The ideal road trip route for your 3-week Jordan impact trip
- Travel to make a positive impact
- Visit undiscovered Northern Jordan
- Try your hand at Jordanian Cooking
During this 3-week Jordan travel adventure you will enjoy a multitude of different experiences. From floating in the Dead Sea and uncover ing the mysteries at Petra to watching the sunset atop sand-dunes and hiking through canyons to discovering some of the oldest civilizations on earth. Here in Jordan it is all possible!
Find out how our local travel expert can help you design your ideal trip
What is impact travel?
Better Places Travel is a social enterprise and certified B Corp. This means that we are committed to making a social impact above making a profit. As a social enterprise we find it important that the people in the countries we work with fully profit from tourism. This means, for example, that the people we work with receive a fair wage and have decent working hours and conditions. For you as traveller it means you’ll often stay in small-scale, locally owned hotels and accommodations and take part in local excursions that offer you a truly authentic experience. We also invest a portion of our profits in various social and environmental projects.
Route Jordan Impact Trip
- Day 1-2: Arrive Amman to Umm Qais
- Day 3: via Jerash to Ajloun
- Day 4: Ajloun to Amman
- Day 5: Amman to Beit Aziz Salt
- Day 6: Beit Aziz Salt
- Day 7: via Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib
- Day 8: Wadi Mujib
- Day 9: The Kings’ Highway to Dana
- Day 10: hike to Feynan – Feynan Ecolodge
- Day 11: Feynan Ecolodge
- Day 12: to Little Petra
- Day 13: Hike Little Petra to Petra
- Day 14: Petra
- Day 15-16: Wadi Rum to Aqaba
- Day 17-18: Aqaba & The Red Sea
- Day 19: to Madaba
- Day 20: Fly back home
Share your travel wishes with Elena and she will send you a tailor-made proposal
Day 1-2: Welcome to Jordan! Arrival Amman – Umm Qais
Arrive at Queen Alia International Airport just outside of Amman for your transfer to Umm Qais.
Make sure you have time for a walk around the stunning ruins of Gadara (the ancient name of Umm Quais) with wonderful guide Ahmad Alomari, whose family used to live in the ancient ruins. Best viewed before sunset as the sky turns pink above the Roman columns that look out onto the Lake of Galilee and into Israel.
Day 3: Jerash – Ajloun
From Umm Qais, head to the epic Roman city of Jerash. Inhabited since Neolithic times (300 BC), this is a world-class heritage site, but without some of the crowds at Petra.
Ajloun Castle and Ajloun nature reserve are not to be missed. Like Mujib and Dana, Ajloun reserve is run by the RSCN (Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature). You can enjoy a stay in one of the chalets at Ajloun, or drop by for a meal to enjoy panoramic views from the terrace onto the forest. The centre at the nature reserve also runs paper, soap and cookie making workshops.
Day 4-5: Amman
Leave Ajloun to head to Amman this morning.
The city of Amman is built on 17 hills – making sure that there’s always a view as you explore this city full of charm. Although Amman is “younger” than many other cities of this part of the world (most buildings are modern), there’s plenty to encourage you to stay longer in Amman.
The citadel (best visited early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun) is the perfect spot for a birds eye view of the city. Dating back to AD180, the two remaining pillars of the Temple of Hercules provide a small taste of the architectural wonders Jordan holds in store.
Get a greater sense of Jordan’s history at the Jordan Museum (one of the best in the region), or for for an assault on the senses head off in search of Amman’s many markets to treat your nose to fresh herbs and spices. Once your legs are weary, head to one of Amman’s many cafes for a tea or Arabic coffee.
Day 6: Iraq al Amir & Salt
Head to the lush valleys to the south of of Amman, for the chance to visit some truly inspiring enterprises that are creating positive impact through tourism.
Visit the off the beaten path town of Salt, a historic town that few foreign visitors make it to. Experience Jordanian hospitality at its best with a stay at the well restored and family run guesthouse: Beit Aziz.
Day 7-8: Dead Sea & Wadi Mujib
Enjoy spectacular views of the Dead Sea as we head further south. Now’s your moment for that float in the world’s saltiest body of water, as well as the lowest point on earth.
Travel on towards Wadi Mujib, part of the Mujib Biosphere Reserve. Wadi Mujib is sometimes referred to as the “Grand Canyon” of Jordan. You can hike through the canyon trail (2km) between April and October along a number of different trails. There’s also a higher trail with views out to the dead sea which is open in winter. Stay at the Mujib Chalets run by Wild Jordan, which overlook the dead sea, for a different way to experience the Dead Sea!
Day 9: The Kings Highway to Dana
Travel along this ancient trade route, used for over the last 3000 years. Make time to stop at Karak, an ancient crusader stronghold. Home to an impressive castle, Karak offers spectacular views out over the mountains and down to the dead sea. An important stopping point on the ancient caravan routes between Egypt and Syria, the town is steeped in history.
Continue your drive through this beautiful stretch of road to our next destination: Dana Reserve.
Day 10-11: Hike to Feynan – stay at Feynan Ecolodge
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest in Jordan and includes a spectacular range of terrain. More than 45 different mammal species live here including gazelles, wolves and red foxes. Dana is the perfect place for a spot of trekking – especially in spring when the wildflowers bloom and the temperatures are not too high. There are a variety of different routes suitable for beginner through to advanced levels of trekking.
