Petra and Wadi Rum (in 2 days!!)
It was a crazy 48 hours and totally worth every second! With Tourist Israel's help, we could see the best parts of Jordan in just two days.
Here are our itinerary and tips on how to get the best out of Jordan in just two days when traveling from Tel Aviv.
It's 1:30 am, and we're packed and ready to go. At 2 am, we have a travel bus waiting to take us from a beach in South Tel Aviv down to the border in Eilat. The bus took us from Tel Aviv, through Jerusalem, and down to Eilat in about 6 hours. We slept the whole way down (thankfully!), and there were stops along the way for bathroom breaks.
The border opens at 8:30 am; you need to pay a $65 "exit fee" for each traveler. Important to note that this isn't included in the Tourist Israel fee. There is also an additional $60 fee once you enter Jordan for non-Israeli passport holders. There was much confusion on this, so make sure you have the money in cash ready ahead of time!
The transition from Israel to Jordan was really smooth, especially when part of a tour group. Our tour guide in Jordan was there, ready and waiting for us. We boarded a new tour bus and got on our way.
From the border, we went straight for our first stop of the day, Petra! Petra has always been a bucket list location for me, and the main reason to visit Jordan. It was a long drive, about 3+ hours due to a slight detour. I recommend bringing snacks with you from home/Israel to hold you over until lunchtime. Tourist Israel provides lunch on Day 1 and since we were a bit behind schedule, we had our lunch delivered in a lunch pack on the bus. It wasn't an ideal lunch which is why I seriously recommend bringing food with you!
Petra was absolutely stunning! Our tour guide, Nezar, did such a great job sharing and explaining the history of Petra as well as preparing us for the local tourist 'traps' and beggars that would be there.
The walk through Petra is a long one, there is a lot to see and admire. It really looks like something out of a movie, an incredible sight. We walked through the long path/crater to the first stop as seen in the picture. We spent about 15 minutes here taking in the view before continuing on to the monastery.
There are a lot of places to take pictures and to buy souvenirs. If you're interested in riding a horse or sitting on a camel, that's also an option.
We had a wonderful time seeing all the beauty that Petra has to offer, here are some moments from Petra:
Bedouin Camp - Magic Rum
After Petra, we made our way to a bedouin camp where we would go sleep for the night. We drove for a while into the desert before finally arriving (we had just missed the sunset but from even the bus it looked incredible!).
The bedouins were very kind hosts, our rooms were perfect for one night and equipped with a private bathroom and shower. To be clear, you have a private "tent". You are not sleeping with all the other guests.
The property was gorgeous! It's exactly what you would expect at a Bedouin camp. For dinner, they made meat under the ground and it was definitely an event to watch them dig it out! I have a 5 minute video of it but I recommend seeing it for yourself, it's much more exciting 😂 Aside from the meat, everything was delicious and breakfast was great too. You definitely don't have to worry about food while staying here. Including those that are vegetarians!
Wadi Rum Desert Tour
After an early breakfast, we head out for a jeep desert tour. This was insane and by far my favorite part of Jordan. The views were incredibly gorgeous and honestly on the brink of unreal. It's clear why Hollywood movies like The Martian choose the Wadi Rum desert to shoot in.
The desert tour had a few stops, where we could see the area where they filmed The Martian, see how they can make soap out of a desert plant, and visit a bedouin camp. It was really a wonderful and immersive experience that I will remember. There is something so magical and vast about the Wadi Rum desert that gets you hooked. We spent a couple of hours exploring the desert, running through the sand and drinking tea before we had to start heading back to the border before it closed at 15:00.
The transition back to Israel was just as smooth as on the way in and we had an easy drive back to Tel Aviv.
In conclusion, you can definitely see Jordan on such a short trip while getting the whole experience! I definitely couldn't have done it all without Tourist Israel, they made the tight schedule easy to follow. And on top of that, I was very concerned for my safety and also got asked a lot about the safety of visiting Jordan, and after going... I can say that going in an organized tour group like Tourist Israel made it a very pleasant, safe, and comfortable experience.
Have you been to Jordan? Share your experience in the comments!