Expertise 6 of the very best nationwide parks in Jordan, together with wildlife, mountain climbing and classes from locals

Whenever you hook up with the land, you possibly can join extra deeply to a spot. Though Jordan is small, alternatives to expertise the tradition, be taught the historical past and interact with native folks by means of outside adventures are plentiful. 

You may trek by means of forests within the north, splash and climb by means of canyons close to the Useless Sea, spot endangered wildlife lower than two hours from the capital metropolis, herd goats with a Bedouin shepherd within the largest nationwide park, admire the architectural feats of Petra and cross the huge desert dunes of Wadi Rum all inside Jordan’s borders. 

Listed below are six of the very best nationwide parks in Jordan.

Yarmouk Forest Reserve

Finest nationwide park off the overwhelmed observe

In the event you’re questioning whether or not Jordan has forests, you’ll discover your reply in a number of tree-filled reserves within the northern a part of the nation. Yarmouk Forest Reserve is essentially the most northern nationwide park in Jordan the place grassy mountains are speckled with the nation’s nationwide tree, the deciduous oak, and also you’re afforded incomparable panoramic views of close by Syria, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. 

Virtually 30% of Jordan’s birds make their residence right here, so this nationwide park can also be good for birdwatchers. Springtime is the last word deal with in northern Jordan when brightly coloured wildflowers bloom.

To get a full image of the historical past of this area, enlist the experience of a Baraka Destinations native information. Whereas Yarmouk Forest Reserve is off the overwhelmed path for many vacationers, it’s in shut proximity to Umm Qais. the place you may also be part of domestically led experiences reminiscent of foraging and beekeeping in addition to go to the Greco-Roman ruins of Gadara.

In the event you don’t wish to select only one forest reserve in your journey to Jordan, you possibly can move by means of just a few on the Umm Qais to Ajloun section of the Jordan Path.

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Hold an eye fixed out for Sinai agama (pictured), Arabian oryx and birdlife in Jordan’s nationwide parks © Cat Downie / Shutterstock

Shaumari Wildlife Reserve

Finest nationwide park for wildlife

A straightforward day journey from Amman, the 22-sq-km (8.5-sq-mile) Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is residence to a few of Jordan’s most endangered species together with Dorcas gazelles and Arabian oryx.

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) initially established this conservation mission – the nation’s first wildlife safety reserve – in an effort to breed and reintroduce extremely endangered and domestically extinct animals. Now, with the addition of a rescue program and customer heart, native and worldwide guests have the chance to be taught extra concerning the biodiversity of the world and see a number of the area’s rarest species. Along with the endangered wildlife on web site, almost 200 species of flora, six species of carnivores together with the jackal and striped hyena, and birds such because the imperial eagle have been noticed right here.

Cease by the customer heart to view wildlife within the enclosures earlier than setting out on a jeep safari with a educated native information. In the event you’re in search of kid-friendly actions to do in Jordan, Shaumari Wildlife Reserve ought to be in your checklist. Contact the RSCN or cease by Wild Jordan in Amman to rearrange a tour. 

Mujib Biosphere Reserve

Finest nationwide park for canyoning

The 220-sq-km (85-sq-mile) Mujib Biosphere Reserve, situated close to the Useless Sea, is greatest recognized for Wadi Mujib, the gorge that cuts by means of its coronary heart. The rugged terrain, colourful cliffs and recent water that flows by means of Wadi Mujib make the “Grand Canyon of Jordan” a preferred place for adventurous vacationers and locals. Select from shorter self-guided trails or longer RSCN-guided hikes (members should be 18 and older due to the difficult terrain and water circulate). Be ready to get moist: you’ll be clambering, scrambling, sliding and splashing your approach round this pure waterpark.

If Wadi Mujib is in your checklist, you’ll wish to go to Jordan within the spring, summer time or early fall. Winter rains may cause flash flooding, and the location is closed throughout the moist and colder months. 

