JOURNEY TO JORDAN

APRIL 11-21, 2019

 

AN UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE TO THE LAND OF MAGIC

 
 
 
 
IMG_7763.JPG

ⵆ The Journey 

Journey duration is 11 days, 10 nights in country.

Journey is led by our founder, Yulia Denisyuk.

Dates are Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 21.

In that time we will:

  • Hike through the valleys and peaks of the Dana Nature Reserve

  • Enjoy a delicious traditional meal in an orchard of fig, pomegranate, apple and apricot trees

  • Sleep under the stars in a Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert and engage with the local tribes

  • See the ruins of Petra (both during the day and at night!) and hike from the Little Petra to the main Petra site (a route taken by few!)

  • Float in the incredible Dead Sea while relaxing at a premier resort

  • Visit Amman and explore this bustling metropolis from the Roman Citadel in downtown to the hip art galleries in Jabal Al-Weibdeh

  • Drive on the ancient King’s Highway

  • Stay in the Ajloun Forest Reserve and hike through its valleys to the beautiful, flower-laden Orjan village

 
  SPEND THE DAY WITH LOCAL ARTISAN WOMEN
  EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF PETRA

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: apr 11, 2019

We arrive to Amman airport where a car awaits to take us straight to Amman West Hotel in the 4th Circle. If we’re feeling good, we’ll visit a few of our founder’s favorite hangout spots in the city (Thursday is the night to party in Amman!).

Overnight at Amman West Hotel.

Day 2: apr 12, 2019

After breakfast, it's time to experience Amman, an incredible megapolis full of bustling souks, soulful mosques, and modern hi-rises. We visit the ancient Citadel with breathtaking views of the city, the Roman Theatre, Old Downtown, and al-Kalha Stairs. We’ll also explore the robust Amman art scene. There are many wonderful galleries in the city. We visit several such as Darat Al Funun and Dar al-Anda.

Overnight at Amman West Hotel.

Day 3: apr 13, 2019

After breakfast, we leave for the Ajloun Forest Reserve in Jordan’s northern highlands — a protected area of Mediterranean-like hill country with oaks, wild pistachio and wild strawberry trees; a place to be in the spring! We settle in our Ajloun Forest Reserve Cabins (each equipped with a private bathroom and a small terrace and operated by Wild Jordan, an eco-tourism project by the Royal Jordanian Society for the Conservation of Nature to promote responsible tourism and support the local communities).

Then, we start on our first hike of the trip: Orjan Village Hike (moderate / 12 km / ~ 6 hours). On the way, we’ll hike through thick woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, and oriental strawberry trees. The trail climbs to 1100m above sea level at Eagle’s View Point, and then descends to the Soap House where we will observe local women following the traditional process of making Orjan pure olive soap. We’ll continue our descend through wooded valleys to the green orchards of Orjan village. Poplar-lined springs, arid mountains, dramatic rock walls, and old water mills once used by local villagers to grind their seeds — we’ll experience all that and more on the way. We’ll finish the hike by enjoying a traditional meal in an orchard of fig, pomegranate, apple and apricot trees.

Overnight at Ajloun Forest Reserve Cabins.

Day 4: apr 14, 2019

After breakfast, we leave for Madaba, a small town in central Jordan known for its Christian heritage and Umayyad mosaics. We continue on the ancient highway, King's Way, that takes us through some of the lowest valleys and the highest plateaus of southern Jordan. We arrive to the Dana Valley Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature preserve with 320 square km of spectacular mountains and wadis. We check-in and relax at the local family-run Dana Tower Hotel, a simple, yet beautiful lodge set amidst breathtaking views of the valley.

Overnight at Dana Tower Hotel.

Day 5: apr 15, 2019

We spend the morning hiking through Wadi Dana, stopping for occasional sage tea breaks and letting herds of rowdy goats pass us by. We interact with local community and learn about some of the 700 plant species that are native to this area. Our second hike of the trip is Shaq al Reesh Trail (moderate to difficult / 3 km / ~ 4-5 hours). This circular trail offers a chance to see Wadi Dana’s varied landscapes from lush woodlands and meadows to deep canyons and gorges. The trail goes through a breathtaking siq (canyon) and finishes at an ancient Nabatean mountain retreat, the spectacular summit of Shaq al Reesh.

In the afternoon, we set off to The Lost City of Petra, an ancient kingdom of the mysterious Nabateans. We settle in to Petra Sharah Mountains hotel before a special treat of witnessing Petra by Night — a breathtaking event when Petra shines with a light of a thousand candles...

Overnight at Sharah Mountains Hotel.

Day 6: apr 16, 2019

We get up early because today we will go on a special hike from Little Petra to the Monastery in Petra. Back roads that at times will be nothing more than a ledge will open up to sweeping vistas of this incredible mountain landscape. Prepare to be awed at every turn. This is our third (and final) hike of this trip: Al-Beidah Trail (moderate to difficult / 15 km / ~ 8–9 hours). This is a route that 95% of the Petra visitors will never see. Instead of entering Petra with the crowds through the main gate, we (literally) take the path less traveled via a back road trail. As we hike through this stunning landscape, we will see marvelous views over Wadi Araba and pass by multiple Bedouin homes, meeting shepherds and their families going through daily routine on the way. We will also have a donkey with us who will carry our provisions.

Overnight at Sharah Mountains Hotel.

