A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :)

Amman, Amman Governorate, Jordan

Changi Airport

This adventure is: #tastebud tickling, #far far away, #scenic

Amman: A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :)

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Overview :

Lets embark on an Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan !

Adapted from Lonely Planet & Rough Guide Website :
A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its World Heritage sites ( such as the ancient Nabatean city of Petra featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade , and Wadi Rum of Lawrence of Arabia fame ) ,  friendly towns, archaelogical sites and inspiring desert landscapes. Jordan has a tradition of welcoming visitors: camel caravans plied the legendary King’s Highway transporting frankincense in exchange for spices while Nabataean tradesmen, Roman legionnaires, Muslim armies and zealous Crusaders all passed through the land, leaving behind impressive monuments. These monuments, including Roman amphitheatres, Crusader castles and Christian mosaics, have fascinated subsequent travellers in search of antiquity and the origins of faith. The tradition of hospitality to visitors remains to this day. it was in Jordan that Lot sought refuge from the fire and brimstone of the Lord; Moses, Aaron and John the Baptist all died in Jordan; and Jesus was almost certainly baptized here. Even the Prophet Muhammad passed through.

I have curated this 12 days / 11 nights trip over the Easter and Labour day holidays to cover all aspects of Jordanian landscapes , culture , history , natural landscapes and wildlife , archaelogical sites , and holy sites of relevance to the Christian , Jewish and Muslim traditions . Infuse it with an adventure spirit , enjoy this trip with a swim and spa experience at the Dead Sea , optional hikes at Dana Biosphere Reserve and Wadi Mujib National Park , optional Horse/Camel Riding at Wadi Rum , Stargazing in Wadi Rum / Feynan on a moonless night , Wadi Rum being one of the world's top stargazing spots ,  and be embraced by the warm hospitality of the Bedouins :) 

We will stay in good quality 4 & 5 stars hotels and resorts , a special bedouin style camp and an award winning ecolodge for this trip !

Highlights :
Archaeological Sites : Petra , Little Petra , Umm Qais , Jerash .
Holy Land Sites : Jesus Baptism Site , Mount Nebo , Madaba ,  Machaerus , Umm - Ar Raasas
Castles : Aljoun Castle , Shobak Castle , Kerak Castle , Eastern Desert Castles 
Deserts : Wadi Rum .
Dead Sea - Swimming , Mud Spa .
Wildlife and Nature Reserves : Shaumari Reserve , Azraq Wetlands , Wadib Mujib Nature Reserve - Siq Trail Hike , Hiking in Dana Biosphere Reserve .
Red Sea Snorkelling
Cities : Amman , Aqaba , Madaba .
Bedouin Camps , Camel Rides , Horse Riding , Jordanian Cuisine . 

References : 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanA common style of Jordanian Food : Metzes , a selection of small dishes served to accompany alcoholic drinks .

Itinerary :

19 Apr 19 ( Day 1 - Fri ) - Depart Singapore for Amman . 

20 Apr 19 (Day 2 - Sat) - Arrive Amman 9 am . Full Day Tour of Amman . Overnight Amman Corp Hotel .  
We drive to Jordan's capital Amman, to visit the Citadel with the remains of the Umayyad Palace and the Hercules Temple as well as the Archaeological Museum with its excellent collection and the Museum of Popular Traditions .  In downtown we see the Roman Theatre from 2nd century and the traditional souks. We continue on to visit one of Amman’s oldest neighborhoods, Jabal al-Weibdeh, passing by several art galleries, like Darat Al-Funun and Dar Al-Anda, museums, and local antiquities and handcraft shops, also stop on the way in one of the café’s for a cup of tea.Then we stroll in Jabal Amman with its 19th century houses, in one of them the late King Hussein had been born , walk in the famous rainbow street and ending the walk with a visit to Wild Jordan, a division of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Overnight Amman Corp Hotel . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanRoman Aphitheatre , Amman . Photo Credit : Producer . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amman_Roman_Amphitheatre.jpg

