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Jordan Discovery Tour

Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.

David, Jan 2018

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Jordan Discovery OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

11 days

Amman to Amman

From

$2725 (p/p)

Country(ies): Jordan

Tour type: Private

Group size: Min: 1 | Max: Any

Accommodation: 5-star hotels & desert camp

Meals:

Transport: A/C car/minibus & 4x4 vehicle

Highlights: Ancient hidden city of Petra, Wadi Rum dersert safari, dip in the Dead Sea, desert castles & wildlife reserves, well preserved Roman ruins at Jerash, swimming and snorkelling in the Red Sea

Jordan really is a country of contrasts; from the arid desert landscapes at Wadi Rum, to the wildlife rich Azraq wetlands in the North. Amman's bustling cosmopolitan centre to the historic sites at Petra, Jerash and Madaba (to name but a few!). Join our 11-day Jordan Discovery tour to take a journey through this interesting country.

This Jordan Discovery tour begins in Amman, the capital of Jordan. From Amman we will take tours around the city and visit the nearby Desert Castles and wildlife reserves. From Amman your tour takes you to the country's southern most point to the seaside town of Aqaba, where you will have free time to relax on the beach or take advantage of the many fantastic water sport and diving opportunities. After an overnight stay in Aqaba we head north to visit the mysterious canyons of Wadi Rum, the ancient Nabataean town of Petra and many important sites along the Kings Highway including a swim in the Dead Sea.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Amman, transfer to hotel

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Amman for the start of your trip. They'll help you settle in and introduce you to the local area.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOTMJD)


Day 2 Visit Desert Castles & wildlife reserves

After breakfast we begin our sightseeing tour to visit the 'Desert Castles' many of which date back over 1,000 years. Known as 'castles' these sites are actually palaces, fortresses and bath houses and make for a very interesting trip. We concentrate our time on the most impressive sites - Qasr Hallabat, Qasayr Amra and Qasr Hraneh which is visible from miles around.

After a short stop for lunch we head to the Azraq Wetlands Reserve which was once home to many buffalo, wild horses and thousands of bird species. Over the last few decades much of this wildlife has been diminished by extensive draining of the lakes. Work is under way at the moment to restore this area to its former glory.

Continuing a little further south we reach the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve which is haven for many endangered indigenous species such as the Arabian Oryx, Ostriches, Onagers and Gazelles. Within the area there are viewing towers which allow you to get a good perspective of the area and view the animals from above. Later this afternoon we return to Amman where you can relax within your hotel or visit the many souqs and bazaars which are located throughout the city.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Amman city tour, drive to Aqaba

One of the best places to begin a days sightseeing around Amman is the Roman Forum and this will be today's first stop. The Roman Theatre is cut into a depression in the hillside and the huge theatre offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. The original structure was built between 169 and 177 AD whilst under the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The theatre originally seated six thousand spectators and it is still occasionally used for concerts.

From here we head to the Odeon which is located just beyond the Amphitheatre. The original structure dates slightly earlier than the large theatre and once seated around 500 and was probably used for council meetings or small scale dramas.

Following our short tour of Amman we begin our journey south along the desert highway to Aqaba. We will spend the next 2 nights in a luxury beach resort.

OVERNIGHT:

Aqaba hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Aqaba, free day by the Red Sea

Today is free for you to relax beside the red sea, explore Aqaba or enjoy the many water sports which Aqaba has to offer. The crystal blue waters and colourful reefs around Aqaba offer some of the Red Seas best diving.

OVERNIGHT:

Aqaba hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Snorkelling in the Red Sea


Day 5 Drive to Wadi Rum, jeep safari & Bedouin Camp

Leaving the coast behind, we next drive into the desert for a jeep safari at Wadi Rum. The spectacular mountain scenery here is dominated by the towering, rust-coloured, rocky 'jebels' and beautiful sand dunes. The area is most well known as a hide out for TE Lawrence during the time of the Arab Revolt in 1917-18, and made famous by the film Lawrence of Arabia. We first enjoy a traditional Bedouin lunch, before climbing aboard jeeps for a drive through the sheer cliffs and bizarre rock formation that make up this stunning natural wonder.

