One Week Of Desert Wonders: Jordan Itinerary and Travel Guide
- by Ari Travels
Ever wanted to go to planet Mars? Well, now you can! Jordan is home to some of the most unique desert landscapes, the famous world wonder of Petra, and the lowest point on earth. The country is so unique and special in many ways and I am so excited to share with you exactly what I did for a week. From Wadi Rum camping to camel riding in the open desert and seeing the Treasury at Petra, My Jordan experience was out of this world and I felt as if I was living in the Star Wars movie itself.
Things to Know About Jordan
The currency in Jordan is worth more than in the States It might seem like a larger conversion at first, but the overall prices in Jordan are very affordable when it comes to the cost of living. For example, a meal here costs about $5-7 USD. Taxis from the airport to your accommodation in Amman will only be about $25 USD.
I would highly recommend purchasing the Jordan Pass prior to your travels. It grants you access into many of the popular sites such as Petra and the Wadi Rum Desert. Without it, you have to pay additional fees upon arrival.
Make sure you have the proper travel adaptor for electronic use. You cannot use plugs in Jordan without it.
Make sure your phone is unlocked before departing to Jordan. I would highly suggest getting the Airalo App and downloading an eSim Card instead. Airalo is an app that allows you to have affordable cell data plans all over the world without needing a physical Sim Card which is what makes using your phone without wifi extremely convenient. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $ off!
You cannot drink the water in Jordan. There is bottled water everywhere for about .50 cents. I would recommend buying water at any of the local grocery stores or stands vs. buying them at any of the tourist areas because they WILL charge a significant amount more.
Bring conservative clothing as Jordan is a Muslim country.
Bring some warm clothing items. I made a mistake when I went to Jordan and did not pack enough warm clothes. It gets cooler in the desert and is not as hot as most of the other Middle Eastern countries as I thought.
The desert is very dry. If you have contacts as I do, your eyes can get VERY dry and feel uncomfortable. In order to avoid this, bring eyedrops!
Don’t forget sunglasses, It's BRIGHT here.
Many of the locals in Petra will want to take you to popular photo areas in Petra. Make sure you tip them if you take photos. If you want a photo like this, the only way is to pay to have a local take you. Be kind and thank them for their time!
I would love to share more tips about traveling to Jordan as well as my personal experience in Jordan if you choose to book a consulting call with me!
Day 1: Amman
Amman will most likely be the airport you will fly into because It’s the capital of Jordan. Amman is full of beautiful architecture and yummy food. I suggest exploring your first day here. Head to the Blue Mosque and the Amphitheater. Make sure to head over to Hashem and Brothers Restaurant for a variety of Jordanian spreads of hummus, tahini, and eggplant with homemade pita bread. The food was too good this day and let me tell you, I was SO full! End your night by enjoying a shisha at Al Sultan.
Where to Stay
Hostels in Amman
Hotels in Amman (Click for more)
- Caravan Hotel (Where I stayed, $24/person/night)
- Dali House ($20/person/night)
- Zaina Plaza Hotel ($15/person/night)
Day 2: Head to Wadi Rum Desert
Did you know that Star Wars, Theeb, and Aladdin were filmed in this desert? Wadi Rum is famous for its desert camps and unique landscapes of red sand and rock. The Wadi Rum Desert camping experience is one of a kind. Wadi Rum is located 5 hours south of Amman. In order to get here on a budget, you can take the bus to Aqaba and then a taxi to Wadi Rum. Check out Rome2Rio for the easiest transportation options to Wadi Rum. If you can afford to fly, that is an option as well.
When you arrive in Wadi Rum, soak in the beauty. Enjoy a sunset, dinner, and bonfire.
If you are traveling on a budget, I would highly recommend spending two nights here at the Wadi Rum Panorama Camp. My stay at Panorama Camp was nothing short but incredible. Food is included as well. The camp offers other excursions you can book for an additional cost to make your trip planning even easier.
There are many different camps offered in Wadi Rum from rustic/budget to luxury bubble domes made for stargazing. I have included some recommendations below for all budgets.
Where to Stay
For more desert camp hotels in Wadi Rum, you can find discounted accommodation on Booking.com
Day 3: Jeep Safari & Other Activities
I highly recommend waking up early to watch the sunrise here. Even if you’re not a morning person, pretend to be for one day. You won’t regret it!
Jeep Safaris are a great way to see popular landmarks in Wadi Rum such as the bridges and sand dunes. This experience was great because we were able to see places that were not within walking distance of our camp. There is so much to see in Wadi Rum so I highly recommend doing a jeep safari here. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture some cool photos.