21 Apr 19 (Day 3 - Sun) -   Amman - Northern Jordan Highlights : Umm Qais – Jerash – Ajloun Castle - Amman .  Overnight Amman Corp Hotel .
Morning time we drive two hours from Amman to Gadara (Umm Qais), which belonged to the famous Decapolis, a union of 10 cities, founded by Alexander the Great. Here you have an overwhelming view over the north Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee.  We leave to Jerash, the best example of a Roman provincial city in the whole Middle East. Visit the spectacular forum, Roman colonnaded street, the Nymphaeum and the Temple of Artemis. Next stop is Ajloun the great 12th century Islamic castle built around 1184/85 by the famous Islamic leader Salah al-Din. Back to Amman . Overnight Amman Corp Hotel .

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanThe Oval Forum in Jerash . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Place_ovale_de_Gerasa_new.JPG

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanAljoun Castle . Photo Credits : David Stanley . https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidstanleytravel/36192242403

22 Apr 19 (Day 4 - Mon ) -  Amman - Eastern Jordan : Eastern Desert Castles - Shaumari Reserve - Azraq Wetlands - Amman . Overnight Amman Corp Hotel . 

After breakfast, visit three of the Desert Castles in eastern Jordan. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Amra Castle with early examples of Omayyad fresco paintings, Qasr Kharanah and the black basalt fort in Azraq where Lawrence of Arabia stayed. We then head to Shaumani Wildlife Reserve where one can observe herds of Arabian Oryx , desert gazelles , ostriches and onagers .  In the area you find also a rich variety of desert plants, mainly because the vegetation inside the reserve is protected from the grazing of sheep and goats. We end the day's program to Azraq Oasis is a unique wetland reserve popular for bird watching with a seasonally flooded marshland and several natural and ancient buillt pools. Back to Amman . Overnight Amman Corp Hotel .

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanEastern Desert Castle , Qars Kharana .  Photo Credit : High Contrast . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_desert_castle_Qasr_Kharana_in_Jordan.JPG

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanArabian Oryx . Photo Credit : Charlesjsharp https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arabian_oryx_(oryx_leucoryx).jpg

23 Apr 19 (Day 5 - Tue ) -  Amman - Holy Land Sites : Madaba City - Mount Nebo - Jesus Baptism Site - Dead Sea . Overnight Holiday Inn Resort , Dead Sea . 
We head to Madaba this am . Explore the town of Madaba and discover the amazing Byzantine mosaics excavated from throughout the town. See the ‘Madaba Map’, the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Lands. Visit the Shrine of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. We can climb via narrow stairs to the highest point of the church, bell tower overlooking the city of Madaba. The bell tower is the highest vantage point in Madaba, where the visitor can experience a wonderful panorama of Madaba and its surroundings. Then take the short drive to Mount Nebo and wonder at the view where Moses looked across to the Promised Land and later died and was buried.

Afterwards, descend over 1,000 meters to the Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where you Journey back through Jesus’ life and visit the site where he was baptized. Supported by many biblical, archaeological, and historical evidence, Bethany Beyond the Jordan was recognized as the authentic site of Jesus' baptism. Afterwards, transfer to our resort at Dead Sea . Overnight Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanKing Hussein Mosque Madaba . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:King_Hussein_Mosque_Madaba.JPG
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanByzantine Floor Mosaic at St George Church , Madaba . Photo Credit : Deror Avi https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Byzantine_floor_mosaic_map_at_St._George_Church_Madaba_P1090105.JPG
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanMount Nebo . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mount_Nebo_BW_4.JPG
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanJesus Baptism Site . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jordan_Baptism_site_BW_8.JPG

24 Apr 19 (Day 6 - Wed ) - Dead Sea - Optional Trek : Wadi Mujib Siq Trail  - Umm Ar Rassas - Dead Sea . Overnight Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea . 
Depart from our hotel in Dead Sea and drive to Wadi Mujib for a refreshing hike along the side of Kings Highway. The trail starts at the visitor center near the Mujib Bridge, where we will take the cantilevered walkway over the dam and follow the course of the river between towering sandstone cliffs to the base of a large waterfall. This Wadi includes some dramatic wild mountain scenery. A beautiful black basaltic canyon filled with narrow gorges and fresh natural pools. Depending on seasonal rainfall levels, the gorge may contain pools deep enough for swimming. The Siq trail will take between 2-3 hours. Please note we will need to swim in parts, so please wear shoes and clothes you are happy to get wet in, we recommend tough trainers. If you want to bring a camera or wallet etc. on this day, please bring waterproof or ziplock bags. Later on this day we will Visit Umm Ar-Rasas Castle a UNESCO site which contains remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods (end of 3rd to 9th centuries AD) and a fortified Roman military camp. Then drive back to the Dead Sea. Overnight Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea . 

