Explore Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories
from $5625
Duration: 15 Days
Delve into Israel and Jordan, holy lands rich with history and an oasis of delight and intrigue in the desert. This trip will see you wandering the immense ruins of Petra and exploring a lunar-like landscape at Wadi Rum. Take your time to explore ancient monuments, relics and holy sites of immense significance, visit hill-top fortifications and climb the Mount of Olives for the best view of Old Town Jerusalem. Immerse yourself in this journey across the best of the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of this enduring land and its people.
  • Explore the best of the Middle East as you discover Jordan and Israel. Explore Wadi Rum, wander the ruins of Petra and indulge in some serious history across Israel and Palestine.
  • Check out the rock-cut tombs and the remains of the ancient city of Petra.
  • Learn the stories behind some of the most challenging and poignant works of graffiti that decorate the barrier wall in Bethlehem during a walking tour.
  • Access the glowing blue grottoes of Rosh Hanikra by cable car, then enjoy views over the Mediterranean Coast of Western Galilee.
  • Spend the night trying to count the billions of stars or chat with the locals at our Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
  • Wadi Rum - Guided trek
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
  • Petra - Second day entrance (no guide)
  • Kerak - Kerak Castle
  • Mt Nebo - Mt Nebo visit
  • Dead Sea - Dead Sea visit
  • Jerash - Roman ruins
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Bethlehem - Grafitti Walking Tour
  • Jerusalem - Yad Yashem Jewish Holocaust Memorial
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Masada - Masada visit
  • Akko - Knights Fortress Visit
  • Rosh Hanikra - Cable Car & Grottoes
  • Caesarea - Roman Amphitheatre & Aqueduct
  • Day 1 Location: Amman
    Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome to Jordan’s capital, Amman – cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. As you don’t spend too much time here, it's worth arriving a day or two early to explore the sights. If you do have time, be sure to head to the citadel, taking in its amazing sweeping views of Amman. The Jordan Museum (home to the Dead Sea Scrolls) and the Roman Theatre are both well worth visiting. After your meeting, head out with your new-found travel pals, and perhaps pick up a coffee from one of the cafes and partner it with an ara’yes – a local-style toastie filled with spiced meat.
    Day 2 Location: Wadi Rum
    Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a journey to Wadi Rum (approximately 5 hours). A half-day jeep safari will take you through some of the most striking desert scenery on the planet. Wadi Rum is full of weird and wonderful 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, sleep in a simple Bedouin desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. Enjoy dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin hosts. 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 thought to have Bedouin ancestry. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts as well as the chance to sleep beneath the twinkling desert night sky will sure make up for it.
    Day 3 Location: Wadi Rum
    After waking up in the unique surrounds of the camp this morning, head out on 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 valley – the perfect chance to snap some unbelievable pictures. Explore the distinctive rock formations and bask in its eerie silence. 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. Tonight is again yours to enjoy the traditional Bedouin hospitality and the clear night skies of the desert.
    Day 4 Location: Petra
    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 aimed at supporting local industries. Continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra by private vehicle (approximately 2 hours). The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt – a Swiss explorer. In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage-listed site. Once arrived, spend the afternoon on a 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 complex. It’s amazing to think that this enormous, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock.
    Day 5 Location: Petra
    Enjoy a free day of self-discovery as you explore Petra on your own. The site is surprisingly big, and so it is up to you to choose your own route around the complex. You could explore the old Roman road, other smaller temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. For those who are feeling a bit more active, there's the challenging but highly rewarding 1-hour walk up the steps to the secluded yet stunning Monastery.
    Day 6 Location: Madaba
    Traverse 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 ruins and discover the legends of centuries-old battles. Pack your swim gear as next you can wash off the dust in the Dead Sea – the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This super-salty lake is a perfect place to spend some time relaxing and get some classic floating pictures. For those who are game, why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. 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 fourth-century church. Afterwards, continue to Madaba, famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the acclaimed sixth-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces from the fifth to seventh centuries can be found throughout Madaba’s churches, museums and homes.
    Day 7 Location: Madaba / Jerash
    Today you will leave Madaba for a short drive to Jerash – once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world (approximately 1.5 hours). These are some of the best-preserved Greco-Roman ruins around. 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 columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza. After a full day of exploring, maybe gather your travel buddies together and share a celebratory shisha as you reminisce on your memories of majestic Jordan.
    Day 8 Location: Jerusalem
    This morning we farewell Jordan and make the hour journey to the Alenby Bridge Crossing for your onwards journey to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Your Tour Leader will escort you to the crossing and provide you with instructions for the border officials. Once you have cleared the border there will be a representative to escort you to your hotel in Jerusalem. Welcome to Israel and Jerusalem, a city steeped in spirituality and legend; a rich tapestry of the many cultures, religions and nationalities that call it home, be they Palestinian Muslims & Christians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your arrival at the hotel should be just in time for lunch and the rest of your day is free to explore Jerusalem. We recommend checking out the range of tours on offer from Urban Adventures. There will be a meeting this evening at 6.00pm with your Tour Leader and any fellow travelers, please look for this note in reception
