Discover the highlight attractions and hidden secrets of Jordan
Kick off holiday times in Amman, eat some treats in Aqaba, snorkel in the Red Sea, head on to Wadi Rum and Petra before returning to Amman. Check out the Dead Sea , see Jerash and hang about town.
Did you know that a camels’ hump isn't full of water, but full of fat? It help camels survive up to two weeks without food, allowing them to lose up to 25 gallons of water with no side effects. It also helps keep their body temperature in check. Now that’s a hump worth having.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1 January 2017 this trip will no longer stay in Aqaba on Day 2, instead will stay and camp in Wadi Rum.
These changes come as a result of traveller feedback that Aqaba was not a highlight for may passengers. We believe that the inclusion of camping in Wadi Rum will add value to the trip as its is a highlight on many of our other trips. The stay in Wadi Rum is at a traditional Bedouin desert camp with local hosts. A guided desert safari is also included the following day (Day 3).
The new itinerary is outlined below:
Day 1 Amman
Day 2 Wadi Rum
Day 3 Petra
Day 4 Petra
Day 5 Amman
Day 6 Amman
Day 7 Amman
- Physical rating
- Traveller’s rating
18 , Max
- Group size
Why we love this trip
Get a taste of the ancient and modern sides of Jordan with your enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable local leader, who’ll be heaps of fun too
Jordan – it’s got it all. History? How about 11,000 years of it. Culture? Oh, just incredible architecture, food and music. Scenery? City, beach and the desert. What more could you want?!
Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder
Is this trip right for you?
It’s not all hot desert days in Jordan, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas as well as Amman is common. Pack smart so that you’re prepared for varying temperatures if travelling during these months.
The thing about ancient ruins and other super old sites in the Middle East is that they usually involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides. But if you don’t feel up for it on a hot day then you can just sit it out, or wander along at your own pace.
You’re the boss! Not just in general, but also on this trip, where there’s free time to do whatever you want, or optional tours to show you the way. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities that aren’t included.
Unless you’re planning on doing some muscle-building on your holiday, we recommend not packing too much – you’ll need to carry your own bags from hotels, bus stops, train stations etc.
Touch down in Jordan's main town - Amman. You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6pm Welcome Meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Make a beeline for Rainbow Street for a falafel and a sheesha. It's what the locals would want. Something more substantial? Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, have a cultured afternoon at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, snap some pics of the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or sweat it out in a Turkish bath house. Afterwards, rendezvous with your new Geckos crew for a team catch-up. It may or may not be at the local pub.
- King Abullah Mosque - JOD2
- Jordan Museum - JOD5
- Bethany Baptism site - JOD12
- Roman Theatre - JOD1
- Citadel - JOD3
- Jerash - Roman ruins - USD12
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you’ll jump on a JETT bus for the four-hour journey down the Desert Highway to Aqaba. Keep your eyes peeled for camels at around the 230km mark. Out to the left. No, the other left. Anway, Aqaba is landlocked Jordan’s only town on the sea, which they got through some tense negotiations with their neighbours. Now this beach resort on the Red Sea is yours to explore for the rest of the day. If you want to get historical then there’s the 14th century Ottoman Fort to check out. This is where the T.E Lawrence (of ‘of Arabia’ fame) rode to Cairo with big news about a revolt. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to help you enjoy the local cuisine. Otherwise, most of the fun is to be found in the water – head to the nearby beach to chill.
Just south of town there are stunning untouched coral reefs, which make for some of the best snorkelling you can find. This morning maybe grab a mask and some flippers and do your best mermaid impression. If beautiful waters aren’t really your thing, just hold tight, you’ll be in a different kind of sea soon – the dark red sands of the desert around Wadi Rum. Drive for about an hour to a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains. You’ll bounce around this stunning, remote scenery with the crazy young local Bedouin (just remember to buckle up in the rickety, but reliable, jeeps). The Bedouin, meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, are super friendly and will show you around this awesome desert landscape of dunes and rocky outcrops formed by wind and ancient water, where you can pretend like your on the surface of Mars. Hit the road again (approximately 2.5 hours) and snuggle up in Petra overnight. You’re gonna need your sleep as there are some serious sites to see tomorrow.
