A short but memorable sightseeing holiday in Jordan. Explore ancient Petra, see the red sand desert at Wadi Rum, and float in the warm water of the Dead Sea.
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL
Welcome to Jordan, evening airport pick up and overnight in Petra
DAY 2 – PETRA
Explore the rock-cut tombs and temples of Petra before heading south into Wadi Rum where you’ll enjoy a Bedouin feast and a night under the stars
DAY 3 – WADI RUM
Explore the red sand and rock wilderness of Wadi Rum before heading north to float in the warm waters of the Dead Sea.
DAY 4 – DEPARTURE.
Transfer to airport in Amman.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN PETRA
Your driver will be waiting at Amman (AMM) airport to take you directly to your hotel in Petra (around 2.5 hours). There are no activities planned for today. Meals included: none.
DAY 2 – PETRA TOUR AND CAMP IN WADI RUM DESERT
No matter how many times you’ve seen it reproduced on film, nothing can really prepare you for the first glimpse of Petra. The classic entry to the city takes you through the long twilight of the siq, a narrow canyon that twists for more than a mile through the red sandstone, and then stuns you into silence with the sunlit façade of the Treasury, a monument cut into the rock some 2000 years ago with a refinement that is scarcely believable.
From the postcards, you’d think this was what you’d come to see. But it’s just the beginning. Petra is a vast archaeological site, most of it still unexcavated; you could spend days exploring the ruins and still not see it all. It was built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe who began as tent-dwelling Bedouin but soon came to dominate the most lucrative trade of the ancient world: incense. They used the money to create this city and to build an empire that extended from the Red Sea to Damascus. They also absorbed architectural ideas from Egypt, from the Babylonians, and from the Greek cities of the Mediterranean, using them to create the hybrid culture that you see in these ruins. The Temple of the Winged Lions, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman theatre, the Garden Tomb, the Byzantine church – any one of these monuments would be an archaeological treasure in its own right; in Petra, you can explore them one after another, and find them all set into one of the finest desert landscape in the Middle East.
In the later afternoon you’ll head south into Wadi Rum and drive out to your camp in the heart of the protected area, where there’ll be time to relax and take in the sunset before enjoying a Bedouin feast of meat and vegetables cooked in the zerb, an oven of fire-heated sand and stone. If you’re still not tired out by the day’s adventures you can stay up round the fire, talking and laughing with your Bedouin hosts and watching the night sky. Your accommodation is a simple but comfortable Bedouin campsite, with a traditional goat hair tent divided into twin ‘rooms.’ There are proper toilets and showers on the site (go easy on the water), as well as shaded seating areas for relaxing and dining. (B, D)
DAY 3 – WADI RUM
Every guidebook to Wadi Rum repeats the description written by T.E. Lawrence of Arabia almost century ago, and with good reason. “The Arab armies would have been lost in the length and breadth of it,” he wrote, “and within the walls a squadron of aeroplanes could have wheeled in formation. Our little caravan grew self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of such stupendous hills. Landscapes, in childhood’s dream, were so vast and silent.”
You’ll spend the morning exploring Wadi Rum’s mountains and sand dunes, stopping to take in the views and to look at the inscriptions chipped into the rock over thousands of years. After a picnic lunch in the shade, followed by a cup of tea and a siesta, you’ll drive on to the great red dune, where you can kick off your shoes and run down the soft, warm sand.
In the afternoon your drivers will take you out of the desert and you’ll head north to your hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 – DEAD SEA
Today you’ll wake up at the Dead Sea and have the chance to float in its warm, intensely saline water. It is an unforgettable experience! The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the surface of the earth (some 400m below sea level) and contains mineral-rich muds that have been recognized since antiquity for their curative properties. This mud costs a fortune in Europe, but in Jordan you can scoop it from the seabed and cover yourself with it! The blue water, the white salt-encrusted shore, and the red desert mountains also make this an outstandingly beautiful place.
A short transfer (1 hour) will take you from your hotel back to Amman airport for the flight home. We wish you a safe journey home, and hope to see you in Jordan again soon. (B)
Transportation: Transportation throughout the trip using a deluxe air-conditioned private charter with an English speaking driver (sedan or van or a small bus depending on your group size).
Accommodation: 3 star hotels (1 nts), Bedouin campsites (1 nt), 4 star hotels (1 nt)
Meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners are included as per the itinerary above (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner).
Guides: Local Bedouin guide/ host in Wadi Rum, English Speaking Licensed Guide ( Appliable for 7 + group size)
Entrance fees (approximately US$80 per person)
Personal expenditures & tips.