Jordan: A Journey Back in Time

“I am fascinated by Jordan.  It has such a wonderful combination of elements – history, desert kingdoms and almost theatrical landscapes from Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea – that combine to create an irresistible journey of mystery and drama.  Petra is just one example with its amazing SIQ passage that leads into a canyon of 2,000-year-old buildings carved into mountainsides. You walk through this long narrow fissure in the sandstone, when suddenly right in front of your eyes this incredible ancient city opens to you with the Treasury building the first thing you see.   It is absolutely breathtaking.”  Tatiana Johnston, Destination Specialist

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Price starts at $500 Land per person, per day, double occupancy.



Tour Highlights/Full Description

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  • Experience fabled Petra by night in the light of 1,800 candles, as you walk through the narrow canyon, known as the Siq, along a candlelit path while you hear the enchanting and haunting music of the Bedouins around you.
  • Explore the vast beauty of Wadi Rum in a 4×4 vehicle that takes you deep into the desert; and discover secluded areas on a camel or by mountain bike.
  • Enjoy an unforgettable desert adventure with an overnight stay in a deluxe tent at a Bedouin Camp. Sit by the fire under the starry desert sky and enjoy traditional Arabian entertainment.
  • Discover Jerash, the Roman city of Gerasa, where some of the finest and well-preserved remains are found including colonnaded streets, temples, theaters, bathhouses, magnificent oval plaza and the superbly restored hippodrome that once seated up to 15,000 people.
  • Savor a wonderful massage at your Dead Sea resort – compliments of Big Five.

Day 1:  Arrive Amman, Jordan
Welcome to Amman, the capital of Jordan.  After clearing customs at Queen Alia airport, you meet your Big Five Tours & Expeditions representative who escorts you to the hotel.  Remainder of the day is yours to relax and enjoy your hotel’s amenities.  Four Seasons Amman

Day 2:  Amman – Jerash – Amman
After breakfast, you drive to visit Jerash, also known as the Roman city of Gerasa.  Here you’ll see some of the finest, most extensive and well-preserved remains of the former empire to be found anywhere.  The colonnaded streets, temples, theaters, bathhouses and magnificent oval plaza are complemented by the superbly restored hippodrome.  In the time of Romans it seated up to 15,000 people.  Explore Amman, both the modem and ancient capital of Jordan.  It has also gone by the names Rabat and in Greco-Roman times Philadelphia.  Four Seasons Amman (B,L)

Day 3:  Amman / Mt. Nebo / Madaba / Karak / Petra
After breakfast, travel to Mount Nebo – Moses’ mountain as mentioned in the New Testament.  It is believed that it was here where Moses died after wandering with his people through the desert for forty years.  At the top of the mountain you get a grand view of the Dead Sea.  In favorable weather you can see as far as Jerusalem.  Then drive to the town of Madaba to view the oldest known mosaic map of the Holy Land, dating back the 6th century AD, at the Saint George’s Greek-Orthodox Church.  The Archaeological Museum of Madaba houses numerous mosaics from the Byzantine era.  Continue along the Kings Highway to Karak Castle, a massive crusader castle in the Karak Mountains.  The locality of al-Karak, now the site of a flourishing town, is known for the imposing fort erected in the first half of the 12th century by the Crusaders, later conquered by the Arabs.  You journey to Petra, one of Jordan most priceless national treasures.  About three hours south of Amman, Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago.  The Rose City was carved out of rock canyon walls, and was admired for its massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels.  Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that enchants visitors from all corners of the globe.  This evening, you will participate in an awesome experience — Petra by night in the light of 1,800 candles!  Walk through the narrow canyon, known as the Siq, to the Khazneh following a candlelit path while you hear the enchanting and haunting music of the Bedouins.  This experience is only offered on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.  Movenpick Resort Petra (B,L,D)

Day 4:  Petra / Wadi Rum
After breakfast, return to explore this wondrous city of rock.  Much of Petra’s appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge.  You walk through the Siq again in daylight for a different perspective on the immense crack in the sandstone as it winds for one kilometer between overhanging cliffs.  Petra’s most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq.  While this is likely the most photographs image in Petra, there are many different walks and climbs that reveal the hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls and temples that make up the site as well as a 3,000-seat theater from the 1st Century AD.  This afternoon, you are in for a very special adventure as you journey to Wadi Rum, probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence.  He was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18, and he famously described it as “vast, echoing and God-like.”  It is truly a stunning desert landscape.  Wadi Rum is a nature-lover’s paradise.  Explore the vast beauty of Wadi Rum on 4×4 vehicle tour that takes you deep into the heart of the desert.  There are many areas that are secluded that you can visit on a camel or by mountain bike.  Wadi Rum is also home to several Bedouin tribes who live in scattered camps throughout the area.  The main route to Wadi Rum, and the small village of Rum, branches east off the Desert Highway about five kilometers south of Quweira and 25 kilometers north of Aqaba.  From there, the road extends about 35 kilometers through the desert to end at Rum.  The village is home to several hundred Bedouins with their goat-hair tents and concrete houses, a school, and a few shops.  It is also the headquarters of the famous Desert Patrol.  The desert tribes, Huweitat and Mzanah, inhabiting Wadi Rum maintain the warm hospitality which characterizes genuine Arab culture.  It is difficult to resist their friendly invitation to share mint tea or cardamom-flavored coffee in their black tents.  Tonight you will overnight Bedouin Camp!  You have a deluxe, nicely decorated tent with private bathroom.  There is another bigger tent that serves as the dining room.  Enjoy the hospitality of the Bedouins as you sit by the fire under a starry desert sky.  Enjoy traditional Arabian entertainment this evening.  The night will be an unforgettable experience.
Bedouin Camp (B,L,D)

Day 5:  Wadi Rum / Dead Sea
Drive to Dead Sea.  Visit Bethany beyond the Jordan, the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  The Bethany area sites formed part of the early Christian pilgrimage route between Jerusalem, the Jordan River, and Mt. Nebo.  The area is also associated with the biblical account of how the Prophet Elijah (Mar Elias in Arabic) ascended to heaven in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire, after having parted the waters of the Jordan River and walked across it with his anointed successor the Prophet Elisha.  Then you continue to your Dead Sea resort.  You are welcomed to enjoy 30-minute massage compliments of Big Five.  Kempinski Dead Sea Resort & Hotel (B,D)

Day 6:  Dead Sea
Today you have the day for relaxation and enjoying the amenities at your hotel.  The therapeutic benefits of the Dead Sea have been known to man for at least 2,000 years.  Many people have found its unique combination of climatic conditions and natural elements to be beneficial.  Kempinski Dead Sea Resort & Hotel (B,D)

Day 7:  Dead Sea / Amman / Depart
After breakfast, transfer to Amman where you will enjoy a city tour before being transferred to the airport to take your international flight home.  (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  From US $500 per person per day


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