Petra and Wadi Rum by Bike Trip Notes

Petra and Wadi Rum by Bike

Last Modified: 12 Mar 2013
Petra and Wadi Rum by Bike
Trip code: XZXW
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
The Kingdom of Jordan is an ideal destination for a week long break. It includes one of the most spectacular wonders in the world - the 'Rose-red city' of Petra - and the ancient sites of Madaba and Mount Nebo. Away from the temples and monuments we ride through quiet villages and ancient olive groves, along the way meeting some of the local Bedouin people, renowned for their hospitality. There is also the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea and snorkel in the Red Sea, ensuring that there is time to relax and unwind as well as explore. Most relaxing of all is the night spent in Wadi Rum, the former headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia. Here the solitude, the majestic desert scenery and incredible night skies, ensure a memorable evening of stargazing.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersWhat to take
We also recommendAccommodationHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsFeedback
Spending moneyFinish point
TippingFinish point instructions
Style
Original
  • 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.
Themes
Cycling
Map
Petra and Wadi Rum by Bike
Itinerary
Day 1 Amman
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan.
Enjoy a free day to explore Jordan's thrilling capital. Perhaps admire the cityscape from the lofty Roman Theatre or watch the world go by in a cool Shmeisani cafe bar.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Jerash/Madaba
This morning we'll have an initial briefing. We will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
After the briefing we transfer out of town towards Jerash to avoid the traffic and start cycling. We cycle through the foothills of the Rift Valley and olive groves.
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.
Later we head on to Madaba, 'the City of Mosaics'. The city, best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, is home to the famous 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Ride approx. 42 km
Optional Activities
  • Guided tour of Jerash ruins - JOD10
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 3-5 Petra
We leave the hotel this morning on two wheels and cycle on tarmac to Mt Nebo, reputedly the burial place of Moses but certainly the site for a spectacular view over the valley below. From here it's a fantastic descent to the shores of the Dead Sea. We follow the 'coast' on a smooth tarmac surface to Suwaima where we can change and take a float in the famous waters. After a shower it's back in the vehicle for the long drive south along the Kings Highway towards Petra, one of the world's most outstanding ancient cities.
Ride approx. 45km
We then have two full days to explore 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.
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.
After walking down the Siq, the narrow chasm, which is the only entrance to the city, we come out directly in front of El Khazneh, the Treasury. Continuing to the centre of the city, we pass the houses and tombs of the rich citizens, and the amphitheatre. A long walk beyond the centre is El Deir, the monastery, with its superb façade topped by a huge urn.
On the morning of day 5 we cycle to the north of the main city to Little Petra and the Siq Al-Barid. A classical temple stands guard outside the miniature siq, which would appear to have been an important suburb to the city of Petra itself. The narrow file - only some 350 m long - is crammed with tombs, temples, triclinia, houses, water channels and cisterns; of particular note are the remains of painted frescoes on plaster dating from the 1st century AD, which are to be found in one of the biclinia.
Ride approx. 20 km
On one of the days we take a walk to the 'place of high sacrifice' where few others visit. This can be quite arduous and is not recommended for those who are unsure of their fitness, but the views of the site below are remarkable.
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea visit
  • Mt Nebo
  • Petra Entrance
Optional Activities
  • Petra by night - JOD12
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 6 Aqaba
It's an early start today to avoid the heat for our first real desert experience. After a short transfer to Tayba village we begin riding mostly on tarmac to Ar-Rajif. The road cuts through traditional Bedouin territory and is a seasonal stop for the nomadic shepherds of south Jordan so the chance of a local 'tea break' are high! Some parts of the road are unsurfaced. From here we head into the desert and follow the road down to Gharandal via Dilagha to Wadi Araba. The road may be sandy and a little gravelly so extra care should be taken. After our desert crossing it's a short drive to Aqaba on the Red Sea.
Ride approx. 62 km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Wadi Rum
This morning we have free time to lounge on the beach, swim, or go snorkelling. Your leader will be able to advise you on which are the best private beaches to visit as the public beaches generally do not have as many facilities. In the early afternoon it's a short transfer out of town to avoid the main climb and traffic, before we start our cycle into the spectacular scenery of Wadi Rum. This is where Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal assembled the Arab tribes for the attack on Aqaba in the First World War, and also where sections of the film of 'Lawrence' were shot.
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 sleep under the stars tonight enjoying the silence of the desert, at a semi permanent campsite.
Ride approx. 30 km
Optional Activities
  • Camel ride - JOD20
  • Aqaba beaches (including transport) - JOD14
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Amman
After breakfast we take a 4x4 drive vehicle far into the area for a desert adventure. Following lunch surrounded by the vastness of the desert and towering rocky outcrops we transfer back to Amman, a journey of approx. 4 hours with a stop en route.
The following day is departure day. There are no activities planned for this day and you may depart at any time.
Included Activities
  • Desert Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
Optional Activities
  • Roman Theatre - JOD1
  • King Abdullah Mosque - JOD2
  • Citadel and National Archaeological Museum - JOD2
Accommodation
Hotel (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.
  • Bicycle Hire XZXW (XZXW)
  • Single supplement XZXW (XZXW)
We also recommend
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    Itinerary disclaimer
    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.
    Culture shock rating