(Wadi Mujib hike is optional. Participants should be above 18 years of age , able to swim and be physically fit for the hike . Guests can choose to stay at the Dead Sea resort in the morning and relax instead . Please see these video to get an idea of the hike : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcIc6Z2a_xw

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanSiq Trail , Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve

25 Apr 19 (Day 7 - Thu )  - Dead Sea half day relaxation & spa am . Pm : Machaerus  - Dead Sea Panoramic Complex & Museum - Arrive Feynan Ecolodge ( Dana Biosphere Reserve )  - Sunset Hike . Stargazing . Overnight Feynan Ecolodge . 
Breakfast & morning leisure. Time to enjoy a dip in the dead sea and go for a dead sea mud spa experience ! In the afternoon , we visit Mukawir, the location of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist. It lies less than 20 km (12 miles) southwest of Madaba at the King's Highway on a stark promontory (720 m), overlooking the Dead Sea and protected on three sides by deep ravines. Continue to Dead Sea Panorama Complex to visit the Dead Sea Museum and have a beautiful panoramic view of the Dead Sea.

Proceed to Dana Biosphere. The reserve, Jordan’s largest, includes four distinct bio-geographical zones, which means that Dana supports an astonishing diversity of birds, plants, and animals. On your way down the valley you’re likely to see Griffin Vultures overhead as well as hyrax and copper-blue lizards on the rocks. We arrive at the award winning Feynan Ecolodge , hailed as one of the best 25 ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine .This solar powered lodge offers the most developed eco-experience in Jordan. Enjoy a sunset hike through Feynan area and star gazing experience organised by Feynan Ecolodge . Overnight Feynan Ecolodge . 


A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanDead Sea Salt . Photo Credit : Israel_photo_gallery https://www.flickr.com/photos/israelphotogallery/15062274265
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanHilltop Fortress of Machaerus , established by Herod the Great ,  where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded. 

26 Apr 19 (Day 8 - Fri ) -  Full Day of Activities with Feynan Ecolodge at Dana Biosphere Reserve  . Depart For Aqaba . Overnight Aqaba. 
Today , immerse yourself with a full range of activities organised by Feynan Ecolodge . You can choose to do a few hours / half day / full day hike or canyoneering activities to explore the surroundings of Dana Biosphere Reserve , bike , spend a day with the local sphepherds , immerse yourself in an authentic bedouin experience or take up a cooking class or just relax at the lodge . https://ecohotels.me/en/feynan/activities . We drive to Aqaba in the evening . Overnight at Marina Plaza , Tala Bay , Aqaba . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanCopper Blue Lizard . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pseudotrapelus_sinaitus_Jordan_Petra.JP

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanDana Biosphere Reserve . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dana_Nature_Reserve,_May_2010.jpg

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanWadi Ghuweir Trail to Feynan Ecolodge , one of the many activities possible offered at Feynan Ecolodge.   Photo  Source : hikinginjordan https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:18_Wadi_Ghuweir_Trail_to_Feynan_-_In_the_Oasis_-_panoramio.jpg

