Last Modified: 21 Oct 2013
Jordan Family - Journey to the Lost City
Trip code: FJO
Validity: 01 Dec 2012 to 31 Dec 2014
For centuries the deserts of Arabia have held a special fascination for Western travellers. You will visit the ancient Roman city of Jerash, which has survived an incredible 2,300 years. Take to 4WD vehicles to explore the towering sandstone landscapes of Wadi Rum and camp Bedouin-style, under vast, star-filled skies. Petra, the superb 'pink city' of the Nabateans which was hewn by hand from solid rock is a highlight of the trip. Explore Kerak - a key staging post for the Crusaders and descend to the lowest point on Earth, the incredible Dead Sea, where you'll swim in its salty and amazingly buoyant waters - an amazing end to an amazing trip.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Days 1-2 Amman/Jerash
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan.
You will be sent joining instructions approximately 2-3 weeks before your trip starts, which will contain full details of exactly where to meet your group leader.
Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a 1994 excavation uncovering homes and towers believed to have been built during the Stone Age (circa 7000 BC). Check out sites such as the 6,000-seat Roman theatre built in the 2nd century, or the Citadel, offering panoramic views over the city from the highest hill in town. Within the Citadel is the museum that contains the Dead Sea Scrolls, and also the excavated ruins of an Umayyad palace.
Today is the joining day and free for you to settle in. The group flight will be arriving in late evening. The next morning meet your group and leader at approximately 8AM and head 50 km north to Jerash.
The ruins of Jerash were re-discovered in 1806 and continue to be one of Jordan's most amazing sites. One of the best examples of a Roman city in the Middle East, the ancient walled town that survives today is a remarkable evocation of life 2,000 years ago.
With a history stretching back at least 2,300 years, Jerash is one of the best preserved examples of a provincial Roman town anywhere in the world. Its hey day came with the arrival of Alexander the Great and the remains include a forum, nymphaeum, hippodrome, two theatres (complete with numbered seats!) and several temples. Along the Colonnaded Street, grooves in the paving stones show where chariot wheels once rolled and remnants of exquisite mosaics still cover some floors.
There is time to wander the site and imagine life in ancient times before returning to Amman with time to relax, or the opportunity to visit some of the city's sights, such as the Citadel.
- City tour, Amman
- Jerash Roman ruins
- Dinner with a local family (min 6 people) - USD25
- Yoghurt preparation - USD10
Toledo Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Madaba/Kerak
This morning we start our journey towards Petra, taking the Desert Highway south. En route we stop at Madaba.
The historical town of Madaba is famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the famous 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces found within the Church of the Virgin and the Apostles and in the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flowers and plants, birds and fish, animals and exotic beasts, as well as scenes from mythology and everyday pursuits such as hunting, fishing and farming. If these interest you, you'll be delighted to know that literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes.
Just beyond Madaba is another biblical site, Mt Nebo, which overlooks the Jordan Valley. The bible tells us this is the final resting place of Moses; from here he looked out onto the Promised Land.
Along the way today you may see the black 'beit ash shar' tents of the hardy Bedouin who still wander throughout the Middle East as they have for centuries. Moving between the few grazing spots which dot the parched landscape, they survive by breeding goats, sheep and camels. Although the traditional nomadic way of life is starting to disappear as some Bedouin succumb to the lure of fixed accommodation, many adhere stolidly to the old way - albeit with the occasional addition of a 4WD vehicle for transport!. Living in such a hostile environment has taught them the importance of a friendly welcome and the ancient code of hospitality to travellers still survives today.
Next we drive to the small town of Kerak.
In Kerak a formidable crusader castle overlooks a long, winding road down to the Dead Sea. The crusaders had a huge impact on the region in the 11th-13th centuries, and fought the forces of Islam in a long campaign, which saw many atrocities committed. Their temporary successes can be attributed - at least in part - to an outstanding ability to construct impregnable defensive fortifications, of which Kerak Castle is a prime example. Amazingly, given that it is over 850 years old, a great deal of the structure remains intact and you can explore the dungeons, passages, refectory and kitchens of the castle, which also houses a small museum.
- Mosaic & sand bottles - USD10
Amra Palace Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Petra
This morning we make our way to Petra.
Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here.
It's difficult to determine exactly when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, inhabited the area, lending their traditional habits such as burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves to the next wave of inhabitants - the Nabataeans.
Evidence of the earliest Nabataean settlement is also sketchy. Some of the characteristics of the site appear partly Egyptian and partly Greek in style. Strangely, few inscriptions have been found at Petra making dating the civilization a real challenge for historians. We do know the Nabataean settlement doesn't go back farther than the 6th century BC.
In 106 AD, Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the native dynasty came to an end but continued to flourish for a century after. Eventually the building of tombs ended and trade moved away from Petra, which fell into steady decline over the centuries. Over time many of the tombs' treasures were stolen by treasure hunters and their glory and whereabouts are unknown.
