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Jordan - a biblical wonderland
In the footsteps of the crusaders
Jordan Culture & Nature Safari
roman ruins, crusade castles, dead sea, bedouin culture, red sea and fantastic scenery and wildlife
Oct 17 - Oct 26
2012
If total landmass was an indication of the natural and historical wealth of a country, Jordan would be at the top with one of the most diverse landscapes packed full of wildlife and culture. On this trip we'll visit two different seas, three different deserts, several Roman ruins, ancient Nabataean architecture and cities, Bedouin culture and villages, crusader castles, and sites of outstanding Biblical importance. Few, however, are aware of the modern day wildlife treasures that Jordan has to offer as well. Multitudes of birds annually migrate between Eurasia and Africa, and Jordan is en route, allowing the visit
Detailed itinerary:
Oct 17 Amman
  As the modern and ancient capital of Jordan, Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the World, and no trip to Jordan would be complete without exploration of this vast, rich and beautiful capital. After our arrivals throughout the morning we will take off at 1:00 pm to visit the most important historic sites, such as the Roman Theater, the Nymphaeum, the enchanting Citadel, the King's mosque, and more. Then as the sun winds down, we'll head to one of the best restaurants in Jordan, a favorite for locals and tourists, for our Welcome Dinner at Tawaheen El Hawa; a traditional grilled dinner with refreshing mint lemonade. After dinner we'll head back to our hotel, and prepare for the adventures that await us.
  Accommodation: Comfortable mid-range city hotel
Oct 18 Amman/Jerash/Ajloun/Umm Qais/Amman
  Today we have a long but very exciting day in the north of Jordan. After an early breakfast, we get on our spacious bus and drive 50 km north, to Jerash, the city famous for its beautifully preserved Roman ruins. Gerasa (as Jerash was called in the Roman days) is a fantastic archaeological site that features several theaters and arches, a circus and a forum, the Corinthium Column, and two large temples dedicated to Zeus and Artemis. The city is often referred to as “Pompeii of the East” or “Antioch of the Golden River”, and is also known as the home of Nicomachus, one of the greatest mathematicians in history. Once we finished our exciting walk here, we get back on our bus and drive further north to Ajloun – a small city best known for its Saracen castle. Saladin built this castle, during his successful campaign to drive the crusaders from Jordan in the 12th century. After a short stop, we proceed to lunch, and then move on to the northernmost areas of Jordan. Our destination is the dramatic black basalt Decapolis city of Umm Qais (Gadara in the Bible), with its fine views overlooking the Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee. After touring these ruins and taking images in the sunset colours, we have a great dinner at a local restaurant, before we head back to Amman for a comfortable bed at our hotel.
  Accommodation: Comfortable mid-range city hotel
Oct 19 Madaba/Mt. Nebo/Kerak/Dead Sea
  After yet another early breakfast at our hotel, we check out and take off to explore the southern provinces of the country. Our first stop (after a short 30 km drive) is Madaba, best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. The most famous of these is a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land, preserved on the floor of the Basilica of Saint George. After visiting the basilica, the town, and the Madaba School of Mosaics, we continue our drive to Mt. Nebo, which is believed to be the site from which Moses saw the Promised Land. It is also the alleged burial site of Moses, overlooking the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, Jericho and the hills of Judea. The site offers a series of wonderful Byzantine mosaics from the succession of pilgrimage churches that have occupied the mountaintop, along with the olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II on his visit. After a short visit at this beautiful location, we descend to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on the earth’s surface) and drive along the eastern shoreline till we reach our beautiful accommodation along the shores of the Dead Sea. After check-in and late lunch, we have about an hour of free time to relax or take a quick dip in the mineral-rich buoyant waters (10 times as salty as the earth’s oceans). Then in the late afternoon, we'll head out for our last excursion of the day to Kerak -a magnificent crusader castle!
  Accommodation: Four star luxury hotel on the beach
Oct 20 Wadi Mujib/Dead Sea
  Today might prove to be the most exciting day on our trip, as we set off into the Wadi Mujib canyon for a morning full of adventure. Located just off the Dead sea, Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the World, and plays host to a spectacular array of scenery. The reserve itself is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410 meters below sea level. Our first stop is at the "ranger station" where we'll gear up with life vest(s) and instructions for what lies ahead. Our journey will take us deep into the gorge via hiking trails, swimming trails, and waterfalls. This is a remarkable part of Jordan, that few get to see. Make sure to bring a waterproof camera, because the scenery is magnificent! Lunch will be late afternoon, back at our hotel. Then after such an exciting morning, we have the rest of the afternoon to relax. We can enjoy the wonderful waters of the dead sea, or relax in the sunshine without worrying about getting burned, or check out what luxurious dead sea spa treatments our hotel has to offer! The crown of the day will be a delicious dinner at our hotel's restaurant.
