Sep 25, 2014
10 Extraordinary Adventure Activities in Jordan
Whether you’re into canyoning or climbing, snorkeling or camel racing, trekking or skydiving, Jordan has a bit of everything for the adventure seeker.
Before you read, remember this: Independent editorial isn't free. If you enjoy this article, please consider creating an account to support our journalism so we can keep going.
The Outdoor Journal lists must-do adventure activities in Jordan.
1. Canyoning through a deep gorge
At 410m below sea level, next to the Dead sea, within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge lies one of the lowest nature reserves in the world. The Mujib Nature reserve then rises 900m above sea level, to mountains in the north and south. The 1300m elevation drop creates an excellent terrain for some dramatic canyoning. You’d be walking down arid mountains, climbing waterfalls, sliding on rocks, floating on streams and rappelling. A shower under one of its gushing waterfalls is sure to wake you up better than any espresso shot!
2. Hiking through a maze of archaeological structures
The hike through this UNESCO World Heritage site is compelling enough to be listed as one of the top ten adventure activities in Jordan. The ancient city of Petra offers some brilliant canyons and rock faces. It lies in south Jordan, within a basin of mountains that form a valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. With its towering, age-old rock-cut structures that seem to erupt out of nowhere it is a riveting place to explore for the geographer, historian and culture-vulture in you.
3. Rock Climbing in Wadi Rum
This valley down south is a climber’s paradise, making it one of our favourite places for adventure activities in Jordan. Ascents on the sandstone rocks reach upto 1800m above sea level. Top-ropers, trad-climbers, boulderers will find the vertical terrain a great space to practice and refine their technique.
4. Snorkel, Dive and Dance with the fish
Aqaba, at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea, is the only coastal city in Jordan. Home to some beautiful, indigenous varieties of coral reefs, it has about 30 diving sites. Snorkeling and scuba-diving are two of the most popular aquatic adventure activities of the area. You dive in magnificent clear waters and play with creatures of the sea.
5. Camel Racing and Horse Riding
There are spaces that can be traveled through only on foot and hooves. Some areas of the arid plateau regions of Wadi Rum offer such limitations, making way for some heady adventure activities in Jordan. For those with strong feet, trek. And those fond of hooves, ride on horses and camels for a thrilling ride around the desert. While there, place your bets on some crazy camel races too!
6. Night Walks in vast wilderness
Now this might sound like a no-biggie, but if you have never wandered about in a trail-less, pitch black expanse of wilderness, then you have been warned! The summer months in Wadi Rum in southern Jordan offer plenty of organized night-walks, for the seasoned footer.
7. Trekking through spectacular trails
An avid trekker seeks two things to make life a happy dance – diverse terrain and a pretty landscape. Jordan’s riveting topography offers both – the arid plateau of Wadi Rum, ancient rock structures of Petra, wild waterfalls of Wadi Mujib, and evergreen forests on the west side. Trekking is one of the best ways to explore this country’s unexplored and wild treasures.
8. Skydiving over sandstones
This paradise for climbers and camel-racers is also becoming a great platform for those seeking a thrill in the skies above its diverse terrain. Skydiving is rapidly ranking high as one of the top ten adventure activities in Jordan. The experienced with a USPA or equivalent FAI approved license are allowed to skydive. Tandem jump is offered to first-timers. Because of high wind, skydiving is in operation for some months, mostly between September and November.
9. Microlight Flights
If you are an organized sort and plan well, you might get lucky and take microlight flights, an increasingly popular way to get a bird’s eye view of the country’s landscape. Microlights are small, lightweight aircrafts that fly at 80 to 90km/hr at altitudes of 1000 to 1200m. Microlight flights in Jordan are offered by The Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan.
Despite being called the unofficial adventure capital of the middle-east, Jordan is still largely an unexplored territory. There are trails waiting to be discovered, and an exciting way of doing that is renting an ATV and zipping off. With a GoPro on your head and an oft-changing, unknown trail ahead, you are sure to document a hell of a ride.