According to Arab tradition, Petra is the location where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth.
Explore the rest of the site at your own pace. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning Monastery (approx 1 hr). Please note a lot of walking is required to see all the sites and viewpoints of Petra. A basic level of fitness will enhance your enjoyment of your visit.
Please note that when entering Petra as a group a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point of Petra down to the Siq. Intrepid recommends passengers do not take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Amra Palace Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Wadi Rum
Today we drive to Wadi Rum, which offers some of the most extraordinary desert scenery.
Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations. Traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the Wadi Rum area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum, however, are those carved by nature - the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks.
We will enjoy a 4WD desert discovery, stopping to enter a narrow siq where many inscriptions can be seen. Passing Thamud nomads from Saudi Arabia and the Nabataean people have all left their mark on the surrounding rocks. Nature provides a number of rock bridges that offer some stunning views. There is also the option to explore by camel.
Sleep in a simple desert camp where you'll have the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. A dinner cooked in a local earthen oven is included. Western-style toilet facilities are available. Conditions are basic at our desert camp, but the company of our Bedouin hosts is warm and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.
- 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
- Camel ride - JOD20
- Camel milking - USD20
- Goat milking - USD20
- Telescope (30 mins) - USD15
Desert camp (1 nt)
Day 6 Aqaba
Today we transfer to Aqaba on the coast of the Red Sea, where there is free time to relax or take an optional boat trip to go snorkelling. The warm and relatively shallow waters of the Red Sea support a series of coral reefs unsurpassed outside Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
- Snorkelling Boat trip - JOD10
Aqabagulf Hotel (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Dead Sea
Leaving Aqaba, we travel along the King's Highway, a winding road which follows the contours of the rocky hills, occasionally passing nomadic shephers as they tend their flocks in the few areas where there is water. We descend lower and lower until eventually arriving on the shores of the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres long and 18 kilometres wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley with Israel on its west bank.
A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level) the water is seven times saltier than a normal ocean at 30% salinity. The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Asal in Djibouti. When swimming this means you are extremely buoyant and seem to float on top of the water rather than in it.
The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and many visitors like to cover themselves from head to toe for a beauty mud bath. Stop at a private beach with pools and a gentle slope to the water. Towels are available for hire. Don't forget to pack your swimwear for today.
This evening you can meet up with the rest of the group for a final meal together, and reflect on your adventures in this fascinating country.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Your trip will end at your resort in Dead Sea after breakfast.
Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- FJO - Journey to the Lost City - Single supplement (FJO)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
The Middle East is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Heat, pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different region but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. You will come across very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by the fabulous Middle East.
Relatively short journey times make Jordan an ideal destination for a family adventure. In Wadi Rum, desert tracks are rough and although we provide all necessary camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags) conditions are, as one would expect basic, with limited facilities.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are activities that are available to you as a guideline and have been checked locally.
The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.
The official currency of Jordan is Jordanian Dinars (JOD). It is easy to get money on arrival to Jordan. ATMs and money exchange are plentiful. Check with your bank for information on ATM international fees.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money as there are many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange.
Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it is not recommended to rely on this.
While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques the process is time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP.
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
We recommend that any group tips are collected in a envelope and handed directly to the intended recipient as a collective 'thank-you' by the group. The below amounts are suggested figures in USD for ease of calculating budgets, but should always be offered in local currency.
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1-2 per person per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however US$1-2 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Public toilet attendants: When using public toilets there will most likely be a attendant that will expect a tip. 20- 50 cents is appropriate.
Desert Camp hosts: If you have a night camping included on your itinerary US$2-3 is appropriate for the camp hosts.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$3-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2012:
In 2012, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 20 July through until 18 August, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.
This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
Age restrictions apply to this trip - minimum age 5.
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Toledo Hotel (2 nts), Amra Palace Hotel (2 nts), Desert camp (1 nt), Holiday Inn Dead Sea Resort (1 nt), Aqabagulf Hotel (1 nt)
Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
37 Al Razi Street
Joining point description
Toledo hotel is located 30 minutes from the Airport and situated in the heart of Amman, on the edge of the old downtown and within walking distance to the new city center. Toledo Amman Hotel is only 10 minutes away from major historical and biblical sites, the citadel and The Romanian amphitheatre, and over looking the Abdali area , the old part of Amman, to the north from the hotel and 5 minutes walk from “Jabal Al Hussein“ one of the big shopping areas in Amman.
Toledo Amman Hotel's 107 guest rooms and suites are provided with all the amenities for your comfort. All rooms are individually climate controlled, with sound insulated windows, satellite channels in several languages, WiFi, mini bar, and direct international telephone services. All rooms face the famous King Abdullah Mosque and several historical churches. Others amenities are: 24 hour room service and coffee shop, Indoor parking, High speed internet / wifi, Safety deposit boxes, Business center, Laundry / dry cleaning.
