Oman & Jordan Discovery
Adventure from portside Muscat and Muttrah into the heart of Oman's richly coloured past. Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that makes this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses. The treasures aren't all man-made: trip to the blazing remote landscapes of Wahiba Sands for a desert getaway with the Bedouins, and soak up breathtaking canyon views at Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf before returning to the seaside capital and travelling to the cosmopolitan city of Amman, explore Jordan's mystic desert landscapes in Wadi Rum, visit the stunning ruins of Petra and trek to the remote hilltop village of Dana on this enriching and exciting tour of Jordan. With cultural gems, ancient artefacts and warm hospitality waiting around every corner, Jordan is an enthralling and magnetic land to visit.
Ages: 15 - 99
Accommodation: Hotel (11 nights), Desert Camp (3 night)
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. You will be treated “to warm Omani Welcome” with coffee and dates after which your Leader will provide you with a short orientation to point out the facilities and services around your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to make you own discoveries, or try one of the recommended restaurants for a local dinner
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Then drive down to the busy fishing harbour at Muttrah, with its quaint wooden dhows and fishing boats, stop at the bazaar (souq) where you can mingle with the locals and browse the silver and spice shops. Also see the two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani, which guard the entrance to the city. A very special lunch today; The Sidab Women's Group is one of the unique models in empowering women through establishing a project that benefits the participants. It is an environment-friendly project that is based on the manufacturing of environmentally friendly bags that replace plastic bags. We learn about the centre and enjoy some home cooked Omani Food before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon
Your adventure starts this morning. As we will be returning to the starting point hotel you may want to consider storing some of your luggage at the hotel in Muscat and packing lighter for your five day 4x4 Tour. Drive through the spectacular rugged landscapes to Hawiyat Najim Park the location of the Bimmah Sinkhole a picture-perfect sink hole formed due to limestone erosion. The turquoise waters make an excellent stop to paddle the feet. We spend 30 minutes here before continuing to Wadi Shab. Due to accessibility issues, we will only be stopping at Wadi Shab for a photo stop and to enjoy a refreshing break, we will then continue to Wadi Tiwi Wadi Tiwi is known as the wadi of nine villages, emerald pools and thick date plantations; we drive to the viewpoint to enjoy incredible vistas of the wadi before taking an easy walk past pools and palms and through the village. We continue Ras al Jinz for the evening. Check into our hotel located on the beach and enjoy some free time before an early dinner. This evening we make the short journey to Ras All Jinz Turtle Reserve. The easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important turtle-nesting site for the endangered green turtle. Over 20,000 females return annually to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs. Our excursion this evening is conducted in conjunction with the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and Research Centre by their experienced guides the area is under government protection and the only way to see the turtles is to join this tour. Upon arrival at the centre we will be advised if the activity will commence or not, this is a reserve and the turtles are not captive so it is up to mother nature if there will be turtles for viewing or not. Most nights there are at least one or two turtles with many more present between July and September. We don’t like to disappoint but there is a small possibility that the tour will not commence in which case your tour Leader will inform our office and an alternative activity will be arranged during your tour.
Pack you swimmers and towel this morning. After breakfast, we make a stop in Sur, and important city in Oman's maritime past before driving to the palm-lined Wadi Bani Khalid. Follow a well-worn path into the heart of this rocky oasis and discover a big pool that offers both visual and physical refreshment, particularly in the hotter months, enjoy some free time here and perhaps some lunch in the local restaurant. For those who want adventure of the more active type you can make the short 20 minute hike to Muqil cave, the path can be slippery and your Tour Leader will let you know conditions at the time; we do not recommend entering into the cave but the walk itself is very scenic and offers some more deserted pools. After departing the Wadi we make a brief stop to deflate our tyres a little as we make our way to Wahiba Sands, we check into our camp and make the exhilarating drive over the dunes to watch a desert style sunset. In the evening, enjoy some traditional music over dinner, around an open fire, under the stars. Notes: Activities are arranged at the discretion of camp management, and some may not be available during low occupancies and off-season periods.
Head north to Ibra, which was one of the oldest cities in Oman, and once the centre of trade, religion, education and art. Wednesday is Women’s Market in Ibra, we take a stroll through the market which is predominantly operated by women, stalls offer fabrics, dresses, dressmaking materials, henna, honey and much more. Continue to old Ibra and take a walk through the old crumbling mud brick houses for a taste of historical life. Then its over to Jabrin Castle, which is considered one of the finest and most picturesque Castles in the whole country. Often referred to as Jabrin Fort, it is indeed a castle as it was designed as a residence, with beautiful carved wooden doors and ornate lattice work. Continue to Nizwa with a stop at Bahla viewpoint.
