Tour type: Private
Group size: Min: 1 | Max: Any
Accommodation: 4/5-star hotels & Bedouin camp
Transport: A/C car/minivan & Bedouin jeep
Highlights: Petra & 'Little Petra', Wadi Rum jeep safari, Sunset camel ride, Wadi Rum desert camp, The Dead Sea, Roman Remains at Jerash, As-Salt, Bethany Baptism Site, King's and Desert Highways
This 7-day tour is a great way to spend a short break in Jordan, covering all the country's important and famous sites, while adding in some less visited places and experiences to really provide an in-depth taste of this fascinating country.
Our Jordan tour starts in the capital city of Amman, from where we'll visit the Baptism Site at Bethany on the River Jordan and also take 'Harmony Trail' through the hillside town of As-Salt, learning how people of different religious live here, side by side. We'll also explore Amman itself and tour the magnificent Roman site at Jerash before heading south on the picturesque King's Highway, crossing deep wadis and travelling through small villages, olive groves and farmlands along the way. We'll stop to see some well preserved mosaics in Madaba, enjoy views over Israel from Mt. Nebo and explore the huge crusader castle at Kerak before we arrive at Petra, undoubtedly the country's main attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have a full day to explore the site with a guided tour plus free time to walk up to the Monastery or High Place of Sacrifice.
Our next stop is the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum, where we spend the night in a comfortable Bedouin camp amidst the rocky cliffs and sandy desert, beneath clear starry skies. The tour then finishes with a jeep safari in Wadi Rum and a scenic drive north back to Amman along the banks of the Dead Sea, where you’ll have the opportunity to float on the surface of its salty waters.
This Jordan tour is based on locally rated 5-star hotels in Amman and Petra plus the Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, but alternate levels are also available if you would like upgrade or lower the budget. Extensions are also available for more relaxation time or snorkelling and scuba diving at the Red Sea in Aqaba.
Your Jordanian adventure starts in the busy capital city of Amman. We'll be there to meet and greet you at the airport before we transfer you to your hotel in the city. You have the rest of the day free to explore Amman on your own.
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single Room Supplement (JOTMJU)
5-star hotel upgrade (JOSGWJ)
We start the day with a visit to the hilltop town of As-Salt, which once served as a trading link between the Jordan Valley and the Eastern Desert. As-Salt is known for its impressive old Islamic architecture which was built using yellow limestone.
Today, the town serves as an example of the religious and cultural friendship between the local Muslim & Christian population. To learn more about As-Salt, we'll head out on a walking tour of its 'Harmony Trail', which will give you greater insight into the lives of the locals.
We'll have lunch with a local family today, giving you your first taste of Jordanian cuisine (this is group size dependent, if the group is too large, we will head to a local restaurant).
After lunch, we make our way to the Baptism site at Bethany, which is an excavated site believed to the place where John baptised Jesus Christ. Many churches, caves and pools dating back to Roman & Byzantine periods have been found here. We'll also visit three of its most important sites: Tell Mar Elias, the Baptism Pools and John the Baptist's Church.
We'll return to our hotel in Amman where we'll spend the night.
We leave Amman today, driving along the scenic King's Highway to Petra. We'll drive slowly, giving you time to take in the beauty of your surroundings as we pass through deep wadis, olive groves and rural villages.
We'll stop at Madaba to see the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is famed for its 6th century-old Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land. We'll also visit Mount Nebo, which is known to be the burial place of Moses.
Next, we'll stop at the Kerak Castle, which is one of a few Crusader Fortresses spread across Jordan. The castle was built in the 12th century and provides breath-taking views of the surrounding hills and plains.
There is an option is available tonight to get a first taste of the rose-red city by booking the Petra by Candlelight tour. If this is something you would like to experience, please chat to your travel consultant.
Petra by night
We spend most of the day exploring the famous Nabatean site of Petra, which is situated at the edge of Wadi Aruba. One of the best ways to get to Petra is by travelling through the Siq - a narrow gorge which cuts through its towering canyon walls and surrounding hills.
Once we get to Petra, you will notice that there are few freestanding buildings. The Nabateans preferred to carve their homes into the sandstone cliffs.
