Taste & Trails of Jordan
May 24-31, 2020
Absorb ancient history & modern culture through the eyes of locals
An 8-day route starting in Jordan’s bustling capital of Amman with its ancient Roman archaeology. We’ll head south and take a dip in the Dead Sea before hitting Jordan’s best hiking trails from Little Petra to Petra to the ochre landscapes of Wadi Rum. Enjoy true Bedouin hospitality along the way before venturing north to the Ajloun Forest Reserve to visit the ancient Greek & Roman ruins of Umm Qais overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Along the way we visit numerous social enterprises on Jordan’s Meaningful Travel Map, engaging with a women’s soap-making cooperative and a community-run cooking project where you’ll learn to make traditional Jordanian dishes. We wrap up with wine tasting and farm-to-table eats in Amman and say our farewells with unparalleled views of the city.
starting at $2995 per person
starting at $2995 per person
7 nights 3-star hotel, Bedouin camp and eco-lodge stay
Transfers to/from airport on arrival & departure days
Private vehicle transit between excursions
25+ miles fully guided hiking along the Jordan Trail and at the Ajloun Forest Reserve
Jordan Pass with entry to Little Petra, Petra and Wadi Rum
Visit to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth
Bedouin desert camp experience, with homestyle food, music under the stars, and cultural education
Visit to multiple women’s cooperatives including soap making, jam-making and natural snacks
Guided visit to the Citadel & Roman Theatre in Amman, the Greek & Roman ruins of Umm Qais and the Roman provincial city of Jerash
Hands-on cooking class with a local women’s cooperative
Wine-tasting experience in Amman
Daily breakfast + 5 dinners + 4 lunches
Experience with a women’s cooking cooperative + donation to their organization
Dedicated Traverse host and local guide throughout your trip
Traverse representative assisting you from booking to departure
Small group trip, max 14 people
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), your driver will transfer you to your boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Settle in & rest up or explore the area before our evening Welcome Dinner that will introduce you to Jordan’s spectacular regional cuisine. Get to know your fellow travel mates and your local guide, who will brief you on our next week together.
Day 2: Amman, Dead Sea, Bedouin Camp at Little Petra
We’ll start our explorations in the Old City of Amman, visiting two of its most iconic archeological sites, the Citadel and the Roman Theater. We’ll then hop in our private van and descend to the Dead Sea where we’ll make a stop to float in the salty water and cleanse your skin with a detoxifying mud bath.
We’ll then follow the Jordan Valley Highway all the way south the magical UNESCO Heritage site of Little Petra, also known as Beidha, where the ancient Nabataeans carved the sandstone canyon walls. We’ll stay in the hospitality of a locally-run Bedouin camp, where we’ll have full-structured tents with beds and shared bathroom facilities. Dinner will be a home-cooked feast followed by music and festivities under the stars.
Meals: B, D
Day 3: Hike Little Petra to Petra – 12 miles
After breakfast, it’s time to lace up the hiking boots for our 12-mile hike to Petra. We’ll enter through the “back door” using the Wadi Muthlim trail, which takes us through the sandstone mountains of Wadi Ghurab. This way follows a Nabataean route out of the valley and skirts around the final mountain on a natural rock terrace before reaching a hidden plateau with impressive views of the Wadi Siyyaqh chasm. Just beyond, we’ll reach The Monastery, one of Petra’s many famous carved sites. We’ll stop for tea, lunch and mint lemonade at a Bedouin café before descending all the way down to the town of Wadi Musa where we’ll stay for the night. You’ll have the evening free to explore, relax and enjoy fabulous Middle Eastern cuisine at one of the many local restaurants in walking distance.
Meals: B, L
Day 4: Petra Main Trail, Wadi Rum – 5 miles
We’ll hit the trail early this morning to avoid the heat, starting with the walk through the long, narrow gorge that leads to the famous Treasury site of Petra. The grounds are massive, and we’ll spend the next few hours exploring their elaborate rock-cut tombs, the Roman-style theaters and temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets.
After a late lunch, we’ll drive to the ochre desert of Wadi Rum, meaning “high” and “low” for its flat sandscapes and towering buttes. Our van will take us to a small village where we’ll hop into trucks and our expert drivers will navigate through the sand to our second Bedouin tent experience. Get ready for another homemade feast, ample amounts of desert-style herbal tea, and brilliant views of the stars.
