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Jordan Encounters Tour

Highly recommend Encounters Travel. Entire tour was conducted without a hiccup, tour guides were amazing - friendly, highly knowledgeable, courteous and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our trip was of a high standard.

Chook31, 23 Oct 2018

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Jordan Encounters OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

8 days

Amman to Amman

From

US$1349

Country(ies): Jordan

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 14

Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, local homestay & Bedouin camp

Meals:

Transport: AC minivan/minibus & Bedouin jeep

Highlights: Desert Castles, Amman city tour, Roman Jerash, Ajloun Castle, Rasoun homestay, Dolmans hike, Madaba mosaics, Mt. Nebo, Dead Sea swim, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Shobak crusader castle, Petra, Wadi Rum jeep safari, Bedouin desert camp

This is our signature Jordan small-group tour. The tour features Jordan's most famous highlights like Petra and Jerash, with some different experiences and activities to really show you as much of Jordan's different scenery, culture, food and history as possible.

We start by heading out of Amman to discover some of Jordan's famous Umayyad 'Desert Castles', situated amidst the sands on ancient trading routes. We'll also explore Downtown Amman on foot, enjoying a tasty lunch of falafel and hummus in a local restaurant and picking up some Arabic tips from our guide. Next we head north to the amazing Roman site of Jerash, one of the very best preserved in the whole of the Middle East. An afternoon hike through the forests near Ajloun Castle to see some Bronze Age Dolmens follows, before we spend the night in a simple but comfortable local homestay, eating and chatting with the family.

The Roman mosaics at Madaba are next, and the amazing views towards Jericho and Israel from Mt. Nebo follow, as we descend towards the Dead Sea for a night in a 4-star resort and a swim, or float in the amazing salty waters. From the Dead Sea our next short hike takes us around the restored Dana Village in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve. A visit to the Crusader Castle at Shobak then follows before we explore Jordan's main highlight, the amazing lost city of Petra. We have time for a guided tour here, as well as free time to hike up to the Monastery and High Place of Sacrifice for some amazing views. Finally we head to the beautiful desert scenery of Wadi Rum where we'll spend the night in a comfortable Bedouin camp against the towering cliffs. The next morning we take a jeep safari through the sand dunes and past amazing rock bridges before spending some time with a local Bedouin shepherd, learning about their nomadic way of life and how they look after their animals in the desert. After a tasty lunch in the desert, we head back north to Amman for a final evening in a coffee shop, perhaps enjoying a sheesha and game of backgammon while looking back over our time in this amazing country.

This tour connects well with our Egypt and Israel tours, and can also be run privately at any time if our group departures don't work for you or you would like to customise the itinerary a little, perhaps adding on some time by the Red Sea in Aqaba.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Amman, airport to hotel transfer included

After arriving at Queen Alia International Airport just outside Amman, one of our staff members will be there to meet and greet you before transferring you to your hotel in Amman. You have the rest of the day free to relax in your hotel or to start exploring Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour
Single room supplement (JOSGJE18)


Day 2 Exploring Jordan's Desert Castles and an Amman city tour

Your first full day of our Jordan tour starts after breakfast, as we make our way to Jordan's famous 'desert castles', before we head out on a city tour of its capital - Amman.

Jordan's desert castles are located on the old trade routes created during the Umayyad era and still house some of its ancient remnants including frescoes, bath houses and wells - giving us great insight into how they were built during the 7th and 8th centuries. We'll explore the desert castles of Qasr al-Kharrana, Qal'at al-Azraq and Qseirr Amra before we head back to Amman for lunch at a local eatery, with falafel and hummus on the menu.

After lunch, we'll explore downtown Amman on foot, visiting the impressive Amphitheatre, the Jordan Folklore Museum as well as the Citadel. We'll also visit some of Amman's busy markets, tasting Knafeh - a tasty sweet - while our guide teaches us some basic Arabic greetings and phrases to use during our Jordan tour.

If there's time left, we may visit a few traditional handcraft and art galleries, before we return to our hotel in Amman.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 From Jerash to Aljoun Castle & Dolmens hike

Leaving Amman this morning, we head north to the ancient city of Jerash - known for being one of the largest and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities outside of Europe. Once we arrive in Jerash, we'll visit the Forum, explore its Roman colonnaded streets, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis - built on one of the highest points in the city.

