Petra, Jordan

RCGS: Hidden Treasures of Jordan with Wade Davis

12 days
from
£1,605
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Trip code: 
AXES
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

An adventure travel legends are made of…

 Spectacular desert landscapes dotted with caravans of camels, ancient rose-colored cities rising out of the ground and nights under the stars in Bedouin camps, this is Jordan at its best. This is a special departure accompanied by honorary RCGS Vice President, writer, photographer, filmmaker, and world-renowned explorer, Wade Davis. With degrees in anthropology and biology, a Ph.D. in ethnobotany and travels everywhere from East Africa, Borneo and Polynesia to Tibet, New Guinea and Vanuatu, Wade is the ultimate travel companion and will be on hand to share insights, stories, and photographic tips and tricks throughout.

As seen on documentaries and television across the world, Wade will be on hand as you get to know Jordan and truly appreciate what this time locked land has to offer on this in-depth journey. Take in world-famous monuments such as Petra and Jerash and then spend time exploring the less well-known historic and archaeological treasures. Watch centuries of history come to life in the Desert Loop, home to palaces and forts dating back to 661 AD. Visit the biblical Mount Nebo where Moses was shown The Promised Land before his death. Take in the impossibly vast landscapes of Wadi Rum and spend a night in a Bedouin Camp. Relax with a float in the Dead Sea, and snorkel alongside a myriad of colorful fish in the Red Sea. From start to finish you’ll be treated to a perfect mix of history, adventure, and relaxation.

Highlights

  • Watch centuries of history come to life at Jordan's desert castles.
  • Enjoy some well-deserved relaxation with a float in the Dead Sea.
  • Visit Mt Nebo, claimed to be Moses' burial site.
  • Spend two full days getting to know Petra, the rose-red city.
  • See the Dead Sea Scrolls at the ancient Citadel in Amman.
  • Uncover Jordan's secrets with writer, photographer, filmmaker and renowned explorer, Wade Davis.

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels and 1-night private camp
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and 4WD in Wadi Rum
  • Group normally 4 - 15, plus RCGS guide and local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Jordan

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and RCGS Guide
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Amman
to
Amman
  • Day 1

    Start Amman.

    Start Amman.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Visit the castles of the 'Desert Loop' East of Amman.

    After breakfast we depart for a visit to Iraq El Amir. Set in the desert to the east of Amman is the much-famed Desert Loop, consisting of numerous palaces and minor forts dating back to the Omayyad period 661 AD to 750 AD. Our first stop is Qasr al- Hallabat. Originally Roman, this castle was rebuilt during the Umayyad period when it was elaborately decorated in mosaics, carved stucco and fresco paintings, thus transforming the castle into a palatial residence. There are about 150 inscriptions within the castle, mostly in Greek. The vast majority of these inscribed stones, which were reused as building material, belong to an edict issued by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius (491-518 AD). A few kilometres down the road is Hammam as-Sarakh, a bathhouse and hunting lodge. The buildings have been almost completely restored, and you can see the channels that were used for hot water and steam. One hundred kms east of Amman, the oasis town of Azraq has a large castle built from black basalt, which was Lawrence of Arabia's headquarters during the Arab Revolt. Heading back towards Amman, the Qasr El Kharraneh and Qusayr 'Amra are the best preserved of the desert castles, Qusair Amra is noted for its extensive fresco paintings which cover virtually all the interior walls. The paintings include themes such as hunting, dancing, musicians, bathing scenes, cupids, and personifications of history, philosophy and poetry. We drive back to the hotel in Amman.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Head North to Irbid's archaeological museum, Umm Qais and Pella.

    Today we begin early as we have a long day heading north. We visit Irbid, which hosts an interesting museum. The most remarkable artefacts are the Ain Ghazal statues dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period; between 7500-5500 BCE. In addition the museum contains a number of artefacts from the later periods. Umm Qais, in the north of the country has fantastic views of The Sea of Galilee and was once a centre of culture and arts. As one of the cities of the Decapolis, it was a centre for arts and culture and with its amazing setting it is an enchanting place. Later we proceed to Pella, once an important city in Roman times; most of the remains actually date back to the Byzantine period. Overnight in Jerash.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit the ancient city of Jerash and Ajlun Castle.

