Let’s be honest – some destinations in the world are more photogenic than others. And when you’re a keen photographer (or want some killer content for your socials), knowing you’ll be able to capture the essence and beauty of a destination through amazing photos can be a top priority when choosing your next travel adventure.
Jordan is right up there for offering top photo ops. After all, anywhere that’s been a location for some of cinema’s greatest movies (plus the live-action remake of Aladdin, which we’ll put in a category of its own) must have something going for it.
Whether you’re a traditional shutterbug armed with a camera and a bag full of lenses, a techie photographer with a camera-mounted drone, or if you just love a great holiday snap for social media, let’s dive into the most photogenic places in Jordan that should be on your shot list.
1. The Treasury
Scenes for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in Petra, with hero Harrison Ford delving into the labyrinths of the Treasury in Jordan’s Ancient City. Except there is no labyrinth. Instead, the Treasury is an enormous carving on a sandstone hill created by the Nabateans in the second century with just a single room behind the doorway.
You can see why the moviemakers loved it for their iconic adventure story. It’s a cryptic-looking entranceway that gives no clue where it leads. Ancient carvings set the imagination into overdrive about the possible meanings of the creations. And the reds and pinks of the stone evoke its desert locale perfectly. On our Desert to Dead Sea in Jordan trip, you’ll get to take photos of the Treasury in the best light conditions – just after dawn when the sunlight casts a fittingly mysterious glow onto the Treasury.
2. Wadi Rum
The 2021 adventure movie Dune was filmed all over the world, including using the vast sands of the Wadi Rum desert to represent the film’s Arrakis desert. Dune is just the latest in a long list of movies that have used Wadi Rum on-location, starting with Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 to Matt Damon’s adventure flick The Martian. The 2023 release of John Wick: Chapter 4, starring Keanu Reeves, is set to star Wadi Rum too. And let’s not forget the Star Wars franchise famously used the desert to represent fictional planets, such as Pasaana in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jedha in Rogue One.
If you’re serious about capturing your own cinematic footage of the Wadi Rum desert, go equipped with a drone on a jeep safari. When you stop for a sunset picnic, send the drone up to capture undulating shots of the dunes, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun and do Dune director Denis Villeneuve proud.
3. The Monastery
You’ll need to climb 850 stone steps to reach the Monastery – a legendary, ancient monument. It’s similar to the Treasury but bigger, casting a looming presence that’s seriously impressive. It’s so remarkable that it appears in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, with filmmakers using it as the Tomb of the Primes. Go with your camera and unleash your photographic creativity on this enormous façade.
Jordan’s capital city, Amman, plays the part of Islamabad in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty. On our Desert to Dead Sea in Jordan trip, you won’t have long in the city, but it’s the start and end point of your adventure. Amman is a springboard for outdoor escapades in the Ajloun Forest the day after you arrive in Jordan. If you find the time, seek out Amman’s Citadel, which sits on the city’s highest hill and capture some photos of this Middle Eastern metropolis. It’ll give you a flavour of Jordan’s intriguing history which you’ll find out more about once you reach Petra.
5. Wadi Mujib Siq
Other locations in Jordan haven’t made it to the silver screen – but surely, it’s only a matter of time. Until then, they’re all yours to capture on film. We think the Wadi Mujib Siq trail deserves a place in cinematic history: this route through sandstone canyons is for exhilarating hiking, wading, climbing, and swimming. Be the star of your own action movie as you take on the challenge. To capture the scenery and adventure properly, a helmet-mounted GoPro is your best bet.
You can visit all these locations and more on our Desert to Dead Sea in Jordan trip, tackling some of this country’s biggest challenges, taking incredible photos, and seeing places immortalised in cinema.