Get off the beaten path and into some of Jordan's most spectacular scenery on this adventurous 11-day itinerary. Scramble along the sandstone cliffs of Wadi Numeira, explore the ecosystems of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, trek the back route to the sandstone city of Petra, and climb desert dunes to watch the sunrise over the Wadi Rum. After some soothing soaks in the Dead Sea, you'll be ready to hit the trails one last time with a memorable hike through the soaring river canyon of Wadi Mujib.

Highlights

  • Abseil along the red sandstone cliffs of Wadi Numeira
  • Trek a portion of the famous Jordan Trail from Siq al-Barid to Petra
  • Explore the red sands of Wadi Rum by Jeep and camel
  • Cool off with an aquatic hike through Wadi Mujib 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman, Explore the Capital Amman
Day 2 Aljoun Forest Half-Day Hike, Visit the Roman Ruins of Jerash Amman
Day 3 Wadi Numeira Hike & Abseil Adventure, Transfer to Dana Dana
Day 4 Full-Day Trek from Dana to Feynan, Transfer to Petra Petra
Day 5 Full-Day Trek from Beida to Petra Petra
Day 6 Transfer to Wadi Rum, Desert Jeep Excursion, Camel Ride Wadi Rum
Day 7 Watch the Sunrise Over Wadi Rum, Transfer to the Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 8 Hike the Siq Trail in the Mujib Nature Reserve The Dead Sea
Day 9 Transfer to Amman via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak Amman
Day 10 Amman Half-Day City Tour & Jordan Museum Amman
Day 11 Depart Amman  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Wander down the colorful Rainbow Street on your self-guided tour of Amman

Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, you'll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the capital of Amman. The nation's largest city, Amman, has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and is full of cultural and historic highlights. After settling into your hotel, venture out to explore the city on your own. Head to Rainbow Street in the historic Jabal Amman neighborhood for a stroll down the colorful avenue lined with trendy cafés, art galleries, boutique shops, and historical landmarks.

Pop in and out of the shops in search of souvenirs, or sit down for freshly brewed Arabic coffee to watch the street performers in action. When darkness starts to fall, make your way to the adjacent Weibdeh, a charming neighborhood with a variety of restaurants serving international and local cuisine. If you're not too hungry, find a restaurant that serves mezze, a selection of small dishes served as appetizers or shared plates. Indulge in dishes like hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and falafel, then end the night with knafeh, a dessert made from shredded phyllo dough layered with cheese and soaked in sugar syrup.

Day 2: Aljoun Forest Half-Day Hike, Visit the Roman Ruins of Jerash

Discover the remnants of one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East, Jerash

After breakfast, your driver will pick you up for an hour's drive to the RSCN Ajloun Forest Reserve. Located in the fertile highlands northwest of the capital, this small but remarkably diverse protected ecosystem is home to thick, healthy woodlands filled with oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees. The half-day guided hike will take you on the scenic 1.8-mile (3 km) Prophet's Trail through fig and pear orchards to reach dense forests of old-growth trees. Looking over the landscape, you'll see the many stone walls that crisscross the valley, guarding farmers' crops from winter rains and wild boar.

Relax in the shade with a glass of tea before climbing to the nearby hilltop ruins, which provide sweeping views of the surrounding area. After a picnic lunch, your driver will pick you up and transfer you 40 minutes to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Highlights include the well-preserved remains of two amphitheaters, the north-south Colonnaded Street, and the Hippodrome (the site of ancient chariot races). Spend time wandering the extensive site before returning to Amman in the afternoon.

Day 3: Wadi Numeira Hike & Abseil Adventure, Transfer to Dana

Follow your guide through the narrow Wadi Numeira

Today's adventure starts at Wadi Numeira, a dramatic, narrow valley that runs down to the Dead Sea two hours south of Amman. With a combination of hiking and abseiling, you'll make your way along deep, closed canyons, passing magnificent red rock formations and lots of cooling streams. As you progress, the path becomes more challenging, requiring you to wade through water, navigate boulders, and abseil down waterfalls and steep cliffs, offering a unique perspective of the canyon.

In the afternoon, your driver will take you 1.5 hours south to the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where you'll settle in for the night. Jordan's largest natural reserve encompasses four distinct biogeographical zones and is home to remarkably diverse flora and fauna. It's also the starting point for many popular trekking routes, one of which you'll set out on tomorrow, so get a good night's rest.

Day 4: Full-Day Trek from Dana to Feynan, Transfer to Petra

Trekking from Dana to Feynan lodge
Enjoy views of dramatic cliffs, lush valleys, and arid desert plains on your hike to Feynan

After a hearty breakfast, kick off a full day of trekking with an 8-mile (14 km) route through sandstone gorges, leading mostly downhill toward Feynan. Leaving Dana, the trail offers breathtaking views of the canyon-like wadi. On your way down the valley, you may see griffon vultures overhead or spot hyrax and copper-blue lizards along the rocky trails. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of an ibex or a desert fox.

Along the way, you may also spot ancient archaeological sites and Bedouin communities, offering a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage. Although the trail is downhill, it can be steep in parts, so descend carefully. Upon arrival at the Feynan Ecolodge, your bags and driver will be waiting to transfer you one hour south to Petra, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site, for the night, where dinner and a well-earned rest await.

Day 5: Full-Day Trek from Beida to Petra

Follow the backdoor trail to Petra's iconic monastery, Ed-Deir

Today takes you on a challenging, 8-mile (14 km) full-day hike from Siq al-Barid (also known as "Little Petra") to the hidden back entrance of Petra. Follow ancient Nabataean steps along the rugged desert terrain, passing ancient inscriptions, rock-cut tombs, and remnants of past civilizations. After 3-4 hours, you'll reach the famous Ed-Deir, Petra's monastery, carved into the cliff face. Look up at the colossal structure, towering over 147 feet (45 m), making it the ancient city's largest building. Step inside the cavernous chamber, once used for religious ceremonies and gatherings, and discover the vast halls.

