I spent 8 nights in Jordan mid April. I am finding I have way too much to say…. sorry. It was a good trip. :)
Arrival from Dubai, where I had spent 11 nights, at 4pm on Emirates.
Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort: 2 nights
Wadi Rum, at the Sun City Camp: 1 nights
Wadi Musa for Petra, at the Venus Moon Hotel: 2 nights
Amman, at the Y Hotel: 3 nights
I booked all hotels on booking.com for easy cancellation just in case. I actually did have to re-schedule this trip from Feb. to Apr., so that came in handy. With a morning arrival, I might have done this in a different order.
I planned the trip in the order I wanted, booked my own hotels, then found a driver and asked for a quote for transportation between cities. The route is pretty standard but I did not include Aqaba. I wish I had, but only because it is another face of Jordan I didn’t see and I most likely won’t be back. Otherwise, the timing felt good.
Monday, Arrival: By the time, I landed, retrieved my checked suitcase, got a bit of cash, and got a SIM card for my phone (more on these later), it was 5:00. With an hour’s drive ahead, the potential stop at Mt. Nebo was cut for this day and we just went straight to the hotel.
Tuesday, Dead Sea: Yes, I wanted to float in the Dead Sea - lol! The hotels with beach access all looked like resorts (although there is public access in various places). I opted for one of the less expensive hotels. The room and facilities were very nice, There were several nice swimming pools, as well as reserved beach access for the Dead Sea with loungers and showers to wash all that salt off. And mud! Yes, dip out that Dead Sea mud full of minerals (from the bucket waiting on you) and slather it on, let it dry a bit, then float on in and wash it off. Ha!
Be aware that unless you have a car, it is pretty much impossible to have dinner elsewhere. I thought meals were the weak point at the Holiday Inn. Both breakfast and dinner are a buffet and while there were a large number of selections, it was nothing special. There were quite a few families here and the buffet meals seemed to be geared toward them. Coffee was not hot, which kills breakfast for me. Ha!
I spent a day here just doing nothing - either on the beach or at the pool. There were definitely areas I could have gone to but for me this was a relax day.
Wednesday, Wadi Rum: My driver picked me up at 10 and we headed down the edge of the Dead Sea, which is looong, to the desert of Wadi Rum. This drive was about 4 hours, through flat desert until you turn inland and begin to hit the mountains.
Wadi Rum is a national preserve, with lots of small “camps” of various sizes and amenities. If you have seen “The Martian”, this is where parts of it were filmed, as well as being where Lawrence of Arabia actually lived. I visited Lawrence Canyon.
I conservatively chose Sun City Camp. My “tent” had air conditioning and a nice bathroom, with maybe 25 tents and some “domes”. Some camps are much smaller and more basic. All provide dinner of some size, as well as breakfast. This was a great camp, great traditional food, hospitable, and it was within the boundaries of the reserve (not all camps are). If I were to go back, I might be more adventurous and stay further in and further from other camps.
Wadi Rum reminded me a bit of Arches NP: all sand and outcrops of tall rock in many formations, randomly jutting out of the ground. The camps (and tours/activities) are run by Bedouin families who lived here before it became a national reserve. If you hike, then another night might be in order.