Explore Jordan and Sleep in a Martian Dome

Marvel at ancient Petra, float in the Dead Sea, snorkel the Red Sea and count shooting stars from your bed in the desert

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Trip Ref #10374

Explore Jordan and Sleep in a Martian Dome

Marvel at ancient Petra, float in the Dead Sea, snorkel the Red Sea and count shooting stars from your bed in the desert

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Jordan

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Mar-May, Aug-Nov

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

ACCOMMODATION

Comfort

Hotel · Guesthouse · Martian Dome

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 30 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Easy

More of a cultural adventure than a physical one. The hikes are fairly short and the pace is easy-going

Hike the mountains that flank the approach to Petra’s ‘backdoor’, before soaking up the secrets of the UNESCO World Heritage Site itself

Bounce through the dunes of Wadi Rum in a desert jeep and catch the kaleidoscope of colours at sunset

Spend the night in a sustainable guesthouse perched above the canyons and wadis of the Dana Biosphere, Jordan’s biggest nature reserve

Marvel at the Milky Way and tuck into a Bedouin barbecue feast at an otherworldy desert camp

Day 1

Touchdown in Jordan

You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the ancient city of Madaba. You're free to check in after 2pm and the evening is free for you to explore the city, your briefing will be tomorrow morning.

Day 2

The Dead Sea to Dana

Hiking

2hrs · 3km · 250m up · 800m down

After breakfast, you’ll hit the road south to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, for a float in the salty water and an optional beachside scrub with the famous mud. Then it’s onto the Dana Biosphere Nature Reserve for a short hike along a circular trail that traverses Al-Barrah, through the Siq, to Shaq al Reesh. Check into your lodge and enjoy sundowners perched on the edge of the precipitous cliffs of Wadi Dana.

Day 3

The backdoor to Petra

Hiking

4 hours · 10km · 500m up · 520m down

Today you’ll start the journey to Petra. Hiking shoes at the ready, you'll cross the desert and pass through Wadi Ghurab amidst the sandstone mountains that guard the approach to Petra. Continue via a Nabataean path onto a natural rock terrace before reaching a hidden plateau high above the impressive chasm of Wadi Siyyagh. Following the steps down to ancient Petra, you'll have plenty of time to soak it all in and learn about its ancient past.

Day 4

Channel your inner Martian

Hiking

2hrs · 4km · 400m up · 400m down

Today you’ll head south to the expansive Wadi Rum desert. You’ll start with a short hike through the 5km Barrah Canyon, one of the most spectacular corners of Wadi Rum, where multi-coloured cliffs and towers flank enormous sand dunes, desert oases and gorges. You’ll pause for an al-fresco hummus-based lunch before hopping on a desert truck to your Martian Dome accommodation. The area has been used in many films such as The Martian and Star Wars so expect it to feel a bit sci-fi as you bed down in your dome for the night, keeping your fingers crossed that the Milky Way puts on a show.

Day 5

Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea

Driving

4hrs

After waking up to the desert sunrise, you'll head to the Red Sea in Aqaba, a port town with views across to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It’s relaxed today as you head out for lunch on a boat, stopping to swim and snorkel in the balmy waters. Vitamin-D fuelled, you’ll jump back on the bus for the road trip to the capital, Amman. Be sure to wander down Rainbow Street, packed full of places to eat, drink and people watch - the perfect place to kick back with your crew and reminisce about your Jordan adventure.

Day 6

Transfer to Airport

After breakfast and final goodbyes with your team, you'll be returned to the airport in time for your flight home.

Included

Guides

Local, professional, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

3 nights in a hotel, 1 in a lodge and 1 in a desert dome

Meals

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 traditional Arabic dinners

Transfers

Both airport transfers and everything in-between

Permits

All your permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Tips for your guides

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Martian Dome · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

For breakfast expect a buffet typical of 3-4-star hotel breakfasts all over the world. For dinner you'll get to experience traditional Arabic food - either Magloobah (rice with vegetables and chicken prepared in a traditional way with local spices) or Mansaf (rice served with lamb and yoghurt). All these dishes come with the classic Hoummus, Mtabbal (fried eggplant), and salad.
Lunches will generally be buffet style and if not included will cost approx $10pp. Dinner (where not included at your overnight spot) will be at local restaurants and will cost approx $15-$20pp. Your guide will be with you to make suggestions of where to eat and to arrange group meals. Dinner at Wadi Rum on night 4 is a real experience. Here they serve the famous Zarb - rice, veggies, lamb and chicken cooked for 4-5 hours under the ground on coal and served with salads and side dishes.
Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just let your host know on booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Martian Dome

