Jordan Adventure Guide
The south of the country is Jordan's adventure hotspot. The spectacular desert landscape of Wadi Rum and the water-sport center Aqaba on the Red Sea are separated by only an hour's drive.
In Wadi Rum, hot-air balloons lift off in the early morning for desert overflights. It's an experience that only a trip in a microlight aircraft (motorized hang gliders) can beat. The airy trip - on a craft no larger than a seat cushion - is regarded as the latest thing in Jordanian adventure tourism.
Of course, the fascinating sand desert, with its bizarre rock formations (beware free climbers!) is also available to explore - by jeep, by hike, or by camel caravan tour, just as Lawrence of Arabia did it at the beginning of the 20th century on behalf of the British Empire and later in the film epic bearing his name. Many of the guided tours are led by local Bedouins. Anyone who wants to spend a night in the open desert can use one of the tent camps. Point of contact for all tour bookings is the new visitor center at the entrance of Wadi Rum.
In the port city of Aqaba, everything revolves around water. The veritable mecca for international divers, boaters, and sunbathers boasts 20 kilometers of sandy beach that stretch to the border of Saudi Arabia. Coral reefs captivate divers and snorkelers on their underwater excursions (caution: a trip to the super-salty Dead Sea should be scheduled first, because even minor cuts from the coral diving will be extremely painful). The Royal Diving Club, 17 km south of Aqaba, has one of the most popular diving sites.
If you find happiness not under the water but on it (with motorized horsepower), you have plenty to choose from: Water-skiing, scooters, jet skiing, boat tours, and parasailing trips (using a parachute connected to a boat) can be hired and booked at various vendors.
To explore the capital of Amman and its surroundings in the north of the country, there are some guided bicycle tours. Cycling Jordan has made the niche sport of bicycling in Jordan more popular.
The insider's tip and culmination of a Jordanian adventure vacation is the Wadi Mujib, the lowest-lying nature reserve in the world. The canyon leading from a mountain range down to the Dead Sea is ideal for exciting climbing and canyoning tours.
A little further south (accessible via the Desert Highway) is some additional spectacular canyon scenery. The Dana Biosphere Reserve is a paradise for hikers who are looking for the perfect bit of seclusion off the beaten path. The rugged mountains and valleys of the Dana Nature Reserve are spread over 300 square kilometers. They are home to many rare plants and birds and animals, such as antelope and wolves.Tip: Wadi Rum has become a center for skydiving due to its fantastic location. SkydiveJordan offers jumps for both beginners and advanced skydivers. More infos: http://skydivejordan.com.