Day 7: apr 17, 2019

Right after breakfast we head to the desert! Upon arrival, we get into our 4x4 and drive several hours deep into Wadi Rum, passing whimsical landscapes of sand dunes and stone. We have a beautiful traditional lunch in the desert (gallayeh, anyone?) and get ready to find the best spot for sunset amid the dunes, cup of bedouin tea in our hands. When it gets dark, we retreat to our camp and stay up until 2 am (optional 😊) to catch the incredible star show with Milky Way and other galaxies in attendance.

Overnight at a Bedouin camp run by a local family.

Day 8: apr 18, 2019

We rise up extra early for a special experience (it's a surprise!). After breakfast, we visit a local desert Bedouin family and learn how they cook traditional meals and make the Shraak bread. We have lunch with the family and enjoy the rest of the day free at the camp.

Overnight at a Bedouin camp run by a local family.

Day 9: apr 19, 2019

In the morning, we say goodbye to the desert and head for Bethany (Al-Makhtas). We visit the River Jordan, believed to be used by John the Baptist for baptizing Jesus. We arrive to the Dead Sea Spa Hotel and watch the sun fall behind the calm sea waters.

Overnight at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel.

Day 10: apr 20, 2019

We have a free day in the Dead Sea — the lowest point on Earth — to relax after our long journey. We wash off our travel fatigue in the incredible Dead Sea waters and float for as long as we want. In the evening, we'll take a ride to nearby Mt. Nebo for a farewell dinner together and return to the Dead Sea Spa Hotel before we go back to our respected homes.

Overnight at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel.

Day 11: apr 21, 2019

Today we leave Jordan (transfer to Amman airport included) and prepare to miss it as soon as the plane takes off. 

Accommodation & Rates

All accommodations are in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $259)

Journey price is $2,880 (if paid by credit card) and $2,800 (if paid by ACH / bank transfer).

Minimum 4 people.

What's included:

  • 10 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher, including 2 night in a desert bedouin camp (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $259)

  • All breakfast and dinner meals (including a traditional farewell dinner in Mt. Nebo on Day 10)

  • Lunches on Day 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

  • All in-country transportation (we will have our own driver and explore the wonders of Jordan at our own pace!), including airport transfers on days of arrival and departure

  • All entrance fees to all sites we will visit

  • All excursions:

    • The Orjan Village Hike in Ajlun Forest Reserve with a local guide

    • An exceptional experience in Wadi Dana, the Shaq Al Reesh Trail with a local guide

    • Local Petra guide (with a donkey) to take us through secret passages and backroads of Petra

    • Access to Petra by Night

    • Six hour 4x4 trek in the Wadi Rum desert (we will get to see a vast swath of that land!)

    • An hour long camel ride at sunset in Wadi Rum

    • Sunset and Bedouin tea ceremony in Wadi Rum

    • A Bedouin family experience in the desert

    • Amman city tour

What's not included:

  • Airfare to/from Amman

  • Personal expenses + drinks

  • Lunches on Days 1-2, 9-11

  • Tips for service personnel (driver, local guides, etc)

  • Travel insurance

HOW TO SIGN UP:

To be considered for our trip, please submit your information below.

Spots are limited to maximum 8 participants and the last day to apply and pay for the tour is Monday, Mar 4, 2019.

YALLA means let's go in Arabic.

 

RELATED:

Jordan travelers can choose to add on the 6-day, 5-night Journey to Lebanon (Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2019). Check out the details here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to be a photographer (or a social media influencer) to join you on this tour? No. Our focus is on making sure we travel at our own pace and getting to know the places and people around us. We have a passion for photography and we want to share this passion with the group - but it is not mandatory by all means to be a professional photographer or have an interest in photography/social media. All we ask is that you come with an open mind and heart.

  2. Who fulfills the trip on the ground? We've partnered with a wonderful tour company in Jordan that has a passion for same things we do to make this happen. We have used this company's services in the past and can attest that they are amazing, care about their people, and genuinely care for the wellbeing of their guests (plus have more than 30 years of experience with groups visiting Jordan).

  3. What gear do I need to bring? Whatever gear you are comfortable with or want to learn more about: your phone, your DSLR, or no gear at all - all options are just fine (see #1). If you want to learn more about astrophotography, we'd recommend bringing a DSLR and a tripod.

  4. How much cash do I need on the ground? You should expect to need a total of 200 JOD for the trip (that's ~$280). This would cover tips, lunches, and any small miscellaneous expenses. We suggest you exchange ~20 JOD at the airport upon arrival. We will exchange the rest in Madaba due to better rates.

  5. Do I need to arrive and depart at a specific time? We have included transfers to/from airport as part of the trip, so you will have flexibility in choosing the flights that work for you. Afternoon arrival and morning departure are ideal - but we can work with other schedules as well.

  6. What about visas? For US citizens: we will not need a visa to enter Jordan (US citizen traveling individually do need to get a visa on arrival, but since we are traveling as a group, that requirement is waived). If you will be traveling with any other passport, please email us so we can advise on visas.

  7. Is it safe to visit Jordan right now? Yes. Our founder, Yulia, has recently returned from a two weeks trip to Jordan (Nov 2018) and it is safe there. The situation on the ground is often less extreme than what media portrays. We will of course take every precaution to travel safely, as we should anywhere we go on the planet.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

10 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms); All breakfast and dinner meals; Lunches on Days 3-8; All in-country transportation and a professional driver; All entrance fees to all sites we will visit; All excursions.


CANCELLATION POLICY

60 days or more before departure: cancellation fee is 15%; 59-30 days before departure: cancellation fee is 50%; 29 days before departure: cancellation fee is 100% (non-refundable). We encourage you to purchase travel insurance that covers cancellations.

View our full booking terms and conditions here.