End your full-day with another sunset and dinner at camp.
Day 4: Camel Ride and Petra
It's not a trip to Wadi Rum without riding a camel across the desert. I would highly recommend doing a camel ride through the Wadi Rum Desert in the morning before you head to Petra. You can book an excursion for a camel ride here. Aim for doing the camel ride around 8 in the morning.
After your awesome camel ride, head to Petra. Plan to leave around 11:30 am. You can hire a taxi to drive you here or if you’re traveling on a budget you can taxi and then bus. Again, you can easily book hassle-free transportation using Rome2Rio. Petra is about 2 hours north of Wadi Rum.
Check into your accommodation and head over to Petra. Be aware that when you arrive around this time it will be crowded, but you can still admire the famous treasury regardless. After seeing the treasury for the first time, grab a bite to eat and hike the Al-Khubtha Trail. Make sure to bring proper clothing, lots of water, and hiking shoes as this trail is 950 stairs to the top. The end of the trail is extremely rewarding as you will get to see epic viewpoints and at the end admire the treasury from up above. This is a view I will never get over.
For dinner, book an excursion to eat with a local Bedouin family. This had to have been the best dinner I had In Jordan. Although, all of the food was to die for! Your hotel should be able to arrange a local dining experience for you if you ask.
Where to Stay
Hostels in Petra (click for more)
Hotels in Petra within walking distance (click for more)
- Anbat Midtown Hotel ($15/night/person)
- La Maison (where I stayed, 5 min walk to Petra, $25/night/person)
- Sharah Mountains Hotel ($25/night/person)
Day 5: Petra in the morning, hiking to the Monastery
I decided to wake up extra early on the second day to attempt to have the treasury to myself. If you’re willing to arrive at Petra when it opens right at 6:00 am, I highly recommend doing this. My hotel was close by so it was only a five-minute walk to the Petra entrance, then another 30-minute walk to the Treasury. Seeing the famous treasury without anyone else around was honestly a special moment I will always remember. One of the locals even took my photos in front of the empty world wonder. By 7:00 am it was already getting crowded again, so I am grateful for the short time I had there without the crowds.
After spending some time admiring the treasury, I grabbed breakfast at the restaurant next to it. I then met up with my friends to do the Orange Trail hike which is the hike that leads to the Monastery. This is yet another rewarding hike you need to do during your time in Petra. The views leading to the Monetary are unreal.
Tip: Be aware that this hike takes about 6 hours to complete from start to finish. There are places to eat and grab water on the way if you’re hungry or thirsty. Take your time as well because it's lots of stairs and can be difficult at times. The total amount of stairs is 850 not including hills and flat walking.
End the day with a nice dinner at My Mom’s Recipe restaurant.
Day 6: Float in the Dead Sea
Did you know that the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth? It’s nearly impossible to swim in the Dead Sea. You can only float! So cool, right?
After checking out of your hotel in Petra, head to Madamba or Amman (if you do a tour). You can book transportation for a fair price on Rome2Rio and take the Petra Jett bus to get there.
There are two options for spending time at the Dead Sea:
Option 1) My friends and I did a day pass at the Holiday Inn which also included a buffet lunch. They had complimentary showers as well as the use of their pool and jacuzzi. We spent time floating in the Dead Sea and of course trying the natural mud masks.
Option 2) If I would re-do my trip to the Dead Sea I would’ve picked this option which is taking a tour to more remote places of the Dead Sea. The day pass I did above was basically just going to a resort. This tour from Amman will bring you to a more natural area in the Dead Sea where you can float and try the mud masks in a chill environment to truly immerse yourself in the uniqueness of the lowest point on Earth.
Where to stay
There are no hostels in Madaba, but I have linked some budget-friendly hotels below.
- Moab Land Hotel ($12.50/person/night)
- Queen Ayloa Hotel&Restaurant ($11.50/person/night)
- Tell Madaba Hotel ($21/person/night)
- Moab Land Hotel ($12.50/person/night)
Day 7: Bethany Beyond the Jordan
Before heading back to Amman, take a taxi to the border of Israel and Jordan to Bethany Beyond the Jordan and see where Jesus was baptized. It was a feeling you cannot even describe seeing the people bathing in the river that lines the border of Israel.
There are also day tours if you would rather do this with a guide to learn more information.
Have your hotel arrange a taxi for you (there is no public transportation) that will wait for you while you admire the baptist site, then drive you back to Amman.
I hope this itinerary was helpful! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Jordan, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!