    After breakfast we visit the ancient 'Gerasa'. In Roman times this was one of the ten wealthy, self-governing cities of the Decapolis, and was famous throughout the Roman empire for the luxury of its lifestyle. Buried for centuries under blown sand, Jerash is the only city of the Decapolis to have survived to any extent, with an outstanding forum, colonnaded main streets with the drains still intact, two theatres and a most impressive temple of Zeus. Not too far away is the only Arabic castle in Jordan, Ajloun. It is perched on a hilltop and has fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. Originally constructed in 1184 AD, it was destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries following numerous wars and earthquakes. Drive for overnight at Dead Sea.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    After a visit to Bethany beyond the Jordan, drive down King's Highway via Madaba, the 'City of Mosaics', and Mt Nebo to the Dead Sea.

    We start the day by visiting Bethany beyond the Jordan, the site where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist marking the beginning of the new era of Christianity. We then take the road south from Amman along the 5,000-year-old Kings' Highway, be prepared for one of the most memorable journeys in the Holy Land, passing through a number of ancient sites. The first town we visit is Madaba, 'The City of Mosaics '. The city, best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, is home to the famous 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of coloured stone, the map depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta. Nearby is the biblical Mount Nebo where Moses was shown The Promised Land before his death and also has fantastically preserved mosaics. After a good look round we head south to the Dead Sea in time for a 'float' in the thick saline waters.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Petra via Wadi al Mujib, Al Karak and Al Shawbak castles.

    Leaving the Dead Sea behind us we drive through the deep gorge of Wadi al Mujib. This massive canyon is impressive and is now a huge nature reserve, covering 212 sq km / 82 sq mi . We arrive at Al Karak and Al Shawbak, two castles that played an important role in the Crusades. Built in mediaeval times Al Karak is the larger of the two castles, its well-preserved fortifications towering over the town offer incredible views. Al Shawbak, though not as well preserved is equally as notable. Late afternoon we drive on to Petra. Overnight Petra.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 7-8

    Two days to explore Petra.

    We have two days to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Petra. The 'rose-red city, half as old as time' was hidden for centuries until the Swiss explorer Burckhardt made his great discovery in 1812. Petra was founded by the Nabateans, an Arab tribe that arrived here in the sixth century BCE. Building began in the third century BC and continued through the Roman period, financed by taxes levied on the desert caravans. Two features of Petra are unique: firstly, it is a city made defensible as it is built along a series of chasms, rather than on a hilltop; and secondly, it is built directly into the rock - beautiful red and yellow sandstone carved into impressive facades which glow in the brilliant sunlight.

    After walking down the Siq, the narrow chasm providing the only entrance to the site, we come out directly in front of El Khazneh, the Treasury. Continuing to the centre of the city, we pass the houses and tombs of the rich citizens, and the amphitheatre. A long walk beyond the centre and up a series of steps brings us to El Deir, the Monastery, with its superb facade topped by a huge urn. On one of the days we take a walk to the high places where few others visit. This can be quite arduous and is not recommended for those who are unsure of their fitness. However, those who do make it to the top will be rewarded with wonderful views.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Discover Little Petra en route to the Wadi Rum desert; 4WD excursion and overnight in a Bedouin camp.

    Explore Little Petra with its well preserved ruins which are hidden away in the mountains, before continuing to the Wadi Rum desert, a stretch of beautiful sand and rock desert. This is where Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal assembled the Arab tribes for the attack on Aqaba in the First World War, and also where sections of the film of 'Lawrence of Arabia' were shot. We take a four-wheel drive vehicle far into the area for an exciting desert adventure before arriving to our permanent camp and destination for the night.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Transfer to Aqaba for optional snorkelling over the coral reefs of the Red Sea.

    We wake amidst the dramatic desert scenery and then make our way on to Aqaba, Jordan's port and holiday resort, famous for beautiful coral reefs. There is time to relax on a local beach with transport and entrance included. You can add to the experience with optional snorkelling and lunch packages which your leader will explain. Please note there is a cost for these extras. There are several good restaurants in Aqaba for our evening meal together. Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Morning drive to Amman; city tour including Citadel Hill, Archaeological Museum and the Roman Theatre.