From Jerash, we'll make our way to Aljoun Castle, built by the Ayyubids in the 12th century and extended by the Mamluks in the 13th. It also served as the base for Saladin's Arab forces when he defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century. The countryside of the Ajloun Forest Reserve around the castle is picturesque and green and a popular place for avid hikers, with its hills, mountains and forests just waiting to be explored.

After a visit to Aljoun Castle, we head to the village of Rasoun to meet our homestay hosts for the night. After settling in and being shown through the village, we'll walk through hills covered with scrub and forest to see some Bronze Age Dolmens - which are megalithic tombs formed by placing a huge stone slab atop two or more standing stones.

We'll return to our homestay in Rasoun this evening, where we'll be treated to a home-cooked traditional Arabic meal which will be prepared by our host Jordanian family, and we spend the evening chatting with them about life in Jordan.

OVERNIGHT:

Rasoun homestay

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 From Ajloun to Madaba, Mount Nebo & the Dead Sea

After a splendid night with the Jordanian family, we say goodbye after a shared breakfast and head south to Madaba, where we'll marvel at the Byzantine mosaics and the 'Madaba Map' - which is the oldest preserved map of the Holy Land. From Madaba, we'll make our way to Mount Nebo, the place where the prophet Moses looked across the Promised Land and is also his burial place. On a clear day, which is most of the time, you get great views towards Jericho and beyond from here.

After a tasty lunch, we'll make our way down to our resort right on the banks of the Dead Sea, where you have some free time to swim - or rather float - in its incredibly salty waters and to relax by the hotel pool. Don't forget a newspaper or magazine for your iconic Dead Sea photo!

OVERNIGHT:

Dead Sea Spa Resort

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Exploring Dana Biosphere Reserve & Shobak Castle en-route to Petra

Today, we'll make our way down the Dead Sea coastline, passing lots of deep canyons and gorges as they meet the sea. After we pass some salt flats at the southern end of the Dead Sea we head up through the mountains towards Petra, stopping for a short hike in the beautiful scenery and hills of the Dana Biosphere Reserve along the way. This is Jordan's largest nature reserve, and there are great views of the valleys and hills on the various trails around the restored Dana village. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit with the terrain surprisingly green and full of flowers. We'll stop for lunch in the village and take a walk before continuing to the imposing crusader castle at Shobak, finally arriving at Petra late in the evening.

You have the option for a spectacular and atmospheric introduction to Petra tonight, with the Petra by Night tour. Here you walk through the Siq to the Treasury, the whole way being atmospherically lit up by hundreds of candles.

OVERNIGHT:

Petra hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Petra by night


Day 6 A full day in Petra and overnight Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

We start our exploration of the Rose Red city of Petra, now one of the Modern 7 Wonders of the World, with a walk through the winding Siq to the magnificent Treasury.

Our guide will explain the fascinating history of the site and the Nabatean people who built it, and we'll explore several caves and tombs. You'll then have time to explore further, perhaps hiking up to the huge Monastery, carved out of the cliffs overlooking the Jordan Valley, or walking up to the High Place of Sacrifice.

Late in the afternoon, we head into the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum for a night under the stars enjoying the hospitality of the Bedouins. We stay in a comfortable camp with a great remote location between the sand dunes and the rocky cliffs, well away from the road and traffic.

You can sleep in your traditional goat hair tent, with a proper bed and all bedding provided, or take a sleeping bag and find a secluded location to sleep outside under the stars.

OVERNIGHT:

Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 A jeep safari and Bedouin experience in Wadi Rum, travel to Amman

After breakfast in the camp, we take a jeep safari through the sands and beneath the towering 'jebels' of Wadi Rum, stopping to climb sand dunes and to see some of the strange rock formations, including a spectacular rock bridge.

We'll also do some local activities inspired from the Bedouin traditions, walking with a local shepherd with his sheep and goats to a Bedouin tent where we'll participate in making lunch.