Check out the Nizwa Fort and Souk this morning. Nizwa Fort was built over a span of 12 years in the 17th century by Sultan bin Saif al Yaruba, the first imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty, the fort boasts a 40m tall tower with stellar views of the date palm plantations. Spend some free time in the souk before travelling to Misfat Al Abyreen a unique mountainous village located 1,000 m above sea level on the mountain foothills. The village has amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks. Enjoy a short trek into the village where you can see the famous falaj network (the old Omani water distribution system. We continue to Al Hamra one of the oldest villages in Oman at the foot of the Hajar Mountains we take a walk around the mud brick houses before continuing our journey onwards and upward to Jebel Shams, stopping on the way for amazing views of the Hajar Mountains and Omans highest point. Even on the hottest days, it's nice and cool up here. On arrival, check into your hotel.
After breakfast, check out Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’, with a short soft trek along what is referred to as the balcony walk which circumferences the “Grand Canyon of Oman” then it’s back in the vehicles as we make our accent to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon and what is called the ‘snake gorge’ in the middle of the steep mountain cliffs. This is a stunning part of Oman, with fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. The 36 km scenic drive is over gravel road with twists and turns and offers off road adventure but at a relaxed and soft pace. Please note this drive through “snake gorge” is subject to weather conditions and if wet it may not be possible in which case an alternative route will be taken. Drive to the town of Nakhl, and see its fully restored fort on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat for the night. Today we spend a lot of time travelling off road and due to road conditions and weather timing may change at short notice, this means that lunch may be a little later. We recommend grabbing some snacks for the journey.
Travel to Jordan. Although the flight is not included, a complimentary departure transfer to Muscat Airport and a complimentary arrival transfer in Amman are included with your trip. Please remember to let your booking agent know your flight details to confirm this service. On arrival at Amman Queen Alia International Airport , you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Amman at any time. There will be an important welcome meeting in the evening, usually at around 6 pm. The afternoon is your free time to relax or start exploring the city of Amman. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a journey to the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum, a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains (approximately 5 hours). A 4-hour jeep safari will take you through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet, a true highlight of this trip. Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations, and traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum are those carved by nature – the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks. Tonight you’ll sleep in a simple desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. Enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin hosts. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts is legendary and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky. Notes: A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. Western-style toilet facilities are available, solar panel showers are available.
After waking up in the unique surrounds of the Bedouin camp this morning, you will enjoy a trek around the area (approximately 12 to 15 kilometres), with a stop for tea and a lunch break. You might scale one of the large sand dunes for sensational views of the surrounding area. This is the perfect chance to snap some unbelievable pictures. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place, where great gouts of rock on a carpet of bright red sand have been eroded into fantastical gnarled shapes. Explore the distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence of this lunar-like landscape. Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. You’ll get to spend another memorable night in the desert camp with your new Bedouin friends. Meaning ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is though to have Bedouin ancestry. This might explain the legendary hospitality of the Jordanians – in traditional Bedouin culture, a huge onus is placed on taking in and feeding any visitor, and so you’ll enjoy brilliant hospitality while you’re here in this incredible place. Notes: Please make sure you have appropriate, sturdy, comfortable footwear for this trek.
This morning you'll leave your desert camp, taking 4WDs to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative that is aimed at supporting traditional local industries. You will then continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra (approximately 2 hours) by private van. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here. Spend the afternoon of Day 4 on Guided Tour of Petra. Squeeze through a mile-long narrow path, known as the Siq, through huge towers of rock and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury – it’s impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. It’s amazing to think that this awesome, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock.
Enjoy a free day of self-discovery as you explore Petra on your own. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheater. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning Monastery (approximately 1 hour).
Travel the King's Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak, which stands on a cliff commandingly overlooking Wadi Karak and the Dead Sea in the distance (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll have time to explore the evocative ruins and discover the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies led by the Arab hero, Saladin. Pack your swim gear as next you can wash off the dust from exploring with a dip like no other. Drive to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Spend some time relaxing here and get some classic floating pictures. The mud here is supposed to have healing properties, so why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Towels are available for hire. Continue to Mt Nebo, the spot where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the ‘promised land’ and where he’s supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th-century church. Thirty minutes down the road is the historical town of Madaba, famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the famous 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces found within churches and the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flora and fauna, as well as scenes from mythology and daily life. Literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba’s churches and homes.