  Accommodation: Four star luxury hotel on the beach
Oct 21 Dead Sea/Dana Nature Reserve/Shobak/Petra
  After an early morning breakfast, we'll set off from the Dead Sea to the Dana Nature Reserve where we'll have another chance to stretch our legs on a short hike. En route to Dana, we'll pass some salt pans and tomato farms, both critical components to Jordan's economy. We take a short walk in Dana Village, and then continue the drive to Rummana Campground, from where we set off again on foot to explore the diverse topography and unique geological formations of the Dana Reserve. If we're lucky, we might spot an ibex, or any other of the unique, but notoriously shy animals that inhabit this incredible terrain. After a nice lunch in Dana Village, we head back to the world of ancient architecture and history - first by visiting Shobak 'town' (home to one of the most lonely and best-preserved crusader castles in Jordan), and secondly to Petra, where we'll check into our hotel and enjoy a fantastic, well-deserved early dinner.
  Accommodation: Higher-end hotel with all ammenities
Oct 22 Petra
  After our early breakfast, we start the exciting exploration of one of the largest archaeological wonders of the Middle East. First we visit Siq al Barid or “Little Petra,” the northern customs outpost of Petra with a fine array of carved facades lining its narrow canyon. Although Little Petra is very similar to Petra, one of the most exciting things to see there are the remnants of beautifully painted frescoes on plaster that date from the 1st century AD! After visiting Siq al Barid, we return to our accommodation for a late lunch in the middle of the afternoon and for a brief siesta to rest up for an exciting event tonight: to see Petra by night with candles! We take our dinner as early as 8 pm today, and enter Petra with the help of the specially trained night guides at 9 pm - an amazing experience, offer only on special days and for special events!
  Accommodation: Higher-end hotel with all ammenities
Oct 23 Petra
  Immediately following breakfast, we return to Petra through the breathtaking Siq, the mysterious mile-long winding canyon, which protected the ancient capital of the Nabatean Empire. We are planning to spend the entire day with exploring the main Petra sites. We visit the Treasury, the Theater, the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs and many other interesting sites of the ancient city center. This morning will be a guided tour of the monuments, until we reach the base of the stairs that lead to the impressive Monastary. Conveniently, this is also where we can relax and enjoy lunch at a wonderful restaurant. From here on, we have the rest of the day to explore Petra at our own leisure until sundown. Once back at our hotel, we'll take a quick shower, and then head off not far from our hotel, for a wonderful experience at "Petra Kitchen." Here we can enjoy some wine while learning how to cook traditional Jordanian specialties under the guidance of a professional Jordanian chef. After the class, we can kick back and enjoy the feast, just to go home with full bellies and new recipes to add to our repertoire.
  Accommodation: Higher-end hotel with all ammenities
Oct 24 Wadi Rum
  After a leisurely breakfast, we'll hop in our vehicles and head off to Wadi Rum - one of the most beautiful and breathtaking sites in all of Jordan. On our way there, we'll stop at a local pastry shop for some tasty Jordanian specialties like Baklava. Once we reach Wadi Rum, we'll trade our vehicles and hop into the back of our open trucks for a true Bedouin experience as we set off into the desert canyon to explore Neolithic stone carvings, massive granite and sandstone swept cliffs, and a spectacular sunset atop one such structure. Also, for those ready to try camel riding, today is your day! (Time allowing, mind you.) After our magical sunset, tonight we sleep in a place that is not just a three, four, or five star place, but a billion stars! Our rustic and authentic accommodation will be true Bedouin style under the stars and in the open air. We'll enjoy a delicious traditional Bedouin dinner, and then spend the rest of the evening enjoying our campfire and laughter. Or, for those with a penchant for star gazing, fortunately, we will have arrived just after the new moon, so we'll be able to gaze up at the sky and take in its fully wonder.
  Accommodation: Rustic Traditional Bedouin Camp
Oct 25 Wadi Rum/Aqaba
  This morning, our keen photographers will surely be out on top of some of the rock formations for sunrise. Once back at camp and when finished another traditional Bedouin meal, we continue our jeep journey through the moonscape terrain that T.E. Lawrence rightly described as “vast, echoing and God-like.” Before we leave Wadi Rum, we'll visit Lawrence's former headquarters, then set off for our final night in Jordan on the shores of the Red Sea in the town of Aqaba. Upon check in, we gather for a nice lunch in a nearby restaurant, and then time will be free for us to explore Aqaba abd the Red Sea, until we gather tonight for a fantastic Farewell Dinner just off the shores of the Red Sea.
  Accommodation: Comfortable mid-range city hotel
Oct 26 Aqaba/Amman/departure
  Depending on everybody’s flight schedule, we leave Aqaba today (most likely right after breakfast) and drive all the way back to Amman. Please make sure your flight departs no sooner than 3 PM. Have a great trip home, or for those of you continuing on to Socotra Island with WANT Expeditions... our adventure is just beginning!
 