You'll spend one night in the heart of Wadi Rum’s majestic desert, sleeping in a Martian Dome at the Sun City Camp. Each dome allows you to marvel at the milky way from your bed - waking up to a desert sunrise is something quite special. You'll stay in twin-share domes by default (king-sized beds available for couples by request), each with air-conditioning, an external bathroom, seating area and terrace.

Dana Biosphere Reserve

You'll spend one night at the Dana Guesthouse. Perched on the edge of the precipitous cliffs of Wadi Dana, this beautifully styled structure offers breathtaking views of the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Every room has its own terrace looking down into the reserve and you can even shower whilst keeping an eye on the skies for the often seen Lesser Kestrel. You'll stay in twin rooms by default but doubles can be requested for couples.

The Dana Guesthouse contributes directly to the preservation of The Dana Biosphere Nature Reserve, an important conservation project established by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Working directly with local villages and Bedouin communities, income-generating projects have been created that utilise the reserve's natural beauty and wildlife to generate employment opportunities. These include small handicraft enterprises and a range of tourism facilities, including the Dana Guesthouse. Such ventures continue to make nature valuable and important to the lives of Dana residents and create a constituency of local support for the reserve.

Madaba, Petra & Amman

During your overnight stays in Madaba, Petra and Amman you'll be tucked up in cosy local hotels. In Madaba, you'll stay in the Mosaic City Hotel or similar. In Petra you'll stay in the centrally located Petra Palace Hotel or similar and in Amman you'll stay in the Toledo Hotel or a hotel of the same standard. The exact hotel you stay in will be confirmed prior to departure based on group size and availability, all hotels are chosen for their excellent reputation, location and welcoming service.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and dome can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

Catch any flight to arrive on Day 1

Ends

Queen Alia International Airport Amman

Depart any time on Day 6

Transfers

Arrival transfers from Amman airport to the hotel in Madaba are included for any time you choose to arrive on Day 1 or Day 2 of the tour (some flights arrive after midnight so fall in the early hours of Day 2). Departure transfers from the final hotel to Amman airport are included for any time you choose to depart on Day 6. If you need a transfer on other days then your host can arrange a private transfer for you, at additional cost. See the Optional Extras section for prices.

Travel options

There are frequent flights to Amman from airports in the UK and Europe. Choose any flight to arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 6 - or extend your stay if you wish. Some flights arrive shortly after midnight - if you arrive in Amman in the early hours of day 2 then your room will be ready and waiting for you but if your flight arrives in the early hours of Day 1, you will need to book an extra night's accommodation before the tour as rooms are not usually available for check-in until the mid-afternoon. Your host can arrange an additional night of accommodation, subject to availability. See the Optional Extras section for more prices.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

  • Day pack (25 litres +) - to carry your personal belongings on the walks
  • Light rain or windproof jacket
  • Dry fit t-shirts or tops (shoulders covered)
  • Hiking trousers or long shorts
  • Buff or neck scarf
  • Hiking boots or shoes (worn in)
  • Hiking socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Pyjamas/something to sleep in
  • Swimwear
  • Flip flops or sandals
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Water bladder or 2 water bottles
  • Sun protection (sun hat, sunglasses and suncreen)
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal first aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Toiletries (inc. travel towel and hand sanitiser)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, wet wipes and ziplock baggies to carry out)
  • Snacks

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Single)

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Madaba (Twin or Double)

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Single)

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Post-trip Accommodation in Amman (Twin or Double)

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Private Airport Transfer to/from Amman or Madaba Hotel (one way)

Payable Before Departure

Private Airport Transfer to/from Amman or Madaba Hotel (one way)

- Claire(December 2022)

A really great trip, highlights were Petra and Wadi Rum. Lovely group of people and Mahmood was outstanding as our leader. A brilliant trip to see the highlights of Jordan and experience the amazing hospitality of local people. Thank you!

