Jordan is a relatively small semi-arid almost landlocked country with a population numbering at 9.5 million. The country is located in between Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Israel, the Dead sea and the Red sea. Jordan is rich in history and even dates back to the Paleolithic period, remains have been discovered holding evidence of inhabitance by Homo erectus, Neanderthal, and modern humans.
Jordan has become very popular as a tourist destinations as of 2007 when Petra was included in the new seven wonders of the world. Since then the tourism and costs of everything associated with tourism has skyrocketed. Making a trip to Petra a very costly one especially for the budget backpacker, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go or can’t afford it.
While Jordan did go above my daily budget of $27USD a day (or 19.14JOD) not everything was expensive in the country. In Amman the capital of Jordan I was able to secure a bed in a dorm room at Sydney Hostel for $8 USD (or 6 JOD) a night, found a breakfast spot that sold manakish for $1USD (or .70JOD) for two (see pic below), a lunch place that sold 2 falalfels for .70 USD (or .50 JOD) and a dinner spot that I could get a 1/2 chicken plus fries, veggies, bread, and a drink for $3USD (or 2.15 JOD). That being said im sure you figured out that the Jordanian currency the Dinar is much stronger than the dollar, so a US greenback doesn’t go that far in terms of money but in terms of living it does. Not everything is cheap though, for example a beer will cost you nearly $5USD for one and they taste horrible (stay away from Petra strong beer) and entrance into anything historically is very expensive for a foreigner. For example admission into Petra alone for one day is $70USD, (or 50JOD) $77USD for 2 days (or 55JOD) and $84USD for 3 days (or 60JOD).
Jordan Visas’ are expensive as well, I ended up going to the Tele Aviv Jordanian consulate to apply for mine and it cost me 380 Israeli Shekels which is 70JOD or 98$USD. I was forced to go to the Consulate because on Jan 1st 2016 they were changing the visa requirements for the country, no longer allowing visa on arrival by land (which has since changed again and is now allowed), I ended up securing my Visa on Dec 31st 2015, barely making the cut off date. In all actuality we were miss informed by the Govt and that visas were much cheaper with a thing called a Jordan pass.
What is a Jordan pass?
Is a card you purchase from the government that gets you discounts on your visa and entrance into Petra as well as free entrance into over 40 attractions across the country (please note: They will waive your tourist entry visa fees if you purchase the Jordan Pass before arrival to Jordan and stay a minimum of three nights.) After purchasing the Jordan Pass it will expire exactly one year after the purchase date as well as expire two weeks after its been scanned into the first tourist attraction. Meaning if you go to a musuem that takes the Jordan pass on May 1st then on the 15th your pass is no longer valid. You will need to have this card present with you upon entering any of the historical sites, they will scan it and once scanned it cant be re-used again for that attraction (except for Petra if you have they multi-day card).
How much does it cost?
They offer 3 different packages
1. Jordan Wanderer 70JOD ($99USD)
Included in this package you get 1 day entrance into Petra, Free entry into over 40 attractions in Jordan, Free downloadable digital brochures and Waiving of tourist entry visa fees if you purchase the Jordan Pass before arrival to Jordan and stay a minimum of three nights.
2. Jordan Explorer 75JOD ($106USD)
The same things are included in this package as before with the only difference being 2 day entrance into Petra.
3. Jordan Expert 80JOD ($113USD)
Once its the exact same as the other package(s) expect this one is a 3 day entrance into Petra.
So as you can see Purchasing the Petra pass can provide you with some great discounts to allow you to see more of the country for less of your money.
In Petra I stayed at Saba’a Hostel which had a free breakfast which was quite the nice spread was ran by a nice English lady with heaps of useful info on trekking and sightseeing in the area all for just $12USD (8.50JOD) a night in the mixed dorm. You can get even more of a discount if you book directly through them as high as 10% off a 3 night stay.
Petra is quite expensive so if you like to drink my suggestion would be bring some liquor from Amman with you and food as well if you plan on cooking.
Go to Little Petra (see pic below) which located 1okm outside the city of Wadi Musa,there is no entrance cost, very few tourists and you can do a little more exploring freely it cost 8 JOD one way in taxi. One way? there is a trail that leads back to back entrance to Petra near the Monastery and then you can walk back thru Petra to Wadi Musa (Please note: they will check for your tickets at some point and if you have already used your entry days at Petra they will fine you. Make sure you have one valid day left on your pass for Petra before doing this trek). Its a long trek so bring water and food with you.
Bring snacks in with you to the park, they have places to buy things but they are very expensive and are generally ran by kids that should be in school.
Don’t buy anything from kids. Don’t support the fact that they’re not in school. They maybe cute and thats where they will get you.
Don’t take donkey, camel or horse rides. They are a rip off to start with but in the end they don’t take good care of the animals and overwork the animals in the extreme heat risking death to the animal.
To See more photos click here