The perfect Roadtrip around Jordan!
Jordan a land filled with incredible history and incredible landscapes. A place that I had dreamed about visiting ever since I was young. Growing up watching Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider I had always wandered “Is that place real? Does Petra really exist?” Years later here I am, exploring incredible ancient ruins and eating enough falafel to satisfy me for a lifetime!
A little back story!
Last week when I arrived here to Jordan I had very little expectations! I’ve never received any recommendations from friends and honestly I did very little research because my plane ticket purchase took place so last minute! I had certain destinations in mind that I knew I wanted to visit such as Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and of course Petra. When I first arrived to Amman I was completely blown away by the culture shock! Suddenly it hit me! I was in the Middle East and wow how things were different! Upon my arrival to the airport I opted for the cheapest way to reach the city center and so I took the public bus with all of the locals, which only costed me 3JD ($4.50). While I was on the bus there was another foreigner sitting across from me and I heard him talking in English, we started a small convo only to find out that we were both staying in the same hostel! So after being dropped off at the 4th circle we decided to split an Uber and travel together to the hostel! Right away I was greeted by some of the most friendliest hostel staff that I’ve ever encountered! Right away they started asking me about my plans for the country and highly recommended that I rent a car because public transport was very limited and not the most reliable way to get around the country. So I took his idea into consideration and I decided to write my name and number on a whiteboard behind the reception desk in hopes to find others that would be willing to roadtrip and help split the cost. The following day while I was taking a nap I received a knock on the door only to find two girls wanting to roadtrip around the country, a few hours later another girl was interested, and also another man who had just made it into my room! Together we rented a vehicle for 5 days and it costed us roughly $30 each for the whole trip, our time together was incredible and the roadtrip couldn’t have gone any better! Here’s how our five days together went! I hope you enjoy!
Let the journey begin!
On our very first morning we headed directly to the Dead Sea, but along the way we stopped and visited Mt. Nebo, which is a mountain viewpoint famous for being the resting place for Moses. Along with a beautiful church, a memorial to moses, and a small museum this mountain also gives you an amazing view of the Dead Sea and also a view of Israel and Palestine! We only explored Mt. Nebo for roughly an hour and in my opinion that was enough time to walk around and enjoy the place and it’s history. Of course, if you’re religious this might be a place where you would like to spend a bit more time. After exploring Mt. Nebo we jumped back into our car and made our way towards the Dead Sea. When we arrived to the Dead Sea I was absolutely blown away by the huge cliff sides that laid along the Israel side and another thing that struck me was how blue the water was! I had never really seen many pictures of this place before, but seeing the water look so tropical was not what I was expecting at all. Along the Dead Sea there are many resorts, which charge about $30.00 to hang out at for the day. These resorts typically include a private beach to the Dead Sea, swimming pools, and of course showers and other facilities where you can relax. We figured that we wouldn’t be spending such a long time in the blazing sun so we opted for the much cheeper option! We decided to keep on driving south along the coast of the Dead Sea until we arrived to a small pool off over looking this small “beach” where a lot of the locals were swimming! We decided to make our way down and of course I couldn’t resist myself so I took off my clothes, put on my swim shorts and ran straight into the water! The feeling I got when I entered the water was unbelievable! Before I knew it I had little control of my body and I started to float! It was real! After hearing about this place for many years I had always wondered if you could really “float” inside of this water! We hung out inside of the water for about 45 minutes before my skin started to completely burn because of all the amount of salt inside of the water! That’s one thing that no one had warned me about before was how badly the water would burn your skin, so I highly want to recommend to not shave before visiting and also completely avoiding the water if you have any open wounds at all! In my personal opinion you don’t need more than an hour at the Dead Sea, it’s one of those places that you go to, jump in, and get out. I talked to a few people who paid for the resorts and although they enjoyed their experience most said the same exact thing. That after about an hour they were ready to leave, but because they had spent so much money on the entrance ticket they felt as if they needed to stay longer.