We can also join in and learn about other traditional Bedouin activities such as shearing the sheep & goats' hair, milking, grinding grains, making bread and roasting coffee until our lunch is ready. Finally, after really getting a feel for nomadic Bedouin life, we return by jeep to our camp and then drive north on the Desert Highway back to Amman. If you would like to add a few days to your tour and spend some time by the Red Sea, then an extension to Aqaba is available after you finish in Wadi Rum.

This evening we'll walk out to a coffee shop or cafe near our hotel in Downtown Amman to enjoy a shisha, a game of backgammon and to reminisce on our Jordan tour.

OVERNIGHT:

Amman hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

Aqaba extension


Day 8 Free time in Amman, hotel to airport transfer included

Your time is free in Amman today until we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure. Further sightseeing tours are available today if you have a late afternoon or evening flight, including a trip to the Baptism Site at Bethany on the Jordan River. This tour also connects well with several of our Egypt and Israel tours; please contact us for ideas and help with connections.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Amman - post-tour


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Included:
  • 5 nights in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • Overnight village homestay in shared same-sex rooms
  • Overnight Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum in comfortable tents
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • 4x4 jeep safari and Bedouin experience in Wadi Rum
  • English speaking tour leader and guides
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (available free as part of the Jordan Pass)
  • Entrance fees (discounted package included in the Jordan Pass, available in advance for JD70)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available from Encounters Travel)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Hotel gala dinner supplements if applied on Christmas & New Year's Eve
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips
  • Any other items not mentioned above

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Regular small-group departures run throughout the year and the tour can also be booked privately on any other date and customised to fit your personal requirements.

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

8th of Jun 2019

15th of Jun 2019

US$1349

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6th of Jul 2019

13th of Jul 2019

US$1349

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3rd of Aug 2019

10th of Aug 2019

US$1349

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7th of Sep 2019

14th of Sep 2019

US$1349

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21st of Sep 2019

28th of Sep 2019

US$1399

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5th of Oct 2019

12th of Oct 2019

US$1399

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19th of Oct 2019

26th of Oct 2019

US$1399

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2nd of Nov 2019

9th of Nov 2019

US$1399

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16th of Nov 2019

23rd of Nov 2019

US$1349

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7th of Dec 2019

14th of Dec 2019

US$1349

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21st of Dec 2019

28th of Dec 2019

US$1429

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28th of Dec 2019

4th of Jan 2020

US$1429

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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.

Rasoun Homestay

Rasoun


This is a friendly local homestay in Rasoun village near Ajloun Castle. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. Bathrooms are separate and shared. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable and very welcoming experience.

Local rating

Our rating

This is a friendly local homestay in Rasoun village, near to Ajloun Castle and the RSCN's Ajloun Forest Reserve. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. There are a number of homes in the village that will accommodate guests, so depending on our final group size we may split across several houses. We will all eat together in one house with the hosts. All beds and bedding are provided. Bathrooms are separate and shared but quite basic. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable, and very welcoming experience with good food and interesting insights into local village life in rural Jordan. The RSCN's Soap House is also nearby and worth a visit. Here local women use a variety of local natural ingredients, including lavender, geranium, mint and pomegranate, to create high-quality handmade natural olive oil soaps.

Dead Sea Spa Resort

Dead Sea


The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea. Access to the Dead Sea itself is directly from the hotel, with spa treatments and Dead Sea mud to lather yourselves with before swimming also available.

Local rating

Our rating

The Dead Sea Spa hotel is a comfortable resort style hotel located on the banks of the Red Sea, around 1 hour's drive from Amman and Amman airport. There are several pools, and the hotel has great direct access into the Dead Sea itself, with the famous Dead Sea mud available on the beach to lather yourself with before swimming (if you wish!). Various treatments are also available in the hotel spa. Meals are generally buffet style with a good selection of different options including several vegetarian options. There are more luxurious 5-star resorts on the Dead Sea, but we feel the Dead Sea Spa hotel provides an very good mid-range option, ideal for short stays.

La Maison

Petra


La Maison is a comfortable, mid-range hotel in Petra with an excellent location less than ten minutes walk from the Visitor Centre and entrance into Petra.

