Where to stay in Dana, one of Jordan’s most beautiful destinations? You can either stay in traditional tent camps in the countryside or in cozy hotels in the picturesque village. The Dana Biosphere Reserve, a top wildlife destination in Jordan, offers a range of accommodations, mostly situated in the village with the same name. This blog will help you find the perfect place to stay by highlighting the best areas to stay and the best hotels and bedouin camps in the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
How to get to Dana in Jordan
The charming village of Dana is nestled within the scenic Dana Biosphere Reserve, located in western Jordan near the Israeli border.
Because of its relatively small size, Jordan offers easy access to other tourist destinations, making Dana a convenient base for exploration. To make the most of your trip, we recommend renting a car as public transportation options are limited. With a rental car, you can reach Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in just an hour to the south. The capital city of Amman and the renowned Dead Sea are both within a two-hour drive. Additionally, the southern coastal town of Aqaba and the enchanting Wadi Rum desert can be reached in approximately two hours and fifteen minutes.
Why Dana is worth a visit
Dana Biosphere Reserve, spanning an impressive 308 square kilometers, is Jordan’s largest nature reserve and offers a unique and captivating experience. The reserve boasts a diverse landscape of mountains, valleys, and gorges, characterized by limestone, granite, and sandstone formations. Notably, this area showcases an exceptional blend of climates, animals, and plants from Europe, Africa, and Asia, including numerous rare animal species. The breathtaking hikes amidst this stunning scenery are a compelling reason to include Dana on your travel itinerary through Jordan.
Dana Village is situated at the heart of the Dana Nature Reserve, and visitors to the area can choose from a handful of hotels and lodging options. The village itself exudes an authentic atmosphere, with picturesque Ottoman stone houses. Due to its elevated position, visitors are treated to phenomenal views of the surrounding valley from both the village and many of the accommodations and restaurants. Embarking on beautiful hikes through the nature reserve is a must-do activity. While exploring independently is possible, we highly recommend going with a guide who can ensure you navigate the vast area seamlessly and showcase the most exquisite spots.
The most popular hiking trails in Dana originate from the village and include the Dana Village Tour, the Wadi Dana Trail, the Wadi Ghuweir Trail, and the White Dome Trail.
- The Dana Village Tour is a relatively short walk that provides a glimpse of the area surrounding the village. In contrast, the other hikes are more challenging and longer in duration. Therefore, the Dana Village Tour is ideal for hot days or when you prefer a shorter excursion.
- The Wadi Dana Trail takes you downhill from Dana Village to Feynan Ecolodge, a remote lodging situated outside of Dana. This scenic route showcases stunning landscapes, with most of the trail exposed to the sun. Following the hike, pre-arranged transportation will bring you back to Dana, which is a journey of over two hours.
- The Wadi Ghuweir Trail leads you through a lush green gorge adorned with hanging gardens. Navigating the rocks can be a thrilling challenge, making it advisable to hike with a guide. Throughout the hike, you’ll mainly walk in the shade of the gorge walls. Note that this trail may not always be accessible depending on weather conditions and the river’s water level. Upon reaching the end of the trail, you’ll also arrive at Feynan Ecolodge, requiring a taxi ride back to Dana.
- The White Dome Trail guides you from Dana to Rummana Campsite, offering breathtaking views of the valley along the way.
- For the adventurous and experienced hikers, the Jordan Trail presents a formidable challenge that spans several days. Starting from Dana, you can undertake a portion of this multi-day trek leading to the world-famous Petra.
The best time to visit Dana
If you’re planning a visit to Dana to experience its breathtaking hiking trails through the nature reserve, it’s crucial to choose the right season. The best time to travel to Dana is during spring and autumn.
Similar to other regions in Jordan, Dana experiences extremely cold winters and scorching summers. Due to its higher elevation compared to the rest of the country, winter months can be bitterly cold in Dana. Additionally, the sweltering summer temperatures make it less than ideal for engaging in active hikes.
Spring is an excellent choice due to its mild temperatures, particularly in this elevated and slightly cooler part of Jordan. Moreover, the landscapes come alive with vibrant blooms during this time, enhancing the overall experience. Autumn also offers pleasant temperatures for exploring Dana’s hiking trails.
Where to stay in Dana
Staying in Dana Village is the ideal choice for exploring the Dana Biosphere Reserve. This small village serves as the starting point for most hikes in the area and offers a selection of hotels and guides. While the hotels may not meet Western standards of comfort and aesthetics, their affordable prices make them a suitable option.
To avoid the somewhat unattractive hotels in Dana Village, we opted for accommodation outside the village within the nature reserve. Within the reserve, you’ll find several eco camps situated in stunning locations. Our choice was the Wadi Dana Eco Camp, located just outside the village. This camp offers both the convenience of proximity to Dana Village and a unique overnight experience.
Where to stay in Dana Village
#1 Hobbit Village is the most beautiful and highly-rated hotel in Dana Village. Hobbit Village stands out with its modern and stylish decor. Guests spend the night in charming hobbit-style houses immersed in nature, providing breathtaking views of the surroundings.
#2 Dana Tower Hotel is a cozy and popular hotel in the village and is often referred to as the heart of Dana Village. Although the rooms are relatively basic, the affordability compensates for it. The hotel’s restaurant is open to non-guests as well.
#3 Dana Guesthouse is the starting point for many hikes in the area, so this simple guesthouse offers more than just a place to sleep. It houses the information center and provides a useful map of the area. Positioned on the village’s outskirts, the guesthouse offers splendid views of the surroundings and the Dana Valley.
Unique eco camps to stay in Dana Nature Reserve
#4 Wadi Dana Eco Camp is a lovely camp in a picturesque location near Dana Village. This eco-camp provides a range of accommodation options, including traditional tents with shared showers and chalets with private bathrooms. All accommodations are situated on the valley’s edge, granting breathtaking views. Candlelit dinners in the evening create a special ambiance (dinner is not included in the price). The camp has limited electricity, primarily available for lighting during the evening. As rental cars cannot reach the camp, a complimentary pick-up from the village is provided on the way there, with a fee of 10 JD for the return journey. We found this additional charge slightly disappointing.
#5 Al Nawatef Eco Camp is a traditional Bedouin camp located 5 kilometers south of Dana Village. Guests can indulge in a traditional breakfast buffet each morning. Enthusiastic reviews highlight the camp’s beautiful location, warm hospitality, stunning surroundings, and the unique experience it provides.
#6 Rummana Campsite offers a glamping experience in the Dana area. Guests sleep in tents surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Exploring the campsite reveals remarkable rock formations and exceptional views.
#7 Feynan Ecolodge is a renowned but expensive accommodation option, situated in a beautiful location. It serves as the end for both the Wadi Dana and Wadi Ghuweir Trails. After spending a first night in Dana and enduring a challenging hike the next day, treating yourself to an overnight stay at this well-known ecolodge is a worthwhile indulgence.