The old spice trails of Jordan weave a web across the desert landscape. The dry, arid heat creating an apocalyptic atmosphere that is the backdrop of many a Hollywood creation. We love it here because there is a sense of being transported to another world. The rolling dunes give way to steep sided canyons with luscious oasis' secreted away in their depths. Jordan is a great place for those wishing to do a multiday trek that isn't as demanding as more mountainous regions. The Wadi Rum desert is a flat landscape, dotted with sandstone towers so the trekking here doesn't have significant ascents or descents and endurance is all a trekker really needs to enjoy Jordan.
You will need to arrive in Amman on day 1 of your trip. Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) is located 30km south of the capital city.
From London there are direct flights to Amman with British Airways and Royal Jordanian. The flight time is roughly 5 hours. Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa both offer indirect flights from Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
For those traveling from the US, Qatar have convenient flights via Doha from New York, Boston and Atlanta. Turkish airlines offer flights via Istanbul from San Francisco and Los Angeles. British Airways have convenient flights departing from Seattle.
Once you have arrived in Amman, cleared immigration and collected your luggage, please look out for a member of our team in the arrivals area. They will be holding a large “KANDOO” sign.
If you are changing airlines or re-checking your luggage at an airport on route, please ensure you leave a minimum of 3 hours between flights. This will account for any delays on arrival, travel time across airports (this can take longer than you think) and time taken to re-check baggage.
Trekking in Jordan
The iconic Nabatean architecture of Petra is what most travellers think of when they think of Jordan. We incorporate exploration of Petra with multi-day treks through more remote scenery, from the amber towers of the Wadi Rum to the arid, nebula formations of Dana Nature Reserve. Here we have outlined our trekking trips in Jordan:
ULTIMATE JORDAN |
Explore the jewels of the Jordanian kingdom, from the ancient monuments of Jerash and the castles of the desert to the remote landscapes of Dana and Wadi Rum. Embark on a fascinating journey through the heart of Jordan's arid lands and engross yourself in the cultural traditions and hidden treasures secreted away along forgotten paths.
PETRA TO WADI RUM |
Discover ancient architecture carved into the fiery walls of the world renowned site of Petra, before trekking through the sandstone desert sculptures of the Wadi Rum. Embark on a trek through the "Valley of the Moon", camping out under the starlit skies each night, we pass through this remarkable landscape, a streak of vermillion against a backdrop of blue sky.
PETRA AND RAINBOW VALLEY | In the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, journey to the Rainbow Valley, wild and remote with caves dug by the winds where erosion has revealed magnificent colours. Then arrive at Petra, its temples and its tombs, via secret Nabataean paths. Explore this fascinating world heritage site for two days before taking an unusual bath in the Dead Sea.
When to trek
You can find detailed advice on when to trek in our Jordan Travel Guide.
This a brief summary. Weather should be the first thing you think about when you decide when to trek. Jordan can be extremely hot in the summer with temperatures reaching into the mid-late 40s at times. In the transitional seasons; spring and autumn, the temperature drops and can sit in the comfortable mid 20s during the day, dropping to between 5-10 degrees at night. In the winter, the temperatures can reach the other extreme and be very low, particularly at night. This is because the dry climate means little cloud cover to retain heat from the day. We cater our trips to the times best suited temperature wise; with February through until April, then October to December proving most appropriate.
Training for your trek in Jordan
The trekking in Jordan is generally relatively gentle in gradient and doable by anyone with some trekking experience, a good fitness level and mindset. What makes trekking in Jordan challenging is the temperature - you will be exposed to high temperatures whilst in the desert, which can be draining on your energy levels, however you may also experience chilly nights due to the lack of cloud cover. Although our routes are generally quite flat you will still be walking over consecutive days, which can be taxing if you are not used it.
In terms of distance walked, on average you will be walking for 6-8 hours a day over 5 days. This may be slightly more than a typical day's hiking at home, so it is worth building up your distance over the months prior to your trip going ahead.
Camping and other accommodation in Jordan
In Petra we use a well equipped quiet campsite, ideally located in “little Petra” at the gates of the site. You will stay in a fixed camp with twin beds in small but comfortable tents with shared bathroom facilities. Blankets are provided and there is a single electrical socket in each tent which is turned on at night fall. It is a good idea to bring along a multi USB charging hub to make the most of the single socket in your tent. In winter when there is a risk of snow we may stay in a nearby hotel instead.