We spend the night tonight in a small but extremely comfortable Bedouin camp located right inside the desert reserve, backed against the cliffs and with the desert sands opening out in front of us. You'll sleep in traditional goat hair tents in comfortable beds with all bedding provided.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Camel Ride in Wadi Rum


Day 6 Petra guided tour & free time

We make the short journey from Wadi Rum to Petra this morning, ready to exploring this amazing site. The ancient capital of the Nabataean commercial empire until the Romans finally took over in 106AD, Petra was largely forgotten, except by the local Bedouins, until it was 'discovered' in 1812 by a young Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. This was partly due to its remoteness, and its situation on the edge of Wadi Aruba., whose canyon walls and surrounding hills make it almost impossble to approach except through a narrow, winding cleft in the rock, called the Siq. The city itself has very few free-standing buildings, as the Nabateans chose to carve their homes, buildings and tombs into the multi-coloured sandstone cliffs. We have a 3 hour guided tour followed by free time to explore yourselves.

We start by walking through the Siq, which rises to 200m above us, and narrows to just 2m wide in places. The ancient Nabatean water channel can still be seen on one wall, as well as some remnants of the terracotta pipes that brought water into the city. All of a sudden, a now classic view appears around one corner, and one of Petra's most impressive monuments, the Khazneh (Treasury) comes into view. Our guide will explain how this, and the other buildings here, are mainly elaborate facades carved into the rock from the top down, and also discuss the spiritual significance of the building style. From the Khazneh, the valley opens out, with tombs carved into the rock on both sides. We'll see the ruined Roman amphitheatre, and colonnaded street, and can walk up a steep and narrow winding gorge past beautifully coloured sandstone cliff walls to the huge and imposing 'Monastery'. The biggest of Petra's carved monuments at 50m high and 45m wide, this is truly spectacular, as are the distant views west across Wadi Aruba and the Jordan valley.

Another climb can take us to the High Place of Sacrifice, and Lion Fountain. All in all, this is a full & tiring, but hugely rewarding day touring one of the world's most famous ancient sites. We spend the evening and night relaxing at our hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Petra camel ride


Day 7 Tour Little Petra, drive to Dana Nature Reserve

After breakfast we enjoy a morning guided tour to visit 'Little Petra'. In the afternoon we leave Petra and head to Dana Reserve. Dana Reserve is Jordan's largest nature reserve, covering approximately 320km². The reserve was established in 1989, and is the only reserve in Jordan which covers the country's four different bio-geographical zones - Irano-Turanian, Saharo Arabian, Mediterranean and Sudanian penetration. Because of this, the reserve is the most diverse in Jordan in terms of habitats and species. The number of species recorded so far exceeds 690 plants (3 of these species were thought to be new to science upon their discovery) and 449 animal species. 25 of the world's endangered species can be found in the reserve, making it an area of international importance. This evening will be spent at the Dana Guest House, where you will be able to witness spectacular views and hopefully a great sunset from your room's terrace. Note: The accommodation here is simple but comfortable with mainly shared bathrooms. As it only has 9 rooms, it also fills up well in advance.

OVERNIGHT:

Dana guesthouse

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Reserve walk, King's Highway and Kerak Castle

We begin today with a guided walk in the reserve where you may be able to view some of the diverse mix of plant and animal species. We then begin our drive to the Dead Sea along the King's Highway (a slower, but much more interesting and beautiful drive than the busy Desert Highway). Our first stop is at the old Crusader town and castle at Kerak, which lies on the ancient Egypt-Syrian caravan routes. Built in 1132AD by the Crusader King, Baldwin 1 of Jerusalem, the castle fell to Saladin in 1188AD. It is still an impressive building with commanding views over the surrounding hills & plains.

From Kerak, we head further north crossing several deep Wadis, including the majestic Wadi al-Mujib, where the road winds down, and then up the other side of this 1km deep canyon. Arriving in Madaba, an important Christian town in Jordan, we stop to see some of its famous and priceless Byzantine era mosaics, including one of a 6th century map of Palestine in the Greek Orthodox St. George's church, which was laid out in 560AD on an area of well over 100square metres, using more than 2 million pieces.

Close to Madaba is the Mt. Nebo area, used as a memorial to Moses. There are 3 peaks, with spectacular views to the Dead Sea, and on a clear day, all the way to the church spires of Jerusalem. We finish our journey today with a short drive to the Dead Sea.

OVERNIGHT:

Dead Sea hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Visit Baptism site, swim in the Dead Sea

This morning we will visit the Baptism Site which is one of the most important discoveries made in the middle-east over the last few years. The site is known to be the place where John the Baptist lived and where he most likely baptized Jesus Christ.

