Tour type: Family
Group size: Min: 3 | Max: 16
Accommodation: 3 to 5-star hotels & Bedouin camp
Transport: A/C minibus
Highlights: Jerash Roman ruins, Kerak Crusader Castle, drive the King's Highway, Wadi Rum jeep safari and camel ride included, Petra tour, Dead Sea swim, Red Sea beaches
This family tour to Jordan combines time at some of Jordan's most important historical sites with some more fun activities for the children. Jordan has so much to offer the adventurous family and this tour is a good mix of interesting historical sites, spectacular landscapes and fun activities such as snorkelling in the Red Sea, a 4x4 desert jeep safari, desert camel rides, and a dip/float in the Dead Sea. Group sizes are small and our guides are used to dealing with children so you'll get the best experience possible. You can also book this tour privately.
Starting your tour in Amman, we first take a trip north to the ancient Roman remains at Jerash before visiting the fun and interactive Children's Museum in Amman. Next we take a spectacular drive along the scenic King's Highway south towards Petra, stopping en-route at Madaba, Mt. Nebo and the stunning crusader Castle at Kerak. At Petra you will enjoy a full day guided tour of the site and there is the option to return in the evening to see Petra by candlelight. Leaving Petra behind we head out into the desert at Wadi Rum for a night it a Bedouin camp and a chance to enjoy the spectacular desert landscape on a 4x4 jeep safari. A change of pace now as we reach the Red Sea at Aqaba where you can relax on the beach or in the surroundings of your 5-star resort, or take a boat trip to enjoy some snorkelling over the coral reefs. Heading back to Amman we stop off at the Dead Sea to enjoy the strange experience of swimming in the incredibly salty waters. The tour ends back in Amman with a transfer to the airport for your flight home.
We meet you at Amman airport and transfer you to your city centre hotel The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and relax.
Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOFAFA)
We head out of Amman today and visit the extensive Roman ruins at Jerash, some of the best preserved in the whole of the Middle East. After a snack lunch we return to Amman and visit the fun and interactive Children's Museum. This has areas dedicated to the human body, ancient civilisations, stars and space, optical illusions, and some fun flight simulators built into child sized planes, hot air balloons, pedal planes and much more. There are also outdoor exhibits and overall we find this a fun place to take children of all ages for a couple of hours, and for them to see the type of museums and activities available to local Jordanian children.
Leaving Amman, we drive south along the King's Highway, one of the most scenic roads in the Middle East. This is a full day's drive, but we'll make plenty of breaks along the way. These will include at stop to see the Roman mosaics at Madaba, a leg stretch amidst the huge canyon and olive groves of Wadi Mujib, and time to explore the walls and tunnels of the huge crusader castle at Kerak (bring a torch as the tunnels and halls are great fun for children to explore). We finish the day at our hotel close to the world famous site of Petra.
The main highlight of the tour happens today, as we tour the fascinating hidden Nabatean city of Petra. This is a great place for children as the scenery is dramatic, the history of its rediscovery fascinating, and its numerous paths and steps great fun to explore. We include a 2-3 hour guided tour, lunch, and plenty of free time to walk up to the High Place of Sacrifice and the Monastery if you wish and your children are feeling energetic.
We head back into the desert today and travel by 4x4 jeep through the spectacular high cliffs and sands of Wadi Rum. After arriving at a Bedouin camp located beneath the cliffs right inside the desert reserve camp we'll check in and have lunch before taking an afternoon jeep safari through the desert to see the cliffs, dunes and some fun and strange rock formations. In the evening we'll enjoy a fun camel ride at sunset before sharing a traditional Bedouin meal with our hosts. We then spend the night sleeping at the camp. Comfortable beds and bedding are provided but you may also choose to sleep outside under the stars if you prefer (bring a sleeping bag).
Wadi Rum Bedouin camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The pace of the tour slows down today as we make the short drive after breakfast to Aqaba and we have the rest of the day free to relax on the beach or by the pool at a 5-star beach resort. An option is available for a boat trip into the Red Sea to try some snorkelling around one of the nearby islands. Glass bottomed boat rides are also available.
Aqaba 5-star resort
Snorkelling in the Red Sea
After time for a final quick morning swim, we head north again today, and drive up the Jordan Valley back towards Amman. After passing some extensive salt flats at the southern end of the Dead Sea we follow the coastline north with Israel visible on the far shore to the west and beautiful mountain scenery and canyons rising straight up from the road to the east. En-route we will stop for a swim in the strange, incredibly salty waters of the Dead Sea. stop along the way to enjoy a 'swim', though the intensely salty waters lead to a very strange swimming experience. In fact, normal swimming is not 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. Towels and showers are available, and a fun mud bath can also be taken here. The evening is free for a last farewell meal in Amman.