    Day 9 Location: Jerusalem
    Explore the Old City this morning on foot. Start with the Courtyard of the Dome and the Western Wall, then continue to St Stephen’s Gate, passing the crusader church of St Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. Continue along the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) and stop by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, buried and resurrected. Perhaps stop and recharge and sip on sweek tea or sample fresh local bread and then walk through the Christian Quarter up to Jaffa Gate. In the afternoon use your free time to explore more of the city. This evening meet up with your leader and enjoy a home-cooked meal of chicken maqloubeh (an upside-down layered dish) with a Palestinian family. With a full belly, enjoy a traditional oud performance from a local musician.
    Day 10 Location: Jerusalem
    Start the day off with a panoramic view of the city. Drive out to the Mount of Olives that looks over Jerusalem’s Old City and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have prayed the night before his crucifixion. See the Church of All Nations (also known as the Basilica of the Agony), then drive the short distance out to Bethlehem and take a graffiti walking tour along the barrier wall. Graffiti by many artists has graced the wall over the years, including famous ones like Banksy. Continue to Manger Square and consider refuelling with some of Bethlehem’s famous falafel. Visit the Church of the Nativity, marking the spot of the stable where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus, then head back to Jerusalem. Visit the holocaust museum Yad Vashem – your leader may not be licensed to guide in the museum or may not be comfortable doing so; if this is the case then an audio guide will be provided. Later, meet a local rabbi for a lively and informative discussion about the Israel–Palestine conflict, Jewish tradition and peace processes.
    Day 11 Location: Jericho
    This morning drive out to the cliff-top fortress of Masada. On the way your leader will make a few stops; each leader has their favourite photo spots and stories to tell so we leave it up to them to share what they love. Arrive in Masada and take a cable car to the fortress built by King Herod around 35 BC. This UNESCO site is very important to the Jewish people as a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. Spend some time visiting the site, then drive around 30 minutes to the shores of the Dead Sea, where the dense and super-salty water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Spend some time relaxing here and soaking in the mud, which is supposed to have healing properties. Tonight you’ll stay at an eco-lodge, where the accommodation is part of an NGO, originally a refugee camp and now a community initiative that aims to protect the ecology of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River Valley. On arrival your host will speak about the environmental situation in the valley, and the work they are doing in waste management and water conservation. If there's time after your included dinner, take an optional sunset hike – a 2-hour walk to a farm to enjoy some light refreshments and some local conversation. 
    Day 12 Location: Haifa
    Travel to the western shores of the Sea of Galilee and historic Tiberias, established all the way back in AD20. Visit the ancient fishing village of Capernaum. See the site of two ancient synagogues and a church said to have been the home of St Peter. Stop by Tabgha, where the Bible says Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, then head up to Safed (Tsfat), one of Judaism’s Four Holy Cities, which is over 900 metres above sea level. Continue to Nazareth to take a stroll through the Old City and visit the Church of the Annunciation, where Mary is said to have received the news of the Immaculate Conception. Hit the road again and arrive in Haifa for the evening.
    Day 13 Location: Haifa
    This morning travel to Rosh Hanikra  (1 hour's drive) where white cliffs meet the blue sea. This little beauty of natural geography is tucked away on the border with Lebanon and is usually a highlight for everyone. Take the cable car up the cliff to view the spectacular grottoes. Continue to the ancient crusader port of Acre (Akko in Hebrew), where you’ll visit the vast complex of buildings occupied by the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller), excavated to uncover rooms including a large hall, a dungeon, a dining room and the crypt of an ancient Gothic church. Perhaps a good place to have lunch and relax before returning to Haifa. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time. You may want to visit the Baha’i Gardens, where the elaborate terraces and a golden shrine sit overlooking the city. There are some great produce markets and excellent restaurants nearby, just ask your leader for recommendations.
    Day 14 Location: Tel Aviv
    After breakfast, journey to Tel Aviv via the coast and tour the ancient port of Caesarea (approximately 1 hour), which served as the capital of Israel during the Roman and Byzantine eras. Built in 25 BC, the city was eventually abandoned and lost under the desert sands. Thanks to archaeological excavations since, its splendour is on show once again. Continue along the coast to Tel Aviv. Take a stroll through the Old City of Jaffa, then drop your luggage at tonight’s accommodation. Head out on an orientation walk with your leader, taking in Rabin Square. Finish up your walk at the promenade, the perfect place to find a restaurant for dinner this evening, or enjoy a farewell drink at your hotel with your leader and fellow travellers and try the local boutique beer.
    Day 15 Location: Tel Aviv
    This trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time after you check out. Getting to the airport is very simple and easy by public transport with buses nearby taking you to the train station and connecting to the airport. Private transfers are available to pre-book with Intrepid.
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    Departure Date:
    12DEC2020
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    26DEC2020
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    Last modified (date)