27 Apr 19 (Day 9 - Sat) - Aqaba - Half day Snorkelling , Red Sea . Aqaba City Tour Pm . Drive to Wadi Rum . Overnight Wadi Rum . Rahayeb Desert Camp . 
A day to enjoy Jordan’s window to the Red Sea. Aqaba brings a refreshing variation to the sands of Wadi Rum and Petra. We spend the morning swimming / snorkelling along the aqaba coast , admire the world-renowned red sea multi-colored coral reefs, fish and wildlife under the clear blue water or relaxing at the resort . In the afternoon , we tour aqaba town , exploring the markets , fortress and museum in the area . Continue to Wadi Rum, and enjoy the hospitality of the Bedouins under the stars. Dinner and overnight in Rahayeb Desert Camp . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanAqaba . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:K._Hussein_St.,_Aqaba,_Jordan_-_panoramio_(1).jpg
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanRed Sea . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cairo_and_Red_Sea_twin_centre_holidays_-_panoramio.jpg

28 Apr 19 (Day 10 - Sun ) -  Full Day Wadi Rum . Overnight Rahayeb Desert Camp . 
After breakfast, we will have a 4-Hour jeep safari exploring this World Heritage Site, traveling around Wadi Rum’s valleys, canyons, dunes and deserts, discover rock inscriptions, majestic views of mountains and landscapes and narrow gorges. At each stop you have the opportunity to hike and scramble and explore in your own time. We enjoy a simple lunch cooked in the desert in the shade of the mountains. In the afternoon we can choose to do a camel ride / horse ride / hike in the desert, we will walk through the narrow valleys and canyons so as to enjoy a walk through the beautiful landscapes of Wadi Rum. Optional Star gazing tour over Bedouin Tea made with firewood at night . Overnight in Rahayeb desert camp . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, Jordan
Wadi Rum : Photo Credit : Lawrence Murray https://www.flickr.com/photos/lawmurray/18769620491

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanWadi Rum . Photo Credit : Luciano  https://www.flickr.com/photos/30208099@N00/5680679449

29 Apr 19 (Day 11 - Mon ) -  Wadi Rum - Petra - Little Petra - Petra by Night . Overnight Petra . 
After breakfast we first proceed to spend half a day visiting Little Petra and the Neolithic village of Beida , north of Petra . Therafter we will tour the red rose city of Petra, the biggest attraction of Jordan. Petra was first established around the 6th century B.C. by the Nabataean Arabs, a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and laid the foundation of a commercial empire that extended into Syria. In the evening at 20:30, experience the magic of the red-rose city Petra in the night. You walk through the mysterious 80m high Siq, the narrow canyon, only lit by candles and the stars, and in front of the Treasury, you listen to Bedouin music and stories. The special aura of this evening puts you into Nabatean times. It will last around 2hours. Overnight Hyatt Zaman Hotel , Petra . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanPetra by Night Tour . Night View of the Treasury . Photo Credit : Sylvain . L  https://www.flickr.com/photos/slaioo/14764188248

30 Apr 19 (Day  12 - Tue) - Full Day Petra . Overnight Petra . 
We will do a full day tour of Petra today , visiting the Treasury, Amphitheatre, Street of Facades , Pharoahs's Castle , Monastery El Deir , The Nabathean Royal Tombs , temples , sacrificial altars , collonaded streets . Overnight Hyatt Zaman Hotel , Petra .  

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanThe Treasury , Petra . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Petra,_Jordan_-The_Treasury.JPG
A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanAmphitheatre , Petra . Photocredit : Dennis Jarvis .  https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/2216858111

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanNabathean Royal Tombs , Petra . Photo Credit :  Dan . https://www.flickr.com/photos/twiga_swala/2258468891

1 May 19 (Day  13 - Wed ) - Petra - Kings Highway - Shobak Castle - Kerak Castle - Amman - Arrive Airport at 7pm for flight home 
Today , we depart from Petra and drive to Shobak Castle . We shall explore the towers and walls of the castle decorated with carved inscrpitions dating from 14th century Mameluke renovations . The castle is perched on the side of a rocky, conical mountain , looking out over fruit trees . Afterwards , proceed to the ancient crusader castle in kerak , exploring the maze of stone-vaulted halls and passageways . The city of Kerak was the capital of Moab and the castle dominates the skyline . It provides an impressive insight into the architectural and military skills of the crusaders . Return to Amman for some last minute shopping and dinner and finally to the airport for our flight home . 