In Dana, we use a well equipped quiet campsite. You will stay in a fixed camp with twin beds in small but comfortable tents with shared bathroom facilities. Blankets are provided and there is Wifi throughout the camp. In winter when there is a risk of snow we may stay in a nearby hotel instead.
In the Wadi Rum Desert we will sleep in 3 man tents (2 people per tent unless you requested a single supplement). Mattresses, tents and eating utensils are all provided but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag. There are no toilet facilities in the desert so please bring some toilet roll and a lighter or match box to burn used paper. As we can only carry a limited amount of water in the desert, there is no water provided for washing on these two nights. We recommend bringing some wet wipes so you can wash inside your tent.
Hotel accommodation will be in twin or double en-suite rooms. Our hotel is positioned on the outskirts of Amman to avoid potentially long delays due to traffic when leaving the city.
In Petra we may stay in a simple guest house, with the Hasanat family, depending on availability. The place is ideal, quiet, and very well located at the top of the village of Wadi Musa. Here you will get to know your hosts Rana and Fayes, their house, their life in their neighbourhood (and even learning to cook Jordanian mezzes!). Unfortunately they cannot accommodate all groups due to the size of the house. If the house is already occupied, you will stay in an equipped camp, ideally located near "Little Petra", at the gates of the site.
The hotels in Jordan all have western, flushing toilets. Whilst on the trek the toilet situation will be a little less luxurious. At camp each evening we will set up a toilet tent. This is a very basic facility that provides a little privacy. The toilet tent will simply cover a hole in the ground. If you don't wish to use the toilet tent there is always the option to find somewhere hidden, away from camp or the path and go wild. We can guarantee it will be the most scenic toilet break you've ever had! Please remember to bring toilet roll and a lighter to burn it after use.
The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar
(JOD). For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com
It is best to take cash in US dollars, GB pound or Euros and exchange it locally. US Dollars are the most commonly used currency so will be easiest to exchange. There is currency exchange next to Baggage Claim as you exit the airport or you can exchange your cash in the currency exchange, hotels or banks, generally these offer the best rates than the airport. Credit and Debit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs in the larger towns and cities. Travelers cheques are best avoided as you will be charged a hefty commission for exchanging them.
Expect to pay between $10 - $35 for a meal out in a local restaurant in Amman. To get around the city, a taxi will cost you around $5.26 for a 5km journey whereas the bus will be less than $1. Souvenirs are also relatively cheap so budgeting $50 for souvenirs will get you plenty! Our recommended guidance for spending budget in Jordan would be between $50-100 on top of your tips, to give you ample souvenir spending money.
In Jordan “baksheesh” is a national institution in which small tips are frequently paid several times a day to numerous people such as porters, waiters and people providing assistance. This is included in your trip costs and your tour guide will take care of it so you do not have to.
You should budget for tips for your tour guide and driver. The tip amount should be based on the service you feel you have received but $5 per person per day is average (about 4 Dinar per day in the local currency).
Other things to do in Jordan
Jordan's deserts are broken up by deep canyons, some of which are dry and others that are aquatic. Taking a trip down the canyon is a great way to cool off, it's shady and has water aplenty! The popular canyons such as Wadi Mujib operate an over 18s only policy, however the lesser known ones can be completed without an entry fee or specialised equipment.
Moving away from the desert, the Red Sea is a well known divers paradise. With plenty of corals and multicoloured fish, this sheltered arena is an ideal location for a beginners dive trip. Or if you don't want to go quite so deep, then don some snorkel gear and cruise the shallows, there are still plenty of exotic marine life to see. If this is something that excites you then have a look at our Ultimate Jordan
trip in which we spent one of the days snorkelling from Aqaba.
For those with a keen interest in history, Jordan is also known for it's incredible historical architecture. The ruins of Jerash, the Desert Castles, Petra and the formidable Kerak fortress all boast some unbelievable architecture from the age in which they were built...true masterpieces and well worth a visit whilst you are there.