Past Wadi Mujib, the reserve can also be vital for its biodiversity. Greater than 400 species of crops and 24 species of mammals are discovered right here. Mujib Biosphere Reserve’s location alongside the Rift Valley, an vital migration route between Europe and Africa, implies that many resident and migratory birds (greater than 150 species) additionally reside and move by means of right here.  

Man hiking towards Wadi Feid from the desert country of Wadi Feynan.
Hike within the desert of Wadi Feynan, a part of the Dana Biosphere Reserve © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Dana Biosphere Reserve

Finest nationwide park for immersive experiences

In the event you’re in search of a spot that brings collectively all that makes Jordan particular – epic views, archeological websites, mountaineering, historical past, ecology, Arab tradition and delicacies – head for Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nationwide park. Go to Dana Village, occupied since round 4000 BCE, the place you possibly can see restored conventional stone homes and revel in a chook’s-eye view of Wadi Dana (and a home-cooked Jordanian meal at Dana Tower Resort) earlier than descending into the valley. Tread flippantly and maintain your eyes peeled; 36 reptile species and greater than 40 species of mammals (over half of that are endangered) together with ibex, sand cats and caracals, traverse these lands. 

The Feynan space inside Dana Biosphere Reserve possesses a wealthy and lengthy historical past and one of many longest sequences of human settlement on the planet. Take a guided tour of the archeological ruins and be taught from locals – easy methods to shepherd goats, make espresso and bread over a hearth, and establish medicinal crops – by means of Bedouin- and community-led experiences organized by Feynan Ecolodge.

A bit of the Jordan Path additionally passes by means of Dana Biosphere Reserve, so when you’re looking for a number of the greatest hikes in Jordan, whether or not a one-day hike or a multi-day hike, you’ll discover some right here. 

Happy male and female travelers contemplating the scenic view of ancient Petra from mountain top
The traditional metropolis of Petra attracts round a million guests yearly © Anastasiia Shavshyna / Getty Photographs


Finest nationwide park for historical past

Arguably Jordan’s most well-known nationwide park, this historical “Rose Purple Metropolis” lower from sandstone rocks attracts round a million guests yearly. The enchantment is apparent from the second you begin down the Siq path, the place cliff carvings, temples and what stays of the Nabateans’ revolutionary irrigation methods whisper tales of an historical civilization. 

Petra is huge. Keep away from the overwhelm of racing round upon arrival and as a substitute, make a plan beforehand and take into account getting a multi-day Petra move (or go for the Jordan Move which incorporates as much as three days entrance into Petra) to permit ample time for wandering the sudden websites and trails as effectively. 

The most effective methods to see Petra is thru the eyes of somebody born right here. Guide a guided tour by means of Experience Jordan or Global Tribes for an opportunity to dive deeper into the historical past and tradition of the place and other people.

Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan
In addition to mountaineering, tenting and stargazing, you possibly can e-book a guided rock-climbing tour at Wadi Rum © outcast85 / Getty Photographs

Wadi Rum Protected Space 

Finest nationwide park for stargazing 

You’ll be seeing purple if you go to Wadi Rum Protected Space the place the rugged rock formations and rust-colored dunes transport you to a different planet. Though 4×4 excursions are fashionable on this nationwide park, when you’re in a position to go by foot and off the well-trodden path, you’ll have a possibility to decelerate, get away from the crowds, and expertise the stability of power and stillness right here. 

The desert landscapes are mesmerizing, however it’s nonetheless a wild place, and the climate and terrain might be excessive. Deliver loads of water and solar safety, and except you’re extremely skilled in navigating desert circumstances, rent an area information. Rock-climbers can e-book guided excursions with local-owned Shabab Sahra, and hikers can prepare multi-day treks that cross by means of Wadi Rum alongside the Petra to Wadi Rum or Petra to Purple Sea sections of the Jordan Trail

Wadi Rum is Jordan’s greatest nationwide park for stargazing, so plan to remain no less than one night time and revel in a Bedouin barbecue, storytelling and songs across the campfire, and a great night time’s sleep beneath the celebs.

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