Explore the archaeological treasures of the Fertile Crescent by foot and camelback!
The land of Jordan and its fertile waters have been home to ancient settlements since the dawn of civilization. Over the millennia, one illustrious culture after another has left their mark, from the ancient Sumerians and Assyrians to the Greeks and Romans. Perhaps the most famous (and yet the most mysterious) of all are the Nabataeans, who carved the magnificent city of Petra out of a sheer canyon of red stone, only to abandon it centuries later. To many travelers, Jordan is synonymous with Petra, and many come here with the sole purpose of visiting this justifiably celebrated architectural site. But there is much more to discover here—fascinating desert landscapes, biblical sites, towering minarets, Byzantine mosaics, remote nature reserves rich in wildlife, and the heady mix of cultures both ancient and modern.
On our journey through the timeless Kingdom of Jordan, we’ll take you beyond the standard tours and deep into the history and landscapes of the realm. Our guides are the best and most knowledgeable in the country— all are university graduates with degrees in history, literature, or art, and over 10 years of guiding experience. You’ll be in excellent hands as we walk in the footsteps of ancient Bedouins, hike through wind-sculpted canyons and stunning deserts, and ponder the legacy of a dozen powerful civilizations. We’ll begin with a walking tour of Amman, Jordan’s capital, hearing the beautiful “call to prayer” from the minarets as we explore the streets and mosques, and browse the bustling souks fragrant with spices. We’ll also visit the impressive ancient ruins of Jerash, the largest Roman archaeological site outside of Italy, dating to 3,000 B.C.
Heading south, we’ll take a spectacular full-day hike from the top of the Rift Valley through the Dana Nature Reserve, past sandstone cliffs that shelter numerous rare and endangered species such as the Blandford’s fox and the Syrian serin finch. Few tourists travel here, so we’ll have this strikingly diverse wilderness all to ourselves. We’ll stay the night at the remote, romantic Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan’s first “green” lodge, entirely solar powered and lit at night by hundreds of candles.
Moving down the storied King’s Highway, we’ll arrive at Petra, where we’ll take part in a gourmet cooking lesson at our hotel and learn traditional Arabic dishes. We’ll have the entire following day to visit the "Lost City" of Petra, entering through a narrow gorge that increases our anticipation and rewards it tenfold as we gaze in wonder at the vast walls of red sandstone carved into ornate tombs and temples. We’ll also have the very special experience of revisiting Petra at night, and imagining the city as it was centuries ago, filled with the bustle of daily life.
Next, we’ll travel to remarkable Wadi Rum in Jordan’s southern desert (where parts of Lawrence of Arabia were filmed). Hiking along rugged trails that have been in constant use for over 6,000 years, we’ll be amazed by this extraordinary landscape carved into eerie, fantastical shapes by thousands of years of wind and rain. We’ll explore it again by camelback the next day, passing remote villages made up of goat-hair tents. The nomadic Bedouin culture is very much alive here, and we’ll get an authentic taste of it, sleeping for two nights under the stars at our private, mobile Bedouin camp. Our adventure ends at the famous Dead Sea, located at the earth’s lowest point (1,300 feet below sea level). The sea’s highly saline waters are known for their healing powers, which we’ll experience with swims as well as luxurious spa treatments at our hotel—a perfect way to unwind after our memorable journey.
Highlighting the best of Jordan and blending active, cultural and indulgent pursuits in classic MTS style, this is an exploration of the Fertile Crescent unlike any other!
Cultural and archaeological touring, 1 day moderate hiking, 1-day camel riding (option to walk)
- Discover the ancient rose-red fortress of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Learn about Jordan’s rich history on a walking tour of the mosques, souks, and ruins of Amman, accompanied by the best guides in the country
- Visit the Roman ruins of Jerash—the largest outside of Italy, dating to 3,000 B.C.
- Go deep into the Jordanian countryside with a visit to the hillside town of Dana, a hike through remote Dana Nature Reserve, and a stay at the unique and intimate Feynan Ecolodge
- Explore the wind-carved deserts and canyons of Wadi Rum by foot and camelback, followed by overnight stays in our private, mobile Bedouin camps
- Experience the healing powers of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth!
Duration: 11 days Start Location: Amman End Location: AmmanDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Amman
Arrival in Amman, Jordan.
Day 2 : Amman
Morning city walking tour of Amman, including the Citadel, Roman Theater, and several museums. Afternoon exploring the Greco-Roman city of Jerash.
Day 3 : Dana Nature Reserve
Tour of Mt. Nebo (said to be Moses' burial place) and walking tour of Madaba's Byzantine-era mosaics.
Day 4 : Dana Nature Reserve
Full day of hiking through Dana Nature Reserve, enjoying the spectacular scenery and privacy (no other tourists!). Dinner and overnight at Jordan's first "green" lodge, using only solar power and candles for lighting and serving locally grown produce.
Day 5 : Petra
Drive the King's Highway to Petra.
Day 6 : Petra
A full day of exploring the ancient, rock-hewn city of Petra, undoubtably Jordan's most valuable treasure. Petra, or "rock" in Greek, was once a thriving city of 20,000 inhabitants.
Day 7 : Wadi Rum
Rugged driving and hiking into the vast desert of Wadi Rum, a land of contrast—from red rolling dunes to massive sandstone mountains. We'll spend the night under the stars in our own private Bedouin camp.
Day 8 : Wadi Rum
Continue to explore Wadi Rum by camel.
Day 9 : Dead Sea
Travel overland to the Dead Sea and visit the site of Jesus' baptism.
Day 10 : Dead Sea
A day to relax and enjoy the Dead Sea—the lowest point on earth! Opt for spa treatments, or spend the day relaxing on your own.
Day 11 : Departure
Transfer to Amman for departure, or join our Nile Cruise extension in Egypt!
DATES: Best time to go: May, September - November Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
$4,595 (7-12 members)
Intercontinental HotelAmman, Jordan
This hotel is located in the heart of the diplomatic area of Amman, within walking distance of the old city centre and a short taxi ride from popular sites such as the Citadel. The 440 newly-renovated rooms and suites are equipped with an array of modern amenities and the latest technology. Queen Alia International Airport is a 30-minute drive away.
Dana Guest HouseDana Nature Reserve
Perched on the edge of Wadi Dana, this beautifully styled building offers breathtaking views of the reserve, comfortable rooms, traditional Arabic food, and friendly service. It contains nine bedrooms, most with private terraces, as well as facilities for courses and conferences.
Feynan Eco-lodgeDana Nature Reserve
Feynan Ecolodge, situated in the pristine Dana Biosphere Reserve, is a first for ecotourism in Jordan. Owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and operated by EcoHotels, Feynan Ecolodge integrates conservation and socio-economic development while promoting the importance of the natural environment.
Dead Sea Mövenpick HotelDead Sea
The 5-star Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is found in a traditional village setting nestled amongst lush gardens. The resort is set on the northern shores of the, at the lowest point on earth. With your well-being and balance in mind, this resort is an oasis of tranquillity.
Petra Mövenpick ResortPetra
The Mövenpick Resort Petra is located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra. This resort with an oriental flair features an exciting combination of natural stone, handcrafted wood and Middle Eastern fabrics and textures.
With 183 newly renovated rooms and suites and a wide variety of restaurants for your culinary cravings, the Mövenpick Resort Petra will certainly provide long lasting memories. Enjoy your time spent in one of the world’s most extraordinary destinations.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.