The tour ends in Amman today, and your time is free until we transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Extension options are available to add more time in Jordan, or to head into Israel to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Extra day in Amman - post-tour
Hotel Gala Dinners
Most of Jordan's higher level hotels and Beoduin camps 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.
If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.
If you would like to do this tour privately just for your family or together with some other families you like to travel with, we can certainly arrange this for you. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use 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.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre 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.
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.
We use good quality hotels at the local 5-star rating on this tour, with the Petra hotel are more boutique style which can be considered to be a good 4-star level. A night is also spent in a comfortable Bedouin camp inside the Wadi Rum desert reserve. Accommodation here is in en-suite tents with all bedding and facilities provided.
The tour can also be run privately and the hotel levels, styles and options adjusted to suit your preferences and budget. Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on the tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.
Twin, double and triple rooms are available, as well as family suites, and extra beds / matresses can be added to some rooms for younger children. Connecting rooms are available in some hotels, but these can rarely be 100% guaranteed in advance as there are often only a few and availability will be subject to bookings starting on previous days. Please contact us if you have any questions about rooming arrangements for your family.
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.
Your airport transfers are 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. We will provide detailed instructions of where to meet us in the airport, along with international and local emergency contact numbers, when we send you your final tour confirmation voucher about 2 weeks before departure.
On some of our group tours we do offer an optional upgrade to a higher level of hotels. If some people in the group take this upgrade, this will mean that there may be two pick-ups and drop-offs 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.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the sites visited on the tour.
We strongly 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). It also allows us to speed up our entry to each site as if everyone has the Jordan Pass we won't need to queue for tickets.
A handful of sites that we visit on our tours are not covered by the Jordan Pass (eg. Mt. Nebo, St. George's Church at Madaba, and the Shawmuri & Azraq Reserves), so to keep things simple for you while you are in Jordan, where these are visited in our itineraries, the entry fees are included in your tour price. If you visit any other sites not covered by the Jordan Pass during your free time or on additional tours you arrange while in Jordan, you will need to pay the entrance fee at the site.
The cost for the Jordan Wanderer Pass which is suitable for all our tours which visit Petra on one day is JD70 (approx. US$99). You should also check if your tour visits the Baptism Site at Bethany and if it does, add on the supplement for this site (an extra JD8, discounted from the JD12 payable at the site). 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
If you do not obtain the Jordan Pass before arriving in Jordan, you will need to pay the entry fees when you arrive at each site and also pay JD40 for your Jordan visa when you enter the country (or arrange your visa in advance).
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives both the adults and children in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers, and to hear and make the most of their guide. So, on our Family tours we won't ever put you in a full size coach packed with other people and just one guide. Having a smaller group size also allows us to do some more interesting activities that just wouldn't work for larger numbers.
This tour has a minimum group size of 3, and maximum of 16.
To accompany you on the tour we provide a fully trained English speaking local tour leader/driver and specialist guides in Jerash, Amman and Petra. Groups of 5 or more will have both a driver and a professional guide throughout the trip.
At Encounters Travel we only use local Jordanian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.
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). Private and tailor-made tours may also start or finish in Aqaba (AQJ).
We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued.
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket.
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 for the children as entrance fees are not charged in Jordan for children under 12. Instead, the adults should purchase a Jordan Pass and we will arrange a free visa for the children which you will receive when we meet you on 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
We run regular small-group departures on this tour throughout the year. These are aimed to fit in with typical school holiday periods. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 3 travellers and maximum of 16. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website (please check for up-to-date prices and special offers).
The tour can also be run privately on any other dates for a small supplement, with the itinerary then being customisable to fit your personal requirements and budget. If more than one family would like to travel together on a private date then we can normally offer the standard group tour pricing. Please contact us for details.
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.
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 your tour includes car hire, ior 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.
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website.
We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
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.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
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.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
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.
Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.
This guide is all about the Jordan Pass, which is a package that you can pre-book and pay for from the Jordanian authorities before you travel to Jordan which provides you with a free entry visa into Jordan, and a discounted package of entry fees to over 40 different sites in the country. It is well worth purchasing as it both saves you money and makes your travel into and around the country smoother and easier. Read on for much more information about exactly what it includes, what it costs, how to get one and more.
Undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Middle Eastern crown, Jordan is steeped in history.