Find the report about our first stages in Amman and Petra here.
Finally we will report about the second part of our round trip in Jordan. Our last post ended with what we experienced in Petra and Wadi Musa, we followed up with driving down to Aqaba and Wadi Rum before going back up in direction of Amman, but made a short stop at the Dead Sea before returning back home.
Aqaba & Wadi Rum
Our trip from Wadi Musa to Aqaba took us along the scenic mountain landscape of the King’s Highway first, until we took the highway 15 which is leading directly through the desert down to the Red Sea. Driving through Jordan’s landscape is quite impressive, sometimes you see nothing but the desert on both sides of the road. During that drive, we also had our first encounter with camels (dromedaries actually) crossing the road. We saw a lot of signs warning of that, as often as you see the moose warning signs in Scandinavia for example, but only saw several camels in the desert or near houses far away from the street. For sure everyone was breaking for them, so they did the crossing without any problems.
In Aqaba we stayed at the Costa Marina Hotel & Suites (Tripadvisor), not in the heart of the city, but a really good and clean hotel anyways. The walk to the city center took about 15 minutes. We walked that way often, as we tried different restaurants and bars here and also checked out the beach.
After relaxing on day one in Aqaba, we drove to the Wadi Rum Visitors Center on day two, to do a tour there. At our arrival we were greeted by a friendly Bedouine guide who explained the different available tours and the prices for it. A really good thing are the fixed prices, so that you will not be overcharged here. The prices can be found in the brochure which is available in the Visitors Center. We didn’t have to pay the entry fee as we held the Jordan Pass, so we instantly went on to Wadi Rum Village, were we parked our car and got onto the Jeep for the tour.
There are different tours in which you visit different sights, we chose the four hours tour including the main sights, as two hours were too short in our eyes. There are also tours by camel or with overnight stay in a desert camp available.
The Wadi Rum desert landscape is just impressive. Those huge rocks in the sandy surrounding, camels walking around in some places and a few Beduione camps you can see a bit off the main trails.
We really enjoyed the tour here, our guide was friendly and gave us all the time we needed at the stops. Highlights were climbing a big sand dune, walking over different arches and climbing some of the rocks. More experienced climbers can also do long climbing tours here.
The tour ended at the Wadi Rum Village again, where we got back onto our car and drove back to Aqaba.
Dining in Aqaba is quite nice, as there is a wide range of local and international restaurants available. We enjoyed both in different restaurants which we will recommend in our next report, which will outline important information and tips for your own trip to Jordan.
As we had one more day in Aqaba and we didn’t like the public beach that much, we decided to go to the Berenice Beach Club (Tripadvisor), a little south of the city center, near the ferry port. It is a well maintained private beach club with pools and a diving center. We rented some snorkeling equipment to explore the small reef by the beach. It was nothing special, but we are both no real sea lovers, so that we had some fun here and had the possibility to relax at the beach for some time.
In the evening we had some last drinks and a good local dinner to end our stay in Aqaba.
From here on we drove up the Highway 65, along the Israeli border, up to the Dead Sea. Again the way here was characterized by desert landscape to both side, until we reached the salt production area and then the Dead Sea, where we drove along cliffs to the shore of the sea on the left and mountains on the right side.
We stayed at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa (Tripadvisor) in the north of the lake and had a great stay here. Perfectly comfortable, a really tidy beach down at the Dead Sea and perfect facilities to apply the mud to your skin. They have a mud bar, you don’t have to get the mud out by yourself. Floating in the Dead Sea is actually a special feeling. It is so unnatural but enjoyable and the water was really clear.
Even if we stayed for only one night, we managed to do a mud treatment twice, as we did it on the first day, and used the early opening time of the beach area, to do it again in the next morning before breakfast.
On our last day, our navigation system choose the scenic route for the way back to Amman Airport, where we had to return the rental car: up through the mountains and the very narrow and curvy road to Madaba (actually an interesting city as well, but we did not have enough time to visit it), right through the city center and straight back to the Highway 15.
We had to stay one last night in Amman as our flight was going really early in the morning, taking that route in the dark night would’ve been too dangerous. Not because of criminality, but the unlighted and not perfectly signed streets, plus animals and cars without lights.
Our last day in Amman was not really exciting anymore: our hotel was a little bit away from the interesting sights, so we decided to have some good local food for the last time, roamed through the city center for a bit and went to bed early for not being too tired when leaving for the airport in the night.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting insight into or trip.
Soon we will be post important information and recommendations for a trip to Jordan, stay tuned here, or on twitter (www.twitter.com/thealterlookout).
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