The Dana to Petra trek was rated as one of the world’s best hikes by National Geographic magazine, and you’ll quickly see why. You’ll follow Bedouin migration routes and shepherds’ paths through a magnificent desert landscape before trekking into Petra via a little known trail through the hills. This is an unforgettable experience of trekking in Jordan.
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Madaba. A single timed group transfer from Amman Airport is provided. Otherwise KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: Transfer by bus to Dana reserve. Trek to Wadi Feinan where we make a traditional Bedouin bivouac. We can choose to sleep out under the stars or in a tent.
Day 3: Trek from Wadi Feinan through a landscape of rocky desert and mountains, passing Byzantine ruins to our camp near the dry canyon of Wadi Barwas.
Day 4: Leaving the Wadi we climb up into the mountains following ancient Bedouin trails. We cross two passes to reach the green valley of Reis al Feid, where we camp above the river valley.
Day 5: We climb back into the mountains for a spectacular day of trekking offering far-reaching views before descending once more to camp at Shkaret Umseid.
Day 6: Leaving Shkaret Umseid the trail weaves through rock canyons and onto a high plateau area where the mountains of Petra come into view. We then descend to our camp at Beidah via Little Petra.
Day 7: Our trek today finishes right at the site of Petra arriving by way of a spectacular trail along the cliffs. After exploring the site with a guide we head to our accommmodation and enjoy our final night of Jordanian hospitality..
Day 8: After an early morning breakfast we proceed to Amman Airport (2.5hours) for our onward flight home. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at the airport.
Below you will find links to Garmin Connect where you can view the complete itinerary and daily route tracks for this holiday. Check the distance covered each day, elevation gain and loss, maximum and minimum elevations plus lots more. To choose to view either in metric or statute click the feature in the top right of Garmin Connect. You can even download the route to your own Garmin handset to follow whilst on your trip! Please note that the GPS trip data should be taken as a guide only and that future routes can be subject to changes due to weather conditions, routes being impassable, etc
Day 1 Arrival in Madaba
Day 2 – Dana to Wadi Feinan
Distance 16.21 km
Ascent 189 m
Descent 1127 m
Day 3 – Wadi Feinan to Wadi Barwas
Ascent 342 m
Descent 388 m
Day 4 – Wadi Barwas to Reis al Feid
Distance 11.30 km
Ascent 1078 m
Descent 354 m
Day 5 – Reis al Feid to Shkaret Umseid
Distance 13.80 km
Ascent 647 m
Descent 609 m
Day 6 – Shkaret Umseid to Little Petra
Distance 14.46 km
Ascent 456 m
Descent 467 m
Day 7 – Little Petra to Petra
Distance 16.73 km
Ascent 697 m
Descent 678 m
Day 8 – Depart
Distance 91.10 km
Ascent 3409 m
Descent 3623 m
DAY 1 – ARRIVE IN MADABA
Rendezvous at the group hotel in Madaba. A single group transfer from Amman Airport to the group hotel in Madaba or Amman is provided. This transfer is normally in the late evening and a representative of our local agent will accompany the group on the 30 minute journey to the hotel. As most people will have taken their evening meal during the flight, dinner is not provided on this day. Anyone arriving in Amman earlier than the group flight will be able to purchase a dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DAY 2: Drive to Dana and trek to Wadi Feinan
We will make an early start for the drive southwards to the Dana NatureReserve. Here, we meet our trek crew and trekking guide set off on a first day’s walk which will take 6 hours including a stop for lunch. The walk from Dana to Feinan is essentially downhill with the initial 800 metre / 2650 foot decent taking place in the first hour of the walk. After this, the route levels out and we can enjoy a far more gentle walk through a wide open valley flanked by the Dana Mountains. Arriving in Wadi Feinan, we set up our first camp of the trip. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)
DAY 3: Trek from Wadi Feinan to Wadi Barwas