Joining point instructions
If you have booked a transfer through Intrepid then once you reach the arrivals hall there will be an individual with a board with “The Adventure Company” on it. This is our sister company who run the family trips for us.
If you cannot find our representative (when you have an included or private transfer) please call the following numbers :
00 962 6 5666866 (24h)
QAIA “ Queen Alia International Airport “ is located 45km south of Amman. The airport has three terminals: two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal. It is the main hub of Royal Jordanian Airlines, as well as being a major hub for Jordan Aviation. It was built in 1983 and is named after Queen Alia, the third wife of the late King Hussein of Jordan.
The passengers can take( Airport taxi) from airport to Amman and to all destinations in Jordan , the taxi fees from the airport to anywhere in Amman ( West Amman ) is US $ 30.00.
Alternatively, the passengers can also take the shuttle bus from the Airport to the 7th Circle ( 30 Km ) where Royal Jordanian Offices are ( City Terminal ) and the rate is US $ 7.00 per person. From there passengers can take a taxi to any hotel in Amman ( Taxi Rate from City Terminal to any hotel in Amman is Around US$ 5.00 ) This will be the same route on the way back, going from Amman To QAIA.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Holiday Inn Dead Sea (TAC)
PO Box 170, Dead Sea Road
Finish point description
Located 60 Km from Amman ( 45 minutes if you are driving from Amman To Dead Sea Area ) and its 3.30 Hours if you are driving from Petra or Aqaba ( south ) to the dead sea Hotel.
Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea is a business-friendly Sweimeh resort by the sea and attractions in the region include Baptism Site, Mount Nebo, and St George Church.
This Sweimeh resort has a private beach. In addition to 3 restaurants, Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea offers a snack bar/deli and a grocery/convenience store. A swim-up bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. The property's full-service health spa has facials. This 5-star property has a business center and offers a meeting/conference room, secretarial services, and audio-visual equipment. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas. Business services, concierge services, tour/ticket assistance, and tour assistance are available. Valet parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a rooftop terrace, barbecue grills, and multilingual staff.
202 air-conditioned guestrooms at Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea feature mini bars and coffee/tea makers. All rooms include separate sitting areas along with desks and sofa beds. Bathrooms feature bidets, bathrobes, scales, and hair dryers. Wired high-speed Internet access is complimentary. In addition to complimentary newspapers and safes, guestrooms offer multi-line phones with voice mail. Rooms also include windows that open and irons/ironing boards. Guests may request in-room massages.
Finish point instructions
To get back to the airport from Dead Sea Holiday Inn hotel, if you don't have a transfer booked with us, you can take a taxi from Dead sea Area ( Hotel Zone ) to QAIA and its around 1 hour driving ( 80 km ). Your can request the reception of the hotel to book the taxi for you and it should be about approx. 115USD per car.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany: Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival
Visas are required by all visitors entering Jordan. Single entry visas valid for 14 days and can be obtained, by most nationalities, on arrival at the airport in Amman or at the Jordanian border for approx. JOD20. It can be significantly more expensive to acquire your visa from the embassy in your home country. If you require a stay longer than 14 day, a visa obtained from the embassy in your home country will be valid for 2 months.
Please note that although there are ATMs in Amman airport, there are currently no ATMs in the immigration halls of Amman airport (but there are currency exchanges), so ensure you have some foreign currency on hand if you do not have your visa in advance.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip.
* Lightweight cotton clothing is the most practical Mar - Sep. Between October and February you’ll need warmer clothing.
* Windproof/waterproof jacket/kagoul, winter only (Oct - Feb)
* Warm mid-layer (fleece or wool) for those cold nights and early mornings in the desert (at all times of the year)
* Strong, comfortable shoes, trainers or trail boots
* Sandals for relaxing
* Water bottle
* Sunglasses, high factor sunscreen & lipsalve
* Personal first aid kit & insect repellent
* Scarf for dust protection
* Binoculars for star-gazing in Wadi Rum
* Mattresses, blankets and sheets are provided in Wadi Rum. However desert temperatures can fall to almost freezing point at night, even in the summer, and you may wish to consider bringing thermal clothing or a sleeping bag for your overnight stay. Sleeping bags are available for hire locally in Jordan at a cost of US$ 17 (approx. £10) per person. This is payable in dollars cash to your local Group Leader upon arrival in Jordan. If you wish to bring your own sleeping bag, we would recommend a 2/3 season bag for May-Sep departures and a 3/4 season bag for departures Oct-Apr.
A laundry service may be available in some hotels, but we recommend you take biodegradable travel detergent so that you can wash clothes when you choose.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing, be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops isn't appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf are fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate. As the countries we visit are Islamic nations, women may find a headscarf useful.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.