    23 Sep 2020

    Trip title

    Explore Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories

    Trip code

    EESRC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Delve into Israel and Jordan, holy lands rich with history and an oasis of delight and intrigue in the desert. This trip will see you wandering the immense ruins of Petra and exploring a lunar-like landscape at Wadi Rum. Take your time to explore ancient monuments, relics and holy sites of immense significance, visit hill-top fortifications and climb the Mount of Olives for the best view of Old Town Jerusalem. Immerse yourself in this journey across the best of the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of this enduring land and its people.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Private vehicle,Jeep

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    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.

    Joining point

    The Art Hotel

    32 King Faisal street, Down town, Amman, Jordan 11118

    Amman

    JORDAN

    Phone: 962 64638900

    Joining point description

    The Art Hotel is a new hotel located just a 5 minute cab ride from the nightlife of Rainbow street as well as a 10 minute stroll from landmarks such as the Roman amphitheater, the Jordan Museum and the Citadel. Hotel facilities include .The hotel has WiFi and all rooms come equipped with private bathroom, TV, and Air-conditioning.

    Joining point instructions

    The Art Hotel Downtown is roughly 40kms from Amman's Queen Alia Airport - around a one hour drive (traffic permitting). A private arrival transfer is available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Please speak to your booking agent for more information. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer, please ensure you have provided Intrepid with your arrival flight details at least 15 days before the departure of your trip. On arrival, please look out for our representative holding a board with your name at the arrival terminal. If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs (as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at the same time). Please call Suleiman on the following number: (+962) 7 9554 4854. If you are making your own way to the hotel, a taxi journey will set you back around USD$30-$40. Alternatively the Express Bus is available as a public transport option. This has two stops: first stop is 7th Circle and the second one is North Complex. It costs $6.00 Per Person. Get off at the North Complex (Tabarbour bus station) and from the bus station, take a taxi to the city centre as it's the most affordable way to get around the city. As a guide, it doesn't normally cost more than a few Jordanian Dinars from the bus station to locations in town.

    Finish point

    Beer Garden Boutique Hotel

    Yona HaNavi St 35,

    Tel Aviv

    ISRAEL

    Phone: +972 774566038

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 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. ITINERARY 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. SPECIAL INFORMATION – DEPARTURES MARCH, APRIL AND MAY 2020 Due to the closure of the border to the West Bank as a result of COVID-19 virus concerns and decisions implemented by the Ministry of Health, your departure may not be able to visit Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square and we are not able to stay in Jericho/Jordan River Valley. Alternative Itinerary: DAY 10 – We have included a visit to the Herodion National Park, an impressive fortress built by Herod the Great, also the place where he was buried; from here you have a great view of the West Bank and Jerusalem. DAY 11 – As we will no longer be able to spend the evening in the eco-lodge in the Jordan River Valley, we have added an extra night in Jerusalem with an afternoon tour of the Machane Yehudi Market with your leader. These changes will remain in place until the Palestinian Territories Authority reopens its borders. Please consult a booking agent for further information. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page: www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts

    Group leader

    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. Due to the vast historical significance of the region, your Tour Leader in the Middle East will also be a Local Tour Guide and will be licensed, registered and trained in accordance with local authorities to provide full guiding services through out your Middle East Adventure. This trip is made of two smaller trips connected by an international border crossing. You will be travelling with different Leaders on each trip who are local to their destination. You will  not have an accompanying  Leader during your border crossing and it will be necessary to carry your luggage through the customs checkpoints. There will be a departure tax payable when leaving Jordan this fee will be 10 JD. If you do not wish to have any Israel stamps in you passport please ask the Jordanian Officials not to stamp your passport when exiting. Israeli Officials generally do not stamp.

    Safety

    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-guidelines

    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.

    WOMEN'S SAFETY Women should exercise caution when travelling in the Middle East. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: *As with all travel, it’s important to use common sense and be vigilant. * Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home. * Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day. * We recommend not accepting invitations from locals to guide you through a temple or show you the local sights. * Consider booking any pre or post tour activities with a reputable tour operator, we do not recommend reserving a local driver with your hotel which often translates to local taxi drivers. We encourage you to call our local team for further advice on additional touring options. * If hotel staff need access to your room for any reason, request that they do this while you are out, or wait at reception while they attend to any cleaning or repairs. For the protection of both our customers and staff, our leaders worldwide are not permitted to be alone in a room with a group member. * Always take a hotel card with you when going out so you know the address and contact numbers. * Should you encounter any inappropriate behavior, inform your leader straight away. * For further information and advice, visit: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/pages/female-travellers.aspx www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/sup