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Um Ad Dami Summit, Ajloun Forest Reserve
After a nourishing Bedouin breakfast, we’ll get back in the trucks to traverse the sand to Jordan’s highest peak, Um Ad Dami. At 5900 feet, you’ll see a whole new perpective with the border of Saudi Arabia to the south and Jebel Rum to the north. The round trip hike to the top is less than two miles, but with a 1300 foot gain it takes about 3 hours.
Once we return, we’ll enjoy a desert lunch before driving north to the Ajloun Forest Reserve. This small but important reserve was established by Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and serves as a captive breeding ground for the extinct Roe Deer as well as a protected habitat for many bird species. Jordan’s national flower, the Black Iris, can be found here as well as evergreen oak, carob and wild pistachio, all of which have been important to locals for their food and medicinal value. We’ll spend the night at an eco lodge on premise and learn about the incredible projects the organization has in place to support the local environment and community through sustainable tourism development initiatives.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Ajloun Forest Hike, Bait al Baraka & Social Enterprise Visits
We’ll take an easy 2-3 mile hike in the morning to enjoy the beautiful views of the Ajloun reserve before visiting several social enterprise projects in the area. We’ll first visit The Soap House, a local women’s manufacturing initiative making specialty soaps by hand from olive oil and flower essences. We’ll have time to tour the workshop, view the soap-making process and chat with the women. Next we’ll visit The Biscuit House, a similar initiative where the women produce all-natural cookies and healthy snacks.
For lunch, we’ll head to another community project at Bait al Baraka for a hyper local meal based on sustainable agriculture and foraging. We’ll follow it up with a visit to the Greek and Roman Umm Qais with views overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee. The ruins boast a history as one of the Decapolis cities and Umm Qais is famous as the home of many classical poets and philosophers, who once called it the “New Athens.”
We’ll polish off the day back in Amman with another side of Jordan, its wines. We’ll enjoy a tasting together learning about the different grapes and terriors before a free evening on your own. Consider a progressive meal of street-style falafel or schwarma, shop for mementos along Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman, or chill with a drink on one of the city’s many terraces.
Meals: B, L, wine tasting
Day 7: Jerash, Community Partner Cooking Class, Farewell Dinner
After breakfast, we’ll head just outside the city to Jerash, the best example of a Roman provincial city in the whole Middle East. We’ll visit the spectacular Forum, Roman colonnaded street, the Nymphaeum and the Artemis Temple. We’ll then stop in a small town called Souf where we’ll visit our community partner, Khayraf Beit Souf. This women’s cooperative will brief us on our next few hours: cooking! They’ll show us how to make a local jam before we all take part in making several key traditional Jordanian dishes using local ingredients like eggplant, tomato, sumac, za’tar and tahini.
After our feast, we’ll return to Amman and visit the Wild Jordan Center which sources artisan crafts from around the country. After a bit of free time, we’ll enjoy a Farewell Dinner at Amman’s first farm-to-table, vegetarian friendly restaurant that uses only organic and seasonal ingredients. We’ll bid farewell to our new friends and dream about more adventures to come!
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: departure
Depart any time today from Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). Check out is at 11:00 and if you depart late you can leave your bags at the hotel before your transfer according to your flight schedule.
You'll be paired with a roommate of your same gender unless you request your own room.
$2995 per person - double occupancy
+495 'My own room' option
TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Additional meals, excursions and activities not listed
Alcohol, unless specified
Required travel insurance
About Your Traverse Host
Ashley Blake is an avid traveler, cultural consultant and Traverse Journeys founder with a background in tourism, entrepreneurship and project management. She is a fluent Spanish speaker with conversational Portuguese skills and is just starting to study Arabic. Ashley has worked and traveled in 45 countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa including tours she has designed and led in Spain, Germany, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Morocco, Croatia and China.
Ashley is passionate about connection, communication and coordination in order to link others with the opportunities and experiences that promote self-growth and community engagement.
Ashley explored Jordan with our local guide Jawad in 2019 and is super excited to bring people to this incredibly safe, beautiful and hospitable destination filled with expansive wilderness, friendly locals, and ancient history.
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