I visited Jordan last March with G Adventures, joining their Active Jordan trip for 8 days. Jordan had been on my bucket list for a while and I always came up with excuses not to go: The Middle East is too volatile, the flight is too long, it will be too hot, etc. I knew I wanted to visit Petra but beyond this famous site, I didn’t have much awareness of the beauty that Jordan offers. Jordan is a small country but the landscape changes drastically within a 2-hour drive.
On the G Adventures tour, I started off in Amman, heading north to the Aljoun Nature Reserve to spend the night and do some hiking. We headed to Wadi Mujib, the lowest nature reserve in the world, for some hiking through rivers, canyons and cliffs. Since it was winter, we headed out on the Ibex Trail. In the summer, the group hikes a wet trail called the Mujib Canyon Trail.
Our next stop was the Dead Sea, where we got to relax in a nice resort with pools and direct access to the beach. I swam in the salty waters of the Dead Sea and applied some mud, which supposedly makes your skin glow. If you ever visit the Dead Sea, make an effort to avoid getting the water in your mouth. It’s nothing like regular beach water and it made me gag.
After spending the night at the Dead Sea, we climbed up the mountains in our van and headed to Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve. Our group hiked almost the entire day, climbing up and down rocks and squeezing our way through canyons.
From Dana, we headed to Petra for two full days of exploring. On the first day, we started our all-day trek in Al Beidha, also known as Little Petra. Little Petra has a number of tombs to visit and it was much quieter than Petra itself. We then hiked from Al Beidha to Petra, hugging the mountains at times as we hiked over 3 miles. After arriving at Petra, we hiked up and down some cliffs in order to get our first glimpse of the Treasury from above. This portion of the hike was a little scary at times due to the loose shale and tiny pathways but I loved having the view of the Treasury all to ourselves from the top of the cliff. The next morning, we got to visit Petra again, but this time we entered on foot through the narrow canyon trail. We were the first group at the Treasury and it was well worth the crack-of-dawn wakeup call.
After leaving Petra the next morning, we headed to Wadi Rum, a desert landscape of sand dunes, mountains and ancient riverbeds. Wadi Rum is the home of Bedouin tribes and they settle in nomadic camps throughout the area. Our group took two 4x4s into the desert and had tea with the Bedouins and then watched the sun dip under the horizon from a cliff. We spent the night at a tempted camp and gazed out at the stars and rode out of the camp on camels the next morning.
Our final stop before heading back to Amman was unplanned: A snorkeling trip at Aqaba in the Red Sea. Our tour leader gave us the option of returning to Amman early or renting a boat for the afternoon. The Red Sea Marine Peace Park is considered one of the most beautiful snorkeling and diving areas in the world. After snorkeling, it was time to head back to Amman and our group trip came to an end.
I provided a brief summary of the trip above in order to give context to some of my photos. I plan on posting some more detailed and specific posts in the upcoming weeks. For now, here are some of my favorite photos from Jordan. I hope this inspires you to plan a trip there sometime in the future.