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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
Mar 22 - Mar 31
2017
Some say the the time of romantic travelers has passed, but I disagree. Come with me, Jessica Pociask, owner of WANT Expeditions, to Jordan and find out why! Jordan has a rich cultural hertiage with incredible ruins dating back to well before the time of the Romans. Visit Petra, a rock hewn city that stretches over five miles and is one of the new Seven Wonders. Stand atop Mount Nebo and see where Moses looked over the promise land. Float in the Dead Sea. Explore Jerash, the most intact Roman city in the world. Take a step back in time as we visit wind swept crusader castles and walk in the steps of TE Lawrence in Wadi Rum. This year the Smithsonian Associates asked me to present a virtual tour of Petra to their members, but now I will personally take you beyond the guidebook through one of my favorite countries!

Our Jordan trip was chosen as one of the top 12 Food and Fitness safaris for 2015 by Epicure and Culture
Detailed itinerary:
Mar 22 Arrival to 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 meet in the hotel lobby in the early afternoon to begin our first adventure. Our city trek will take us to the most important historic sites such as the Roman Theater, the Nymphaeum, the enchanting Citadel, the King's mosque, and more. As the sun winds down, we'll head to one of the best restaurants in Jordan, a favorite for locals and tourists alike, for our Welcome Dinner of traditional grilled meats and vegetables with refreshing mint lemonade. After dinner we'll head back to our hotel and prepare for the adventures that await us.
  Accommodation: High end city hotel
Mar 23 Amman/Jerash/Umm Qais/Amman
  Today we have a long but very exciting day in the north of Jordan. After an early breakfast, we drive 50 km (30 miles) north, to Jerash, the city famous for its beautifully preserved Roman ruins. Gerasa, as Jerash was called during the age of the Roman Empire, 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. After several hours exploring this incredible city, we stop for lunch, then drive (approximately 2.5 hours) to the northernmost area of Jordan. Our destination is the dramatic black basalt Decapolis city of Umm Qais, referred to as Gadara in the Bible. If the weather is clear, breathtaking views overlooking the Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee will greet us. After touring these ruins and exploring the small by excellent local museum, we head back to Amman for dinner and retire for another exciting day tomorrow.
  Accommodation: High end city hotel
Mar 24 Madaba/Mt. Nebo/Dead Sea
  After 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 (20 mile) 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. Following the drive along the eastern shoreline, we will reach our beautiful accommodation along the shores of the Dead Sea. After check-in and a late lunch, we will have free time to relax or take a quick dip in the mineral-rich buoyant waters which are ten times as salty as the Earth’s oceans.
  Accommodation: Five-star luxury beach hotel
Mar 25 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 (1345 feet) below sea level. Our first stop is at the ranger station where we'll gear up with life vests 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!

We’ll have lunch late in the afternoon once we get back to 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, relax in the sunshine without worrying about getting burned, or check out what luxurious Dead Sea spa treatments our hotel has to offer! Dinner will be at our hotel this evening.
  Accommodation: Five-star luxury beach hotel
Mar 26 Dead Sea/Keak/Dana Nature Reserve/Shobak/Petra
  After yet another early morning breakfast, we'll set off from the Dead Sea we'll head out for our last excursion of the day to Kerak -a magnificent crusader castle! After that we continue 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 saltpans 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: Five-star resort
Mar 27 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 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 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 - an amazing experience, offered only on special days and for special events!
  Accommodation: Five-star resort
Mar 28 Petra
  Immediately following breakfast, we return to Petra through the breath-taking Siq, the mysterious mile-long winding canyon, which protected the ancient capital of the Nabatean Empire. The entire day will be spent exploring the main Petra sites: the Treasury, the Theater, the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs, and many other interesting sites of the ancient city centre. This morning there will be a guided tour of the monuments, until we reach the base of the stairs that lead to the impressive Monastery. 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 close to 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, going back to the hotel with full bellies and new recipes to add to our repertoire.
  Accommodation: Five-star resort
Mar 29 Wadi Rum
  After a leisurely breakfast, we'll hop in our vehicles and head off to Wadi Rum - one of the most beautiful and breath-taking 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.
  Accommodation: Rustic Traditional Bedouin Camp
Mar 30 Wadi Rum/Aqaba
  This morning our keen photographers will surely be out on top of the rock formations for sunrise. Once back at camp and after enjoying 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.” From here we 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, and then time will be free for us to explore Aqaba and the Red Sea until we gather tonight for a fantastic Farewell Dinner just off the shores of the Red Sea.
  Accommodation: High-end seaside resort
Mar 31 Aqaba/Departure
  Depending on everyone’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, and we look forward to seeing you on your next adventure with us!
 
Apr 1
 
 
Jordan Trip mapCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 5,999
  in single room: USD 6,499


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:


Trip price: in double room: USD 5,999
  in single room: USD 6,499
Price includes:
· all accomodation
· all meals
· all activities mentioned in the program
· all land transportation
· 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 government taxes and levies
· photography education and assistance

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