Think of Jordan and likely what will come to mind is seeing the Treasury at Petra and perhaps some of the country’s other iconic sites. G Adventures’ Jordan Multisport itinerary is designed to engage not just the sight of these landmarks but all of the senses, with eight active and adventure-filled days. You will go beyond simply admiring the monuments and also hike trails through nature reserves, bob in the Dead Sea (with perhaps a mud bath too) and share meals with nomadic Bedouins and local farmers.
G Adventures’ trip includes the country’s most famous sites: Amman, with its ancient theater and temples; the haunting landscapes of Wadi Rum; and the Dead Sea. It also includes some less-visited spots, from the Aljoun Nature Reserve in the north to Little Petra, a Nabatean site that many visitors to Jordan don’t get to see. You’ll also participate in a “G for Good Moment,” the company’s program for giving back: Your visit will help support a local program that encourages sustainable farming practices and small-scale ecotourism ventures.
If you want to see Jordan’s most famous sites and also venture off the beaten path, all while testing yourself on some serious treks, G Adventures’ itinerary is a perfect fit.
Itinerary / 8 DAYSPLAN YOUR TRIP
DAY 1Arrive in Amman
You’ll have the rest of the day free to explore Amman on your own. You may want to make your way to the citadel, a walled fortress atop the city’s tallest hill. The area has been occupied since as early as the Bronze Age, and every empire that has ruled Jordan over the millennia has left traces here. The most famous sites of the citadel date from the Roman period (the columns of the Temple of Hercules) and the Umayyad period (portions of a palace).
In the evening, you’ll meet up with your CEO—Chief Experience Officer, or tour leader—for an overview of all that’s planned for the week ahead. Afterwards you can join your CEO and fellow travelers for dinner or head out on your own.
DAY 2Ajloun Nature Reserve
While you most likely won’t see any stone martens (the elusive animals are nocturnal), you can see one of the roe deer that are here as part of a breeding program. After the animal became extinct locally, a number of them were imported from Turkey and are being reintroduced to this part of Jordan. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can also see black irises, Jordan’s national flower (which typically blooms in late spring/early summer).
After a half day of hiking the trails, you’ll spend the night at one of the cabins overlooking the reserve (or a similar hotel option).
DAY 3Wadi Mujib and the Dead Sea
Depending on the time of year you visit Wadi Mujib, you can either walk the Ibex Trail or the Wadi Mujib Canyon Trail. Both routes take around four hours and include spectacular scenery along their routes.
After your hike, you’ll continue on to the Dead Sea, where you can float atop its water, famous for its high salinity and therapeutic properties. If you’d like to return from your trip to Jordan with an especially healthy glow, try the optional activity of a mud bath. G Adventures can also arrange a visit to the site on the Jordan River where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus Christ.
At the end of the day you’ll arrive—likely exhausted, but in a good way—to the Dead Sea Spa Hotel.
DAY 4Dana Biosphere Reserve
This part of Jordan includes traces of a number of different civilizations, but today it’s best known for its varied flora and fauna: More than 700 plant species and more than 200 bird species have been identified here. Birders will want to bring their binoculars to spot species like the Syrian serin—the reserve is home to the world’s largest breeding colony of these birds.
Your visit to the reserve includes a three- to four-hour hike along the Feather Canyons Trail that ends in a mountain retreat used by the ancient Nabatean people whose capital was at Petra, your next stop. Here you can sign up for a magical candlelit visit to an archaeological site and to see a live performance of Bedouin music.
DAY 5Petra and Little Petra
Afterwards you’ll hike to Petra itself, enjoying a breathtaking view of the so-called Monastery on your route there. This building is similar in design to the famous Treasury, though much larger and older—it was probably carved into the cliffs in the third century B.C.E. Although it’s called the Monastery, the name was inspired by the many crosses carved into its interior during the later Byzantine period. It was originally constructed as a tomb.
After an orientation and overview of Petra led by your CEO, who will provide some historical context of the sites, you’ll be free to wander on your own. You’ll have plenty of time to see the famous Treasury and the theater, as well as the many elaborate tombs.
At the end of your day, you may want to sign up for the optional Turkish bath experience, where you’ll scrub off any desert dust and emerge ready for a good night’s sleep at the Seven Wonders Hotel (or a similar accommodations option).
DAY 6Petra and Wadi Rum
The largest wadi in Jordan is also the most famous, thanks to its many appearances on the big screen, beginning with the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia—a movie credited with jump-starting travelers’ interest in this part of Jordan. Wadi Rum’s history, however, begins much earlier than 1962. Petroglyphs can be found on canyon walls, and there are also some Nabatean ruins here. For many visitors, the desert here is associated with T.E. Lawrence (that is, Lawrence of Arabia) who passed through several times from 1917 to 1918. Wadi Rum is also the home of many Bedouins, who continue to follow the same semi-nomadic existence that they have for centuries. You may find yourself invited to join them for a coffee or tea, though ask for permission before taking any photos of your hosts.
A four-wheel-drive excursion through Wadi Rum, which will be offered if time allows, will let you see some of the more remote areas of this almost lunar landscape. (It has also played the part of Mars in a number of films, thanks to the red hue of the sandstone).
You’ll sleep tonight at a Bedouin camp, after enjoying a traditional meal around a campfire and hearing tales of the desert as well as some Bedouin drumming. Given the location’s distance from cities or even towns of any size, the sky is filled with stars, creating an unforgettable setting.
DAY 7Wadi Rum and South Ghour
Later, you’ll head to the farms of the South Ghour region, where you’ll participate in a G for Good Moment. Central to G Adventures’ mission is not merely leaving the places they visit unchanged, but also making the world a better place by supporting eco-tourism operations and other ventures that benefit local communities. On a bike ride through the farms here, you’ll learn about the work of the Al Numeira Environmental Association. The organization has assisted local farmers with adopting sustainable practices like replacing artificial fertilizers with compost and using graywater to irrigate orchards. At the same time, farmers have been cultivating a diversity of plants and trees suited to the desert climate, building a more sustainable and productive ecosystem.
After learning about the organization’s work, you’ll enjoy a meal with local farmers and their families. At the end of the day you’ll return to Amman for a final night in Jordan’s capital.