Mystical Jordan Trip: April, 2020
Jordan: Mystical Desert Wonders
April 3rd - 10th, 2020
Join me for an unforgettable trip to one of the most underrated places on earth. While Jordan may be best known for Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this small country boasts and extraordinary range of geographic climates and attractions.
Jordan offers beautiful beaches; mouthwatering cuisine; spectacular star gazing; world-class mountain and trail hiking; unique Martian-like desert landscapes and jeep safaris; fabulous snorkeling and scuba diving in the Red Sea; and ancient Roman and Nabatean ruins. Enjoy everything Jordan has to offer, while supporting local communities and eco-friendly businesses.
Soon I’ll announce the details of a pre-Jordan adventure to Israel and Palestine. Stay tuned for those details.
Trip Highlights include:
Exploring the stunning tombs and monasteries carved into the red rock walls of Petra
Experiencing authentic Bedouin culture and cuisine in the desert
Roaming through the largest and best preserved Roman ruins outside of Rome
Indulging at one of the top-10 rated eco-lodges in the world
Staying in a Bedouin desert camp that is run by and benefits the local tribe
Learning how to cook authentic Jordanian food from local chefs
Relaxing in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea
Hanging out with locals who can offer a fresh perspective on life in the Middle East
Jordan Trip Itinerary
Friday, April 3rd
Arrive at Amman Airport. Amman is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited since the bronze age. The city is growing into a modern city, but retains its character and history.
No activities will be scheduled so that participants can adjust to the time difference and rest. For those interested, a special visit to an authentic Turkish bathhouse hammam can be arranged. Turkish hammams are a one-of-a-kind opportunity that curious travelers should experience while in the Middle East.
Overnight in Amman.
Saturday, April 4th
Start your visit to Jordan with a tour of the old city of Amman, exploring the Citadel and the Roman Theater, two of the most popular archaeological sites in the city, and the Jordan Folklore Museum. Afterward, visit one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods, Jabal al-Weibdeh, passing by several art galleries, museums, and local antiquities and handcraft shops.
Evening cooking class to learn how to prepare (and then enjoy!) several traditional Jordanian delicacies.
Overnight in Amman.
Sunday, April 5th
Head north to walk through history in Jerash (1 hour drive), regarded as one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. We’ll then visit a local home and savor an amazing Jordanian meal with our hosts.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Ajloun castle, built to ward off the Crusader armies at the key trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Mecca.
Overnight in Amman.
Monday, April 6th
After an early breakfast, we’ll depart to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. Enjoy a day relaxing at the Dead Sea, floating in the salty waters, and trying out an invigorating and nourishing mud bath. You can also rest by the pool or pamper yourself with spa treatments at the resort hotel.
After lunch, we will drive to Feynan Ecolodge, considered to be one of the top 10 rated eco-lodges in the world, according to National Geographic. Enjoy a guided sunset walk to a nearby hilltop for freshly-brewed Bedouin tea and stunning views westwards as the sun sets over the vast Wadi Araba deserts.
Overnight at Feynan Ecolodge.
Tuesday, April 7th
The morning is free time for resting and relaxing. An activity like bread making or a Bedouin coffee ceremony is included. Additional activities are available for a slight additional cost (such as mountain biking in the desert or a cooking class). All activity proceeds benefit the local Bedouin community. Depart Feynan in the afternoon and drive past the stunning Shobak castle on the way to Petra.
We’ll be staying in a desert camp hidden in a spectacular amphitheater of sand and hills, that’s run by a local Bedouin tribe.
Accommodations will be in traditional Bedouin tents that have been upgraded to include proper beds and electricity. Note that bathrooms and showers are shared, located outside of the tent.
Overnight in Little Petra.
Wednesday, April 8th
Explore a masterpiece half as old as time, the Red Rose city of Petra. Marvel at the beauty of the ‘Lost City’, exploring massive caves and tombs, intricately carved directly into the stone. Walk through the Siq, explore the Royal Tombs, and be astounded at the magnificent Treasury, the entrance guarding the ancient Nabatean city. Step aside as camels and donkeys pass by carrying tourists, while herds of goats go about their day amidst the bustling tourists.
We’ll hike into the lesser-known back entrance of Petra, with spectacular mountain views and far fewer tourists than you’d find at the main entrance. Arrive to the breathtaking monastery before the crowds arrive and enjoy a cup of sweet Bedouin tea in a cafe carved directly into the mountains.
After a full day in Petra, we’ll drive to Wadi Rum (2 hours) and spend the night under the stars in the peaceful desert. Enjoy Bedouin hospitality at its finest at one of the most luxurious desert camps in the country, complete with private baths and an additional luxury “cave suite” upgrade.
Overnight in Wadi Rum.
Thursday, April 9th
A local Bedouins will lead us on a 2-3 hour hike through the desert. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch, nestled in the shade between massive rock formations that resemble melted chocolate.
Before sunset, we’ll embark on a 2-hour jeep tour following in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, climbing sand dunes and rock bridges. During the jeep tour, you’ll travel through Wadi Rum’s valleys, canyons, dunes and deserts. You’ll discover rock inscriptions, take in majestic views of mountains, desert landscapes, and narrow gorges where you’re sure to spot a camel.
Overnight in Wadi Rum.
Friday, April 10th
After an early breakfast, we’re off to Aqaba (1-hour drive), a bustling modern city on the Red Sea. We’ll spend a couple hours snorkeling with brightly colored fish in the warm, clear Red Sea water before checking into our hotel. Scuba diving is an option for certified divers.
The afternoon will be free to rest, visit the beach, or shop, as Aqaba is a recognized duty-free zone and is a fantastic place to pick up souvenirs such as spices, oils, and Dead Sea mud and salt products.
Overnight in Aqaba.
Saturday, April 10th
Collection from your hotel in Aqaba and transfer to King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba (where there are many connecting flights through Amman, Istanbul, and other cities).
Price per person*:
$2999, if booked by July 15th, 2019
$3099, if booked by September 15th, 2019
$3199, if booked by November 15th, 2019
$3299, if booked by January 15th, 2019
*For an additional $299/person, you can upgrade to a luxury “cave room” for two nights in the desert.
What is included:
Round-trip taxi transfers to/from airports in Jordan
Transportation between and within cities to all activities on the itinerary
Admission to all activities included in the itinerary
Accommodations in 3-star hotels (Amman and Aqaba) and comfortable desert camps (Petra and Wadi Rum)
All meals, including one non-alcoholic beverage at each meal
*These prices are based on per person double-occupancy. If you wish to have your own room, please add $499. In the past, guests have enjoyed inviting friends and family to share a room, though I will try to pair up interested singles looking for a roommate.
A 50% deposit is required by the indicated date to reserve your spot. The remaining balance is due by January 15th, 2020.
What’s NOT included:
Airfare (though I will make airline/flight suggestions).
Tips/gratuities for guides
Admission and transportation to activities not included in the itinerary (such as activities at Feynan Ecolodge)
IMPORTANT: Proof of travel insurance is required for this trip. Read my article Why You Should Buy Travel Insurance to learn why it’s so important. You may chose your own travel insurance provider but I recommend World Nomad's. I've used their insurance for many years, as have many of my clients, and they offer comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service at a reasonable price. Cancellation policy applies, find more in my Terms and Conditions.