This is another 6-hour walking day, which will take us across classic ‘hamada’ landscape – dry, rock-strewn desert, with little sand. The route is quite level and there are spectacular views of the high mountain ranges to the east and the expansive Wadi Araba Desert stretching out to the west. Although the terrain is essentially flat, there are several small wadis (dry valleys), that must be crossed throughout the day. We pass both Byzantine and Nabatean ruins during the course of today’s walk and our local guide will point these out. We set up camp for the night in Wadi Barwas. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: Trek to Ras el Feid
Leaving the stony ‘hamada’ desert behind, there is a steep ascent across rocks and small boulders which eventually leads to a twisting goat herder’s track. The initial uphill section takes approximately 3 hours. The track leads up into the mountains through a narrow and dramatic valley with wonderful views eastwards towards the Wadi Araba Desert. This is a steep and challenging section of the route, but extremely rewarding, as we finally reach the top of a high saddle. The descent to the river valley beyond is on a well-defined trail through rocky surroundings. There are views ahead of the next day’s route. On reaching the dry river bed, we turn upstream for half an hour to our camp at Ras el Feid. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: Trek to Shkaret Msei’d
We retrace our route along the riverbed, before turning off on a Bedouin trail that traverses a rocky valley side, gradually ascending by way of dry wadis and indistinct cols. This part of the path is particularly challenging, becoming less well-defined, with some easy scrambling to overcome the largest obstacles. This section lasts approximately 2 hours and eventually descends to a riverbed with perennial water. Look out for the elusive ibex in this remote area. The trail continues along the wadi floor and gently climbs up into the pale coloured sandstone mountains of the Petra region. The climb from the valley to the escarpment (where Petra is situated) is gentle and beautiful with a slight uphill climb towards the end across bare rock slabs. We camp at the col of Shkaret Msei’d. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: Trek to Beidha
Leaving the campsite at Shkaret Msei’d the scenery changes dramatically. We leave the narrow, confining wadis behind and find ourselves amongst wide-open sandstone hills that have something of the feel of a moonscape. The rock is smooth and soft and despite there being no apparent trail the terrain is easy to negotiate, with wide tracks and walkways. The Nabatean influence is apparent here and the first cut steps can be seen. The trail passes through Bedouin encampments, before reaching another rocky area where the track once again becomes indistinct, with interesting route-finding and easy scrambling. We descend into Little Petra using a little used route. The splendour of Little Petra provides an insight into what lies ahead at the main Petra site. From the main entrance of Little Petra, we make our way towards Beidha with evidence of modern human settlement in the form of jeep tracks. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: Trek to Petra
We will say goodbye to our local trekking guide and crew this morning and we continue with our guide. The walk from here to Petra will take between 2 and 3 hours, with the initial walk across open farmland. The route then follows a well-defined mountain track with fantastic views across to the Araba Desert, some 100 km / 60 miles away. The views are impressive and with the exception of one short (2 metre) section a head for heights is not necessary. The walk into Petra is magnificent and is the culmination of 5 days of hard walking. The initial glimpse of the top of the Monastery, as it comes into view through the mountains, has a similar effect of the first glimpse of the Treasury from the Siq. We will then trek down from the Monastery and exit Petra by the secondary Siq before re-entering the site through the main Siq so you get to see the most famous view of Petra as though you are entering for the first time. After our sightseeing visit to Petra, we overnight at a hotel in nearby Wadi Musa. (B, L,D)
DAY 8: DEPART FROM AMM AIRPORT
After an early breakfast we transfer by private vehicle (3hrs) to Amman International Airport. Our services end on arrival at the airport. However if you would like to extend your visit in Jordan to visit the Red Sea, the Dead Sea or Jerash, please contact our team of adventure travel consultants (B).
We wish you a safe homeward journey and hope to see you again in Jordan soon.