Local rating

Our rating

La Maison is a comfortable, mid-range hotel in Petra with an excellent location less than ten minutes walk from the Visitor Centre and entrance into Petra. The 76 en-suite rooms have been recently rennovated and all ll have air conditioning, free internet and TVs.

The hotel has a lobby lounge and bar, a restaurant and an Arabic styled roof terrace where you can enjoy traditional Jordanian snacks, drinks and shisha pipes. 

Rahayeb Camp

Wadi Rum


This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location on the desert sands against the cliffs in the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. The food is generally excellent.

Local rating

Our rating

This Wadi Rum desert camp has a fantastic location and setting on the desert sands right up against the cliffs within the Wadi Rum Protected Area. We like it for its spectacular and remote location well away from the main road, and for the excellent food and friendly welcome the Bedouin hosts always provide.

Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. We book the standard tents with shared bathrooms, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars. 

WiFi is available throughout the camp. Meals are traditionally cooked, with a delicious underground 'BBQ' prepared nearly every night. Alcohol is not available.

Sunrise and sunset camel rides are available to book locally (around US$30).

Antika Hotel

Amman


Antika Hotel is located in the heart of the old city of Amman and offers simple but comfortable accommodation. This characterful hotel is perfect for your last day in Amman, unlike other hotels further from the city centre.

Local rating

Our rating

Antika Amman Hotel is located in the heart of the old city of Amman; on the edge of Rainbow Street which has many restaurants, cafes and shops along it. It is also within walking distance from Downtown Amman.

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms and flat-screen TVs. Certain units include a seating area for your convenience. Guests can enjoy the on-site snack bar. There is a 24-hour front desk and gift shop at the property. You can also enjoy free WIFI during your stay.

While this is a fairly simple hotel, the family owning it are very friendly and helpful to guests, and the location close to the centre of town is very good.

Al Fanar Hotel

Amman


Al Fanar Palace Hotel is a family-owned and operated hotel located in the heart of classy modern west part of Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Local rating

Our rating

Set in a contemporary building with glass façade, Al Fanar offers modern accommodation along Queen Rania Road. It features a pool with a hot tub and a well-equipped gym with sauna.

Rooms at Al Fanar Palace Hotel are decorated in European fashion with plush beddings and wooden furnishings. They are all air conditioned, equipped with satellite TV channels and a spacious work desk.

Facilities at the Palace Hotel include free Wi-Fi access and private parking. There are a handful of shops within the property and upon request a shuttle from Queen Alia Airport is also available.

Guests can enjoy a fusion of Jordanian specialities and international classic dishes at the restaurant of the hotel. Guests can enjoy shisha in the outdoor covered terrace all year round. Amman's Old Town is famous for its traditional food stalls and is 4.3 miles away.

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 (JOSGJE18)

Min numbers: 1 person


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Same-sex room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.

Price from
$329.00
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Extra day in Amman - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Price from
$59.00
per person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Amman - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Price from
$29.00
per person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Petra by night

Min numbers: 1 person


This magical experience takes you in through the narrow and winding Siq to the Treasury at the entrance to Petra. The whole route and the sand in front of the Treasury is lit up by numerous candles.

Price from
$29.00
per person

This magical experience takes you in through the narrow and winding Siq to the Treasury at the entrance to Petra. The whole route and the sand in front of the Treasury is lit up by numerous candles creating a beautiful and atmospheric sight. While at the Treasury you'll also enjoy some traditional Bedouin music and tea.

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

The hotels used on this tour are rated at the Jordanian 3 and 4-star level. Local star ratings may vary from international standards but we ensure we use some of the best hotels available at the level stated. We have also aimed to use hotels in Amman that have a better location than most, with a range of cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance. Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will have a private double room.

A friendly local homestay is included for one night in Rasoun village. Accommodation is in shared rooms holding up to 4 people. There are a number of homes in the village that will accommodate guests, so depending on our final group size we may split across several houses. We will all eat together in one house with the hosts, who will also provide a tour of the village. All beds and bedding are provided. Bathrooms are separate and shared but quite basic. Overall you can expect a simple but comfortable, and very welcoming experience with good food and interesting insights into local village life in rural Jordan.