In the afternoon we return to the Dead Sea where you will be able to enjoy a swim in this strange place, over 200m below sea level. The intense salinity - around 33%, of the waters here - caused by the intense evaporation rate, leads to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not really possible, and it is easier (and more photogenic!) just to float, sitting or lying in the water. Be careful not to get any water in your eyes, as it will sting very strongly - you'll also discover various tiny cuts you never thought you had. We ensure we bathe where there are clean water springs or shower facilities so that you can wash the salty water off before it dries and starts to itch!.

OVERNIGHT:

Dead Sea hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 10 Tour to visit Jerash & Ajloun Castle

Today we have a full day tour to visit the Roman Ruins at Jerash and Ajloun Castle. Our first visit to Jerash takes us to what is probably Jordan's second most visited tourist site. As with Petra, this is for good reason, as the Roman ruins here are very well preserved, and an excellent example of a Roman provincial city. Gerasa (Jerash) was founded around 170 BC and it was around this time that the idea of a Decapolis emerged. In 63 BC the Romans liberated Gerasa and the following decade saw a period of unprecedented growth - the original town plan was laid down at this time and this still survives today. At Jerash you have a guided tour and plenty of free time to explore further on your own.

From Jerash we head to Ajloun Castle which was constructed between 1184 and 1185 AD by Izz al-Din Usama - the nephew of Saladin. The castle at Ajloun is believed to be one of only a few build specifically to protect the country from Crusader attacks.

Following our visit to Ajloun we return to Amman for our final night in Jordan.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11 Transfer to airport for departure

Your time in Jordan comes to an end today. You have some free time in Amman today before our guide transfers you to the airport for departure.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - post-tour


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Included:
  • Accommodation as stated in the itinerary in 5-star hotels
  • One night in comfortable Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles except Bedouin jeeps in Wadi Rum
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of an English speaking escort driver throughout
  • Professional guide for the tours in Jerash and Petra (may be extended to the whole tour)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (see tour notes)
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees in Jordan (included in the Jordan Pass for JD70 / US$99)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips
  • Hotel Gala Dinners (if charged by the hotels on 24 & 31 Dec, see Tour notes)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

Hotel Gala Dinners
Most of Jordan's higher level hotels arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but normally compulsory for all guests of the hotel on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. Please budget accordingly. More information is available on request.

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

25th of Oct 2020

30th of Nov 2020

US$2975

-


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1st of Dec 2020

14th of Dec 2020

US$2725

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15th of Dec 2020

5th of Jan 2021

US$3005

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6th of Jan 2021

31st of Jan 2021

US$2795

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1st of Feb 2021

28th of Feb 2021

US$3045

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1st of Mar 2021

20th of May 2021

US$3075

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21st of May 2021

31st of May 2021

US$3045

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1st of Jun 2021

15th of Sep 2021

US$2795

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16th of Sep 2021

30th of Sep 2021

US$3045

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1st of Oct 2021

8th of Oct 2021

US$3075

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons

Amman


Located on the highest hill of Amman, Four Seasons Hotel Amman boasts luxurious accommodation with panoramic views of the city. It offers indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, a spa and a squash court.

Local rating

Our rating

 Four Seasons Four Seasons

Located on the highest hill of Amman, Four Seasons Hotel Amman boasts luxurious accommodation with panoramic views of the city. It offers indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, a spa and a squash court. At the Spa you can enjoy massages, body treatments, facials or nail traitments for male and female.

All air-conditioned accommodation at Four Seasons Amman is furnished with warm colours and carpeted floors. Each suite and room comes with a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV.

Enjoy Levant cuisine at Olea or our unique Friday Brunch; The Foyer Lounge for light meals and international favourites; our new Garden Terrace for continental sandwiches and salads; and Five Grill & Lounger offers refreshments while boasting a view of Amman in the summer.

Four Seasons’ Concierge desk can arrange local excursions and give you all the information you need during your stay in Amman.

Kempinski

Kempinski

Aqaba


Overlooking the Red Sea, this beach resort offers 5 different dining outlets and an outdoor pool bordering white sandy beaches. Its modern designs add to the tranquillity of the surroundings.

Local rating

Our rating

 Kempinski Kempinski

Overlooking the Red Sea, this beach resort offers 5 different dining outlets and an outdoor pool bordering white sandy beaches. Its modern designs add to the tranquillity of the surroundings.

The bright and airy rooms at the Kempinski feature a private balcony with direct sea view. Each one has a flat-screen satellite TV mounted on the wall. The spacious bathroom offers a bathrobe and hairdryer.

The Aqaba Kempinski offers a range of water sports such as jet-skiing, banana boat riding, parasailing, and scuba diving. Alternatively, poolside loungers provide sunbathing possibilities in the shade of bamboo trees.

