Jordan Road Trip Part II: Aqaba to the Dead Sea

After a few days of lounging around in balmy Aqaba we packed our car yet again and drove north to the Dead Sea.  Even though Albert and I both lived in Jordan for two years, neither of us had taken the Jordan Valley Highway. This highway spans the length of the country from Aqaba in the south to just near the border with Syria in the north running along the Dead Sea and Jordan River. From this relatively deserted highway you get sweeping views of two of the world’s most renowned bodies of water and at times catch glimpses of Bedouin encampments and camels. Check out a video of our drive here.

Our rental car from Budget!

Our rental car from Budget!

We decided to sleep in a bit that morning and made a pit stop along the way at Lot’s Cave Museum (entrance fee 2 JD)-a museum featuring historical artifacts from the Dead Sea region including finds from Lot’s Cave, so we arrived at our hotel a little before sunset.  This gave us just enough time to take the last dip in the Sea for the day (the beach closes at dark).

Sunset over the Dead Sea

Sunset over the Dead Sea

As I mentioned in  part I of this blog post, this trip was unique for Backpacking with the Bonds because we stayed in international chain hotels, specifically the Movenpick and our stay at the Dead Sea was no different. Unfortunately, there aren’t many (or any) locally owned options offering private beach access.  I was slightly dreading our decision though after our experience in Aqaba, but the Movenpick managed to redeem itself in my eyes.  The check-in was smooth, the rooms were in great condition, and the beach and pools were near perfect.  We would recommend the Movenpick Dead Sea or the newer Kempinski next door.

Our room at the Movenpick Dead Sea

Our room at the Movenpick Dead Sea

 

Complete rookies at the resort experience, Albert and I loaded up on duty free drinks and food in Aqaba only to be told we weren’t allowed to bring them in.  But the thing about Jordan is you can negotiate just about anything especially if you’re an American girl speaking in a rural Jordanian dialect of Arabic.  After a brief discussion the staff member forgave our resort trespasses and allowed us to bring in our goods if we promised not to consume them in public.  No problem!

Read: Traveling from Amman to Aqaba

Pool at the Movenpick with the Dead Sea and Israel on the horizon.

Pool at the Movenpick with the Dead Sea and Israel on the horizon.

Both Albert and I had been to the Dead Sea before so we decided to stay only one night.  With such a short window we tried to maximize our time by going to the beach as soon as we arrived and then again first thing in the morning.  The evening was quite packed with day trippers but the early morning was perfect.  We were one of two groups enjoying the healing waters of the Sea on this crisp November morning.  You couldn’t ask for a better way to start the day.  After a refreshing jump in the cold infinity pool water we got dressed, checked out and began the drive to Madaba, Albert’s Peace Corps site.

Carrie floating in the Dead Sea

Carrie floating in the Dead Sea

Read part three of our road trip across Jordan when we drive east towards Madaba.

 

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