We'll head out on a guided tour of Petra, before you get some time to do some exploring on your own. We'll take you through the Siq until we reach the Khazneh, one of Petra's most spectacular temples. You'll also get insight into the lives of the Nabateans and find out how they carved their homes into the sandstone rock faces.
Next, we visit the ancient ruined Roman Amphitheatre and explore Petra's colonnaded streets before you're given time to explore on your own. Be sure to visit the Monastery - Petra's largest carved monument. The walk to the Monastery is tiring, but the views are rewarding. If you still have enough energy, you can also hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Lion Fountain.
We say goodbye to Petra today as we make our way into the Wadi Rum Desert, where we'll be staying in a Bedouin Camp, taking in the beauty of the towering rocks and cliffs around us. We'll enjoy a traditional Jordanian meal here as we relax and marvel at the starry skies above us.
Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
We start the day with a jeep safari, exploring the rugged desert scenery of Wadi Rum. Look out for the copper-coloured rocky jebels, which mesmerised TE Lawrence during his visit to the desert during the Arab Revolt and was later featured in the movie, Lawrence of Arabia.
We leave Wadi Rum later today and make our way towards the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth coming in at 400 metres below sea level. The Dead Sea is also one of the world's most spiritual landscapes, filled with dramatic, natural wonders.
Numerous rivers run into the Dead Sea, including the River Jordan. Once the water reaches the Dead Sea, they become land-locked and eventually evaporates, leaving a dense, rich mixture of salt and minerals behind.
We'll stop to enjoy a 'swim' in the Dead Sea's salty waters, which will be a unique experience as the salinity makes it virtually impossible to swim but rather to float or sit in its waters. We finish the day back at our hotel in Amman.
Amman – evening food tasting tour
Today we head out on a city tour of Amman, taking in its rich history which dates back many millennia. We'll start with a visit to the Citadel - the former home of the ancient temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, Byzantine Church and the ancient Roman theatre, which is still being used today to host various cultural events.
Next, we make our way to Jerash, one of the most well-preserved Roman architecture sites on the planet. Jerash was hidden underneath sand for centuries and over the past 70 years, archaeological work has uncovered that Jerash was once a fine example of Roam urbanism, boasting paved and colonnaded streets, hilltop temples, public squares and plazas.
Amman – evening food tasting tour
You have the day free to explore Amman before being transferred to the airport.
If you would like to squeeze in some more sightseeing, we can assist with optional day trips such as a visit to Aljoun Castle.
If you wish to extend the tour, we can arrange a transfer to Tel Aviv either by by flight or overland for people wanting to connect this tour with our Biblical Israel tour departure which starts on Sunday. Extensions to spend time at a resort in the Red Sea town or Aqaba are also available.
Note: options and extensions are subject to flight departure times and may require extra days adding to your tour.
Pella and Umm Qais
Extra day in Amman - post-tour
Hotel Gala Dinners
Most of Jordan's higher level hotels arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but normally compulsory for all guests of the hotel on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. Please budget accordingly. More information is available on request.
Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
The House Boutique Suites
The House Boutique Suites is rightly one one of the most popular hotels in Amman with a good location close to the centre, a boutique feel, large clean suites and good service standards. It is our preferred property for private tours in Amman.
The House Boutique Suites is rightly one one of the most popular hotels in Amman. It has an excellent location (unlike many Amman hotels) within 500m walk of Rainbow Street with its wealth of shops, cafes and restaurants. You can also walk to Downtown from here.
The hotel has a boutique feel with excellent service and friendly staff. Entry level Studio Suites are large and comfortable at 45 sq m, with kitchen facilities and a fridge as well as a working desk, safety deposit box, free WiFi, and en-suite bathrooms. Upgrades are also available to Superior Suites (75 sq m), Grand Suites (82 sq m), plus larger 2 bedroom suites at both levels.