For relaxation, various body therapies are offered at the spa. It also features a dry and wet sauna and a hot tub. The gym with sea views allows guests to keep in shape.

The Kempinski Hotel Aqaba is a 5-minute walk from the shops and entertainment of Aqaba city.

Taybet Zaman

Taybet Zaman

Petra


Situated in Taybeh Village, Taybet Zaman Hotel and Resort offers modern 5-star accommodation, as well as a swimming pool. The multiple amenities this unique hotel features include a tour desk, massage services and a coffee bar.

Local rating

Our rating

 Taybet Zaman Taybet Zaman

Situated in Taybeh Village, Taybet Zaman Hotel and Resort offers modern 5-star accommodation, as well as a swimming pool. The multiple amenities this unique hotel features include a tour desk, massage services and a coffee bar.

The hotel has 102 rooms and has been recently refurbished. Welcoming and helpful staff are available 24-hours a day.

The modern rooms have a private bathroom, a mini bar and a flat-screen TV. Guests can relax in the comfortable seating area.

Guests are able to relax with a drink at Taybet Zaman's bar and dine on international style food in the restaurant.

Dana Guest House

Dana Guest House

Dana


Located in Dana, Dana Guesthouse offers free WiFi in public areas. It includes a spacious terrace and a restaurant. All rooms are simply furnished and fitted with carpeted floors. Each one offers a balcony, a wardrobe and an outdoor dining area.

Local rating

Our rating

 Dana Guest House Dana Guest House

Located in Dana, Dana Guesthouse offers free WiFi in public areas. It includes a spacious terrace and a restaurant.

All rooms at Dana Guesthouse are simply furnished and fitted with carpeted floors. Each one offers a balcony, a wardrobe and an outdoor dining area. It has a shared bathroom.

At Dana Guesthouse you will find a 24-hour front desk. Other facilities offered at the property include meeting facilities. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including hiking.

Kempinski

Kempinski

Dead Sea


Boasting tree-lined outdoor pools overlooking the waters of the Dead Sea, the 5-star Kempinski features a private stretch of beach and a spa offering sea mud and sea salt treatments.

Local rating

Our rating

 Kempinski Kempinski

Boasting tree-lined outdoor pools overlooking the waters of the Dead Sea, the 5-star Kempinski features a private stretch of beach and a spa offering sea mud and sea salt treatments.

Home-made pasta, Thai dishes and signature chocolate desserts and watermelon granites are served at Kempinski Ishtar’s restaurants. Try a drink at the Babylonian-inspired cocktail bar, or enjoy a whisky and cigar at the lounge bar.

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea offers rooms set among palm trees and olive groves. All rooms and suites come with a balcony with sea views. They are carved in natural stone complemented by contemporary details.

Guests can refresh in the 9 freshwater pools, or relax in the spa with traditional Thai massages or hammam sessions. The state-of-the-art fitness centre has personal trainers available on request, and yoga and meditation classes are on offer.

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (JOTMJD)

Single room supplement

Min numbers: 1


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

*Price from
$930
per person/s

*Price based on 1 person/s

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

We use a mix of accommodations on this tour including internationally rated 5-star, a deluxe bedouin camp and a beautiful eco-lodge. Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on this tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.


  2. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

As we don't offer guaranteed group departures on this tour we can run the itinerary for however many people you happen to be travelling with, starting from 1 upwards. The prices given for this tour are based on a minimum of 2 passengers travelling, so if you have a different number of passengers in your group please contact us for a customised quotation.

In Jordan we provide fully trained, local English-speaking guides for all of the sightseeing tours. We also use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert. At Encounters Travel we only use local guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous guides.


  3. Entrance Fees & Jordan Pass

The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour. Instead, we recommend that you purchase a Jordan Pass prior to your travel to Jordan. This is a special package that has been designed by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for tourists visiting Jordan. As well as including a discounted package of entrance fees covering all the sites in Jordan that you will visit on this tour (plus many others), the Jordan Pass also provides free downloadable digital brochures on each attraction, plus a free tourist visa for entering the country (40JD if obtained on arrival in Jordan).
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass suitable for this tour is JD70 (approx. US$99). Passes are available by completing a simple online form before you travel, taking care to make sure your passport details are entered correctly as this doubles as your visa application. Your Jordan Pass will then be emailed to you as a pdf document, which you should print out and bring with you. You will then need to show this print out at the immigration desk on arrival in Jordan to obtain your free entry visa, and also at each attraction where it will be scanned to confirm your entry. Obtain your Jordan Pass here


  4. Health and Vaccinations

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.  You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A

Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon

Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using 'black henna' instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.


