8 Insta-Worthy Places in Jordan

Jan 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Samer Abu Taleb

Jordan is a land of one-of-a-kind experiences; it's where people find adventure and explore faith, dive into rich history and culture, tour and admire wildlife and nature, immerse themselves into delectable cuisines, and achieve peace and wellness. The hospitality of the Jordanian people does not compare to anywhere you've been before. It is not uncommon for visitors to be invited in for tea or even a meal. The hospitality may be one of the reasons travelers keep coming back to Jordan, but it is not the only reason.

There are numerous natural and man-made wonders that Jordan also has to offer. Jordan is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the site where Jesus was baptized, the Dead Sea which is the lowest point on land on planet Earth, Petra's Treasury, and so much more. We've compiled 8 of the most Insta-Worthy locations in Jordan. Check them out!

1. The Dead Sea

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Photo by: @winewedgesandwanterlust

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth at 400m (1,312 ft.) below sea level, is a place to rejuvenate and restore your mind, body and soul. The curative properties of the Dead Sea have been recognized since the days of Herod the Great and Queen Cleopatra. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to today’s international visitors as it was to kings, emperors, traders, prophets and pilgrims in antiquity. Float in the buoyant warm super-salty water, treat yourself to a soothing massage, or try the renowned healing powers of the minerals right from the sea’s muddy floor.

2. Petra's Treasury

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Photo by: @zboozee

East of Amman are Jordan’s Desert Castles, Petra, showcasing beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, that stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Greco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the 8th century.

3. Mt. Nebo

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Photo by: @roociambriello

Here is where Moses arrived after his long Exodus journey and viewed the Promised Land he would never enter (the Bible says Moses is buried near Mount Nebo, in an unknown place). Sixty years of excavation on the hilltop have revealed a basilica and one of the most magnificent mosaic floors in the world. From the platform nearby the church, you will have a breathtaking view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the rooftops of Bethlehem.

4. The ruins of Jerash

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Photo by: @zboozee

The ancient city of Jerash is about a 1-hour drive north of Amman. Here you can walk around this Greco-Roman city which is one of the most well preserved Roman ruins in the world. Take the family to watch a live performance of the Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE) at the hippodrome followed by lunch at a local Arabic restaurant.

5. Wadi Rum

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Photo by: @annamichelle

No trip to Jordan is complete without a visit to the infamous UNESCO world heritage site Wadi Rum. Take the time to visit the Ibex and Oryx reserve and learn about these incredible animals. A trip to Wadi Rum is not complete without a hike and some time on a camel ride. Make sure to take in the stars at night as you lay by a campfire outside your Bedouin tent and don’t forget to taste the best cuisine of Wadi Rum, Zarb, which is cooked in the ground! Oooh and tea at sunset in the middle of the desert is really a MUST!

6. Bethany beyond the Jordan

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Photo by: @plusjames

Bethany beyond the Jordan is located in what was the ancient wilderness just north of the Dead Sea. Experience the profound simplicity of Bethany beyond the Jordan, the area between the Jordan River and Tell el-Kharrar, where John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to preach and baptize, and where his baptism of Jesus marked the first recorded manifestation of the Trinity.

Tell el-Kharrar’s other name, Tell Mar Elias (Elijah’s Hill) is reminiscent of the Prophet Elijah, who -- according to Tradition -- ascended from here to heaven on the famed chariot of fire (and whose ministry and proclamations were parallel to John the Baptist’s, thus underscoring the close connection of the two prophets). See the remains of Byzantine churches, large baptism pools and an extensive water system -- all part of the Byzantine tradition linking this place with Jesus’ baptism.

7. Aqaba & the Red Sea

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Photo by: @roociambriello

The Red Sea and its surrounding pink mountains is truly one of nature’s most breathtaking sites. Enjoy a lunch cruise, snorkeling and sunbathing at your leisure while the boat is anchored, or just chill out on the beach of your hotel. The water is warm, the weather is perfect and the high standard accommodations are second to none.

8. Machaerus

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Photo by: @richard.mammana

Within an hour’s drive from Madaba along the picturesque Kings’ Highway is Machaerus (Mukawir), the hilltop fortress of Herod the Great. Upon his death, his son Herod Antipas inherited the stronghold and it was here that he imprisoned John the Baptist and ordered his beheading after Salome’s fateful dance. Pilgrims may ascend the winding path to stand upon the barren hilltop and reflect upon the dramatic events that took place at this forbidding fortress while taking in the sweeping view of the Dead Sea and surrounding area. John the Baptist, who started and ended his mission in Jordan, is the patron saint of Jordan for Roman Catholics.

Did you know that you can build your very own custom itinerary through our Build My Jordan Journey tool! Be sure to add your favorites to your custom itinerary and watch as we help you build your own "Jordan Journey."

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Samer Abu Taleb

Written by Samer Abu Taleb

Samer manages Jordan Tourism Board's trade partnerships & consumer marketing in both the North American and Latin American markets. Enjoys travel, writing, photography and a big sports fan. Born and raised in Jordan, currently lives in Washington, DC.

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