Jordan is home to one of the world’s finest wonders, a sea that is impossible to drown in and ancient ruins everywhere. You need to visit Jordan to experience its warm hospitality, its rich culture and truly amazing landscape.
There is so much to see in Jordan but fear not, we have curated the perfect 5 day itinerary, including all its visit worthy locations, the best and cheapest ways to get to these attractions, and how much you need to budget for this trip.
THE PERFECT 5 DAY ITINERARY FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELERS
DAY 1 PETRA- A WORLD WONDER
To understand the magnificence of Petra, you need to know that this once prosperous city was built from nothing, in the most harshest climates on earth. Built at the intersection of two prominent trade routes, another mind boggling fact about Petra was its dexterity to harness its meagre rainfall to ensure fresh water supply all year round.
Cost of Petra by Day tickets -$70 per person, tickets can be bought at the counter. Jordan Pass holders enter free.
Cost of Petra by Night tickets– $50 per person, tickets can be bought at the counter/ Viator. Jordan Pass holders enter free.
Where to stay in Petra– Just a minute away from the entrance to Petra, Movenpick Resort Petra has the most convenient location for those planning multiple visits to Petra during their stay
DAY 2 EXPERIENCE MARS ON EARTH AT WADI RUM
115 kms from Petra, Wadi Rum is the largest desert of Jordan and the landscape here is like something from another world. Spend a day here visiting all its sites and a night under the stars to experience true Bedouin life.
HOW TO GET TO WADI RUM FROM PETRA
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Wadi Rum from Petra is to catch the daily bus that leaves Petra at 7 AM. You can ask your hotel to book you a seat on this bus the night before. This bus does pick ups from most known hotels in the area and will cost you $10.
A private car to Wadi Rum from Petra (one-way) will cost you $50. Be aware that the driver is not a guide and you will need to have a guided tour booked at Wadi Rum.
Also Read: The 10 best places to stay in Wadi Rum
DAY 3 DEAD SEA- THE LOWEST POINT ON EARTH
After the dusty and dry landscapes of Petra and Wadi Rum, Dead Sea is a welcome change in scenery. Four hours away from Wadi Rum, the coastal road that leads to Dead Sea is scenic with breath taking views. The sparkling blue color of the water matches that of the sky so seamlessly that the horizon is just a blur here.
One of the must do’s at Dead Sea is to float effortlessly in its water and also apply its mud on your entire body. The mud is known to cure skin & muscle ailments and bring inner calmness & tranquility. This mud is also sold commercially and makes for a good souvenir.
Where to stay- We stayed at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, a gorgeous hotel overlooking the Dead Sea.
HOW TO GET FROM WADI RUM TO DEAD SEA
Though JETT buses are available, it may take you 6-8 hours to reach Dead Sea. The best option is to hire a car/taxi for this trip. Getting a taxi from Wadi Rum village is not a problem, else you can have your tour guide reserve you a taxi onward.
TRAVEL TIPS WHILE VISITING DEAD SEA
- Photographic possibilities are best explored in the mornings.
- Most of the hotel’s restrict access to the sea after sunset.
- Street lights are sparse en route Dead Sea. This can be a challenge if you are self driving at night.
DAY 4 THE BAPTISM SITE & Mt NEBO
These sites are best accessed by private tours from Dead Sea. You can check with your hotel and book these tours locally than online.
THE BAPTISM SITE
A 20 minute drive from the Dead Sea Resorts area is the historic Baptism site and the Jordan river. This site is close to the border of Israel and is heavily guarded due to which you will need to take a compulsory tour guide with you. A mini bus picks up visitors every half hour from the ticketing office to the site and drops you back at the same location. The tour costs $17, tickets can be purchased at the counter.
This is the only place in Jordan where we really felt the summer heat, considering its down south and well below sea level. The tour is quite informative, goose bump raising in fact to stand at the very spot where history is believed to have been made.
To those unfamiliar with the story, John the baptist was believed to be a messenger of God, spreading spiritual awareness among the people. He urged people to turn away from sins, repent and get baptised, an act symbolising the cleansing of past sins. Jesus is believed to have met John the baptist at this very spot and was urged to be baptised as well. Soon after Jesus was baptised, story has it that the heavens opened up and a dove descended upon them and a voice from above declared Jesus as the son of God.
This site is popular for religious reasons as it is believed to be the place where Moses lived is his last few years and it is also believed to be his final resting place. Other than the religious significance, there is nothing spectacular to see here.