Joining Arrangements and Transfers
Two group transfers will be arranged from Amman Airport to the hotel in Madaba. These transfers will meet the arrival of the Royal Jordanian and British Airways flights from the UK and will normally depart from the airport at around 2300 hours on Day 1 of the trip itinerary and 0100 hours of Day 2 of the trip itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel in Wadi Musa to Amman Airport timed to meet the check in for the Royal Jordanian and British Airways flights back to the UK which departs at around midday. This transfer will be in the early morning of Day 8 of the trip itinerary. Our representative will assist with the transfers between the airport and the group hotel. If the arrival transfers do not work with your flights, you will need to make your own transfer arrangements at Amman Airport. The airport is 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the town of Madaba. Fixed price tan-coloured airport taxis are readily available outside the terminal exit doors. They charge a standard fare of JD20 for the one-way trip to Madaba. If the departure transfer on day 8 does not work for you, please let us know and we will quote you for a private transfer. The airport is 210 kilomters (130 miles) north-east of the town of Wadi Musa. There is an ATM and money changing facilities in the airport. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
We don’t expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to begin your trip as scheduled, please contact us immediately at one of the following numbers:
+962(0)7 7751 5919
+962(0)7 9755 9290
+962(0)7 9778 4433
+962(0)7 9553 6351
Local Jordanian tour leader
Bedouin trekking guide
Two Amman Airport group transfer at the beginning and a single Amman Airport group transfer at the end of the trip
All land transport involved in the itinerary
All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
Guided sightseeing tour of Petra including entrance fees
Entrance fee for Dana Reserve
A full service on trek including food and all equipment (excluding
Services not included
Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
Tips for local staff including the local guide and drivers
Miscellaneous expenses – drinks and souvenirs etc.
All meals from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on day 8 are included in the holiday price. Dinner on the first evening in Madaba is not included. Most clients will arrive late in the evening having taken a meal on the plane. For those arriving earlier the hotel has a restaurant or there is a wide range of dining options nearby (allow £10 – £15 for a dinner).
Breakfasts on trek consist of bread, a variety of cheese, honey, jams, yoghurt, fruit, tea and Nescafe. For lunch there will be a variety of salads, spicy humus, breads and other dishes from which we can select, or a full packed lunch. Dinner will usually be a soup followed by barbeque or pan fried meat and vegetables with plenty of bread, yoghurt, and humus followed by fresh fruit and tea or coffee. Mineral water is provided. Vegetarians can be catered for.
Approximately USD$200 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounts or euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. You should carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival at the airport in Amman. Sterling, US dollars and euros can easily be exchanged. The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). On arrival, you will pay 40JD for your Jordanian Visa. That’s approximately $55 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros). You should also allow a total of approximately $70 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) for driver, guide and trek crew tips. The cost of the Petra visit is included in the trip price. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of drinks or other refreshments, you should allow for this.
Guidance on Tipping
Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guide, drivers and other support staff. They do not form part of their wages. Terhaal pays its crews at the fair rates of pay. We advise our local staff that tips are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that they provide. We recommend that you pay tips only where you receive good service. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of $70 (or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) for tipping your crew. More detailed guidelines on tipping will be provided by your guide.
Group Leader and Support Staff
We provide an Equipment List for each of our holidays. These highlight any specialised equipment you will require and also act as a packing check list. You can find the Equipment List at the end of this page.
During the trip your baggage will be carried by bus and by 4WD vehicles. The only baggage limit is that which is imposed by your airline. However, Jordan is a hot country and you will not require any heavy clothing, nor are you required to bring a camping mattress. Travelling light will also make transiting airports a much more pleasant experience for you.
During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in Madaba (or in Amman) at a tourist hotel. We will also have a night in a tourist hotel in Wadi Musa (Petra). Whilst on trek there are 5 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex.. When camping in the desert, we provide simple 2-man tents, but it is quite usual for group members to find a secluded spot in the dunes (or by the campfire if preferred) and to sleep out under the stars. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.
