Jordan’s wilderness is astonishing and truly the best way to fully appreciate this biblical land is on foot. The route from Dana to Petra is considered to be one of the finest multi-day hikes in the Middle East. With our experienced local guide and Bedouin crew we trek from Dana Nature Reserve through remote canyons and alongside near-vertical gorges, experiencing wilderness camping in breathtaking wadis (or oases). The trek has been dubbed the “Inca Trail of the Middle East” and your first view of Petra’s Monastery evokes similar feelings of awe when arriving on foot at one of the world’s great wonders. We explore the colonnaded street of Petra, the theatre and finally the magnificent Treasury before heading to Wadi Rum and the land of Lawrence of Arabia. Harsh and inhospitable, this raw but spectacular landscape is superb for exploration by jeep and on foot. We climb to the famous rock arch at Burdah Bridge and trek through the rugged Rakebak Canyon. We return to Amman via the Red Sea coast, with a swim further on in the Dead Sea, providing a fine finale to this amazing adventure.
- Discover one of the finest multi-day hikes in Jordan, dubbed the “Inca Trail of the Middle East”
- Trek from Dana Nature Reserve to the ancient city of Petra
- Explore the magnificent Treasury and other wonders in Petra
- Enjoy Wadi Rum, the spectacular desert landscape of Lawrence of Arabia
- Take a dip in the Dead Sea
- Experience wilderness camping in breathtaking wadis (or oases)
- Walk through remote canyons and alongside near-vertical gorges
Day 1 Join Amman overnight in Madaba
If you are arriving on Day 1, you will be met on arrival at Queen Alia International Airport and transferred to the group hotel in Madaba. Rest of the day is spent at your leisure. Madaba is best known for its beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the ‘Madaba Map’, a 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. A remarkably well detailed layout of the region which is made up of two million pieces and shows the Nile, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Day 2 Drive to Fynan and commence the Dana Trek to Petra (14 kms; 5 – 7 hours)
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the Dana Nature Reserve (approx 195kms drive), which is one of Jordan’s loveliest conservation and wilderness areas; a pioneer of responsible tourism in the Middle East. Commence Wadi Dana Trail, which is a spectacular downhill walk from Dana to Feynan through the sandstone gorge of Wadi Dana. Overnight camping at Wadi Feynan. (Please note that campsites for days 2 – 5 inclusive are very basic, with no permanent ablution facilities provided.)
Day 3 Trek to Wadi Barwas (16 km; approx 6 hours)
Starting at around 300m, this 6-hour route goes through stony desert with spectacular views of the high mountain ranges to the east, and the vast Wadi Araba Desert to the West. The morning part of the trek covers several small hills, before heading out across open desert towards Wadi Barwas. We’ll sit down for lunch and rest, before heading further in towards the foot of the mountains to reach our camping spot at 380m, and spend the night under a fantastic starry sky. Overnight camping.
Day 4 Trek to Ras el Feid (approx 10 kms; 6-8 hours)
Into the foot of the mountains, today’s route will ascend steeply across rocks and small boulders through a twisty track, going high into the mountain. This section is challenging and takes around 3 hours, we are rewarded with stunning views west in to Wadi Araba. We will continue up over a high saddle, before descending to the river valley of Wadi Feid following a small goat track. We will walk for another 1km to reach Ras el Feid (about 800m) where we’ll find our crew has set up our next camp. Overnight camping.
Day 5 Trek to Shkaret Msei’d (15 kms; 8-9 hours)
We will start trekking this morning along the river bed through dense vegetation, and will gradually climb up the hills following Bedouin shepherds paths, to uncover more of the spectacular views over the desert below. The trail continues by descending and following the wadi up with gentle climbs to reach our camping spot at Shkaret Msei’d (about 1000m). Overnight camping.
Day 6 Trek to Little Petra, overnight in Bedouin Camp (14 kms; 5 hours)
For today’s morning trek, the scenery will change from deep wild wadies to open colourful sandstone hills with a variety of trails. The Nabatean influence starts to appear by cut steps. The tracks will ascend through the sandstone domes with some short scrambles, before an easy descent into Beidha on 4WD tracks to reach the Ammarin Bedouin Campsite (about 1050m). Overnight bedouin camp.
