Welcome to Aqaba, the coastal paradise of Jordan! Situated at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba boasts an awe-inspiring panorama of crystalline waters and coral reefs, stunning beaches, and a rich cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a history buff or a beach lover, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see in Aqaba. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best attractions and activities this beautiful city has to offer, so you can plan your trip and make the most of your visit to Aqaba.
The 5 Best Things You Can Do In Aqaba
- Day Tour Including Sunset in Desert
- Wadi Rum Day Tours
- Wadi Rum Classic Tours
- 3 Days Jebel Burdah Tour Jeep Camel Hiking and Scrambling
- Aqaba Shore Excursions Wadi Rum Day Tour
The 5 Best Things You Can Do In Aqaba
1. Day Tour Including Sunset in Desert
This half-day Jeep tour takes you on an adventure through Wadi Rum’s UNESCO-listed sand dunes, hidden canyons and rock formations. With the help of your guide, you can try sandboarding down the steep sides of the dramatic Wadi Rum dunes. The rugged desert terrain is easily navigated by the 4WD vehicle. Along the way, there will be coffee and tea stops for you to relax and take in the views. The tour includes bottled water and sandboarding equipment for free. The meeting point is Wadi Rum Rest House, which is only a 2-minute walk from the entrance to Wadi Rum Village. The activity ends back at the meeting point. The tour includes a visit to Lawrence’s Spring, which takes approximately 40 minutes.
2. Wadi Rum Day Tours
Cover the top natural attractions within Wadi Rum during this full-day private tour. Explore sand dunes, rocky arches, prehistoric inscriptions, and more with off-road access to the scenery in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle. A cooked open-air lunch is included in the tour package, which you can enjoy in the desert while taking in panoramic views from Lawrence Spring, Red Sand Dune, and Lawrence House. The tour is fully customizable, and you’ll have the vehicle all to yourself along with your companions. The Wadi Rum entrance fee of 5 JD per adult, or free with the Jordan Pass, is not included in the tour package and must be paid separately at the Visitor Centre. The meeting point is the Wadi Rum Rest House in Wadi Rum Village, which is located a 7km drive after the Visitor Centre. Free parking is available at the Rest House.
3. Wadi Rum Classic Tours
Immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of Wadi Rum with a private and fully adaptable overnight tour. With potential activities including Jeep safaris, camel or horse rides, hiking or climbing trails, and traditional hunting trips, this tour can be tailored to your interests. Enjoy the chance to navigate off-road locations in a rugged Jeep, experience stunning sunset views, and choose from a variety of optional activities and itineraries. Meals are included and you can choose between tent accommodation or sleeping under the stars. The meeting point is at Wadi Rum Road in Wadi Rum village, just 7 km from the Visitor Center. Your guide will welcome you with traditional Bedouin tea and explain everything about the places you’ll visit. Join this unique tour and create unforgettable memories in Wadi Rum.
4. 3 Days Jebel Burdah Tour Jeep Camel Hiking and Scrambling
For those seeking a truly adventurous experience in Aqaba, look no further than the Jebel Burdah Tour. This 3-day excursion includes a full day Jeep tour with eight stops, scrambling to the top of Burdah mountain with three stops, and a 3-hour camel ride to the village with one stop. Over the course of the tour, travelers will be treated to breakfast, lunch, and dinner on two separate days.
The tour starts at the Wadi Rum Rest House, where your guide/driver will meet you. From there, the first day is spent exploring the desert terrain via Jeep with multiple stops along the way. The second day is dedicated to scrambling to the top of Burdah mountain with several stops for breaks and to take in the stunning views. Finally, the third day offers a leisurely camel ride through the desert to the village.
This tour is not recommended for pregnant travelers or those with serious medical conditions, and a moderate level of physical fitness is required. While cancellation is allowed up to 24 hours in advance, it is important to note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Book now for an unforgettable desert adventure in Aqaba.
