Jordan is a Middle Eastern country boarded by Syria, Israel and Iraq. Although the history of the area that present-day Jordan occupies dates back to ancient times, modern Jordan as we know is was actually founded in 1921. Time has been kind to Jordan – seeing it through a past riddled in political and military turmoil into its present circumstances of extraordinary wealth, prosperity and commerce. Jordan is an eclectic mix of antiquity and modern design. Today, Jordan is home to just over five million residents, with a little under half of those living in the capital area of Amman. Jordan enjoys a healthy tourism industry and welcomes millions of visitors each year. In case you’re wondering where they go and what they do, we have that information! In this article, we’re going to outline the top ten tourist places to visit in Jordan.
Dead Sea – Jordan Valley
Source – tracyhunter
The Dead Sea is the geographically lowest place on Earth – with an elevation of 400 meters below sea level. The saline levels of the Dead Sea are ten times higher than normal sea water and evidence of this is apparent in the salty crusts left behind by the surf on the shoreline. The waters of the Dead Sea have been touted to have healing properties for thousands of years. Tourists flock to this location to bathe in the bath-like warm waters off the coast of Jordan and smear themselves in the mud. Although a rather remote location now, this area is thought to be the site of several Biblical cities – including Sodom and Gomorrah.
Source – peuplier
The Wadi Rum is the Jordanian equivalent to the Grand Canyon in the United States. It’s a vast, cavernous area full of intricate rock formations and geographical wonders. Hikers and rock climbers from all over the world descend upon the Wadi Rum each year to explore its challenging terrain. For those who are not as athletic, there are other options for exploring the area – like renting a 4×4 vehicle or a camel and guide from the Visitors Center.
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A visit to the Jordanian capital of Amman is like a vacation in itself. From a distance, the architecture looks so cram packed that you can’t imagine one more person or building would fit within its perimeters. On the inside, the Old World and the New World begin to take shape, each melding with the other to create a beautiful, eccentric mess of Mediterranean charm. Modern, upscale fashion districts and tourism hotspots sit next to traditional stone structures of all sizes, housing everything from potters, to jewelers to handicrafters to coffee shops. You can’t see it all in a day so plan to spend at least two days exploring this ancient city.
Source – wikipedia
Located just a half hour from Amman, As-Salt is another Jordanian city of significance. In ancient times, it was the most important city in the region because it was a crossroads that facilitated trading and settlement from other regions in the area. It is the most historic city in all of Jordan and the current home of the Archeological and Folklore Museum.
Aqaba – Red Sea
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This area of Jordan is one of those out of the way tourist destinations that only seasoned travelers know about. At first glance, Aqaba may look just like any other historic city in Jordan, but a closer look reveals its hiding aquatic treasures that can’t be experienced in any other part of the world. Visitors to Aqaba can go diving and snorkeling among sea turtles and dolphins in some of the most pristine waters in the world. Alternately, they can explore the Red Sea while staying dry, by taking a tour on one of the many submarines and glass bottomed boats in the area.
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While you’re visiting the Dead Sea, you should also take a trip to the hot springs of Hammamat Ma’in. The hot springs originate in the Jordan highlands and end up here, some 260 meters below sea level, as tepid, cascading waterfalls. Thousands of visitors come to the springs each year – both locals and tourists – to indulge in the healing properties of the springs.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan
Source – seetheholyland
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is the site of John The Baptist’s settlement and also the site of the baptismal of Jesus. This area along the eastern banks of the River Jordan receives thousands of Christian pilgrims each year. The site has been excavated and reinforced to provide safe passage to anyone who ventures near.
Source – healinglight
South of the capital city of Amman, along the ancient King’s Highway lies Madaba – The City of Mosaics. There are hundreds of Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics depicting all types of life scenes in the region, most of which date back to the 5th and 6th century BC. The most impressive mosaic is a map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, made from more than two million tiny shards of tile. This magnificent mosaic wonder dates back to the 6th century BC and truly is a must-see.
Source – snooksy
Petra is one of the best known tourist destinations in Jordan and is also the site of the original settlement of the Nabataeans people of northern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Petra was known in the past as it is in the present for its refined culture, architectural feats and the ingenious design of its water and irrigation system. Countless tombs, baths, cobbled streets, columns and a giant theater are within the massive 200 meter walls that surround Petra. The location was also used as the backdrop for the final scene of the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
The Shawmari Reserve
Although small by typical standards, the 22 square kilometer nature reserve at Shawmari is one of the most important in the world. The reason for this is because it serves as a protected environment for some of the rarest and most endangered species of animals in the Middle East. The Shawmari Reserve is where visitors can experience some of Jordan’s most magnificent creatures that cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
1) Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country. Although it does not pose dress restrictions on non-Muslim visitors, they are expected to wear modest clothing that covers them at all times. Shorts are rarely worn.
2) Businesses operate during the typical business hours of 8a and 5p. Some of the tourist places and sightseeing points may close a bit earlier.
3) Water should be conserved at all times in Jordan. Bottled water is recommended for drinking.