    Visas

    PASSPORT 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 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. JORDAN 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. ISRAEL: Australia: No - not required Belgium: No - not required Canada: No - not required Germany: No - not required Ireland: No - not required Netherlands: No - not required New Zealand: No - not required South Africa: No - not required Switzerland: No - not required United Kingdom: No - not required USA: No - not required PLEASE NOTE: It is important to be aware that many Arab and Islamic countries deny entry to any person that has evidence of a visit to Israel. Syria, Iran, Libya, Tunisia and several other countries are included in this list. If you are planning to visit any of these countries with the same passport you must request that your Israeli ‘tourist visa’ be stamped on a loose leaf ‘Form 17 L’ instead of in your passport. Likewise, if entering Israel through the land borders with Jordan please ask the Jordanian officials not to stamp an exit stamp in your passport. If you have evidence in your passport of visits to certain Islamic countries, Israeli border officials will scrutinise you regarding the purpose of your visit to Israel. They can sometimes appear difficult and the delay can be lengthy however patience and a friendly demeanor are advised.

    Why we love it

    Explore the best of the Middle East as you discover Jordan and Israel. Explore Wadi Rum, wander the ruins of Petra and indulge in some serious history across Israel and Palestine.

    Check out the rock-cut tombs and the remains of the ancient city of Petra.

    Learn the stories behind some of the most challenging and poignant works of graffiti that decorate the barrier wall in Bethlehem during a walking tour.

    Access the glowing blue grottoes of Rosh Hanikra by cable car, then enjoy views over the Mediterranean Coast of Western Galilee.

    Spend the night trying to count the billions of stars or chat with the locals at our Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.

    Is this trip right for you

    This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. There is a lot of walking around the sights in Jordan, most with out shade, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, please bring comfortable shoes and a hat to make the most of your time at the sights   The weather can be quite cool in winter, please bring clothing you can layer. Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day. As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (eg at 0500). Please be prepared for this: we try to make things as comfortable for you as possible. These destinations can be expensive on the ground and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that you have expert local leaders to help uncover the best deals! Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. 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 is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Don’t be taken back if this tipping culture is even more apparent in Israel.

    Health

    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. DRINKING WATER 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.

    Money matters

    CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East. 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. TIPPING Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life and is more than just a reward for services rendered. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners, 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. TIPPING GUIDE 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. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. 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. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however USD2 to USD3 per person per day is generally appropriate. Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline USD4 to USD5 per person, per day can be used. 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. SHOPPING AND COMMISSIONS  There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. Popular purchases include: gold and silver jewelry, mosaics, dead sea products, local embroidered items and general souvenirs.  While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our customers feedback, there may be opportunities where your trip leader can offer suggestions if you are interested.  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. CURRENCY – Israel and Palestine The currency in Israel in the New Israeli Shekel (NIS).  The shekel is divided into 100 agorot. Coins come in denominations of 10 and 50 agorot (marked ½ shekel) and one, two and five NIS; notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200NIS.  Travelling in Palestine the NIS, the JD (Jordanian Dinar) and the USD are all accepted

    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, 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. • Daypack • 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/ hand sanitizer  • 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.  • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries • Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites   Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals   Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear LUGGAGE LIMIT 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. VALUABLES 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. BATTERIES/POWER 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. RESTRICTED ITEMS 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

    The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country. Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures. Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals and carrying your sleeping bag if travelling in the winter months. WEATHER In summer temperatures are usually between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius. Tel Aviv and Tiberias tend to be hot and humid. Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, particularly at night. Masada & Eilat are extremely hot, often above 40 degrees Celsius. The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. There’s often heavy rain and snowfall around these areas. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months. Temperatures generally range between 10 and15 degrees Celsius during the day. RAMADAN 2020 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. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. 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.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051 Intrepid's Local Operator: +972(0)58690 6428 OR+972(0)52 3327879 Intrepid’s Local Operator: +20 109 6811 067

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel When packing, be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf are fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate. As the countries we visit are Islamic nations, women may find a headscarf useful. 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.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. ACCOMMODATION STYLE Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, three and four star accommodation in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel)  is often not equal to same star facilities in some western destinations. Rooms are clean and comfortable, however you may note some small maintenance issues that have been overlooked, please assist us by bringing these to the attention of your Leader so that we can follow up with our hosts. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. Breakfast is included in 95% or our hotels, pleaser refer to our daily itinerary for meal inclusions. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis.  CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.  Standard check in time is 1400 hours. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. SHOWERS Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water. HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. ROOM ISSUES If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    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. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. As a solo traveller, you will be paired up with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement (available on the majority of our trips). If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES 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 review this information 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 such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 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 maybe 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 in the Group Meeting 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.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (11 nights),Desert camp (2 nights),Eco Lodge (1 Night)

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