After wrapping up our time at the Dead Sea we decided to start making our way to Petra so that we could be able to attend the “Petra by night”. Along the way however we got slightly distracted when we saw a beautiful castle out at the distance! We decided to go on and check it out and let me just say that it didn’t disappoint. We soon learned that this castle was called the Karak Castle and it was said to be built in the 1140’s by the King of Jerusalem! How cool is that! We hung out at the castle for about an hour, exploring all of the underground tunnels, the small rooms, as well as the old mosque located in the center of the fortress! I was truly blown away by this place and would definitely recommend stopping by especially if you love history! After our visit to the castle we decided to stop for a bite to eat, which once again consisted of falafel and hummus…. at this point during my trip I was still able to tolerate it, but let me tell you by the time I left Jordan I had ate enough falafal to satisfy my cravings for the next year! At least! Once we got done with our dinner it was back on the highway to try and make it before the gates closed! I was a bit nervous because everything I had read online said that you needed to book tickets well in advance for the Petra by night segment, but in fact that was not true at all! I soon found out that you could actually book a ticket all the way up until the time it started! So keep that in mind! 😉 After about two hours we finally made it to the Petra visitor center where my friends left Jade and I so that we could attend the show, as they were not as interested in visiting at night. Needless to say, we made it into the gate right on time! The ticket to enter was roughly $24 and let me just say that it was extremely worth it! I was told many times before that it was a tourist trap, but even though that might be slightly true…. it was still an experience that I would never forget and I would recommend anybody to attend! After following a candlelit walkway for about 30 minutes we finally made it to the Treasury, which was a site that I had wanted to see for so long! Catching my first glimpse of it ever in my life, lit up by all of the lanterns was literally unreal! Although there was at least a 1,000 people there it didn’t make the experience any less enjoyable! I was simply blown away by it’s beauty! At that moment it hit me, “Wow! I had finally made it to Petra! A wonder of the world!” I couldn’t stop smiling! As far as the show, well it sucked! 😂 They simply played flute music for thirty minutes and handed out lots of warm tea before ending! Though the show itself wasn’t incredible in anyway, seeing the treasury with all of the lanterns in front of it was magical! After seeing the Treasury light up in different colors we decided to head back out to the gate and make our way to the hostel! The day had been filled with so many crazy emotions that we were simply drained and we knew that we would have an incredibly early wake up the following morning in order to beat the crowds into Petra!
The next morning we woke up at 5 to try to be the first ones at the gate to Petra! Fortunately, we made it before many others started to show up so after showing our tickets at the gate we were allowed to enter and off we were to explore these beautiful ruins for the day! After about a half an hour of walking we arrived to the first important monument inside Petra, which is known as the Treasury. After hanging around the treasury for a while and embracing all of the views we decided to start following a trail through the rest of the park, which took us to many of the most iconic sites in Petra! We didn’t hike any fancy trails at all just walked down the major route, which most tourists take that leads to the monastery. Along the way we were able to visit many of the tombs, the amphitheater, and the citadel by the time we made it to the Monastery we were completely beat! The weather was so hot and all the amount of walking we did had really caught up to us, so after hanging out up top for about an hour we decided that heading back to the hostel was the best idea! Although you can spend so many days hiking around the lost city of Petra, I personally believe that the 8 hours we spent inside of the park is enough to at least visit the most important sites and be content with your visit! (I also just posted a video from Petra with a lot more information on my YouTube channel “Travelwithchris”). Once we made it back to the hostel we all took showers and headed out to dinner with many people from our hostel! We enjoyed a really nice meal together and also hung out for a few hours enjoying the much cooler weather over several cups of tea.
The following morning we made our way to the Wadi Rum desert where we would be spending day 4 & 5 of our roadtrip! These two days were some of the most memorable experiences of my Jordan trip! We spent two nights in a Bedouin desert camp and the hospitality couldn’t have been any better. From the moment we arrived to the desert we were treated like family! The first day we spent hiking around many of the rock structures near by and also enjoyed a killer sunset! When we made it back to the camp there was an amazing dinner waiting for us, which was by far one of the best meals I had in all of Jordan! It was a wonderful platter of grilled chicken and seasoned vegetables that were cooked underneath the sand! They also provided us with many salad options, as well as a huge variety of desserts! After dinner we hung around the fire listening to traditional Bedouin music while sitting around a fire. The following morning we took off on an amazing 4×4 tour through the desert, which brought us to an incredible spring, sand dune, and a canyon with Petroglyphs engraved throughout the canyon. It was pretty epic! The 4×4 tour lasted around 8 hours and the experience was unforgettable! (Although we did run into one problem, which I will be talking about in my Wadi Rum blog) After the tour our night pretty much went as the first did! We had dinner, laid underneath the stars, and talked around the fire. The following morning I made the half an hour drive to a city called Aqaba in the south of the country and there I dropped off all of the others who had joined me for a roadtrip of a lifetime! Although I didn’t spend anytime in Aqaba, I wish I would’ve! The coast looked absolutely amazing and all of the diving and snorkeling trips that were offered were such amazing in price! However, my time in Jordan had been coming to an end and I needed to make sure to make it back to Amman by the end of the evening! As I started heading back to the highway I told myself that there was no way I could leave without jumping inside of that beautiful turquoise water. So I parked the car on the side of pull off, hopped into my shorts and ran into the water! It was so refreshing and so clean! I will definitely be visiting the Red Sea again! After a quick swim I jumped into the car and made the 5 hour drive back to Amman. Just like that my amazing five day roadtrip through the beautiful country of Jordan had came to an end! I hope you enjoy your time in Jordan and I hope that this blog has helped you with your trip organization, make sure to be on the lookout for both my “Everything you need to know about Petra” and “Wadi Rum on a budget” blogs coming soon! Also many of my Jordan videos can be found right now on YouTube at “Travelwithchris” I hope you enjoy! ❤️