Today you will leave Madaba for a short drive north (approximately 75 minutes) to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world. These are some of the best preserved Greco-Roman ruins around. The city thrived due to its position on the route of the spice and incenses trade, and it reached its zenith as a favourite of the emperor Hadrian around AD 130. The ancient walled town that survives today is a remarkable evocation of life 2000 years ago. It has a striking collection of archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets, and is a beautiful place to spend a day exploring. Discover Hadrian’s arch, the partially restored hippodrome, ornate public fountains, the south amphitheatre, and see the collection of daily artefacts uncovered during excavations. Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after uncovering Jerash's riches. After a full day of exploring, maybe gather your travel buddies together and share a celebratory shisha as this Jordan exploration comes to an end.
This trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
- Madaba - St Georges Church
Mutrah Hotel Muscat
Mutrah Street Jibro
Phone: 968 24798401
Aisha Um Al Mu'meneen St
Despite the 'off-road' nature of this trip, it can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Please be aware that any visit to Petra requires a fair amount of walking. The amount of energy you expend there is largely up to you. The program in Wadi Rum involves a jeep safari and a day trek.
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2 and 3 (Wadi Rum) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
Accommodation in Wadi Rum is in Bedouin tents, bedding is provided, but in the colder months November-March you may want to consider bring a sleeping bag. Bathrooms in Wadi Rum are on a share basis.
Petra by night is offered as an optional activity, this activity is currently scheduled to operate on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, please check your departure date if you are planning this activity as it is not available on all departures.
The international flight between Amman - Muscat on day 8 of this itinerary is not included in the price of this trip. Please note when booking flights from Jordan to Oman that early check in may not be available at the starting point hotel and it may be necessary to book a pre-night accommodation to secure access to your room before 2.00pm.
The departure transfer in Jordan and the arrival transfer in Muscat is included in this tour.
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
This trip is made of two smaller trips connected by a non included international flight. You will be travelling with different Leaders on each trip who are local to their destination.
Your connecting flight is your own responsibility. An arrival and departure transfer are included from the departure airport and the arrival airport for your convenience.
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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety
FIRE PRECAUTIONS: 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. BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. 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! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & 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 at night and encourage you to walk in groups 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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
Many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, including UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, USA, Canada and most European nations, certain nationalities are exempt from visa fees including Turkey and the UAE, while others require Visa prior to arrival. We recommend you check this information before arrival with the relevant embassy or consulate in your destination
Visa fees as detailed below.
Single Entry visas are valid for one month: 40JOD (approximately 56USD). Double Entry visas are valid for three months: 60JOD (approximately 85USD)
Exit service fee applies for land and sea border points: 10JOD per passenger.
Please note that there are ATM's available in Amman airport and also currency exchange facilities. Visa fees can also be paid by Eftpos.
If you are travelling on a combination tour from Egypt to Jordan this visa fee does not apply.
As of March 21, 2018, Oman commenced e-visas. That means the only way to get a tourist visa to Oman will be online, and not at a consulate or on arrival in Oman. This applies to all Nationalities.
Visas should be applied within 30 Days of Travel date. Once the visa is issued the visa holder has to enter the country within 30 days. (10 day and 30 day tourist class visas are available based on the duration of the planned stay)
Applications for unsponsored single entry tourist visa have to be submitted individually through https://evisa.rop.gov.om/.
Why we love it
Experience some traditional Omani hospitality with a one-night camping getaway under the stars in Wahiba Sands
Discover Oman's most phenomenal fortresses and mosques, including the beautifully preserved Jabrin Fort
Spend a whole day uncovering the majesty and mystery of the world wonder of Petra. The first glimpse of the Treasury from the narrow path of the Siq is unforgettable
Experience the best weightlessness this side of outer space with an effortless float in the super-salty waters of the Dead Sea
Is this trip right for you
The flight between Oman & Jordan is not included and un-escortedThe flight between Oman & Jordan is not included and un-escortedit's important to show respect by dressing appropriately, even in the heat. Ladies should cover their arms and wear a head scarf; trousers or a long skirt are recommended. Gentlemen are required to wear trousers and long sleeve shirts.
There is quite a bit of walking involved in visiting Jordan's historic sites, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Most of the time there is no shade so remember to bring a hat, sun protection, and sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.
Winters can get quite cool, so if you're visiting at this time, don't forget to pack some warmer layers too.
The desert camp is basic but incredibly memorable. There are tents and shared western bathroom facilities. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.
As tourism is a developing industry in Oman, it is possible your driver will not speak English.
4x4 vehicles are used on most parts of the trip as we travel around Oman. You will travel in convoy style and due to the configuration of the vehicles there may be times where you are not travelling with your leader.
All 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, we reserve 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.
As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
Food and dietary requirements
Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements.
Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.
Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.
MEALS NOT INCLUDED
Depending on the style of trip you have chosen (Basix, Original or Comfort), included meals will vary.
Breakfast. If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.
Lunch. Lunch at a touristy restaurant should cost around USD10 to USD20. However, local street food can be substantially cheaper.
Dinner. At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD15 to USD30 for a main.
These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to eat just local food you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.
Combination Trips – These prices are a guideline average you may find prices a little higher in Jordan and Israel.
CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE
With the exception of Iran, ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East and Turkey. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.
Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.
Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip, they can be a fantastic memento of your trip, and often these purchases help to support local artisans.
Your Leader may suggest visits to different stores during your tour. Rest assured that these vendors have been selected by our team on ground. They provide good service and good quality products at fair market prices. It also means that after sales service is available should you get home and have a problem with your purchase. Some visits may be included as part of your itinerary where we feel the making of the craft is relevant to the destination and interesting for everyone to visit. If this is the case you are under no obligation to purchase anything, simply enjoy the demonstrations and learning about the local craft. We do also encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life and is more than just a reward for services rendered. In countries where wages are extremely low it is an essential means of supplementing income. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners and locals have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.
To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.
- Basic restaurants – Round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loose change is generally fine.
- Up-market restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
- If you are paying for taxis, round up to the fare. If you feel like you're being driven in circles or otherwise ripped off, skip the tip.
- If you have booked a private transfer you may want to consider tipping your transfer. We suggest USD 2 – USD 3 per person
- Felucca boat trips: If you are travelling on an itinerary that includes an overnight Felucca trip up the Nile, we suggest USD3 per person, per day for the boat staff
TIPPING - Leaders and Drivers
you may also want to consider tipping your local leader and drivers for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, we have provided the guidelines listed below. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Leader: USD2 – USD3 per person per day.
Leader: USD4- USD5 per person per day; Driver: USD3- USD4 per person per day
CURRENCY – Oman
The local currency is the Omani rial. The Rial can be divided into a 1000 Baisa. There are plenty of ATMs in Oman, while major credit and debit cards are also widely accepted throughout the country.
CURRENCY – Jordan
The Official currency of Jordan is the Dinar referred to as the (JD). It is made up of 1000 fils. Try to change larger notes as often as possible. Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The USD is also acceptable for souvenir type products. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency.
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, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.
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.
Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.
GENERAL PACKING LIST:
• Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document.
• Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets.
• Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
• Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both.
• Power adaptors
• Insect repellent
• Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
• Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
• Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
• Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
• Wind and waterproof rain jacket
• Toiletries/travel wipes
• Travel Towel
• Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings.
• Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
• Swimwear (itinerary dependant)
• Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities will be widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies in each destination.
On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg.
CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential.
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.
Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line.
We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.
Climate and seasonal
In 2020, the important month of Ramadan or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 23 April through until 23 May, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival or Bayram in Turkey 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.
Ramadan month can differ from country to country and region to region, it can be a wonderful inclusion in your vacation. If you have concerns about travelling at this time, please check with Intrepid or your booking agent before your departure.
A couple of rules
Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.
Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.
The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.
By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.
If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
GENERAL 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.
In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:
Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051
Our Local Intrepid Operator: +968 90174026
Intrepid’s Local Operator: +20 109 6811 067
Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below:
- Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter.
- Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent.
- Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste.
- Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions.
- Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy.
- Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone.
- Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you.
- Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags.
- Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation.
Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.
When visiting a mosque it is imperative that ladies cover their arms and wear a head scarf. It is best that they wear trousers or a long skirt. Gentlemen are required to wear trousers and long sleeve shirts.
The entrance fee to Petra includes a ‘free’ ride on various forms of animal transport and as such you will be offered this transport by a number of local Bedouin on the walk into the ancient city. While free to ride there is a strong expectation that you will need to tip the animals' owners.
In 2018 the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched an international campaign highlighting the mistreatment of working animals in the ancient city of Petra. The animals – horses, donkeys and camels - carry both tourists and supplies to the city and through it.
The situation is a complex one – Jordanian organisations and their international partners are trying to improve the conditions for the animals, and for many local Bedouin this activity provides their only income yet issues around animal cruelty are raised on a regular basis. UNESCO themselves have stated that switching to motorised transport is not the preferred option in the ancient city.
As a responsible travel company we believe that - until conditions improve – our travellers should avoid using any form of animal transport in Petra, and if asked at the ancient city you should politely decline.
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 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.
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. Sharing a room can be a great way to get to know people quickly and make close friends. It just takes a little effort on your part.
A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.
Hotel (11 nights),Desert Camp (3 night)