH LESS TIME…
- If you arrive early in the morning and go with a jeep tour, you can probably visit Wadi Rum in a day (do spend a night there!) You can also see most of Petra in one day
- Rent a car! Almost all of the road signs have English labels. It will not be difficult driving from city to city in Jordan. (within Amman is another story)
TRAVELING WITH MORE TIME…
- spend a day or two in Aquaba – enjoy the beaches and go snorkeling
- Visit Little Petra
- Spend a night in Madaba – it’s a quaint little town and there re a few churches that you can explore.
- See more Roman Ruins in Jerash
- Dana Natural Reserve
- Desert Castles