A Typical Day
At around 7 a.m. breakfast will be under way and you will be able to make your way to the centre of the desert camp to pick up that all important first cup of tea or coffee. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your trek bag which will be transported safely in the support vehicle to our next camping place. Bottled mineral water is provided throughout the time in the desert and you will need to grab a couple of bottles and your packed lunch prior to setting off. Usually, our route will involve a mix of walking, through cool canyons and across open rocky terrain and we will find a suitably shady spot to stop for a long lunch. Usually we walk for around 4 hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon. On arrival at camp, we can relax on mattresses around a central area covered by matting and take a cooling drink, with tea or coffee also available. Dinner is ready at around 7 p.m. and is served around the camp fire. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trip so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature starts to fall and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.
Please note this is a KE Adventure holiday operated by Terhaal, Jordan adventure specialists. Terhaal operates and sells this trekking holiday in conjunction KE Adventure Travel as this enables us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get the trip up and running quickly. The cosmopolitan nature of the groups will be an important part of the experience! The holiday will be led by an English-speaking guide.
Preparing For Your Holiday
It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday, getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking up to 5 or 6 hours each day for several days continuously. There are some easy scrambling sections during this trip and although these not difficult or dangerous you should be comfortable also with a degree of exposure. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to departure. Regular walking in hill or back country is the best preparation but if this is not possible, regular exercise with your preferred sport or pastime such as jogging, squash and swimming, will develop better fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.
This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.
A medical kit will accompany each group. You should also bring your own personal first aid kit, which should includethe items listed in the equipment list at the end of this page.
The best period for trekking in Jordan is in autumn through to late spring season, from October through to early June. Outside of this period it can be very hot, with temperatures, rising to 39 degrees centigrade in July and August. In October and in April, the maximum daytime temperatures are likely to range between 25 and 33 degrees Centigrade, falling as low as 10 degrees centigrade at night. Heading into November the temperatures begin to cool and by December/January, typical daytime maximum temperatures are around 12 to 15 degrees centigrade, falling as low as 5 degrees centigrade at night. In December and January it can even snow in Amman.
valid passport (with at least 6 months remaining validity) and a current Jordanian Visa are required. Nationals of certain countries – including all Western European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – can obtain visas on arrival at the airport in Amman. This visa costs 40 Jordanian Dinars (approximately $55 or the equivalent in Sterling pounds or euros) and must be paid in local currency. There are facilities for changing money at the airport.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A’. Yellow Fever is not required unless you are entering Jordan from a yellow-fever-infected country. Malaria prophylaxis is not recommended. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Booking Your Flight
We do not sell flight tickets. The dates and prices for this itinerary are LAND ONLY. Amman International Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the ‘Joining Arrangements and Transfers’ section above for further details.
For those coming from the UK, Royal Jordanian and British Airways have flights to Jordan.
Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing ‘Guaranteed’ or ‘Limited Spaces’.
For worldwide clients, you can book your flights through a travel agent, directly with an airline, or online using a variety of travel search engines and consolidator sites. There are many websites offering deals on air tickets which can be booked directly online. In addition many airlines operate their own online booking facilities. If you are considering buying flights online, we recommend kayak.com. While Kayak.com does not sell flights, it quickly searches several hundred websites to find the best deals available.
Adventure Travel Insurance
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs,
air ambulance and helicopter rescue services). We also strongly recommend that you take out holiday cancellation insurance, as all deposits paid are non-refundable. Please ensure that your insurer is aware of your itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken. You will then need to advise us of your policy details and complete an Insurance Declaration Form.
CAMPBELL IRVINE DIRECT travel insurance is available to EU residents and will cover the majority of KE Adventure holidays. It has been designed to provide cover for activities normally excluded by other insurers such as trekking, mountain biking and climbing. Please note that certain activities may attract a higher premium.
TRAVELEX is a USA based insurer offering travel insurance which can be used by US citizens and US residents only. We, gernerally, recommend the “Travelex Select” package for our holidays. If your holiday involves using mountaineering equipment (ropes, harness or crampons), for climbing, you should consider the “Adventure Plus Pak” optional upgrade on the Travelex Select Plan. Please refer to the ‘Description of Coverage’ for a summary of the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the applicable Protection Plan.
