Visiting the Dead Sea is something I’ve always wanted to do and I was lucky to visit this dream destination on my recent trip to Jordan. You can also visit this Sea from Isreal. There were a few things I didn’t know ahead of time so wanted to share some tips for the Dead Sea in Jordan so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
Hey, Ash… are there any fish in the dead sea? (me to my tour guide)
–(his reply) umm.. no, that’s why it’s called the dead sea.. everything dies.
Right, that makes sense… my bad.
I should have Wikipedia’d this place before! lol I knew it was so salty you could float but that’s about it. As I started traveling in Jordan people were talking about the magical mud from the Dead Sea. This didn’t come as a huge surprise because since I can remember there have been Israelis/Jordanians/Palestinians selling Dead Sea Products in the middle of the malls of America in Kiosks. I have tried those products and did like them but never thought that much about it. I also was excited to see what it felt like to float. So, here are my tips for visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan.
Tips for the Dead Sea in Jordan
Visit SOON before it’s too late
Sadly, this sea (which is really a lake) has shrunk by 30% and scientists say we may only have 50 years to float in these healing waters. The water comes from the Jordan River which is also used as drinking water for everyone around. There so far is no solution in sight.
Choose the perfect hotel
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people. There are dozens of great hotels to choose from but if you can budget out $280 a night you’ll be sleeping in one of the best hotels in the world: the Kempinski Ishtar. Kempinski is one of the most high-end hotel brands in the world and you don’t often find such an incredible hotel at these prices (even in India it’s more at the Leela Kempinski Goa). To put it into perspective, a room like this in Waikiki usually goes for about $700.
I wouldn’t suggest splurging out like this on your whole trip to Jordan. Most people visit so many desert and forest places that don’t have luxury options, that this would be your one-time splurge… one that is well worth it!
Definitely book ahead for the spa
If you stay at the Kempinski, which many people do (it’s HUGE), you need to book ahead for a spa treatment as they fill up. They were voted the best spa in Jordan and for good reason. You can get “Dead Sea mud treatments” all over this region, but here you’re actually at the Dead Sea getting it straight from the source.
You actually can just go to the sea and use the mud free of charge, but a treatment would be a heated mud wrap, olive oil or mud facial, and a massage.
You luckily can buy this mud at Macy’s, Nordstrom or [easyazon_link identifier=”B004UQH4CW” locale=”US” tag=”Hipinhee-20″]online here[/easyazon_link]! AHAVA is the best brand!
This wonderful skin-perfecting mud stains!
You should wear either an old swimsuit or a black swimsuit. The mud does stain some light-colored fabrics. I wore my TIA one piece bikini because it’s my darkest one. You can wear a bikini, though, it doesn’t have to be a one-piece. Once you’re in a 5-star hotel in Jordan you can dress a little less covered up if you really feel like it and you can drink booze!
Most of the hotels are set up along the Dead Sea, so this doesn’t just go for where I stayed, the Kempinski. You can expect that the hotel will provide towels, an outdoor shower, and a little container of mud to dig into.
You can’t actually dig down and get the mud yourself because you can’t get this water in your eyes… which leads me to my next point.
This water will BURN your eyes and open cuts
In fact, you should not even shave the few days before you get in the Dead Sea. Razor burn would be MISERABLE! After about 10 minutes, I started to feel a tingle on my skin so I got out. You shouldn’t stay in more than 15 minutes.
The routine for your skin was told to us as: Get in and float 10 minutes. Get out and apply mud. Let the mud dry. Get in for another 10 minutes. Rinse off in the shower.
The rinsing off in the shower is the most important bit! The mud actually sticks on so once you back to your room you should wash up again.
This mud is well-known to help your skin look like a lasered celebrities skin and is highly recommended.
You can’t actually swim as the water is so thick with salt you are forced to float. Make sure you fall backward into it and not onto your face.
The Dead Sea has healing properties… loads of them!
People didn’t start coming here because they could float. People came because the water was magical. It’s said to heal all kinds of problems like psoriasis and osteoporosis. There is not only a lot of salt in the water but many other minerals. Along with soaking in mineral rich water, you are very far below sea level (in fact, the lowest point on earth!) so that you aren’t getting the sun rays that will burn you. For that reason it’s a safe place to lay in the sun and let the mud and salt water work their magic. People come from all over the world on medical trips to help their health, while looking for alternative cures.
Make time for the River Jordan
We really tried but didn’t get the time. I hadn’t realized until I got there that it was where Jesus was baptized. I really wanted to get our friend (and dogsitter) Ryance some water from the river, as well as my brother and his wife. It’s only 20 minutes from the hotel area, plus a 20 minutes shuttle but with their timings (9 AM- 4PM as we were told) it never worked out to make it on time. Later, we found tiny bottles in a shop with water from the River Jordan and bought it, although I have a sneaky suspicion the used similar sales tactics to the man who sold Ben the RayBans Tom Cruise wore in Risky Business ;)
Here are a few links to similar pieces that I wore here!
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Thanks for another great post. Your warnings that the water will burn your eyes and that you should fall backwards is sound advice. However, most people (if I can indeed generalise from my own experience) do not expect to start drifting as they wade into the water, and as you start loosing secure footing, falling forwards is “natural”. And, as you stumble forwards, you “naturally” start splashing to prevent falling face first into the water. Of course, splashing means you do get some water into your eyes, and it does burn horribly. However, this burning is nothing compared to the looks of disgust you get from those who were peacefully drifting around you – and into whose eyes you are also now splashing water.., Perhaps one should consider walking backwards when first entering this Sea. And when you do fall backwards, don’t splash. You will drift ‘on top of’ the water, rather than in it. It’s indeed a magical feeling!
The floating sensation at the Dead Sea is, I can honestly say, one of the weirdest and most unexpected things I have ever experienced. I say unexpected because although you know it’s going to happen, you can’t really prepare for what it feels like!
And yeah, it does burn. I got some in my eyes. I’ll never forget that, as long as I live :'(
oh man, that must have been horrible! if someone is really clumsy and thinks they’ll fall in, they can wear swimming goggles hahaah
Yeah I would definitely recommend it, if you think you’re liable to fall in! I was actually being really careful, but then someone near me splashed :/
We were on the Israeli side last week – it is just incredible, I knew I would float, but even so it was surreal! And just beautiful too!
haha yeah it was a very strange feeling! I might go to Isreal this fall!
Dont go to the Israeli side, the Jordan side is much better!!
Thanks for the article. Did you try any other spas around the Dead Sea? Debating between the Kempinski, Marriott and Hilton which are all right next to each other but can’t find any good comparisons on them.