HOW TO VISIT THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you are planning to visit Jordan, you are probably thinking about spending some time by the Dead Sea, relaxing in the largest natural spa on earth, and floating in the salty water, covered in rejuvenating mud. Here are some things to know before you go, as well as tips for visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan.
CAN YOU SWIM IN THE DEAD SEA?
You can't actually swim in it, it is even hard to turn around in the water because of the high density of saline water that keeps bathers buoyant. With 33.7% salinity, the Dead Sea is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. Its name is well earned — no fish, birds or plants can survive in its environment.
WHY IS THE DEAD SEA SO SALTY?
Only one source of freshwater feeds the Dead Sea, the Jordan River. There is no outlet for the water and in the dry desert environment, the water evaporates quickly, leaving vast quantities of salt behind.
THE DEAD SEA IS SHRINKING
The Dead Sea is disappearing at an alarming rate, receding by about one meter (three feet) each year. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, it needs an infusion of 160 billion gallons of water annually to maintain its current size; it gets barely 10 percent of that.
Probably the single most significant cause of the Dead Sea recession is the drying up of the River Jordan. In recent years, the river's agricultural use has contributed to the shrinking and making the remaining water even saltier.
In addition, the manufacturing of industrial and table salts, as well as cosmetics companies producing beauty products, play a role in the Dead Sea’s extinction.
DOES THE DEAD SEA HAVE ANY HEALING POWERS?
For centuries, people have been attracted to the bone-dry climate and oxygen-rich atmosphere in the area, as well as the rich reserve of minerals that are beneficial to the skin and are said to heal anything from arthritis to eczema.
The Dead Sea cosmetics companies rely heavily on exports and their skincare products are sold at kiosks in shopping malls around the world. However, even though the products have benefits, the companies have been reported to hire people working for minimum wages, often without proper visas, and they are taught and practice predatory and aggressive sales techniques.
HOW TO VISIT THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN
The Dead Sea is located only an hour from Amman. You can spend an entire day in one of the resorts here, floating in the Dead Sea and taking advantage of their spa facilities and pools. Or, you can go for just a quick dip and combine the visit with a trip to Madaba, Mount Nebo and Bethany Beyond the Jordan. Read more about the day day trip here: DAY TRIP FROM AMMAN: MOUNT NEBO, MADABA, BETHANY & THE DEAD SEA
There is a public beach, called Amman Beach, but it is dirty and crowded. Most visitors prefer to pay for the Day Pass at one of the beachfront resorts.
Our recommendation is to get a Day Spa Pass at either the Mövenpick Resort & Spa or the Marriott Resort & Spa. The resorts are right next to each other on the shore of the Dead Sea. The nearby Kempinski Resort does not offer Day Spa Passes at the time of writing this article.
The prices are hefty for a quick visit, but at least you will feel more safe and comfortable than at a public beach. The Marriott charges 60 dinars ($85) that includes a 30-dinar food and beverage voucher. The Day Spa pass at the Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea is 40 dinars ($56) and it includes a 15-dinar food voucher. Unfortunately, the food and beverage voucher is included whether you like it or not. The facilities are similar in both resorts, nothing fancy but good enough.
HOW TO VISIT THE DEAD SEA AT THE MÖVENPICK RESORT & SPA
The Day Spa ticket can be purchased at the vehicle entry point. After the security check, proceed to the check-in desk where you will get the pass. Take the resort cart form the front of the hotel that will take you closer to the changing rooms. You will drive by the pool area where you can get the towels. The cart will drop you off close to the changing rooms.
The changing rooms are simple, there are no showers but there are toilets. Do not leave any personal belongings in the changing rooms. There are no lockers and the changing rooms are not attended. Take your belongings with you, you can leave them by the beach.
The showers are available outside by the sea. There is also a pot of mud that you can lather on yourself.