BEFORE THE TRIP TO JORDAN
- see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ information on security and travel around Jordan
- read the information about your diplomatic mission/embassy in Amman
- insure your travel
- secure funds for your trip – the Jordanian currency is DINAR (JOD)
- remember that when crossing the border you must purchase a Jordanian visa – the cost is 40 JOD
- choose a convenient part of the year for your trip – spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) is the best time to visit Jordan due to weather conditions. At that time, however, you will meet a lot of tourists in Jordan.
Jordan Pass is a kind of a travel pass intended by the Jordanian authorities for tourists visiting Jordan. You must buy it online before arriving in Jordan, print it or have it on your phone (it contains a QR code). However, it is best to have JP in a paper form. The pass is for people who stay in Jordan for a minimum of 3 nights / 4 days (the dates of the border stamps are decisive). Only then Jordan Pass gives the visa to Jordan for free (and in principle, it is included in the price of JP). Of course you can buy JP for 1 day, but then you have to pay for the visa. In any case, JP gives free entries to attractions from his list, which is important because, for example, a ticket to Petra is a big expense.
You can buy the Jordan Pass at www.jordanpass.jo
ACCOMMODATION IN SOUTHERN JORDAN
Accommodation base in southern Jordan is limited to a few places and at this locations the tourist life of this region is focused. The most hotels, of course, are located in Wadi Musa, in the village directly adjacent to Petra’s Archaeological Park. Around Petra there are both luxury hotels and small hotels offering a lower standard, but much more attractive prices.
Search for a hotel using GOOGLE MAPS
The second important place to look for accommodation for tourists visiting southern Jordan is the small town of Dana located in the Dana Nature Reserve, about 40 km north of Petra. It is an old village inhabited by the Jordanians, and today almost entirely converted into a tourist settlement. There are several hotels with different standards. It is a place much calmer than Wadi Musa, offering tourists unforgettable experiences associated with communing with nature. Deprivations of comfort are quickly compensated for by the amazing mountain landscapes and the view of the majestic valley.
Search for a hotel using GOOGLE MAPS
CLIMBING SPORTS IN SOUTHERN JORDAN
Like most other dry and semi-arid areas, the areas of Southern Jordan abound in visible rocks. Along the rim of the Dead Sea and in some valleys leading to the east, walls and cliffs have been formed towards the desert. These formations are usually accompanied by numerous boulders (big separated rocks).
The geological history caused that the discussed area is dominated by carbonate rocks (mainly limestones, less frequently dolomites, marls and chalk) and sandstones. Definitely less often you can come across formations made of conglomerates, basaltoids or granitoids. When planning a trip or climbing exploration, it should be remembered that these rocks are constantly subject to intensive erosion. It is both mechanical and chemical erosion caused by wind, water and anthropic factors. Their visual effect is a parish, but also an interesting and picturesque relief of rock surfaces: columns, radiators, nooks, holes, scratches, chimneys, etc. You can also find speleothems.
This intriguing and promising picture changes slightly when we are trying to climb. Both the placement of belay points, as well as the use of tricks turns out to be difficult and often risky. The seemingly permanent elements of the rock sculpture are easily detached, chipped or covered with a layer of loose weathered wood. This does not prevent completely climbing, but significantly hinders her psychologically and increases the risk of injury. It should be added to the presence of flora and fauna inhabiting rock walls. Xerothermic, spiky, hard plants do not move at all, in contrast to hornets sometimes nests in noodles or crevasses. Other animals are rare and should not be a problem – you can find here omnivorous snakes, skittish lizards or birds.
So far, Jordan’s climbing areas have been found in the north of the country (262 roads in total), and in Wadi Rum (43 roads). The few roads in the region are scattered here and there in the south of the country (in total, about 60 roads have been described between Kerak and Aqaba). Nevertheless, there are a number of places that give a lot of opportunities to lead new rock lines. These include, among others, the area around the village of Dana (limestones, basaltoids), the region of the so-called Little Petra (sandstones), or Wadi Ghuweir (limestones, sandstones, possibly conglomerates). The rock formations located there provide potential opportunities for roads of 5-35 m in length and with difficulties from grade I (UIAA) to at least VIII (UIAA; 6c / 7a – French).
A slight interest in sports and recreation in southern Jordan together with the mentioned natural factors means that regardless of the location of the region, the rock is very fragile (with few exceptions). Even several existing climbing guides (difficult to call them as guides) and internet sources suggest that the proposed road valuation should always be increased by one degree. The morphology of the rock formations is constantly changing, the belaying must be very careful and thoughtful, and most of the lines proposed so far do not have permanent insurance.
It was only recently (in 2018) that the first organization (federation) of climbing and trekking appeared in Jordan. It associates guides and climbers and people who practice other forms of outdooring (mountaneering, canyoning, hiking, MTB). You can probably use the services of members associated in this group, but the offer is not large – it will be limited to advising and possibly bringing you to the climbing area. Climbing equipment stores are located only in Amman (exactly two stores). You can buy equipment in a similar quality as in Europe, but in a very limited range and not the lowest prices (they are also not very high).
To sum up, the areas of southern Jordan create considerable, potential climbing opportunities for both those interested in easy (even “family”) roads, as well as for those looking for bigger sports challenges. For now, however, you still need to take into account the rudimentary terrain conditions, the risky aggregate and the necessity of your own belaying. Only the intensification of sports and tourist traffic, preparation (including clearing and insurance) of more climbing routes and planned by the Polish team to create a guide-climbing map will make this area another attraction worth visiting.
TOURIST CURIOSITIES OF SOUTHERN JORDAN
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