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Best Things to Do in Jordan

Iconic Attractions & Hidden Gem Travel Experiences

Jordan

Jordan is a stable country in the Middle East that enjoys a peaceful border with Israel -- the Israeli resort city of Eilat on the Red Sea is literally within walking distance of the Jordanian city of Aqaba. The cultural differences, of course, are immense. A few hours' away drive away is Jordan's top attraction, the ancient rock city of Petra, where temples, treasuries and houses are carved out of sheer rock faces -- Indiana Jones fans will recognize it immediately. Closer to Aqaba is Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), a popular spot for climbing mountains and hiking or camel riding through the desert rock formations. Jordan also borders the Dead Sea and contains numerous biblical sites.

Top Jordan Experiences

Standing before the candle-lit Treasury at night in Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Exploring the Roman ruins and temples in the historic city of Jerash.

Learning the ‘other side’ of the history of the Crusades while exploring Ajloun Castle.

Wandering the labyrinthine streets of old Amman while you sample local street foods and window shop.

Admiring the intricate Byzantine mosaics and learning their history in the town of Madaba.

Hike through the Holy Land following in Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus’ steps from the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights to the riches of the Jordan Valley

Looking out toward the ‘Promised Land’ from Mount Nebo, where Moses is rumored to be buried.

Hiking in the refreshing clear waters of Wadi Mujeb while canyon walls tower all around you.

Stargazing from the rooftops of the historic town of Dana.

Learning the edible plants and enjoying a tea ceremony while hiking through the Dana Bio Reserve.

Exploring the massive Nabatean city of Petra beyond the famous Treasury and Monastery ruins.

Scale castles from the Crusades and see the most intact Romans cities outside of Rome from Amman to Jerash and Pella in the Jordan Valley

Dipping your toes in the Red Sea after a day shopping in Aqaba.

Enjoying a traditional Bedouin dinner before camping out in Wadi Rum.

Ride a camel on the red sands of the Wadi Rum that inspired Lawrence of Arabia

Floating peacefully in the Dead Sea.

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Things to do in Jordan - Expert’s guide

Jordan has an immensely rich culture within the country that is about the same size as Pennsylvania or in European terms Austria or Portugal. The country boasts of being at the apex of civilization from the very beginning centered in the Holy Land where Christianity, Judaism, and Islam intersected in wars, trading, and finally peace agreements after millennia of turmoil and being ruled by Romans, Christians, and Muslims.

Ancient relics and sites document the past that shaped this small but wondrous country.

Jordan is home to no less than five UNESCO sites:

1. Petra

Exterior of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Designated in 1985, the site is most famously known as the site of the Holy Grail in the final installment of the Indian Jones trilogy. The “Rose City,” which is a part of the ancient spice trail, is also designated as one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.”

2. Wadi Rum

Camels in the desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan

The red sands of Wadi Rum desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon, captivated Lawrence of Arabia and put Jordan on the tourism map was designated in 2011. The area was the domain of the Bedouin, the Arabian nomadic people who navigated the desert’s dazzling and unforgiving red landscape for centuries.

The red desert, which sits on the edge of the Arabian desert, is popular among hikers and rock climbers who like to trek and climb the ancient rocks, but it’s truly an archaeologists and geologists dream as the valley dates back beyond the Dead Sea Rift chronicling the evolution of earth and humans.

3. Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa’a)

Perhaps the most spectacular and amazing completely unexcavated intact Roman military camp site was designated in 2004. The fortified Roman camp turned into a town in the 5th century contains the remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods from the end of the 3rd to the 9th centuries.

The site has 16 churches. Some of the churches’ mosaic floors are well-preserved. The most noteworthy mosaic flooring is at the Church of Saint Stephen. The intact mosaic floor depicts a map of the towns in the region at the time of its creation. Scattered around the site are remains of ancient agricultural cultivation.

4. Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”

Believed to be the original site of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, “Bethany Beyond the Jordan,” also known as Al-Maghtas, and the gathering places of his first disciples as the birthplace of Christianity was designated in 2015. The site holds biblical and archaeological value with its monastery and remnants of the churches, baptism ponds and dwellings near the river.

5. Quseir Amra

Quseir Amra castle in Jordan

A part of a larger castle complex built in the 8th century that has since become ruins, Quseir Amra is the only castle remaining intact. Inside the castle are frescoes depicting life of the early settlers making it a cultural treasure designed in 1985.

Other Top Jordan Activities 

6. History and Historical Sight Seeing

archaeological sites in Jordan

The most popular thing to do in Jordan, aside from visiting Petra, is to see the country’s historical sites. Situated in the Holy Land, just across the Dead Sea from Israel archeologists and Biblical experts believe that many of the stories in the bible – Abraham, Noah seeing the promised land and Sodom and Gomorrah – happened in Jordan.

That’s not all that happened in Jordan. The country sits at the nexus of Africa, Asia, and Europe and has played a significant role connecting different cultures in trade to wars including hosting the Romans, the Crusaders, Arabic the spice trade, and more making bestowing a wealth of history in the country.

7. Hiking, Cycling Exploring Jordan’s Natural Sites

Desert adventure fun in Wadi Rum Jordan

There is much to explore trekking through Jordan whether it’s on the newly opened Jordan Trail that stretches 400 miles along the former trading route or hiking through Dana Biosphere Reserve to Petra. The country, while mostly desert, offers visitors natural sites and wildlife in the Azraq Wetlands Reserve and Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, which you can explore on foot or by bike.

