Last Modified: 12 Mar 2013
Petra and Wadi Rum Trek
Trip code: XZXP
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
Some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world is found in the south of Jordan at Wadi Rum, a place of dramatic beauty which provides an ideal environment for trekking.
Millennia of erosion have formed wonderful mountains (known as jebels) rising out of the desert sands, and we walk from the valley bottom to jebel tops over exciting terrain.
Although this is a non-technical trek one section will require good balance and a head for heights. Throughout the trip we will be accommpanied by local Bedouin and we shall be camping as they do, under the stars. Our trip will finish with a day visit to the ancient rock city of Petra, a must for any visitor to Jordan.
The operator for this trip is our experienced sister company Exodus. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.
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.
Day 1 Amman
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan.
Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Amman in the evening of day 1. Hotel check-in times are from around 3pm.
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.
- Citadel and National Archaeological Museum - JOD2
- King Abdullah Mosque - JOD2
- Roman Theatre - JOD1
- Activity - JOD20
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-5 Wadi Rum Trek
After breakfast we transfer by bus to Wadi Rum. Today is a short acclimatisation walk (2 hours) from Disseh village to the Umm el Twaggy camp, where we enjoy the dinner prepared by our Bedouin hosts and staff.
The next day we continue the trek from Umm el Twaggy to traverse Siq el Barrah, a magnificent desert canyon with immense rock walls (5 hours). We camp in the area between two mountains Rakaa and Mharrak.
We begin the third day's trek by heading to Jebel Burdah (2 hours). In the afternoon, we take a guided climb to the arch of Burdah (3 hours), a moderate scramble on good rock. From here there are spectacular views across the dramatic landscape. Our camp for the night is found next to Burdah.
Today we head southwest to the Um Fruth rock bridge following Khor el Ajram to the Wadi Khashkhasheh and visit the inscriptions of Siq el Khazali, and then continue to Laurence House where we camp nearby. (5 hours).
Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nts)
Day 6 Petra
We leave Laurence House and then go north through Wadi Um Ishrin. We continue with a Bedouin 4x4 vehicle to Disseh village, before our transfer to Petra in the late afternoon.
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Petra/Amman
This morning we pay a visit to Petra. 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 more affluent citizens, and the amphitheatre. Continuing further beyond the centre is El Deir, the Monastery, a its superb façade carved into the rock and topped by a huge urn. After our visit we transfer back to Amman.
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.
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.
Hotel (1 nt)
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.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
This trip is suitable for clients with a good level of fitness.
Previous trekking experience is desirable but not vital as long as you are confident of your physical condition. We use hotels in Madaba and Petra but whilst trekking in the desert the facilities are basic. Large parts of the day will be spent trekking and you need to be fit enough to cope with this. We will be walking on sand and scrambling over rocky terrain on day 4, at times this can be relatively steep with uneven ground.
We camp in the desert, visiting remote areas with basic facilities so please take this into consideration in assessing whether this trip is right for you.
Jordan can get hot, especially during our summer; this can cause discomfort whilst travelling. Care should be taken to drink a lot of bottled water. The hottest months tend to be June to August where temperatures can reach (if not exceed) 30 degrees.
Desert temperatures can be more extreme and it has been known to get down to freezing during the night in the desert. Please be prepared for this.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Tipping is at your discretion for both the leader and the local staff. Tipping in Jordan is part of the culture that has developed with tourism due to the low income of most people. If you wish to tip, we have found it useful for the group to have a kitty for tipping (the leader can advise how much to tip), this can ease confusion and embarrassment by not knowing how much or how little to tip local staff. If you do not wish to join in on the group kitty, do not feel pressured. Many clients also wish to tip their leaders and driver at the end of the trip we suggest between US$5 per day for the guide and US$2.5 per day for the drive. Most groups prefer to present the money to the leader at the end of the week with two separate envelopes (one for the leader and one for the driver). This is completely at your own discretion and to be used as a guideline only.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 18.
RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2013:
In 2013, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 9 July through until 7 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.
Maximum of 14 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. This will be applicable for the hotel nights only - tent accommodation is shared.
Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nts), Hotel (3 nts)
The infrastructure and accommodation standards in Jordan are generally good. Throughout this tour we use comfortable, mid-range hotels with en suite facilities and air conditioning. Four nights will be spent in the desert, 3 nights will be in wild camps with no toilets or wash facilities. One night will be in our private camp with traditional style tents sleeping between 3 to 4 people. They are equipped with basic beds, sheets, blankets and towels. There are two plumbed toilets, but no shower facilities.
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, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
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.
Whilst in Wadi Rum the service is full board. The 3 nights in hotels is on a Bed and Breakfast basis. You will be required to buy 2 lunches on days 2 and 7 and dinners on day 16 and 7. We usually eat in local restaurants to allow maximum flexibility of choice. Allow about £70 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. Two litres of drinking water per day are provided free of charge whilst in Wadi Rum.
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. 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.
In Wadi Rum we use basic 4-wheel-drive vehicles that are owned by a local Bedouin family. Up to 6 passengers sit in the open back on removable inward facing seats or in the cab. The vehicles are appropriate for local desert travel, but may fall below normal vehicle safety standards expected on our trips.
There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed.
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.
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.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
Spring and autumn are very popular as it is cooler, around 24ºC in the day and down to 8ºC at night. Rain is more likely, but protracted bad weather is unlikely.
It is hot and dry, but not unpleasant, throughout Jordan in the summer. Daytime maximum temperatures are around 32ºC in Amman. Aqaba is very hot when the air is still, but there is usually a breeze. Rain is unusual but possible.
In winter it is generally crisp and warm in the day - approximately 10-15ºC - but temperatures can approach freezing or below at night in the desert. There are even occasions when it snows in Jordan during winter.
Essential equipment and clothing include:
- 3/4-season sleeping bag (sleeping bags also available locally if you prefer not to take your own)
- Lightweight trekking boots with good quality sole
- Fleece or jacket suitable for cold nights
- Sun cream
Waterless hand cleaning gel, tissues or wet wipes might also be useful.
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.
CAMEL & HORSE RIDING:
Whilst at Wadi Rum you may encounter local Bedouins selling camel rides, these rides are taken at you own risk as is the horse ride at Petra.
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.