The hotel itself has an outdoor pool and a fitness centre. Overall this is our preferred property for private tours in Amman.
textLocated in Amman, In front of Amman Chamber of Industry, The House Boutique Suites boasts air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has an outdoor pool and fitness center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. The rooms have a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms have a seating area for your convenience. You will find a kettle in the room. Every room has a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find slippers and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. Rainbow Street is 550 yards from The House Boutique Suites, while The Jordan Museum is 0.7 miles from the property. The nearest airport is Queen Alia International Airport, 16.2 miles from The House Boutique Suites
Old Village Resort
This newly renovated 5-star property is located just outside of Wadi Musa, 2km from Petra. It has a traditional design, and fully-equipped rooms with modern amenities. It has an indoor pool, sauna, several relaxation areas, and free shuttle service.
This 5-star resort boasts a highly convenient location just outside of Wadi Musa, and 2km from the famous World Heritage site of Petra. It has been recently renovated, and has an old-style traditional feel with rooms spread about a village style area. Rooms are fully-equipped, with amenities including Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, TVs, minibars, and safes. Complimentary toiletries are offered as well. Facilities include an indoor pool and sauna. There are several areas to relax in and enjoy the views, including a sun deck, terrace, garden, and spacious grounds. The resort offers a free shuttle service to Petra, and transfers are included on our tours as well.
Overall we feel this is a really nice resort with lots of character but can be considered a good 4-star level rather than full 5-star standard.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location on the desert sands against the cliffs in the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. The food is generally excellent.
This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.
Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. We book the standard tents with shared bathrooms, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars.
WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night.
Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
We use good quality hotels at the local 5-star rating on this tour, and aim to use more boutique style hotels with some character, rather than more generic international chain hotels. These hotels can generally be considered to be a good 4-star international level. A night is also spent in a comfortable Bedouin camp inside the Wadi Rum desert reserve. Accommodation here is in en-suite tents with all bedding and facilities provided.
However, as this is a private tour, hotel levels, styles and options can always be adjusted to suit your preferences and budget. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on the tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.
As this is a private tour, we can run the itinerary for however many people you happen to be travelling with, starting from 1 upwards. The prices given for this tour are based on a minimum of 2 passengers travelling, so if you have a different number of passengers in your group please contact us for a customised quotation.
In Jordan our standard tour prices are based on an English speaking escort driver running the tour for you, plus specialist local guides in Petra and Jerash. A professional escort guide can also be arranged for the full time in Jordan for an additional supplement. We also use local Bedouin staff from your desert camp for your time there.
At Encounters Travel we aim to only use local guides and reps. as we feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour. Instead we recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan).
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass suitable for this tour is JD70 (approx. US$99). Passes are available by completing a simple online form before you travel, taking care to make sure your passport details are entered correctly as this doubles as your visa application. Your Jordan Pass will then be emailed to you as a pdf document, which you should print out and bring with you. You will then need to show this print out at the immigration desk on arrival in Jordan to obtain your free entry visa, and also at each attraction where it will be scanned to confirm your entry. Obtain your Jordan Pass here
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A
Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.
More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon
Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using ‘black henna’ instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.
To promote tourism to the country, the Jordanian government has designed the Jordan Pass. This provides most nationalities with a free single entry Jordan visa (for stays of 3 nights or more), a discounted package of entrance fees, and free digital brochures for the various sites in Jordan. Please check the Jordan Pass tour note for more information.
Double or multi entry visas for Jordan are no longer available and you will need to arrange two visas if you are doing a combination tour (eg. with Egypt and/or Israel) that visits Jordan more than once. Exceptions may occur if you are crossing to and from Israel via the King Hussein Bridge - please contact us for details.
If you wish to arrange your visa separately in advance, or if your stay will be shorter than four days/3 nights, then a visa fee of 40JD (approx. USD 57) will be due.
Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Jordanian embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details. In addition, if you plan to enter Jordan via the southern Wadi Araba crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or the Allenby Bridge/King Hussein border with Israel in the north, you will need to obtain your Jordan visa in advance as these are not available on arrival at the border.
The time in Egypt, Jordan and Israel is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.
Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.
The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.
While in Jordan you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Jordanian Dinar, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).
It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.
This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year. Guideline seasonal prices are given below, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected. Financial failure insurance is provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of their tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.