  5. Passports and Visas - Jordan

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

To promote tourism to the country, the Jordanian government has designed the Jordan Pass. This provides adults of most nationalities with a free single entry Jordan visa (for stays of 3 nights or more), a discounted package of entrance fees, and free digital brochures for the various sites in Jordan. Please check the Jordan Pass tour note for more information.

Double or multi entry visas for Jordan are no longer available and you will need to arrange two visas if you are doing a combination tour (eg. with Egypt and/or Israel) that visits Jordan more than once. Exceptions may occur if you are crossing to and from Israel via the King Hussein Bridge - please contact us for details.

If you wish to arrange your visa separately in advance, or if your stay will be shorter than four days/3 nights, then a visa fee of 40JD (approx. USD 57) will be due.

Families with children under 12 are recommended not to purchase the Jordan Pass as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Our Jordan Family tour prices include your entrance fees and we will also arrange a free visa for you on your arrival into Amman airport.

Other nationalities may require a visa prior to arrival and to obtain this in advance, please contact your local Jordanian embassy or consulate or a visa agency for details. In addition, if you plan to enter Jordan via the southern Wadi Araba crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or the Allenby Bridge/King Hussein border with Israel in the north, you will need to obtain your Jordan visa in advance as these are not available on arrival at the border.


  6. Time

The time in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon is GMT plus 2 hours and in UAE GMT plus 3 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.


  7. Voltage

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.


  8. Money - Jordan

The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). You do not need to arrange to bring any Jordanian Dinar with you to Jordan as exchange facilities are available in the international airports and in most hotels, banks and bureau de changes in major towns. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Jordan you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Jordanian Dinar, though tips for guides and drivers may be paid in hard currency (GBP, USD, EUR).

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.


  9. Dates & Prices

This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year. Guideline seasonal prices are given below, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.


  10. Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.


  11. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.


  12. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  13. Responsible Tourism

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  14. Follow Us Online

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  15. Before you travel

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign


  16. Transfers

Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary, plus on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.

On our Shoestring group tours we do offer optional hotel upgrades. This may mean that additional pick-up and drop-offs are required each day. We do endeavour to ensure that all hotels used are close to each other and to streamline and time arrangements to limit any extra driving time as much as possible.


  17. What to take

Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Jordan. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips - you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: The climate in Jordan varies widely from hot days in the summer to cool and sometimes wet days in the winter months. At night, especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required. Modesty rates highly in Jordan, especially for women, so to respect the local culture and people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). When visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.

Other items: If your tour includes an overnight Bedouin camp then bedding is provided but we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner for comfort all year round (even with the best efforts, sand does find its way pretty much everywhere). In the winter months, or if you think you would like to sleep under the stars instead of in your tent, then we recommend you bring a sleeping bag with you as it can get very cold at night. We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.


  18. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you're really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. The small distances involved in Jordan mean that we use private vehicles throughout this tour. These will be minivans, minibuses or coaches, depending on the number of travellers in the group.

The jeeps used in Wadi Rum are provided by the local Bedouins we work with, and while suitable for your desert safari, they may fall below the normal safety and quality standards for vehicles we use during the rest of our tours.


  19. International Flights

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.

Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour.

Nearly all our Jordan tours start and finish at Amman airport (AMM).

  20. Tipping

Tipping for services provided is part of the local culture in Jordan, is often expected, and will be very gratefully received. While the amount you tip is subject to your satisfaction with the services provided and your personal budget, we are often asked for help and guidelines and can therefore suggest that you allow approx.:

Tour guides: US$8-10 per person per day
Drivers: US$3-5 per person per day
Restaurants: 10% or leave the change
Petra horse boys: US$2-5 (we recommend against riding the horses for animal welfare and safety concerns, but the boys may still expect a tip)

Reviews

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Jordan Discovery & Country Reviews

Product Review


Posted 3rd of Jan 2019

Just amazing affordable price.

Product Review


Posted 14th of Aug 2018

Overall good. Need better transportation. Tour guide good but needs to be more respectful of the female guests less touchy feely

Product Review


Posted 21st of Nov 2017

A fabulous trip. Wonderful experience being part of a small group touring a truly amazing country. Sami, our guide, was fantastic - superb knowledge, delivered in a fun and relaxed style. A really outstanding, memorable trip.