- Enjoy the breathtaking view of Jordan from the top of Mt. Nebo
- Journey through the dunes and rock formations of Wadi Rum by jeep
- Take a float in the Dead Sea's famously salty waters
- Spend a day getting lost among Petra's immaculately preserved tombs and temples
Day 1: Old City Amman + Jerash
Welcome to Jordan! If you arrive in the morning, you can dive right into Jordan's ancient culture. Your first stop is Amman, the capital of Jordan and the nation’s largest city. Begin your day of exploration with a tour of the Old City, including the ancient Citadel building and the Roman Theater's impressive ruins. Stroll through the marketplace to pick up some traditional souvenirs and sample delicacies like falafel, hummus, and kanafeh - a sweet pastry filled with cheese - during lunch at a local café.
Spend your afternoon in Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. Take a tour of the classic arches and limestone plazas, making sure to spend time among the 56 columns at the Temple of Zeus. Return to Amman for the evening, where you can relax at your hotel or experience the local nightlife from one of Rainbow Street’s many colorful pubs.
Day 2: Madaba + Mt. Nebo + Bethany
Depart from your hotel and head to Madaba, a charming town where you’ll find Byzantine mosaics like the famous Madaba Map: the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Lands. Visit the Shrine of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, where you can climb the bell tower’s narrow steps to the village’s highest vantage point - you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Madaba and beyond. You'll also make a stop in Karak, a city that was once the capital of Moab (its skyline is still dominated by the prominent castle at its center!). Visiting the fortress-like structure provides an opportunity to experience firsthand the vaulted halls and passageways typical of the era, an impressive insight into the architectural and military prowess of the Crusaders.
From Karak, you’ll journey south to Mount Nebo. Now considered one of the holiest places in Biblical tradition, this is said to be the place where Moses once looked out across the Promised Land for the first time. Have fun identifying sights like the Dead Sea before eventually making your way down to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region. The last stop of the day is Bethany, the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Located in a wadi kharrar, or reeded valley, a number of centuries-old churches and manmade pools have recently been discovered, and are worth exploring.
Day 3: Petra
Start your third day in Jordan with a hearty breakfast at your hotel in the village of Wadi Musa, the gateway to what is perhaps Jordan's most beloved archeological treasure: the lost city of Petra. Known as the Rose City for the area's distinctive red sandstone, it's easy to see why Petra was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its intricate architectural design is hundreds of years old, and remarkably well maintained. Enter through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, and spend your day wandering at your leisure through Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabatean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship.
If you're feeling energetic, walk up the 800 steps leading to The Monastery, a gigantic mountaintop temple. On the way, you’ll pass Qattar ad-Dayr, a pleasant, oasis-like grotto, and the Hermitage, a photogenic pinnacle carved with decorative crosses. The Monastery itself is the largest monument in Petra, and after you take a peek at its plaza and massive interior, reward your effort with a snack at the nearby café. For those who don't feel like making the long trek on foot, donkey rides are usually available for hire! After getting your fill of Petra, continue south to the wilderness of Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert made even more intriguing by the huge basalt slabs jutting prominently out of its sandy dunes. With a full day of activity under your belt, you'll be more than ready for an evening of Bedouin hospitality at your comfortable campsite before falling asleep under the stars.
Day 4: Wadi Rum + Dead Sea
Wake up well-rested from your cozy night of camping, and sip a hot beverage while you prepare for a two-hour Jeep tour of the area. You'll explore the canyons and rock bridges of Wadi Rum, stopping periodically to hunt for rock inscriptions or snap selfies with the awe-inspiring natural backdrop. Return to camp for lunch before saying farewell to the desert and making your way to the gorgeous shores of the Dead Sea.
Seaside activities are plentiful, and the Dead Sea truly offers something to suit every interest. Take a dip in the calm, salty waters or soak up the sun from Ein Bokek's sandy beach. Or, spend your afternoon hours at the Ein Gedi Nature Preserve, where you can hike to an idyllic waterfall or stroll through the impressive botanic gardens. You might also relax at the hotel spa, indulging in a mineral-rich mud wrap or another regional specialty, unwinding from the last few days of travel.
Day 5: Departure from Amman
On your last morning in Jordan, you'll head back to Amman. Depending on your scheduled departure, you may have time to spend a bit more time exploring the city. Make a stop at the impressive King Abdullah Mosque, check out the contemporary art galleries lining the streets of Jebal Al-Waibdeh, or visit a bakery to grab some baklava for the plane. At the end of your stay, your driver will take you back to QAIA to check in for your flight. Thank you for joining us for five memorable days in Jordan, and we hope you visit again soon!