The Dead Sea is a place I’d dreamed for years of visiting! I had the chance to finally swim in its salty waters while traveling through Jordan. With a salt concentration of a staggering 34% (8.6 times saltier than ocean water!), it makes for a truly unique experience!
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth, and hosts no life in its waters. Despite this, it can still be a high point of your travels (see what I did there?)! Here are my tips to best enjoy your dip in these famed waters:
Location is Key: You typically pay a hotel for its beachfront access, and can then enjoy their swimming pools, showering, and changing facilities afterwards too. Most places in Jordan charge for towels as well, so it’s a good idea to bring one with you if you can. Prices vary, but most are around 20 Jordanian Dinar. Choose wisely!
Throw Out the Razor: The water will sting any minor cut, scrape or lesion that you have anywhere on your body. With that being said, do NOT shave 1-3 days before your swim. You will regret it! The high salt level will leave sensitive areas stinging like crazy. I followed this advice, and even so it was still a bit painful.
Treat Your Wounds: If you have any deeper cuts or scrapes, wrap them heavily in a waterproof bandage prior to stepping in the water. Why? See above for details on the world of pain that could await you!
Leave It All Behind: With the incredible salinity of the water and its ability to damage electronics, it’s best to leave your camera or phone on the beach. Even a waterproof camera or GoPro can become blurred and potentially ruined from the salt. Rinsing it with fresh water will help, but it isn’t guaranteed. With that being said, take your photos BEFORE you get in the sea, and try to find someone on shore to get a photo of you in the water.
Don’t Dress Your Best: Wear a swimsuit that isn’t your favorite. My white colored bikini was permanently stained (a slight rust color) from the water, despite me rinsing it off with fresh water afterwards.
Take It Slow: Once in the water, move slowly so you don’t accidentally fall or splash yourself. Upon entering the water, you will feel a sense of weightlessness, and it isn’t immediately easy to control. The sensation is like no other- you won’t believe how much the water will lift you, despite any efforts you make not to float!
Maintain Calm: Do not splash or swallow the water. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised what other tourists can do! Also I’d recommend bringing thick hiking sandals that you can wear in the water to protect you from sharp edges and the hard salt on the shore. I’d bring sunglasses too as an extra shield from accidental splashes!
Treat Yourself: Take advantage of the mud from the bottom of the sea. Feel free to put it all over your body, and especially your face! It will make your skin feel incredibly smooth and soft, and is way cheaper than any spa! Some beaches will have workers who will charge you for mud, but you can typically just find and apply it yourself.
Just Keep Looking: There are plenty of places to enjoy the Dead Sea in peace, so if the beach you’re at is too crowded, keep looking! There are plenty of options. It’s not worth it to deal with annoying crowds and loud vacationers when you can just go somewhere else close by.
Stay Modest: Have a towel or cover-up handy when emerging from the water. If you’re a woman, the walk back to the changing rooms or hotel can bring unwanted stares from local men who act like they’ve never see a girl before. You’ll definitely feel more comfortable covered up a bit.