5. Aqaba Shore Excursions Wadi Rum Day Tour
See the highlights of Wadi Rum during this full-day excursion from Aqaba. Get off-road access to rugged natural attractions in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle. See sky-high sand dunes, prehistoric inscriptions, naturally occurring arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge, and steep chasms such as Khazali Canyon. Hotel pickup and drop-off are provided. You can head directly to the meeting point or request pickup from your Aqaba hotel. The activity ends back at the meeting point. The tour includes an air-conditioned vehicle, all fees and taxes, a local guide, lunch, and tips. Expect to spend three hours in the Wadi Rum Protected Area, where admission tickets are included. Don’t miss the chance to explore the top natural attractions in the region in a single day and get plenty of time to take photographs of dunes, canyons, arches, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aqaba For TouristsAs a vibrant coastal city located in the southern part of Jordan, Aqaba is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. The city offers a dazzling blend of history, tradition, culture, and modernity, which makes it an exciting place to visit. From the stunning beaches and clear waters of the Red Sea to the ancient ruins of Petra, Aqaba has something for everyone. However, we understand that tourists may have some questions before visiting the city. In this blog post, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Aqaba.
1. What’s the best time of the year to visit Aqaba?Aqaba boasts a dry desert climate, which means that it’s sunny and warm for most of the year. However, temperatures can get extremely hot during the summer months, making it difficult to explore the city during the day. The best time to visit Aqaba is during spring or autumn when temperatures are milder. The months of March to May and September to November are ideal for visitors who want to enjoy the city’s attractions without dealing with the heat.
2. What are the top tourist attractions in Aqaba?The city of Aqaba is steeped in history, and there are many attractions that tourists can visit. Some of the top tourist attractions are:
- The ancient city of Petra
- The luxury seaside resort of Tala Bay
- The Aqaba Marine Park
- The Mamluk Castle
- The Pharaoh’s Island
- The Aqaba Fort
3. Is it safe to visit Aqaba?Aqaba is a safe city, and tourists can explore it without feeling threatened. The Jordanian government takes security seriously, and there is a strong presence of law enforcement personnel in the city. However, as with any destination, tourists should exercise caution when exploring the city and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
4. What are some traditional dishes to try in Aqaba?Jordanian cuisine is flavorful and diverse, and there are many traditional dishes to try in Aqaba. Some of the must-try dishes include:
- Mansaf – a dish made of lamb, rice, and yogurt sauce
- Maqluba – a layered dish made of rice, meat, and vegetables
- Shish kebab – grilled meat on a skewer
- Fatteh – a dish made of pita bread, chickpeas, and yogurt sauce
- Falafel – deep-fried balls made of chickpeas
5. Is there a dress code for tourists in Aqaba?There is no strict dress code for tourists in Aqaba, although conservative clothing is recommended, especially when visiting religious sites. Tourists should avoid wearing revealing clothing or shorts while visiting mosques or other religious sites. It’s also recommended to carry a scarf or shawl in case you need to cover your head.
6. What’s the currency used in Aqaba?The official currency used in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD), and it’s widely accepted in Aqaba. Tourists can exchange their currency at the airport, banks, or exchange bureaus throughout the city. It’s also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs using a credit or debit card.
7. Do people in Aqaba speak English?Most people in Aqaba speak Arabic as their first language, but many also speak English, especially those in the tourism industry. Tourists should not have any trouble communicating with locals, especially in tourist areas. It’s also a good idea to learn some basic Arabic phrases to enhance your travel experience, such as “Salam Alaikum” (hello) and “Shukran” (thank you).
8. How do I get around Aqaba?Aqaba is a compact city, and most of the tourist attractions are located within walking distance of each other. Visitors can also take a taxi or a local bus to get around the city. Taxis are abundant and affordable, and they can be hailed on the street or arranged through a hotel or travel agency. Local buses are also available, and they connect the city with surrounding towns.
9. What’s the best way to explore Aqaba’s underwater life?Aqaba is home to some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world, and exploring its underwater life is a must-do activity for any tourist. The Aqaba Marine Park is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling, and visitors can hire equipment and join guided tours. There are also several dive centers and clubs in the city that offer diving courses for beginners and advanced divers.
