Travel back to Biblical times with this 10-day tour of Jordan that includes the country's most ancient and sacred sites. You'll visit the place where Jesus was baptized, see the ruins of the hilltop fortress where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed, follow the steps of the Israels through Wadi Mujib, and even visit Lot's Cave.

Highlights

  • Visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus is believed to have been baptized
  • View the Promised Land from the top of Mount Nebo
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Pella, where the Christians of Jerusalem fled in 70 CE
  • Discover the remains of Byzantine churches at Um Ar Rasas 
  • See Lot's Cave, near Ghor Safi

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Amman Amman
Day 2 The Jordan Valley Umm Qais
Day 3 In the Footsteps of Ancient Christians Amman
Day 4 Bethany Beyond the Jordan and Mt. Nebo The Dead Sea
Day 5 Visit Um Ar Rasas and Machaerus Petra
Day 6 Petra Petra
Day 7 From Petra to Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 8 Lot's Cave and Crusader Castles The Dead Sea
Day 9 Wadi Mujib The Dead Sea
Day 10 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Amman

Citadel Amman
Citadel Amman

Once you land at Amman Airport, your driver will meet you in the arrival hall with a sign. He will take you to Amman, where you'll spend the night.

If you arrive earlier in the day, you can spend the afternoon on a guided tour of the city that goes to the Roman Theater, the Citadel, and the Citadel's archeological museum, which contains the famous Deir Alla inscription referencing Balaam (from Numbers 22-24). You can also visit the Jordan Museum, where the famous Copper Scroll is kept. 

Day 2: The Jordan Valley

Jerash
The ancient ruins of Jerash

Today, you'll drive through the Jordan Valley and up into the Dibeen National Forest to tour Qallat ar-Rabadh, the Islamic Castle of Ajloun. Here, you'll see an ancient mosaic that was part of a previous structure and is believed to depict the feeding of the 5,000. From the top of the castle, enjoy the views of the hills of Gilead before you. 

Then, visit the cave in Anjara where Jesus once rested with his disciples—which has long been a holy place for pilgrims—and the Church of Our Lady of the Mountain nearby.

Afterward, drive to Jerash and tour one of the world's best-preserved Greco-Roman cities, sometimes known as "Pompeii of the East." There you'll see the Arch of Hadrian, watch a chariot race reenactment in the Hippodrome, and explore theaters and temples. Finally, drive north to Umm Qais to spend the night. 

Day 3: In the Footsteps of Ancient Christians

Umm Qais
Umm Qais, the Biblical city of Gadara

First thing in the morning, your driver will take you to the see the ancient ruins of Pella, where the Christians of Jerusalem fled in 70 CE. 

Then, you'll continue north for an hour to the striking basalt ruins of the Decapolis city of Um Qais, which is the Biblical site of Gadara (Luke 8:39). From there, you'll have breathtaking views of the Golan Heights in Syria, Lake Tiberias in Palestine and maybe even the mountains in Lebanon.

After your visit, head to Madaba for the night. 

Day 4: Bethany Beyond the Jordan and Mt. Nebo

Orthodox Church of John the Baptist near the Baptism Site

Today you will visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, which is officially recognized as the Baptism Site of Jesus in the Jordan River (John 1:24-28). This site also appears on the famous Madaba Mosaic Map of the Holy Land, which you'll see later today, and was a place of pilgrimage for early Christians. Baptisms can be performed here, but permission must be requested in advance. Monks and hermits lived here during the Byzantine period and the archaeological remains of early churches can still be seen, in addition to the modern St. John's Orthodox Church.

If you would like to see Elijah's hill (the traditional site for his translation into heaven), we would be happy to help you arrange a private tour to this spot. 

Then, you'll drive to Mt. Nebo, from where Moses viewed the Promised Land but was not allowed to enter (Deut 34:1-6). The site is now maintained by the Franciscans, who have a monastery there. You'll see 5th-century mosaics and baptismal fonts in the Moses Memorial Church, and learn more about the mountain at the small on-site museum. 

