Jordan is a country that’s perceived to be ‘unsafe’ and ‘unstable’. I’m guessing people avoid Jordan due to its location in the Middle East (it does border Syria, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia after-all.) But if you step out of your comfort zone and take time to explore this peaceful country, you’d discover endless orange deserts, exotic foods, and fascinating history.
Not to mention a warm welcome from the locals. On our quest to visit all the Wonders of the World, we were giddy to visit the Ancient City of Petra. We found the country and the people to be extremely kind, hospitable, and we felt very safe. Here are five reasons to visit Jordan now!
Wadi Rum is a beautiful desert in Southern Jordan. The landscape is completely different from other cities in Jordan and we felt as though we’d landed on a different planet.
This is the largest ravine in Jordan and is the famous location for movies such as ‘The Martian’ and ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ It is untouched beauty in a minimalist setting and the rugged rocky mountains are in complete contrast to the fiery sandy landscape.
The beauty is incredible. Seeing the formation of sandstone mountains as we drifted through the sand in the back of an old 4 x 4 is spectacular. We particularly enjoyed the feeling of isolation in a landscape that appeared untouched by humans. This UNESCO World Heritage protected desert is extremely peaceful… apart from the occasional fast moving jeep filled with tourists of course.
The Ancient Lost City of Petra
Petra is the most popular destination in Jordan, and it’s no coincidence that it was chosen as one of the seven Wonders of the New World.
Petra sealed its place on every travelers bucket-list when the iconic Treasury building had a staring role in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. We spent two days exploring Petra, and could easily have spent 2 more. Petra is far more than the one image of the Treasury we see in most marketing materials, it’s a vast city that takes days to properly explore.
I’d highly recommend hiking up to the Monastery. The Monastery is located about 3 miles from the visitor center at the entrance of Petra. Once you get to the base of the entrance to the Monastery, you need to hike about 900 steep steps that are carved into the side of the rock. This hike is not easy and filled with rough cut steps, sharp turns, and sheer drops, but we were all up for the challenge.
Once we reached the top, we were greeted with the jaw-dropping structure of the Monastery. We soaked in the moment, bought refreshments from the Bedouins at the small cafe at the top, and prepared for the long descent down.
We logged about 10 miles exploring this ancient city each day and feel as though we only scratched the surface!
In general, I’ve found most people we meet traveling to be good and kind. Regardless of the country. We were pleasantly surprised by the warmth and hospitality we found in Jordan. The Jordanian people we met were heavily invested in making sure our experience in their country was positive.
We saw simple acts of kindness the whole time, and I had many conversations with Jordanians about the perception of Jordan to the rest of the world. They seemed very much aware of their controversial neighbors, and the stereotypes they are saddled with, and I felt they almost wanted to prove their kindness to tourists with the hopes that we’d spread the word.
Jordanians are generally happy and proud of their country and kingdom, and are eager to share this with the rest of the world.
Jordan is Safe
Before we left for the Middle East we were asked by caring friends if our trip was a smart one. Every day we seem to hear of strive and dangers in the Middle East, with little attention to the countries actually involved. The truth is Jordan is a peaceful and stable country that happens to live in a bad neighborhood. The U.S. and Jordan have had a special friendship for decades, and traveling around the country I never once felt any threat or even mild concern.
The State Department does have a travel advisory in place for Jordan, referring to the general threat of terrorism due to its proximity to other countries, and suggests keeping a distance from the borders with Iraq and Syria. Which frankly, were not areas we were planning to visit anyway. If safety is a reason you’ve excluded Jordan from your travel bucket list, I can honestly say I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again. Jordan shares a peaceful relationship with its neighbors and is not only amazingly beautiful, but safe for visitors and travelers, as well.
Jordan is so close to other amazing countries
Jordan borders four countries (Syria, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia) and is a stones throw away from others (Egypt, Lebanon) and is close to the Dead Sea. You are basically smack dab in the middle of Middle Eastern culture and are close to a playground of interesting countries to explore.
The incredible sights within close proximity are endless. You can visit the Pyramids of Egypt, Abu Dhabi, the holy city of Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, fascinating Jerusalem, Mt. Nebo (where Moses first saw the Promised Land) and that’s just to name a few incredible places. Regardless of your specific interests, if you’re a history buff and curious traveler, Jordan is the perfect place for you.
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.