- Elena(December 2022)

Awesome trip! Mahmud is the best!!!

- Camilla(November 2022)

This was a fantastic trip that far exceeded our expectations. As an introduction to Jordan, it left us wanting more, always a sign of a good holiday. The itinerary is really varied and we enjoyed the mix of activities. If you can, add a couple more days on each end - we wish we'd seen Jerash, Madaba itself has amazing mosaics, and Amman is a huge and interesting city. Our group included people from 30s to 60s. Others have noted that the hikes are hikes not walks - I would describe it as 'intermediate Lake District' standard - but the 60yos managed fine and the two people who didn't enjoy the hikes were given alternatives. Jordan itself is a beautiful, hospitable country and our guide Amer was a very knowledgeable and entertaining host who really made the trip special. It has left us wanting to book again with MBA.

- Allie(November 2022)

Generally a good trip very enjoyable until one issue arose

- Victoria(November 2022)

This was a great trip - we were amazed by the fantastic things Jordan offers. The hiking was great and the right distance/ challenge - offering stunning views where ever we were. The trip feels a lot longer than 4 days because we crammed so much in. Our group really bonded and had a lot of fun. Or guide, Amer was great and shared lots of history and humour with us! I would recommend adding an extra day and visiting Jerash, which was amazing.

- Louise(October 2022)

This was the most amazing experience- completely blown away by it. The scenery, the accommodation, the people, the food - everything was so good. Mahmoud was our guide and was quite simply a superstar - knowledgeable, patient, unflappable and just great to be around.

We were - purely by chance - a group of 5 women and the dynamic was perfect and Mahmoud was a fantastic part of the team. He also had a very good sense of humour. Lots of laughs alongside the very knowledgeable commentary and professional approach.

I think the highlight was the desert - stunning - and Petra, but hard call as it was all so awesome. The country and the people are so lovely couldn’t have felt safer or more welcome. Hiking and activity was just enough and not overly extreme so lots of chance to really appreciate the experiences. Big thanks to Mahmoud and everyone involved for making it such a wonderful adventure!

- Lauren(October 2022)

This is an exceptional trip. It far surpassed any and all expectations which were pretty huge. Our guide, Mahmood, was an absolute delight. So knowledgeable and went above and beyond to make sure we had the best of every experience. The food was great. The accommodation was great. The views from the lodge rooms at Dana are the best I've had anywhere in the world. The hiking there is perhaps top end of easy but totally manageable. I think the time we spent in the Wadi Rum was one of the best days of my life. Book this trip. It was awesome in the true meaning of the word.

- Nydia(October 2022)

Our guide Mahmood was incredible! He was so knowledgeable and was very nice and outgoing. He has so much passion for what he does and it shows. He was very accommodating and attentive. He was wonderful and made the trip funner. He even gave us a small stargazing walk with some astronomy lectures.

- Leanne(October 2022)

Amazing trip, I loved it! Petra and Wadi Rum are stunning, and our guide Raja was brilliant and so knowledgeable. Would totally recommend.

- Ruth(October 2022)

Our guide Mahmood was excellent. He had fantastic knowledge, had a great sense of humour and made our trip so much fun. The trip itinerary was also fantastic - just brilliant. Could not recommend this trip enough.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 278kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is a relaxed trip that is mostly cultural exploration with a dash of activity. The hiking sections are short and will involve being on your feet for a maximum of 4 hours. What’s more important is being comfortable with heights. There will be a few exposed sections so those with vertigo may not be too comfortable. Your guide will never be far away to help you get through it though.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Jordan is a very sunny country, with over 310 days of sunshine a year. May to October tends to be exclusively sunny with temperatures from the late teens to approx 25°C in the daytime, while the nights are cool and balmy. Rain is unlikely but not unheard of, so do be prepared, especially if travelling between November and March - the plus point being that you are out of the main tourist season so although likely to be a little cooler, you are guaranteed less people at the key sights. The weather in the height of summer (July-August) can get very hot, especially in the desert, with daytime temperatures averaging between 32-36°C

As you will be travelling with a vehicle, your luggage will need to travel with you so we advise keeping it reasonably small and light.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

Guide: $5 per person per day Driver: $3 per person per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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