10. What’s the best way to get to Aqaba?Aqaba is easily accessible by air, land, and sea. The city has its own international airport, King Hussein International Airport, which receives direct flights from major cities such as Amman and Dubai. Visitors can also enter Jordan through the land border with Israel and Egypt, although this route requires a valid visa. Finally, there are several cruise lines that make stops in Aqaba, and visitors can explore the city as part of a cruise itinerary.In conclusion, Aqaba is a wonderful city to visit, and tourists can enjoy its many attractions and activities. Visitors should plan their trip carefully, taking into account the best time to visit, the top tourist attractions, traditional dishes to try, dress code, transportation, and other essential information covered in this blog post. We hope that this guide has provided helpful answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Aqaba.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in AqabaIf you’re planning to visit Aqaba, you’re in for a treat. This coastal city in Jordan is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders you’ll ever see. Here’s a list of things you can do to make the most of your time as a tourist in Aqaba.
1. Go Scuba Diving in the Red SeaAqaba is famous for its crystal-clear waters and thriving marine life, making it a popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. You can explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside exotic fish and sea creatures. There are several diving schools and centers in Aqaba that offer courses and guided trips for beginners as well as experienced divers. Some of the popular diving sites include Cedar Pride, Japanese Garden, and Blue Coral.
2. Visit the Aqaba Castle (Mamluk Castle)Also known as the Mamluk Castle, this historic fortress was built during the 14th century under the rule of the Mamluk Sultanate. The castle served as a major defensive structure and was used to protect the city from foreign invaders. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction and a great place to learn about Jordan’s rich history and culture. You can explore the castle’s various rooms and towers, and admire the picturesque views of the Red Sea from the rooftop.
3. Take a Desert Safari TourOne of the best ways to experience the beauty of Aqaba’s desert landscape is by taking a desert safari tour. You can ride a camel or a 4×4 vehicle and explore the sandy dunes, rock formations, and canyons. Some tours also include a traditional Bedouin dinner and a live performance of music and dance.
4. Relax at the BeachAqaba has several beautiful beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. The most popular beach is South Beach, which is located close to most of the city’s hotels and resorts. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas and enjoy the warm sun and the gentle breeze. There are also several beachfront cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
5. Visit the Aqaba MuseumThe Aqaba Museum is located in the heart of the city and is home to several exhibitions and artifacts that showcase the history and culture of Jordan. You can see ancient pottery, coins, jewelry, and weapons, as well as learn about the local customs and traditions. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and events that feature contemporary art and performances.
6. Go on a Snorkeling TripIf scuba diving is not your thing, you can still explore the magnificent underwater world of Aqaba by going on a snorkeling trip. You can rent snorkeling equipment and join a guided tour that takes you to some of the best snorkeling spots around Aqaba. You’ll get to see colorful fish, coral formations, and maybe even some sea turtles.
7. Visit the Islamic Ayla CityAyla City is an ancient Islamic trading port that dates back to the 7th century. It was an important center for commerce and culture and had close ties with other major cities in the region such as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo. Today, you can visit the archaeological site and see the ruins of the city’s markets, houses, and bathhouses.
8. Dine at a Traditional Arabic RestaurantAqaba has plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Arabic cuisine, such as mezze, grilled meats, and fresh seafood. You can also try some famous Jordanian dishes such as mansaf (lamb cooked with yogurt sauce and rice) and maqluba (rice, vegetables, and meat cooked in a pot and then inverted to create a layered dish). Some of the popular restaurants include Saba’a, Arab Divers, and Ali Baba.
9. Visit the Aqaba Bird ObservatoryThe Aqaba Bird Observatory is a unique site that attracts bird watchers and nature lovers from all over the world. It’s located on the outskirts of the city and features a range of habitats such as wetlands, reed beds, and shrub lands. You can see various bird species such as eagles, falcons, kingfishers, and warblers. The observatory also offers education and research programs for bird conservation.
10. Explore the Wadi Rum DesertWadi Rum is a majestic desert located about an hour’s drive from Aqaba. It’s a protected area that’s famous for its stunning rock formations, sand dunes, and natural arches. You can take a 4×4 vehicle or a camel tour and explore the desert’s various sights, including the Lawrence’s Spring and the Mushroom Rock. You can also stay overnight in a Bedouin camp and stargaze under the clear desert sky.
Book Your Tour NowAqaba has something to offer for everyone, whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a beach lover. Make sure to plan your itinerary in advance and choose the activities that suit your interests and preferences. With these ten tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your time as a tourist in Aqaba and create unforgettable memories.
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