Outdoor adventures abound on this 11-day exploration of Jordan's most spectacular deserts, forests, and canyons. Go birdwatching in the wetlands of Azraq, hike through the unique ecosystems of Dana and Aljoun, camp on the red sands of Wadi Rum, and trek along the magnificent river canyon of Wadi Mujib. In between active excursions, you'll tour iconic cultural sites like Petra, Jerash, and Umm Qais—then relax and unwind on the beaches of the Red and Dead Seas.


  • Hike through the diverse protected landscapes of Aljoun, Azraq & Aljoun
  • Explore one of the world's earliest human settlements at "Little Petra"
  • Ride a camel across the red sands of Wadi Rum
  • Soak tired muscles in the healing waters of the Dead Sea
  • Get your feet wet on an aquatic trek through the Wadi Mujib river canyon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amman Amman
Day 2 Day Trip to Aljoun Forest Reserve & Azraq Wetlands Amman
Day 3 Ancient ruins of Umm Qais, Jerash & Aljoun Amman
Day 4 Transfer to Dana via Madaba, Mount Nebo & Kerak Dana
Day 5 Hike in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Transfer to Petra Petra
Day 6 Explore the Sandstone City of Petra Petra
Day 7 Free Morning in Petra, Visit Little Petra & Transfer to Wadi Rum  Wadi Rum
Day 8 Explore the Wadi Rum by Jeep & Camel, Transfer to Aqaba Aqaba
Day 9 Transfer to the Dead Sea The Dead Sea
Day 10 Hike the Wadi Mujib River Canyon, Visit Bethany The Dead Sea
Day 11 Transfer to Amman & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amman

Jordan's ancient capital of Amman
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at the Queen Alia International Airport, you will 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. 
Boardwalks of the Azraq Wetlands 


Day 2: Day Trip to Aljoun Forest Reserve & Azraq Wetlands

Lace up your hiking boots this morning for a day trip to two of the region's ecological hotspots. After an early breakfast, your driver will take you on an hour's journey north to the RSCN Ajloun Forest Reserve, a protected ecosystem of evergreen oaks, pines, and wild pistachio trees. Explore the reserve's wildflowers and woodlands with a 3.5-hour hike against a backdrop of stunning scenery and sweeping views.

Afterward, your driver will take you 2.5 hours southeast to reach the little-visited gem of Azraq, home to a remarkable wetland reserve in the heart of the rugged Eastern Desert. Follow the boardwalk trails through this tranquil oasis and spot the many rare and endangered migratory bird species that flock here. 

At the end of the day, you'll head back to Amman for the evening.

Day 3: Ancient Ruins of Umm Qais, Jerash & Aljoun

Amman-Umm Qais-Jarash-Ajloun-Amman
Greco-roman ruins at Umm Qais

Today you'll discover some of northern Jordan's greatest archaeological sites, starting with a transfer north to the ancient city of Umm Qais. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley, Umm Qais was founded by the Ancient Greeks and later settled by the Romans. Once known as Gadara (one of the frontier Decapolis cities of Rome), the site was widely believed by Christians to be where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine. Umm Qais' splendor was also remarked upon by several classical poets and philosophers, with one even deeming it the "New Athens." Step back in time as you stroll column-flanked streets and take in the far-reaching views. 

Then it's on to Jerash, one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the Middle East. Spend time wandering the extensive site and be sure to check out the pristine remains of two amphitheaters, the north-south Colonnaded Street, and the Hippodrome (the site of ancient chariot races).

Continue to Ajloun, in the highlands, where you can explore the 12th-century Ajloun Castle, a fortress built to ward off the Crusader armies at the vital trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, and Mecca. Roam the ramparts and enjoy sweeping views over the Levant.

In the afternoon, your driver will bring you back to Amman, where the rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Day 4: Transfer to Dana via Madaba, Mount Nebo & 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 in 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.

