Highlights of jordan & israel in 12 days, Jordan - Oct 31 - Nov 12, 2018
The entire experience was awesome! Lena took care of the Jordan side, and Daniela handled Israel. Both did an amazing job of building a schedule that allowed us to see the key sites that each country had to offer - some of which we wouldn't have seen without their insight. We put our trust in Lena and Daniela and they definitely delivered! Having found Kimkim via a Google search, I was a little skeptical at first that it would work out, but there was far more understanding of our needs than the local travel agent we spoke with in the US who had no experience of the region.
In Jordan we saw Mount Nebo, Madaba, Karak, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Petra (including dinner with a local family, which was an inspiringly positive experience), and the Dead Sea. Petra and Wadi Rum were outstanding, and while we had 1 day in Petra it really takes 3 to see everything. Our driver, Mohammad, was excellent, and provided neat insights as we drove around. Finishing at the Dead Sea Spa and Hotel was a perfect way to end the Jordan tour. The only lowlight was making our way through the border crossing north of the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel. We were unaware that there would be an exit tax (10JD per person), plus fees to take ourselves and our luggage on a bus to get to the other side. This experience was frustrating (everyone else making the crossing was just as bewildered), particularly as we'd used our remaining JD to tip our driver. But overall, Jordan was fabulous!
Israel was also fabulous - rich in history and culture, and perhaps more familiar or comfortable to western hemisphere visitors. We spent 3 nights in Jerusalem and 3 in Tel Aviv. Rather than having a personal driver as we did in Jordan, this time we were shuttled to join small group (20 people) tours, which included Jericho, Bethlehem, Old Jerusalem, Nazareth, Galilee, Rosh Hanikra, Caesarea, Acre and Haifa, with some down time in Tel Aviv on our last full day. It was amazing to see so many different things, as well as being right on the Mediterranean.
We would revisit both countries in a heartbeat, and wouldn't think about using anyone other than Kimkim to do so!