Afterward, your driver will take you to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on Earth. There you'll be able to float in the salty waters, indulge in a full-body mud treatment, or relax by your hotel's pool. In the evening, watch the sun dip behind the mountains before you retire for the night. 

Day 5: Visit Um Ar Rasas and Machaerus

The hilltop fortress of Machaerus

Today, you'll drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Um Ar Rasas, where you'll be able to see the remains of several Byzantine Churches and their mosaics. This site is mentioned in the Bible (Jeremiah 48:21 and Joshua 13:18) as Mephaath, and also appears in the writings of the Christian historian Eusebius from 500 CE. 

Next, you'll drive to the hilltop fortress of Machaerus, which belonged to King Herod. This site located on the border of Herod Antipas' and the King of Petra's (Aretas) territories, and is believed to be the place where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed. 

Finally, continue on to Petra to spend the night there. 

Day 6: Petra

The Treasury
Petra by Night (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays)

No trip to Jordan would be complete without a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, carved into the rock by the Nabateans in ancient times. Today, you can enter Petra through the main entrance: you'll walk through the Siq until you reach the Treasury, then walk down the Colonnaded Streets towards Qasr al Bint, explore the Royal Tombs, or climb up to the viewpoint opposite the Treasury. 

You can also see the remains of three churches that date back to the 4th and 5th centuries (Petra Church, Blue Church, and Ridge Church) on the hill opposite the Great Temple. If you are interested in cooking, you'll have the option to join a cooking class to learn more about regional cuisine. Or, you can also choose to have dinner with a local family in Wadi Musa. Another option is to see Petra by Night, only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays starting at 8:30 p.m.

Day 7: From Petra to Wadi Rum

Jeep safari in Wadi Rum
Explore Wadi Rum on a sunset Jeep tour

In the morning, a local guide will pick you up and take you on a hike that starts on Petra's back road. This scenic trail ends at Petra's biggest and best-preserved monument: the Monastery

In the afternoon, your driver will take you to Wadi Rum, one of the places where the Israelites camped during the Exodus. Explore the desert on a sunset Jeep tour, before heading back to your camp for dinner. 

Day 8: Lot's Cave and Crusader Castles

Kerak
The view from the walls of Kerak Castle

After breakfast, your driver will take you north, back toward the Dead Sea. On the way, you'll be able to see Lot's Cave, on a steep hillside near the town of Ghor Safi. Remains excavated from the cave show it was first used 5,000 years ago. This is where Abraham's nephew Lot and his daughters are said to have sheltered after fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Although there are ruins of a Byzantine-era church here, as well as an inscription in the cave—indicating that the site has long been identified with Lot—it is also possible that the true site of his cave is further north.  

Then, you'll drive about an hour, until you reach Kerak, a large Crusader Castle which includes a church and a museum displaying Moabite artifacts. Kerak is mentioned several times in the Old Testament by various names. (See Isaiah 15,16 and Jeremiah 48). 

After visiting Kerak you will head to your resort by the Dead Sea to relax for the evening. 

Day 9: Wadi Mujib

The river canyon of Wadi Mujib

Today, your driver will take you to the river canyon Wadi Mujib, which is mentioned twenty-five times in the Bible under the name Arnon, a gorge that marked the boundary between Moab and Gilead. This is where the Israels camped on their way through Jordan (Numbers 21:13). 

You'll hike on the trail through spectacular gorges, which sometimes have water deep enough to swim in. After your hike, return to your Dead Sea resort to relax. 

Day 10: Departure

The Dead Sea
The salty shores of the Dead Sea

Enjoy your last few hours on the shores of the Dead Sea before driving to the airport for your flight home. If you arrived too late on your first day to tour Amman, you can also do the tour today if your flight leaves in the evening. 

Map

Map of Biblical Jordan:  Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea - 10 Days
Map of Biblical Jordan: Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea - 10 Days