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Safety Info

Safety Considerations for Jordan Travel

CORONAVIRUS ADVISORY

Jordan is a low risk destination for travelers. Currently borders are closed to travelers from the US.

Read more about Countries Reopening for Tourism

Browse through Covid-19 Travel Resources

Jordan Tours Reviews & Ratings

99% Recommend
4.8 Excellent
Excellent
1,586
Great
249
Average
37
Disappointing
4
Terrible
5
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8
Kathleen
·
2020-07-09
5.0
Collette Explorations Company Reviews by Collette Explorations
will definitely try another Collette tour again!
Just finished up our South Dakota tour. It was great. Saw a ton of great sites like Mount Rushmore, crazy horse, badlands, devils tower. Beth our guide was great and very knowledgeable. Being the first trip out during COVID-19 I was a little worried but they went above and beyond to put us at ease. Clean bus everyday, spacing out of guests, keeping the same seats everyday and provided masks for everyone. I can not say enough about our trip. We took our two children ages 13 and 14 and they really learned so much. I will definitely try another Collette tour again!
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Trish
·
2020-06-08
5.0
Lion World Travel Company Reviews by Lion World Travel
We had the best time ever!
We had the best time ever! It was truly the best vacation we've ever taken. The people were fabulous, service oriented, friendly, accommodating...a pleasure to be around! Everything was just perfect!

The accommodations, fabulous, the food was way too delicious. We highly recommend this trip to anybody and kept toasting Costco along with three other couples for the way they put this trip together it was really brilliant thank you so much for your help with all our questions and how quickly you got back to us for each inquiry you are very efficient at your job. Thank you so much!

On another note, on the safari, Francois put together a surprise celebration luncheon at their treehouse to celebrate our daughter Kate's medical school graduation. It was truly amazing and we couldn't have been happier or more appreciative of all they did. It was so special and they put so much effort into it—leaving champagne, a beautiful lunch, and also baking a cake just for this occasion! It was such a nice, wonderful touch and made for a fabulous memory!
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William
·
2020-02-03
5.0
Lion World Travel Company Reviews by Lion World Travel
It was absolutely fabulous.
It was absolutely fabulous. Marataba is an experience beyond words. The animals speak for themselves but the lodge is extraordinary. Capetown was lovely but Marataba is an impossible act to precede. We will be recommending you and your colleagues without reservation and with the greatest enthusiasm.
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Phil
·
2019-11-07
2.0
Egypt and Jordan in Depth by Peregrine Adventures
hotels very poor location, Tour guides not professional
Both Cairo and Amman hotels in poor locations and rundown. 2 star places as bathrooms are very run down, hallways smelly. Guides not professional, Jordan guide was sleeping on bus and talked very little. Egypt guide should too much interest in one couple ....not good.
No water provided on long bus rides...should be free, had to pay for it. Had to buy several linches and eat on bus...should be a sit down meal. Some buffets were mixed in with many other tour groups which makes for a lot of noise...was like herding cattle to a pen.
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Scott & Mary B.
·
2019-11-01
5.0
Lion World Travel Company Reviews by Lion World Travel
Memories for a life time
We have returned from our trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Our accommodations and travel arrangements were excellent in each location, but our safari in Thornybush at Shumbalala Game Lodge was EXCEPTIONAL!

The accommodations were outstanding, the staff were exceptional, and our experience was off the charts.

We saw the Big 5, had great meals and met wonderful people. You provided us with memories for a life time.

By the way, Cape Town and Victoria Falls were excellent as well, but Shumbalala stole the show!

Thank you so very much.
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Beth & Mike E.
·
2019-11-01
5.0
Lion World Travel Company Reviews by Lion World Travel
We had an absolutely amazing time in South Africa.
We had an absolutely amazing time in South Africa. Everything was perfect!!
Thompsons provided excellent service from the airport transfers to our full-day tours of the wine lands and the Cape Peninsula. Their staff were friendly, accommodating and very professional.

The Twelve Apostles truly offered a 5-star experience; we had a beautifully decorated room and the staff were outstanding. We ate all our diners at the hotel in the Leopard Lounge which, provided nightly entertainment. We also dined at the Azure restaurant. Everything was perfect.

Our tour to Robben Island was truly heartfelt and a definite must for anyone visiting Cape Town.

Shamwari truly offered us an experience of a lifetime. The tents were indeed ‘‘my kind of tents”! Our guide JB was extremely knowledgeable and a terrific ambassador of the Reserve. We had the opportunity to see The Big 5, zebras, giraffes, pumas, antelopes and countless other species – he even provided us the opportunity to eat a termite (yes both of us). The evening Sundowners and lunch in the bush were a nice treat - our visits to the Born Free Sanctuary and the Rehab Center were truly inspirational. All the staff were welcoming and ensured we had a fabulous time.

It was nice that we had the opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow Lion World Travel guests from California and New York during our stay in Cape Town and Shamwari.

Our Journey to Freedom Tour in Johannesburg provided us the opportunity to truly understand the history of South Africa. Our guide, Ben, was friendly, knowledgeable and willing to share his experiences.

We want to thank you and Lion World Travel for providing us the most wonderful experience to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We will definitely recommend Lion World Travel to our friends and colleagues. We may even look at another visit to Africa.
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