A Indiana Jones Adventure in Jordan ! :) starting at Amman, Amman Governorate, JordanKerak Castle . https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karak_Castle_Jordan1114.jpg

2 May 19 ( Day 14 - Thu ) / 3 May 19 ( Day 15 - Fri ) - Depending on which flight you take and duration of transit -  Arrive Singapore . 

Price : 

11-16 pax : USD 2230

I have used USD$1 to SGD$1.37 to estimate the trip cost, I will refund the difference if Singapore dollars appreciates against US dollars during the time of bank exchange and you will have to top up the equivalent Singapore dollars if Singapore dollars depreciates.

Accommodations :

Amman : Amman Corp Hotel. 4 stars . 3 nights .  https://www.hmhhotelgroup.com/en/jor/amman/corp-amman
Dead Sea : Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea . 5 stars . 2 nights .  https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnresorts/hotels/us/en/dead-sea/ddljo/hoteldetail
Feynan : Feynan Ecolodge . Speciality Lodge . 1 night .  https://ecohotels.me/Feynan
Aqaba :  Marina Plaza Hotel by Swiss Belhotel , Tala Bay , Aqaba . 4 stars . 1 night .  http://marinaplazahotel.com/
Wadi Rum :  Rahayeb Desert Camp . Bedouin Style Retreat . 2 nights .  http://www.rahayebdc.com/ 
Petra : Hyatt Zaman Hotel and Resort . 5 stars . 2 nights . http://www.hyattzaman.com/en/

Includes :
All Airport transfers.
Transportation in a private vehicle by an English-speaking driver.
English-speaking guide throughout the trip
Accommodation as stated.
Breakfast at accommodations.
Dinner at Feynan 1 night , Aqaba 1 night and Wadi Rum 2 nights
4-hour Jeep Safari in Wadi Rum with lunch.
Visa Fees on Arrival 

Excludes :
International Airfare
Jordan Pass ( to purchase on your own ) . Please purchase the Jordan Explorer which includes 2 days visit to Petra . Price USD 106 . https://www.jordanpass.jo/Contents/Prices.aspx
Entrance fees to all other sites / monuments / reserves not included in the Jordan Pass ( Approximately USD 67 per pax ) 
Meals and Drinks not stated
Tips and Personal Expenses
Optional Activities : Wadi Mujib Siq Trail Hike 25 USD / Horse Riding Wadi Rum 1 hr USD 46 / Camel Ride Wadi Rum 1 hr USD 37 , 2 hr USD 46 / 1 and half hour star gazing tour Wadi Rum w Bedouin Tea made on Firewood USD70 for whole group / Rental of Snorkelling Equipment at Marina Plaza Hotel Tala Bay USD 8.5 for 6 hours . 

Suggested Flight Arrangements :

Many flight arrangements are available including which include Emirates / Qatar Airways with direct check in baggage through to Amman . Price S$2000 +++

The cheapest and most direct route i have found so far would be as follows : ( Price S$1262 , as of 12 June 18 . ) 

Departure : 19 Apr 19 ( Fri ) ( Total Duration : 23 hrs 40 min ) 
1. Singapore ( 1510 ) - Colombo ( 1630 ) UL303 . Sri Lankan Airlines .
2. Colombo ( 2210 ) - Dubai - Amman ( 0950 20 Apr 19 ). EK655/EK901 Emirates .

Return : 1 May 19 ( Wed ) ( Total Duration : 29 hrs 25 min ) 
1. Amman (2210 ) - Dubai - Colombo ( 1610 2 May 19 )  .EK2057/EK654 Emirates . 
2. Colombo ( 0115 , 3 May 19 ) - Singapore ( 0830 , 3 May 19 ) . Sri Lankan Airlines . 

* to check price for Emirates at closer date which flies between Singapore and Colombo - price may drop to under $400 . 

Feel Free to drop me a message if you have any queries about this trip ! :)

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* DISCLAIMER : Your safety and well-being during the trip are your sole responsibility . By RSVP for this event , you have confirmed that you have read, acknowledged , agreed and accepted the terms and coniditons of participating in this trip .
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This adventure is: #tastebud-tickling, #far-far-away, #scenic
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