The official language of Jordan is Arabic. Using an alphabet very unlike your own, it is one of the most difficult of languages to learn. We do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings. Some Jordanians, especially those in affluent areas and those who work with tourists, will speak English and possibly French.
Jordanians are famously friendly and welcoming towards guests, especially in rural areas. It is quite normal for Jordanians to invite foreigners in to drink tea or have a meal in the family home. Meeting the local people in spontaneous encounters of this sort is one of the great pleasures of travelling in Jordan.
Electric Supply and Plug
The voltage in Jordan is generally 230v and the current is 50Hz. It is capable of taking part in this trip – this will also provide you with an
opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.
Reference Books and Maps
Jordan. Lonely Planet
Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum. Tony Howard. Cicerone Press
Jordan – Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs and Canyons. Taylor and Howard. Cicerone Press
Walks and Scrambles in Wadi Rum. Jordan Publishers
Jordan – Reise Know-How Verlag 1:400,000
Double-sided and detailed map, dividing the country horizontally just underneath al-Karak. Combines clear road and tourist detail with general relief indicated by contours, altitude tinting, mountain passes and peak heights.
We believe in low impact or ‘positive impact’ tourism. Broadly speaking, this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit, while maximising the positive aspects of the encounter. Jordan is a small country with few natural resources. Water scarcity is a big issue in the region, so please go easy on the water. Terhaal designs these tours in a way that maximizes benefits for local communities. Whenever possible we hire local staff in the areas where we operate, and our guests stay in locally owned hotels. We also include some volunteering activities where appropriate, such helping farmers to harvest their olives. Terhaal also contributes towards efforts that strengthen environmental advocacy and the environmental education of Jordan’s children.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make your destinations such special places. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession. It is also unsafe to drink alcohol while out hiking / cycling, so please wait until you’re back at the hotel to enjoy a drink.
After your trip we hope you will send us your photos and any stories or feedback you may have. Your feedback not only helps us to improve the trips, but also helps other travelers to decide on the right tour for them. We would appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to complete our feedback form, just follow this link: http://www.terhaal.com/feedback-form
Our blog – ‘Treks & Trails of Jordan’ – is a collection of stories posted by a variety of people that reflect the natural, environmental and cultural aspects of Jordan. It is also a great way to give feedback and to share your Jordan experience with others. All you need to do is write one or two paragraphs about your trip with Terhaal, attach some photos if available and send it to us at this email: team[at]terhaal.com. You can find the blog here – blog.terhaal.com
The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.
You must bring the following items:
2/3 season sleeping bag *
Hiking boots/Approach shoes
Water bottles – 1 litre/1 quart x 2 (2 litres total)
Training shoes or sandals for sightseeing and camp use
Trekking trousers / pants
Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
At least 1 long sleeve shirt with collar (for sun protection)
Warm jacket (eg. Fleece)*
Lightweight windproof / waterproof jacket
Warm hat (for chilly evenings in the desert)
Daypack of approx. 30 litres / 1800 cubic inches capacity
Headtorch / headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
Lighter/matches – for burning toilet paper
Washbag and toiletries
Antibacterial handwash (note that washing water can be limited in the desert)
Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
The following items are optional
Sleeping bag liner
Thermarest (a foam mattress is provided)
Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
Camera, film / memory cards, batteries
Swimming shorts/costume (if extending at the Red or Dead Sea)
*For the November – February trips when night-time temperatures can fall below freezing in the desert, we recommend a 4 season sleeping bag, a warmer jacket such as a down-filled jacket, and thermal baselayers.
**As Jordan is an Islamic country, modest dress is preferable in the towns and cities. Shoulders should be kept covered, and full-length trousers/skirts are recommended. Knee-length shorts are OK once on trek.
The information in this document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Terhaal.