Day 7 Trek to Petra (approx 12kms/ 4 hrs to Monastery; 4-5 hrs exploring Petra)
After breakfast, we will hike to Petra, and enter the site from the Monastery (Al Deir). The soul-stirring, rose-red city of Petra is chief among Jordan’s archaeological riches, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Petra is the legacy of the Nabateans, an industrious Arab people who settled in south Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. The view of Petra’s most spectacular monument, the Khaznet al-Faraoun, or Treasury, is a dramatic sight. Used in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this towering facade is only the first of Petra’s unique structures. Various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, facades, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples and haunting rock drawings and reliefs. At the end of the day, we will exit the site through the Siq, a 1km long narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs. Transfer to the group hotel for overnight. Note: Your entry ticket into the city of Petra includes a horse ride into or out of the site and you will have the option to ride a donkey from the end of the Siq. In line with our commitment to animal welfare in tourism we encourage you to walk, rather than ride a horse and donkey. There have been a number of instances where travellers have been upset by the treatment of the horses and donkeys by their handlers.
Day 8 To Wadi Rum for jeep exploration, Burrah Canyon and Burdah Bridge, overnight in Bedouin Camp
We leave Petra this morning and drive for about an hour and a half (approx 120kms) to the Wadi Rum, a unique valley of colored sand dunes surrounded by beautiful rugged mountains. This is true ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ country and has some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world – a desert where black, wind-sculpted sandstone hills contrast sharply with the pale sands. Many describe this area as the Valley of the Moon. On arrival we will meet our Bedouin hosts, and transfer by jeep to visit the Seven Pillars of Wisdom – named after the book by T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia); Khazali Canyon – a deep, narrow fissure in the mountain side containing many rock inscriptions; Sand Dunes – an area of sand piled up against the mountains, which are fun to climb, and have many desert adapted plants; and Burrah Canyon – a long, deep canyon between dramatic mountains. After a picnic lunch near Burdah Bridge or another convenient location we will be transferred to our bedouin camp for overnight and dinner. At the time of booking, there is an option to upgrade to a Martian Dome Tent – additional supplement applies; subject to availability. (NOTE: the vehicles/ jeeps used in Wadi Rum are basic. They are built for purpose, that being to handle sandy desert tracks. They are owned and maintained by the local Bedouin people as part of local tourism initiatives.)
Day 9 Trekking through Um Rashed and Rakebak Canyon to Rum village, drive to Aqaba
We will start trekking through Um Rashed Canyon; Wadi Um Eshrine – a large valley next to Jabal Um Ishrin with beautiful sand dunes; and visit the Anfisheyh Inscriptions. After lunch, we will continue hiking to Rakabet Canyon, which lies 3 km due east of Rum village. It will take approximately 2 hours to trek through the canyon and reach Wadi Rum Village in the late afternoon. We will then be transferred by vehicle to the Red Sea town of Aqaba. Overnight hotel.
Day 10 Morning in Aqaba to swim and snorkel, drive to Dead Sea for swim and return to Madaba
After breakfast we will drive north alongside the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth (approx 360kms). We will have time for lunch and a dip in the famously buoyant waters, which have a saline level around 30 per cent. Then we will continue to the group hotel in Madaba for overnight.
Day 11 Transfer to airport in Amman, trip concludes
Trip concludes after breakfast. Transfer to the airport for anyone leaving Jordan today. Additional nights accommodation and private airport transfers on any other day can be arranged for extra cost.
- 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners
- airport transfers (day 1 and 11 only)
- 4 nights in 3 star hotels on a twinshare basis
- 2 nights in Bedouin camp on a twinshare tent basis (option to upgrade one night in Wadi Rum to a Martian Dome Tent – additional supplement applies; subject to availability)
- 4 nights fully supported camping on a twinshare tent basis
- group camping equipment during Dana trek including tent (sleeping bag and mat not included)
- English speaking local guides throughout
- 4WD support during treks
- Wadi Rum 4WD tour
- entrance fees and sightseeing as listed in itinerary
- private transport
Images courtesy of World Expeditions
WEX – JDT