Check off the highlights on this whirlwind, 5-day journey through Jordan. Beginning and ending in Amman, you'll float in the tranquil Dead Sea, get lost in the sandstone city of Petra, and travel deep into the desert to camp with Bedouin in the Wadi Rum. Head back to the capital for a final day touring the ancient Amman Citadel and browsing for souvenirs in the bustling souks.


  • Soak in healing mud on the shores of the Dead Sea
  • Discover the "Rose City" of Petra by candlelight
  • Take in sweeping views across Jordan from Mount Nebo
  • Camp under desert skies in the Wadi Rum 
  • Tour Amman's ancient Citadel & colorful markets

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman, Transfer to the Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 2 Transfer to Petra via Mount Nebo, Madaba & Kerak Petra
Day 3 Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum Wadi Rum
Day 4 Wadi Rum Jeep Excursion, Transfer to Amman & Afternoon City Tour Amman
Day 5 Transfer to Airport & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman, Transfer to the Dead Sea

Float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea

Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, you'll be met by your driver and transferred an hour west to the shores of the Dead Sea. After a scenic drive through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills, you'll reach one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world. This landlocked lake is the lowest point on earth and the world's richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years. 

Get settled into your hotel, then spend the rest of the day at your leisure—floating in the salty waters, enjoying a full-body mud treatment, or relaxing in the sun.

Day 2: Transfer to Petra via Mount Nebo, Madaba & Kerak

Ancient mosaics at Madaba

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll check out and meet your driver for today's journey south. Along the way, you'll stop at Mount Nebo, an elevated ridge of the Abarim range said to be where Moses took in the view of the Promised Land. Follow in his footsteps and look out at the Dead Sea and beyond, before making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.

Back on the road, you'll continue to Madaba to check out its intricate Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, including the spectacular Madaba Map, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. Nearby, the Madaba Archaeological Park preserves the mosaic-rich Church of the Virgin Mary and artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

Carry on south along the King's Highway to Kerak to visit the impressive Crusader castle of the same name. Exploring the fortress-like structure provides an opportunity to experience the vaulted halls and passageways typical of the era, a remarkable insight into the architectural and military prowess of the Crusaders. When you're ready, continue to Petra where you'll check in to your hotel for the night.  

If your visit falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you can head out after dark to get your first glimpses of the lost city with a Petra by Night tour. Stroll through canyons lined with thousands of candles to reach the illuminated Treasury, where live Arabic music sets the scene and a welcoming cup of tea awaits. 

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Day 3: Explore Petra, Transfer to Wadi Rum

Marvel at the Nabataean stonework of Petra

Today you'll explore Jordan's 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 Nabataean city, paying a visit to Qasr al-Bint, a grand temple that was once the population's primary place of worship. After a two-hour guided tour, you'll have free time to explore the canyons and temples at your own pace. 

If you're feeling adventurous, climb your way up the 800 steps to the Monastery, Petra's largest and lesser-visited monument. For a stunning view overlooking the Treasury and jagged mountains beyond, hike your way up the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.

After getting your fill of Petra, your driver will take you south into the wilderness of the Wadi Rum, an expanse of desert dubbed the "Valley of the Moon" by Lawrence of Arabia. Along the two-hour drive, you'll pass through red valleys, rock canyons, and dunes to reach a Bedouin-style camp, where you'll enjoy a traditional meal and spend the night sleeping under the stars.

Day 4: Wadi Rum Jeep Excursion, Transfer to Amman & Afternoon City Tour

Explore the rugged Wadi Rum by Jeep

Early risers can start this morning with a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the desert. After breakfast, you'll set out in a sturdy Jeep for an off-road excursion that takes you deeper into the UNESCO-protected Wadi Rum. Travel through valleys, rock canyons, dunes, and deserts, stopping to check out rock inscriptions and petroglyphs as well as majestic views. Spend a little time at each stop to hike and scramble and explore at your own pace. Along the way, you'll visit desert oases, see 2,000-year-old Kufic rock art, and learn about the history of the area and the local Bedouin culture. 

Other activities like camel and horse rides, hiking trips, and ATV excursions are also available.

After a morning of desert adventure, your driver will pick you up for the 4.5-hour drive back to Amman. After checking in to your hotel, head back out to see more of the capital with an afternoon tour of the historic Old City. Discover the magnificent Amman Citadel (Jabal al Qal'a) and the 2nd-century Roman Theater, two of the most famous archaeological sites in the capital, and stroll amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in Amman's old souks (markets).

In the evening, your driver will transfer you to a local restaurant, where you can enjoy a celebratory farewell meal of Jordanian specialties like mansaf (rice topped with lamb and pine nuts), Arabic sweets, and mint tea. 

Day 5: Transfer to Airport & Departure

Sunset over Amman

It's time to bid Jordan farewell as you transfer to the Queen Alia International Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels! 

More Jordan Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Jordan? Check out these other Jordan itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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