An Active Exploration of Jordan’s Natural & Archaeological Highlights
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a deeply fascinating and beautiful place. The history of the country stretches back through the Ottoman, Ayyubid, Crusader, Umayyad, Byzantine, Roman, and Nabataean periods all the way to the Bronze Age and beyond. These peoples and cultures have all left their marks, both tangible and intangible, on the land. Modern Jordan sits at the crossroads of not only cultures but also geography. The country is heavily influenced by both the Arabian Desert to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Farmland, forests, mountains, tropical reefs, and sand dunes and deserts all exist within a relatively small area in Jordan. The result of all this is a diverse, captivating, welcoming, and spectacularly scenic country.
This eight-day journey takes in the highlights, with a focus on being active and outdoors. Start in the capital Amman where you’ll explore the local culture along with the ancient monuments. Then head out to explore the ecologically diverse Dana Biosphere Reserve. You’ll continue to Petra, overnight the first night near Little Petra and then hiking through to the main site the next day. Ascend Jordan’s highest peak in Wadi Rum before enjoying a final night spent on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Travels to: Jordan
Days 1-3: Amman (Jordan), Dana Biosphere Reserve
Begin your private tour in Amman, Jordan’s capital, replete with sights both ancient and modern. You’ll explore the highlights of the city, including the Amman Citadel, the Roman Theater, and the city’s markets and up-and-coming neighborhoods. You’ll then head south to hike and look for migratory birds, rare plants, and other flora and fauna in the ecologically important Dana Biosphere Reserve.
- Compare and contrast the Roman ruins in Amman with the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, replete with street art and murals
- Spot migratory birds, vibrant blue lizards, hyrax, and maybe even ibex while hiking through the flora- and fauna-rich Dana Biosphere Reserve
- Explore Jordanian village culture through a variety of possible activities in the reserve, ranging from weaving to cooking to herding sheep and goats
Days 4-5: Petra
You’ll continue on to Petra, the ancient capital of the Nabataeans. After an overnight at a Bedouin camp near Little Petra, once a suburb of the main city, hike through Petra’s “Back Door” taking in some beautiful scenery on the way. Once in the main archaeological site you’ll be able to explore the highlights of Petra, ending in the town of Wadi Musa.
- Overnight at a Bedouin camp near Little Petra, taking in the stars and the majesty of a remote desert night not far from what was 2,000 years ago an important suburb of a major city
- Rather than seeing Petra the way most do, hike in through the “Back Door” starting from Little Petra and passing by the monastery and other sights as you descend into the main valley
- Exploring the Nabataean ruins at UNESCO-listed Petra, on many lists of the “Modern Seven Wonders of the World”
Days 6-8: Wadi Rum, Dead Sea
The final leg of this journey takes you to the far south of Jordan, Wadi Rum. This is where Lawrence of Arabia and many other films (Red Planet, Dune, Aladdin) were made. You’ll hike up Jordan’s highest peak while here, earning a spectacular view out over the desert. Your last night in Jordan will be spent on the shores of the Dead Sea, where you’ll have some time to dip in your toes or go for a swim.
- Hike and scramble up Jebel Umm al Dami, Jordan’s highest point, to take in the sweeping views of Wadi Rum and neighboring Saudi Arabia
- Explore Wadi Rum by 4WD jeep, stopping as you wish to hike, take pictures, or scramble on the rocks
- Dip your toes in the Dead Sea, or perhaps head farther in to float in the highly salty water
Dates & Prices
- Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates.
- Listed prices below are based on double occupancy and a 2 traveler minimum.
- Hotel upgrades, additional nights, and solo traveler prices are available on request.
Land tour price, per person, starting from:
- Shared accommodations as noted in the itinerary. Contact MIR for hotel upgrade prices.
- Meals, as noted in the itinerary: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
- One arrival and one departure transfer. Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether or not we make your air arrangements.
- Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (type of vehicle depends on number of travelers in your group).
- Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees, as outlined in the itinerary.
- Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers, and other staff, as noted in the itinerary.
- Complete pre-departure electronic document that includes detailed packing suggestions, reading list links, country-specific information, maps, travel tips, and more.
- Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements, on request. (Please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost.)
- Electronic final update bulletin with any late news, updates, and important information.
- International airfare and taxes/fuel surcharges.
- Meals and drinks not specified as included in the itinerary.
- Single supplement if requested or required.
- Baggage handling.
- Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, email, laundry, and alcohol.
- Gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and other service personnel.
- Visa fees, excess-baggage charges, airport departure taxes, vaccinations, and other medical costs.
- Expenses incurred as a result of delay, modification, or extension of a tour due to causes beyond MIR’s control.
- Travel-related insurance including cancellation, medical, and evacuation insurance.
- Optional pre- or post-tour extensions.
Level 4: Rigorous
The standard accommodations on this Active Essential tour are comfortable, ranging from a unique camp to hotels at the 4-star level. However, it is important to keep in mind that Jordan may not be up to the standards North American travelers expect. While services are often excellent in the region, you may encounter problems with plumbing, bureaucratic service, road conditions, unpaved sidewalks, uneven surfaces and steps, the availability and quality of public restrooms, and the variety of locally available foods. You will travel in some areas which, relatively speaking, have seen few travelers, and where the infrastructure is not yet fully developed.
While this program is designed to be comfortable for travel in this region, it is rated as rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved, the length of some overland rides, and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. This itinerary features a significant amount of touring on foot, including several hikes lasting 3-6 hours with significant elevation gain and rough, uneven terrain. See the detailed itinerary for further information on these hikes. Some streets are of packed dirt, and some attractions are only accessible via steep staircases with tall uneven steps. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.