In Wadi Rum we use a Bedouin camp located inside the Wadi Rum Protected Area. Accommodation is in permanent traditional goat hair tents with proper beds and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are separate, though some en-suite tents are also available and subject to availability you can upgrade to these locally if you wish. You can also bring a sleeping bag if you wish, and find a sheltered spot on the rocks on the edge of the camp and sleep under the stars. 


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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).

  5. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone 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 small group 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 stay in more interesting accommodation, like the homestay in Rasoun, and to include some activities and experiences that just wouldn't be possible with large numbers.

This tour has a minimum group size of 2, and maximum of 14.

To accompany you on the tour we provide an English speaking local tour leader/driver and specialist guides in Jerash, Amman and Petra. Groups of 6 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.


  6. Activity level

This tour includes several walks or short hikes and while you do not need to be super fit by any means, you should bring suitable footwear.

In the Ajloun Forest Reserve we will hike through scrubland and forest for several hours in the afternoon. The guide will vary the route and duration of the walk based on how everyone is feeling and the current weather.

In Dana Nature Reserve we take a walk around the village and depending on the weather may also spend an hour or two walking through the surrounding countryside. Trails are generally always dry and rocky.

In Petra, you will be doing a lot of walking to explore the site. The minimum distance you'll walk, from the entrance to the Siq, through the Siq to the Treasury, through the site to the Theatre and Byzantime church, and then back out again, is around 8km. If you would like to hike up to the Monastery, or High Place of Sacrifice, you should expect to add another 2 or 3km, much of it up or down. You can take everything at your own pace, but do be prepared for a long day. Again comfortable walking shoes and a daypack are required.


  7. Entrance Fees & Jordan Pass

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).

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


  8. 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 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.

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.


  9. 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.


  10. Tipping

Tipping is common practice in Jordan, as a sign of appreciation for services provided. You may therefore wish to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. USD 3-5 per person per day for your driver and USD 3-8 per person per day for your guide would be appropriate.


  11. 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.


  12. Dates & Prices

We run regular small-group departures on this tour throughout the year. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers and maximum of 14. 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.


  13. 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.


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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.


  18. 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.


  19. 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).


  20. 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')


  21. 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

Reviews

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Jordan Encounters & 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.

Product Review


Posted 8th of Aug 2016

My only complaint was that the first hotel we stayed at in Jordan, the JAD Hotel was not the hotel in the itinerary. It was supposed to be the Imperial Palace, which looked like a substantially better hotel

Product Review


Posted 10th of Jun 2016

Except the first day of arrival without giving a briefing about the meeting time and gathering spot, everything else was excellent. I was a little bit lost on my first day of arrival and had to ask the hotel front desk about what time I should come down the next day to meet my group. If there can be a debriefing session, that would be nice.

Product Review


Posted 8th of Jun 2016

For the Egypt part - shout out to Aboudy, the best tour guide ive ever experienced! His passion and care made the trip!

Product Review


Posted 8th of Jun 2016

The tour on the whole was fantastic hotels were well above what was expected for the price paid the sites were amazing and the guide was knowledgeable but i did feel he rushed through things a bit compared to other tour guides I've encountered in the past. Unfortunately the tour was totally let down by the desert camp experience we were virtually abandoned at a so called desert camp at 11am with no tour vuide nobody who spoke English told us what was happening or what to do. At no time were we offered any excursions ie camal ride as stated in intinery. It was a complete waste of a day sleeping unxer the stars could of made up for it if we weren't next to a busy road. I definitely wouldn't recommend the desert night. However the rest of the tour and Jordan are spectacular.

Product Review


Posted 23rd of Oct 2015

Good

Product Review


Posted 23rd of Oct 2015

Overall loved my trip

Product Review


Posted 15th of Aug 2015

Is a great holiday for those people who have limited time but are wanting to see as much of Jordan as possible. I liked the fact that you could book the optional extras prior to going as opposed to being surprised with them during the trip.

Product Review


Posted 14th of Aug 2015

I loved Jordan. It is such a beautiful country!