    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.
    Physical rating

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    Included activities
    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.
    Optional activities
    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. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    Money Exchange
    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.
    Spending money
    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.
    Tipping
    Jordan is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Jordan to be a budget destination.
    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.
    Departure tax
    Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
    Departure tax of JOD10 is payable when leaving Jordan by land or ferry.
    Important notes
    PROFILE:
    - Average daily distance: 45 km
    - No.of days cycling: 5
    - Vehicle Support: 100%
    - Terrain and route: surface: 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced roads.
    - Routes follow mainly quiet backroads. Lots of downhill and level sections, with a couple of steep climbs.
    - We avoid the hottest time of year, but expect high temperatures.
    Hire bikes - Jordan: locally sourced mountain bikes with front suspension £80, paid on
    booking.
    Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 16.
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
    Group size
    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:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    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 accommodation (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.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (7 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
    HEATING & AIR-CONDITIONING:
    Please note that as a desert region, Jordan can have extreme weather. Winter (approx. December to February) can be very cold. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period. Summer (approx. June to August) can be very hot. Although typically hotels do have air-conditioning it's not guaranteed that functioning air-conditioning will always be available.
    The Bedouin style campsite at Wadi Rum is basic with toilets and hand basins.
    Meals
    8 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    USD 300.00
    Whilst staying in hotels we usually eat in local restaurants and on some occasions the leader will take those who wish, to a restaurant for a 'mezze' style meal. These allow fast service and a good quality of food for the group and usually cost 10-15 JOD pp. Allow about £190-£230 to cover these meals. If you are vegetarian, please note that main meals are limited in choice; however mezze is almost always available in restaurants and is a good, filling choice for vegetarians. There is also a good
    choice of seafood available when at the Red Sea.
    Transport
    4x4, Bicycle, Minibus
    The support vehicle will carry all your luggage and personal belongings. The vehicle will follow the riders all of the time, allowing you to cycle as much or as little as you like (although not everyone may be able to travel in the support vehicle at once).
    In Wadi Rum, we use Bedouin four-wheel drive vehicles. These Bedouin 4WD vehicles are not up to standards you may be used to at home. As there are no other vehicles available and as we are not travelling by road we feel that they are adequate for the job.
    Group leader
    There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed. An experienced English-speaking cycle guide and local driver will accompany all groups.
    Joining point
    Multiple hotels in Amman
    .
    Amman
    JORDAN
    Joining point instructions
    The starting point in Amman varies by departure date. You will be notified of the exact starting point for your trip 6 weeks prior to departure.
    Arrival complications
    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.
    Please also make sure have a copy of the local operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
    Finish point
    Multiple hotels in Amman
    .
    Amman
    JORDAN
    Finish point instructions
    The finishing point in Amman varies by departure date. You will be notified of the exact finishing point for your trip 6 weeks prior to departure.
    Emergency contact
    In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner EXODUS on their 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1582 644 100.
    For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    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
    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.
    JORDAN:
    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.
    BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE:
    Plenty of people choose to bring their own bikes on our cycle trips. If you wish to bring your own bike, please note that we cannot guarantee against small scratches and paintwork damage involved in the loading and unloading from support vehicles.
    HELMETS:
    Please note that helmets must be worn when riding on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    EXTRA BIKE BITS:
    You may like to bring your own saddle (excluding the seat post), or over gel cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it's your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle at the end of the trip. We can't guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
    PERSONAL EQUIPMENT::
    A helmet, eye-protection (sunglasses), cycling gloves and water bottles or hydration system (e.g. camelbak). Please note that helmets must be worn when riding off-road on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    RECOMMENDED CYCLING CLOTHING::
    Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof / windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting day pack.
    FIRST AID KIT:
    You should bring a small, personal first aid kit with you including items such as high factor sunscreen, lip balm and chamois cream if required.
    HELMETS: Please note that helmets must be worn when riding on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    Health
    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.
    Safety
    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:
    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.
    Travel insurance
    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:
    Responsible Travel
    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:
    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:
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
    Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.