Visitors to the Dead Sea should also take advantage of another nearby wonder, Hammamat Ma’in (Ma’in Hot Springs). The hot springs and baths of Hammamat Ma’in have been enjoyed for therapeutic and leisure pursuits for thousands of years.
In the Bible: King Herod frequented the healing springs at Ma’in (when these waters were known as Baaras) and built a villa at nearby Mukawer. According to tradition, it was at that villa that Salome danced and John the Baptist was beheaded (Matthew 14: 1-12).
Popular with both locals and tourists alike, the springs are located 264 m below sea level in one of the most breathtaking desert oases in the world. Thousands of visiting bathers come each year to enjoy the mineral-rich waters of these hyper-thermal waterfalls. These falls originate from winter rainfalls in the highland plains of Jordan and eventually feed the 109 hot and cold springs in the valley. This water is heated to temperatures of up to 63° Celsius by underground lava fissures as it makes its way through the valley before emptying into the Zarqa River.
The springs, located on the edge of Wadi Mujib, feed the Dead Sea.
Hammamat Ma’in is reached by one of the windiest and picturesque roads in the country, about a 20-minute drive southwest from Madaba towards the Dead Sea.
This site now is home to a modern spa resort, which provides a full range of spa services. For non-guests, there is an day-use fee to enter the complex. The main waterfall, which gushes over a cliff beneath the resort, ranges in temperature from 40° to 60° C (104-140° F). This is the most popular spot and is often full of families and young people enjoying the waters. There are hot pools and several smaller falls nearby as well.