When you're ready, descend into the canyon below to wander through Petra's seemingly endless temples, tombs, and colonnaded streets. Navigate the impressive water conduit system of the historic Nabataean city until you reach the iconic Treasury at the site's entrance. Admire Petra's most famous facade, then go on an awe-inspiring walk through the Siq, a dramatically narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, to reach the main entrance, where your driver will be waiting to transfer you to a nearby hotel for the night. 

Day 6: Transfer to Wadi Rum, Desert Jeep Excursion, Camel Ride

Traverse the lunar-like landscape of Wadi Rum in a Jeep
Plan your trip to Jordan
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

After breakfast this morning, your driver will take you south into the wilderness of 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 your base for the night at a Bedouin-style camp. Switch into a sturdy Jeep for an off-road excursion that takes you deeper into the UNESCO-protected desert. Travel through valleys, rock canyons, dunes, and deserts, stopping to check out rock inscriptions and petroglyphs. 

Along the way, you'll also visit desert oases, see 2,000-year-old Kufic rock art, and learn about the history of the area and local Bedouin culture. After lunch, opt for a three-hour hike to explore the desert on foot. Your guide will plan a route based on your interests so you can see more ancient rock carvings and hidden canyons. Back at camp, your "ship of the desert" awaits as you mount up for a two-hour camel ride through the sands with your Bedouin guide. Enjoy a traditional dinner around the campfire as the sun sets, then spend the rest of your evening stargazing under clear desert skies.

Day 7: Watch the Sunrise Over Wadi Rum, Transfer to the Dead Sea

Float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea

Rise early this morning and transfer to a sunrise viewing spot via Jeep, camel, or horseback. When you arrive, sit back and watch a colorful sunrise over the desert with a cup of tea or coffee brewed over an open fire. In the afternoon, your driver will pick you up for the 4.5-hour drive north to reach the shores of the Dead Sea, 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 have accumulated over thousands of years.

After a scenic journey through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills, you'll reach your hotel, where you can spend the rest of the day at your leisure—floating in the salty waters or relaxing in the sun. The mineral-rich mud at the bottom of the sea is said to rejuvenate the skin and provide numerous health benefits, so make sure to try a mud bath or mud mask. 

Day 8: Hike the Siq Trail in the Mujib Nature Reserve

Hike through Jordan's lush "Grand Canyon" in the Mujib Nature Reserve

Today's trekking adventure takes you to the lowest nature reserve in the world, Mujib Nature Reserve, located in the mountainous landscape to the east of the Dead Sea. Founded in 1987, the reserve is famous for its incredible birdlife and the winding Wadi Mujib. Experience a trip through Jordan's "Grand Canyon" with a three-hour hike into the main gorge known as the Siq. Starting from the visitor center near the Mujib Bridge, cross over the dam on a cantilevered walkway and follow the course of the river between towering sandstone cliffs.

Depending on seasonal rainfall levels, the hike can involve swimming or wading through refreshing pools of water, making it the perfect activity for hot summer days. At the end of the trail, you'll come across Lower Mujib Waterfall, where the river cascades into the natural pool below. Go for a refreshing swim in the cool water for a respite from the desert heat, then dry off on the shores before returning to the visitor center along the same path. Your driver will take you back to your hotel near the Dead Sea, where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and soaking in the mineral-rich waters.

Day 9: Transfer to Amman via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak

Admire the iconic Madaba Map in St George's Greek Orthodox Church

Enjoy a final dip in the Dead Sea before checking out of your hotel and meeting your driver for today's journey back to Amman. Traveling north along the historic King's Highway, you'll stop at the impressive Kerak Castle. 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. 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. Your next stop is 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 houses excavated relics from the region. Upon arrival in the capital, get checked into your hotel and then spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 10: Amman Half-Day City Tour & Jordan Museum

Explore the Amman Citadel overlooking the capital on your city tour

Discover more of the capital today with a tour of its cultural and historic highlights. Head to the magnificent Jabal al-Qal'a (Amman Citadel), perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the sprawling cityscape below. Wander among the remnants of various civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Umayyads, to see highlights like the Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Palace. Continue to the second-century CE Roman Theatre of Amman that once accommodated 6,000 spectators who gathered to witness theatrical performances, gladiator contests, and other public events.

Then, stroll amid colorful wares and aromatic spices in Amman's old souks (markets). Afterward, you'll head to the dynamic new downtown area of Ras al-‘Ayn to visit the vast Jordan Museum. Stroll through beautifully designed galleries and discover art and archaeology from the Paleolithic ages through to the modern day. As evening falls, celebrate your final night in Jordan with dinner at a local restaurant. Sample Jordanian specialties like the national dish, mansaf (rice topped with lamb in a yogurt sauce and pine nuts), Arabic sweets, and mint tea. 

Day 11: Depart Amman

Wander through Souk al-Bukharia in search of souvenirs and local delights

Your 11-day trip across Jordan is drawing to a close today. If you have time before your flight, you could head to one of the souks, such as Souk al-Bukharia, to shop for souvenirs and indulge in local delights like fresh pastries or falafel and hummus. Wander down the labyrinthine alleys and peruse the stalls full of colorful spices, traditional textiles, hand-painted pottery, and intricate jewelry. When it's time, bid Amman farewell and transfer to the Queen Alia International Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Hike Jordan's Valleys & Canyons: Amman, Dana, Petra, Wadi Rum & Dead Sea - 11 Days
Map of Hike Jordan's Valleys & Canyons: Amman, Dana, Petra, Wadi Rum & Dead Sea - 11 Days