    After breakfast, drive from Aqaba to Amman to explore the ancient city. Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a 1994 excavation uncovering homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age, circa 7000 BCE. The earliest written records refer to the city as Rabbath Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites in the 12th century BCE. Later the city was named Philadelphia under the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus 283-246 BCE. As one of the cities of the Decapolis under King Herod in 30 BCE major building works were conducted. The 6000 seated Roman Theatre on the citadel is testimony of Roman architecture, although extensively restored it remains a classic example. Also on Citadel Hill, just northwest of the Temple of Hercules, is the Jordan Archaeological Museum. This small museum houses an excellent collection of antiquities ranging from prehistoric times to the 15th century.  From here we head down to the Roman Theatre in the old town.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    End Amman.

    Trip ends after breakfast in Amman.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Jordan

Visas are required by most nationalities, including British, and can be obtained at the border or Amman airport. At time of print, visa fees (usually 40JOD) have been waived for all nationalities travelling to Jordan with a tour operator and spending a minimum of 2 nights in country. Our airport representative will meet and assist you with obtaining the free visa on arrival in Jordan at Customs & Immigration. He will be carrying an Exodus sign.

For more information on the free Jordan Visa, please see the link below:
http://international.visitjordan.com/MediaCenter/News/JordanianGovernmen...

Vaccinations

Jordan

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and three evening meals are included on this trip.

 

No other meals are included. While staying in hotels we usually eat in local restaurants and on some occasions the leader will take those who wish to a restaurant for a 'mezze' style meal. These allow fast service and a good quality of food for the group and usually cost 10-15 JOD pp. Allow approximately 434-520 CAD/320-480 USD/250-300 GBP to cover these meals. If you are vegetarian, please note that main meals are limited in choice; however, mezze is almost always available in restaurants and is a good, filling choice for vegetarians. There is also a good choice of seafood available when at the Red Sea.

Weather

Spring and autumn are very popular as it is cooler, around 24ºC/75°F in the day and down to 8ºC/46°F at night. Rain is more likely, but protracted bad weather is unlikely. It is hot and dry, but not unpleasant, throughout Jordan in the summer. Daytime maximum temperatures are around 32ºC/90°F in Amman. Aqaba is very hot when the air is still, but there is usually a breeze. Rain is unusual but possible. In winter it is generally crisp and warm in the day - approximately 10-15ºC/50-59°F - but temperatures can approach freezing or below at night in the desert. There are even occasions when it snows in Jordan during winter.

Is this trip for you?

Although this is a cultural trip some days can be long and tiring, such as the two days in Petra. These are both long days. To walk up to the sacrificial high places, you should have a reasonable level of fitness. Your leader will be able to offer you further advice about the walk. It can be quite an arduous day but it is well worth the effort. Please also consider that, although trips are planned outside of the summer heat, days in the desert can be very hot.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camp

We spend 3 nights in a 4-star hotel in Amman, 1 night in a basic hotel in Jerash, 2 nights in a 5-star hotel at the Dead sea, 3 nights in a standard hotel in Petra and 1 night in a 4-star hotel in Aqaba. Throughout the tour the hotels have en suite facilities and air conditioning, except in Jerash where we spend the night in a more basic hotel. 

Some hotels have more facilities than others however it is always good to keep in mind that the star rating in Jordan is quite different to what you may expect at home. Sometimes we use less centrally located hotels in the interests of comfort.  Accommodation in Petra is limited and demands on the infrastructure are high; this creates occasional problems with hot water and general plumbing for all hotels. In general, the hotels in Petra are of an older style and much more basic in comparison with the rest of Jordan. 

One night is also spent in our Exodus Private camp in Wadi Rum staying in traditional style tents equipped with basic beds, sheets and blankets. There are plumbed toilets and basins, and simple shower facilities with (limited) hot water.

Single supplements are available for this trip however cannot be guaranteed at Wadi Rum. Please enquire at the time of booking for details and up-to-date prices.



Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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