Best Experiences in Jordan
Camping with Bedouins
The Bedouins inhabiting the windswept deserts and canyons across southern Jordan embody the soul of the land. Practicing ancient traditions of hospitality, these nomadic peoples offer a window into traditional lifestyles perfected for harsh landscapes over centuries. The best place to engage Bedouin culture is at one of dozens of established camps in Wadi Rum, where visitors can overnight in goat hair tents, savor traditional zarb meals baked underground, and listen to oral folktales under starlit skies. Further north, communities around the rugged Dana Biosphere Reserve also welcome respectful guests into their land.
While tourism pays the bills these days, Bedouins still herd livestock across the lands of their ancestors and impart cultural values to the next generation. Joining them for mint tea or a meal builds bridges between worlds often separated by technology despite shared human needs and dreams. Read the story below of one of our encounters with the Bedouins of Dana in the ancient land of the Edomites.
Read the Story - Heart of Edom
Exploring Petra in Depth
Is any article highlighting the wonders of Jordan complete without a mention of Petra? This sprawling city carved into sandstone cliffs is rightly counted among the world’s seven wonders, rewarding those who take time to uncover its depths. Most visitors glimpse only the iconic façade of the Treasury before retreating. Yet true wonder requires digging deeper along Petra’s sandstone canyons. Explore the sacrificial altars of ornate tombs reached by climbing hundreds of steps. Wander the remnants of colonnaded streets, homes and gardens revealing everyday life. Marvel at details still emerging after 2000 years.
To fully absorb the grandeur unprecedented amongst ancient ruins requires at least three days. Hike out to the sprawling Monastery shrine reached by a secret route through a slot canyon which suddenly reveals the monument. Also take time to talk to the local Bedouins which transport you back through the ages. Lose yourself along forgotten paths, stumbling upon carvings untouched since the Nabateans. Eventually, you'll realize why generations have made pilgrimages here since antiquity, returning home reluctantly while promising to come back once more.
A Road Trip Through the Decapolis
The Decapolis, meaning ‘Ten Cities’, was a historic Roman province encompassing ten grand municipalities southeast of the Sea of Galilee in modern day northwest Jordan. Constructed with typical Roman flair, these cities with column-lined streets, imposing temples, theaters, and baths are remarkably preserved amongst the region's olive groves and lush fields today.
Just a couple hours’ drive from Amman lie sites like Jerash, undoubtedly the Roman jewel of Jordan and one of the world’s best preserved cities from antiquity. Yet ruins like Pella offer glimpses into active archaeological digs still uncovering mysteries, while Umm Qais (ancient Gedara) crowns a hilltop with views over the Sea of Galilee. Exploring these lost worlds makes for an adventure into history – a chance to wander the colonnaded avenues once trodden by chariot riders and wander past imposing temples echoing rhetoric to the gods. The Decapolis offers some of the Middle East’s most magical windows into the grandeur, drama and intrigue of the ancient world.
Exploring Biblical Remains
Although often overshadowed by its western neighbor, Jordan conceals a treasure trove of biblical history awaiting to be unearthed. Perched dramatically above the Dead Sea stands the haunting fortress of Machaerus, where Herod Antipas infamously ordered the beheading of John the Baptist after a seductive dance. The landscape holds clues to the Israelites' wanderings, Lot's wife being turned to a pillar of salt and where Jesus himself was baptized.
Part of the joy lies in placing yourself in the footsteps of these biblical heroes - or villains - and seeing how this landscape took shape those many years ago. As we gazed across the barren valleys to the distant hills of Jerusalem, it's easy to envision prophets traversing the same routes, perhaps even sheltering in the same desert caves. The timelessness sparks wonder at how little the land has changed even as ruling powers rose and fell. Read our story below of our exploration of the Dead Sea region, an aptly named landscape with a plethora of legendary sites.
Read the Story - The Dead Shall Rise Again
Following the King's Highway
Winding through the highlands connecting Mesopotamia and Egypt lies an ancient superhighway that was once the most vital trade artery in the Middle East - the King's Highway. Control of this lucrative route was fiercely contested between three prominent Biblical kingdoms: Edom, Moab and Ammon. Merchant caravans laden with Arabian incense, Mediterranean oils and exotic eastern spices traversed the carriageway, bringing immense wealth and power to its overseers. It even bore great significance to the Israelites on their march to their new home, being denied passage not once but twice.
Today, this route can still be traced, following the ancient imprints on a road trip along the route of kings. The King's Highway makes for the ultimate road trip through Jordan, passing breathtaking wadis, ruins, wonders and landscapes that have scarcely changed since camel caravans wound their way between empires. The 300 mile journey through valleys, mountains and desert ends dramatically at the shores the Red Sea, encapsulating the sheer diversity of Jordan in one unforgettable trip. Read our story below of our road trip along the King’s Highway
Read the Story - The King's Highway