Continue to 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 eventually making your way to the Memorial Church of Moses, a modern structure that now houses excavated relics from the region.

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. 

In the afternoon you'll reach your destination for the night—a comfortable guesthouse perched on the edge of the Wadi Dana valley.

Day 5: Hike in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Transfer to Petra

Take a half-day hike through the Dana Biosphere Reserve
Awake to the sounds of nature this morning in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Jordan's largest natural reserve encompasses four distinct bio-geographical zones and is home to remarkably diverse flora and fauna. Today's half-day trek takes you 5 miles (8 km) along the huge escarpments of Wadi Dana, passing through the terraced gardens of Dana Village and offering 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.
After lunch, it's time to get back on the road again, as your driver picks you up for a transfer south to Petra.  
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Day 6: Explore the Sandstone City of Petra

Marvel at the ancient Nabataean stonework of Petra's Treasury

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. You can arrange to hire a guide for a two-hour tour of the site or spend the day exploring at your own pace.

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.

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 the steep stone-carved staircase to the top of Jabal al-Khubtha.

After a full day of exploring, return to your hotel to rest up and cool down before dinner. If your visit falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you can head out again after dark to experience an unforgettable 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. 

Day 7: Free Morning in Petra, Visit Little Petra & Transfer to Wadi Rum 

Spend another morning at Petra
After breakfast, your morning is free to discover more of Petra at your own pace, visiting any hidden corners and highlights that you may have missed. You can opt for another tour or even arrange for a guided hike along the back trail, ending with dramatic views over the Monastery.
When you're ready, get back on the road to visit the nearby Neolithic village of Beida, also known as "Little Petra." Thought to have been occupied as early as 7200 BCE, the carved stone village is considered one of the first settlements in human history. 

In the afternoon, 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. Here you'll meet your Bedouin hosts and transfer into a sturdy Jeep to reach their traditional desert camp. Get settled into your wool tent, enjoy a traditional meal cooked over the open fire, and spend the night sleeping under the stars.

Day 8: Explore the Wadi Rum by Jeep & Camel, Transfer to Aqaba

Sunrise over the Wadi Rum

Early risers can start this morning with a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the desert. After breakfast, you'll set out by 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. 

After lunch back at the camp, your "ship of the desert" awaits, as you mount up for a two-hour camel ride through the sands with your Bedouin guide.

In the afternoon, you'll say your goodbyes to the desert as your driver picks you up for a transfer to nearby Aqaba on the Red Sea. Inhabited since 4000 BCE, Aqaba is Jordan's only coastal city and is home to colorful market stalls, delicious food, and, of course, access to the water. Go for a stroll and explore the bustling port, head to the beach for a swim, or enjoy platters of delicious local fish and expertly prepared meats in town before checking into your hotel for the evening.

Day 9: Transfer to the Dead Sea

Float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea
Spend another morning at the beach, then bid the Red Sea farewell as your driver picks you up for the 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 accumulated throughout thousands of years. After a scenic drive through a landscape of otherworldly, arid hills, you'll reach your hotel, where you can get settled in and relax after the long drive.

Day 10: Hike the Wadi Mujib River Canyon, Visit Bethany

Hike, wade, and swim your way along the Siq Trail
Meet your driver this morning for an hour's transfer into the mountainous landscape of Wadi Mujib, the "Grand Canyon of Jordan." Here your guide will take you on a refreshing half-day hike through the narrow river gorge along the famous Siq Trail.
Afterward, you'll make a quick detour to Bethany, the site where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Located in a wadi kharar, or reeded valley, several centuries-old churches and manmade pools have recently been discovered and are worth exploring.  
At the end of the day, you'll return to the Dead Sea, where you can spend your final evening in Jordan at your leisure.

Day 11: Transfer to Amman & Departure

Sunset over the Dead Sea

Take advantage of your last morning in Jordan with one more dip in the Dead Sea. When the time comes, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to the Queen Alia International Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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