Day 12: Little Petra / Ammarin Desert Camp
Tonight we get to experience a truly authentic desert experience, Ammarin Desert camp (http://www.ammarinbedouincamp.com/). Run by the charming Hussein and his team, Ammarin is located near the small town of Beidha, near Little Petra. Enjoy home cooked meals in the traditional way and hear stories about the Ammarin tribe, who run the camp and share in its profits. Complete the experience by sleeping under the stars in traditional bedouin tent!
Day 13-14: Hike from Little Petra to Petra
Set off after a delicious Bedouin breakfast on our hike from Little Petra to its larger cousin – otherwise known as entering Petra by its back door! Our hike is moderate at a total distance of 12km and takes between 3-4 hours.
It would be easy to spend up to a week exploring Petra – so huge it is – but few visitors have that luxury. Depending on the day of the week, you may be able to visit Petra at Night to see the Treasury lit up by atmospheric candles.
The next morning, start out (very) early for your best chance of seeing the Siq (the canyon-like entrance to Petra) and the Treasury with fewer crowds. It’s also best to start early to avoid the midday sun, which can be strong even in winter. Sun block, hats and plenty of water are a must. Petra is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace, wandering between the Nabataean marvels rather than at a brisk trott in search of the “must sees” which quickly gets tiring. The monastery is easily a three hour walk from the Treasury.
Although donkey and camel rides are offered about every 300 meters, not all animals are well looked after. If you do want to take a ride then look carefully at how the animal is being treated and for any signs of beating / malnourishment. Older men tend to take better care of their animals than the young ones. Plastic waste is also problem at Petra and the lack of waste disposal is all too obvious. Make sure not to add to this problem by avoiding plastic bottles or taking yours back to your hotel with you.
Day 15: Wadi Rum
We visit the famous Wadi Rum desert for a desert safari experience and night of stargazing under the desert skies.
Day 16-18: Aqaba & the Red Sea
Famed for its desert and Dead sea, the Red sea at the very southeastern tip of the country often gets overlooked. The red sea, however, remains one of the best scuba diving spots in the world, with many dive sites accessible from Aqaba. Aqaba is also a pleasant town even for those not looking to dive with moderate winter temperatures and a seaside feel.
Day 19: Madaba
As we start our journey back towards Amman, we stop at the market town of Madaba, famous for its collection of Byzantine mosaics. Madaba is also home to one of Jordan’s largest Christian communities, and from here we can explore more highlights of the King’s Highway.
Day 20: Return home
Madaba is just 20 minutes from the main airport of Queen Alia, meaning there’s no need to circle back to Amman.
Local community experience
Umm Qais is sure to start your trip to beautiful Jordan on the right note. Stay at a small guesthouse, Beit al Baraka and get to meet some true local artisans and entrepreneurs who have come together to create experiences for visitors that give back to the community. Wake up to probably the best breakfast you’ve ever had, attend a bee-keeping workshop with Youssef, learn to cook Makloubeh (“upside down”) with Gasloum or go for a hike along the River Jordan Valley.
Empowering women & protecting nature
On your way into Jerash, consider stopping at Beit Khairat Souf, a local enterprise focused on empowering women and protecting the local environment. Enjoy a homemade breakfast or lunch with them, and work it all off on a bicycle ride around the local area if you have time!
Round up your time in Amman with a visit to Beit Sitti for a trip to the vegetable market and cooking class you won’t forget. Beit Sitti is a cooperative bringing opportunities to local women through tourism.
Visit Iraq-al-Amir, a small village surrounded by beautiful scenery and caves that is home to a women’s cooperative. The Cooperative provides training for local women in production of handicrafts and support for them as entrepreneurs. The Cooperative center has played a significant role in achieving greater equality for women in surrounding rural communities. Have lunch with the ladies from Iraq al Amir or join them for a pottery class before travelling on to Salt.
Our accomodation is none other than award winning Feynan Ecolodge; frequently rated as one of the world’s best ecolodges. The mantra of Feynan is “helping nature, helping people” through its commitment to community-based projects and the environment. Around half of all revenue is returned to the community and many locals are directly employed by the lodge.
Share your travel wishes with Elena and she will send you a tailor-made proposal
Sustainable Development Goals
At the end of 2015, the United Nations set up 17 global goals to bring an end to poverty, inequality and climate change: the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals set guidelines to make the world a better place for everyone. At Better Places Travel, we believe that by travelling in a responsible way, tourism can make the world a better place. The great thing about responsible travel? Making the world a better place is goes hand-in-hand with making memories and having unique and authentic travel experiences. Want to know how you can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals while travelling? Click here to learn more.
Book a Direct Flight
By booking a direct flight you significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of your trip. And that’s just one of the many reasons to choose for a non-stop flight. Read more
We strive to make all our trips plastic-free by 2020. This means no more use of single-use plastic bottles. As a traveller you will on average use 15 water bottles per person in one week! This leads to a large amount of plastic waste, which unfortunately often ends up in the sea. Have a look at our many practical tips on how to reduce your plastic waste while travelling. Read more
Better Places Travel compensates the CO2 emissions of your entire trip, including the international flight you book separately. We use an award-winning carbon calculator to accurately compensate for all parts of your trip. We do this by investing in a Gold Standard project for efficient cooking appliances in Ghana. Read more