What do the lowest point on earth, Roman ruins, lost cities, martian landscapes, and a wonder of the world have in common? Well, they all exist within the borders of Jordan. This relatively small Middle Eastern country has a lot to offer those who visit. Even with so many attractions, Jordan still misses the map of most travelers. Bad news for them, but good news for you, because a slump in tourism means you can have more of Jordan’s top sites like Petra all to yourself. We’re going to show you why it needs to be on your bucket list—here are our top 9 reasons.
Marvel at ancient Petra
Of all the reasons for a trip to Jordan, the most obvious and biggest draw is the Ancient City of Petra. What most first time visitors don’t know is that Petra is more than one stone facade that Indiana Jones stood in front of. The city is actually huge with hundreds of other beautiful stone carvings and monuments. You could easily spend two days exploring this massive site, but if you’re short on time, a single day covers most of the highlights. One thing not to be missed is Petra by night, an after-dark tour of the grounds and treasury beautifully lit by thousands of paper lanterns.
Wander through Wadi Rum
A close runner up for best attraction in Jordan would have to be the otherworldly Wadi Rum. This barren swath of red rocks is frequently used in Hollywood movies to depict Mars because it looks like what you would image another far away world to look like.
Sleep in a Bedouin tent
Spend your nights in Jordan sleeping the way the local Bedouins have for thousands of years in simple tents in the desert. Lucky for you there are a few bedouin camps permanently set up on the fringes of Petra with many modern conveniences. After a long day of exploring in Jordan, they’ll have a traditional meal prepared and usually some local Bedouin music. Listen to the enchanting sounds while sipping mint tea before sleeping under the stars. Hotel Recommendation: The Rock Camp
Enjoy the sparse crowds
With the Middle East’s political turmoil frequently in the news in recent years, tourist numbers in Jordan are way down. It’s quite common to find only a handful of other visitors standing in front of the treasury of Petra, which is the country’s biggest draw. Note: The State Department considers Jordan safe.
Admire the Amman Citadel
In the heart of the modern city of Amman lies the 2,000-year-old ruins of the Amman Citadel. This piece of land is thought to be one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth. The Roman ruins are the most captivating part of the citadel, but historians and archaeologists have found clues that link this plot of land back to at least 1600 BC.
Immerse yourself in the Jordan River
Another site with biblical importance is the Jordan River, which forms the western border of the country and is said to be the place where Jesus Christ was baptized. Many spiritual visitors make the pilgrimage every year to immerse themselves in the waters of the Jordan River.
Go back in time in Jerash
Many people don’t associate Jordan with the Roman empire, but from 63 BC for several centuries, the Romans ruled this part of the world. Jerash is one of the most impressive set of Roman ruins outside of Italy. Inside the old city, you’ll find seemingly endless rows of columns and impressive theaters dating back thousands of years.
See the Red Sea
A departure from the dusty desert ruins, the Red Sea on the coast of Jordan boasts some of the best marine life in the entire world. Dive sites reachable from Jordan’s shores are often regarded as some of the best on earth. Suit up and see for yourself what lies beneath the surface in the coastal town of Aqaba.
Float on in the Dead Sea
You’re not going to find any fish floating in the Dead Sea. However, you can find yourself floating in the insanely salty waters between Jordan and Israel. The shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest point of land on the planet. The high salt levels of the water make swimmers extremely buoyant and without much effort, you can lay on top of the water.