DAY 5 JERASH- THE LOST CITY
The lost city of Jerash is towards the north of Jordan, 3 hours away from the Dead Sea and 50 minutes away from Amman. So it is best to keep this for the last day of your stay in Jordan. The entrance to Jerash costs $14.
During the 3rd century, this city was under Greek rule and was called Gerasa. By 63 BC, it came under Romans and later was reborn as a Christian city in the Byzantine era and has been invaded numerous times since. But the fact remains that the city managed to outlive all the attacks including natural disasters and is beautifully preserved.
As soon as you enter, you can see the Hippodrome where chariot races and other sporting events were believed to be held. If you sit still for a moment, you can almost here the cheering mingled with the sounds of hooves, feel the frenzy this place has witnessed. Places of worship like the Temple of Zeus, churches, mosques depicting the influences of various invasions are well preserved here.
Positioned on the spice and incense trade route, the corinthian columns, the market places, the architecture, the fountains, all screams of the abundance and prosperity this city has seen in its lifetime.
TRAVEL TIPS WHILE VISITING JERASH
- There is quite a bit of walk involved, so a comfortable pair of shoes is a must.
- Tour guides will be found at every corner and may throw at you random facts about the city. If you stop and listen, they will ask you for a tip.
- If you enjoy history, ask for a licensed guide at the ticket counter.
JORDAN TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
BEST TIME TO VISIT JORDAN
Best time to visit Jordan is during Spring– March to May and in Autumn– September to November. Though it rains sporadically in Jordan, it is best to check forecasts if you are planning your travel during early March or end of November.
IS IT SAFE TO VISIT JORDAN
Jordan is an extremely safe country for travelers. There is strong security presence at all tourist attractions and public places, According to the World Economic Forum Report, it’s even safer than Germany or Great Britain. Stealing from or harming tourists is strongly frowned upon by locals and harsh punishments exist for offenders.
Solo female travelers will want to take the standard precautions while in Jordan. Dress modestly, specially at religious sites.
HOW TO GET TO JORDAN
Find cheap flights to Amman here. The peak tourist season here is from March until May. Winters in Jordan are freezing with temperatures dropping below 5 degree celsius.
We travelled during the off-season month of August with perks of cheap tickets and hotels, downside being the sweltering heat we faced in Petra.
HOW TO VISIT JORDAN FROM ISRAEL
The most convenient border crossing to get from Israel to Jordan is the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal/Wadi Araba Crossing. This crossing provides the shortest waiting times and is close to the city of Aqaba in Jordan and the coastal resort town of Eilat in Israel. It usually only takes one hour to cross into Jordan and visitors will need to bring a visa prior to arrival.
You can also book direct tours from Israel to Petra/Wadi Rum
If you purchase a Jordan Pass online, you will be exempted from visa fees, get free access to over 40 attractions, cut the line at the airport immigration as well as at the entrance to Petra.
The basic Jordan Pass is priced at $99 which includes a single day entry to Petra and the premium pass includes a 3 day visit to Petra and costs $113.
Check your visa requirement here. The visa on arrival procedure takes about 5 minutes and costs around $56 per person (2020). Your hotel reservation vouchers may be checked at the counter.
IS JORDAN EXPENSIVE?
The answer is YES. Expect a $100 budget per day for a basic room, transportation and meals. Anything above & beyond this arrangement can cost between $150 – $300 per day.
HOW TO GET AROUND JORDAN
Airport to City Centre
The cheapest way to reach the city centre from Amman Queen Alia (AMM) airport is to take the Sariyah Airport Express Bus. The bus will cost you $4 and is very slow as it takes the long route to the city centre
For $10, you can use the direct Jordan Shuttle, which will drop you to your hotel. They also offer shuttle to the city centre for $5
Amman to Petra
You can take the JETT bus that departs Amman daily at 6:30 AM. The bus takes 4 hours. You can also find private mini buses that take this route. Taxis are expensive and would cost $120 one way.
Amman to Dead Sea
From Amman, visitors can catch a bus from Mujaharin bus station to Rame and then an onward taxi to the beach. The bus journey will cost around $1.50 and the taxi ride is usually around $6. Private transfers are available for $105
SELF DRIVING IN JORDAN
Driving in Jordan is safe and something you must experience. The legal age to rent a car in Jordan is 25. Like other countries in the region, you drive on the right side of the road.
WHERE TO BUY A SIM CARD IN JORDAN
Near the exit at Queen Alia International Airport, you will find Orange, Umniah and Zain outlets. All you need is your passport and the activation is done in 10 minutes. The sim will cost between $20-$25.