Jordan Trip mapCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 3,955
  in single room: USD 4,440


Paula and Alton F. from McRae:
" Our recent trip to Jordan with WANT Expeditions was filled with history, beauty and adventure. History was ever present. From the Roman ruins at Jerash, to the Promised Land at Mt. Nebo, to the Nabatean tombs at Petra, we witnessed the passage of time from Pre-Greek times through Greek, Roman, Christian and Muslim civilizations. The beauty of the land pervaded throughout our trip. The golden hues of the desert stood in stark contrast to the turquoise water of the Dead Sea, while the sunset at Wadi Rum produced a fiery glow in the surrounding sandstone.
Each day brought a new adventure, from doing the classic “Dead Sea float,” to hiking from Wadi Finan to Dana, and finally, to camping in Bedouin tents made of goat-hair at Wadi Rum. As seasoned world travelers, we both felt that our trip to Jordan with WANT Expeditions was everything we thought it would be, and more. Our tour leader, Jessica, was with us everyday. She was caring, energetic, and patient. She is very upbeat and inspiring, as well as knowledgeable and resourceful. In our view, Jessica ranks among the top tour leaders we have traveled with.
We WILL be traveling with WANT Expeditions again, soon, we hope."

Trip images:
The beautiful chuch of MadabaCopyright © WantExpeditions
Stacks of the Quran inside of the King's MosqueCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Treasury in the ancient city of PetraCopyright © WantExpeditions
Happy guests of WANT Expeditions!Copyright © WantExpeditions
Exquisit statues at Umm QaisCopyright © WantExpeditions
A good night's rest!Copyright © WantExpeditions
Dana ReserveCopyright © WantExpeditions
A horse cart winds down the narrow passageways of PetraCopyright © WantExpeditions
Traditional Jordanian hospitality; a sweet cup of hot teaCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Nymphaeum at JerashCopyright © WantExpeditions
A shepherd amonst the stonesCopyright © WantExpeditions
Sunset in Wadi RumCopyright © WantExpeditions
A gentle camel awaits his riderCopyright © WantExpeditions
Off for a camel ride in Wadi RumCopyright © WantExpeditions
The 'map of Jerusalem' mosaic in MadabaCopyright © WantExpeditions
Sweet Jordanian pastries!Copyright © WantExpeditions
A traditional coffee vendor outside of Umm QaisCopyright © WantExpeditions
The silk tombs of PetraCopyright © WantExpeditions
Enjoying the rich mineral waters of the Dead Sea!Copyright © WantExpeditions
Just minding their own businessCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Hippodrome in JerashCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Painted Biclinium, Little PetraCopyright © WantExpeditions
Traditional Bedouin dress in Wadi RumCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Cardo at JerashCopyright © WantExpeditions
The famous canyon of Wadi MujibCopyright © WantExpeditions
Salt crystals form on the shores of the Dead SeaCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Royal MonestaryCopyright © WantExpeditions
The Colossal Roman StatueCopyright © WantExpeditions
The church at the CitadelCopyright © WantExpeditions
School children posing at Mount NeboCopyright © WantExpeditions


Trip price: in double room: USD 3,955
  in single room: USD 4,440
Price includes:
· all accomodation
· all meals
· all activities mentioned in the program
· all land transportation
· bottled water in transport vehicles
· all airport and local transfers
· all national park fees
· all camping gear except sleeping bag
· all entrance fees
· all local guiding fees
· international tour leader
· all tips
· all government taxes and levies
· photography education and assistance

Price excludes:
· international flights
· travel insurance
· personal expenses at accommodation
· departure taxes at airports
· visa fees
· any other items not mentioned above