When you first see the stunning facade of the Treasury building in Petra, you might scratch your head and wonder why it looks so familiar. Well, unless you haven't seen Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, then you might not recognise it at all (and you will probably be the butt of a few jokes. Go and watch it immediately, stone cold classic). Anyway, this city carved into the rock was the ancient capital of the Nabatean people way back in 600BC. Nobody in the West knew about it until 1812, when a Swiss guy dressed up like a local to sneak in and then blab the secret to everyone. Thankfully he did though because this isn’t something you’d want to miss out on. Squeeze through a mile long narrow path, known as the Siq, through huge towers of rock and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury. It’s amazing to think that this awesome, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. If you’ve got it in your legs there’s also the option to walk up to the Monastery and up the clifftop path overlooking the Treasury. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cafe run by Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the Kiwi woman who has been living in Petra with a local Bedouin for 30 years or so. After a long day’s exploring, there’s not many who would turn down the option to soothe their body with a chillax in a Turkish bath. Happy days.
Notes: One day's entrance fee to Petra is included. Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Geckos doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
- Petra - Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
We said something about crusades and Crusaders earlier right? Well they built Shobak Castle atop a grassy knoll and thought it would last forever, but Saladin's Arab army knocked it over after an 18-month siege. You’ll drive a short way from Petra to get here, and the castle makes an impressive sight as you approach. Poke around the site and discover a small chapel, original gatehouse, and find out where a long, dark secret passage leads. Kick on half an hour to the ancient village at Dana, where at the craft centre you can (you guessed it) pick up some crafts, like silver jewellery and charms. Drive on to Madaba (approximately 3 hours), home to Byzantine mosaics way better than anything you ever made in art class. Visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and check out a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Then it’s on to Amman and head out on the town at night.
Drive back in time (approximately 1 hour) to Jerash, once a thriving ancient Roman city, and now some of the best-preserved ruins this side of Italy. Do your best Biggus Dickus impersonation (Monty Python, anyone?) in Jerash's main street, check out the columns of the Oval Plaza and the tiered seating of the South Theatre, and imagine the chariot race from Gladiator in the hippodrome. In the afternoon you can choose to wash off the dust from exploring ruins with an (attempted) swim, so you’d better have packed your swim gear. Drive around 1.5 hours to the shores of the Dead Sea. This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Here you can get that photo of you reading a paper while floating in the water – just like the ten billion visitors before you. It’s worth it though, classic shot. Maybe grab a handful of the shoreline’s mud and slop it over your body on the way back in – it’s full of nutrient-rich natural minerals and will leave your skin feeling awesome. Afterwards you will return to Amman for the evening (approximately 1 hour). Maybe spend your final night at one of the many bars and restaurants in West Amman, or ask your leader where locals spend their evenings.
- Dead Sea (lunch & transfer / min 3 people) - JOD40
- Entrance fees Jerash - JOD10
The tour ends in Amman after breakfast. You can (and probably should) kick around in Amman for longer if you want. There's heaps more to do, just ask your tour leader for pointers.
Private aircon bus,
Public aircon coach
Budget/tourist class hotels
Petra - Guided tour of Petra ( Including 1 day pass ).
Our Jordan Journey trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5
based on 25 reviews in the last year.
My trip to Jordan was made all the better by our guide Muhammad - his knowledge of history and culture of the region meant I was able to appreciate the country so much more. A small, friendly group made the trip a lot of fun.
Review submitted 22 Oct 2016
It was a awsome trip with a great guide and i get to learn many cool people from all over the world. You will see the Arab World with complite new ayes.
Review submitted 20 Oct 2016
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With the exception of a one day pass to Petra (included), entrance fees are not included. You pay these as you go along.
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Essential Trip Information
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