I have a few questions which would help me put together my Jordan trip; any help and advice would be really appreciated.
I'm travelling alone and am hoping to join up with small groups to do some tours. (I don't want to hire a car or charter a taxi as I'm looking to keep costs down.)
1) Amman to Petra: Instead of taking a bus down the Desert Highway straight to Wadi Musa, do any companies / hotels offer tours starting in Amman and finishing in Petra, going down the King's Highway with stops at Wadi Mujib, the Dead Sea, the Desert Castles and Dana? (If possible, I would actually like to end the day at Dana, then do a hike in Dana the next day, before taking a taxi to Wadi Musa.)
2) Dana trip from Wadi Musa: Are there any tour operators that I can book with online who do trips to Dana from Wadi Musa? If not, where would be the best place to book a trip in Wadi Musa and can anybody recommend a particular hike / trip?
3) Petra: If you buy a 3 day ticket, do you have to visit on 3 consecutive days? Has anyone hiked from Petra to Little Petra - if so, do you definitely need a guide, how long is the hike and how much would a guide cost? Also, is it easy to find a taxi from Little Petra back to Wadi Musa? (Or would a taxi from Wadi Musa to Little Petra, then a hike back to Petra be the better way of doing this?)
4) Wadi Rum: I want to do a 2 or 3 day trip in Wadi Rum - are the tours offered at The Visitors' Centre are just day trips? Assuming I have to book a tour online in advance with one of the Bedouin Guides, can anyone recommend a good company to use? (I'm looking for jeep / hiking and maybe a short camel ride - I'm fine with some easy scrambling, but nothing too strenuous, or with ropes as it will be mid-June when I'm there and I assume it will be very hot! (If anyone fancies joining me in Wadi Rum by the way - please let me know.)
5) Wadi Musa - Amman bus. What times to the busses run back to Amman? (I need to be at Amman airport by 18:00 on a Tuesday in June.)
Mentioned this before in other threads, but asking about tours/operators is asking for spam, especially in the Africa/Middle East, and Asia forums.
But to keep these threads possible, please give details about these aspects by sending a PM to Gecko/Phil.
We did this trip taking small minivans (shared taxi with locals), buses and hitching. Getting around in Jordan is not always so straightforward. Better to inquire locally beforehand unless you find more info on schedules from other travellers, forums.
I guess you look more for tours - you will always find something locally as well, especially at Petra (Wadi Musa), Aqaba or Wadi Rum. There are plenty of agencies in Aqaba.
We trekked from Little Petra back to Wadi Musa. I recommend taking a taxi to Little Petra and start your trip from there back to Wadi Musa. If you do it the other way around, you may not find a taxi to take you back to town.
We did it without a guide just joining up some other adventurous fellow travellers. We got lost several times but it was part of the fun. We had a map (copied from lonely planet) and a compass. But it is dueable. If you don't want to risk, at little petra you will always find some bedouins who will want to guide you.
Basically, you will have to go through the little petra gorge, pass by the blocking rock and when you descended, you turn right. You follow the path all the way to the peak. It's a lot of climbing, quite adventurous. When you reached the plateau. You go straight ahead a bit more and then go left. (don't enter the valley, walk on the left path). Then you reach a point where you can see from far the gorge of big petra and there will be another one on your right. You descend again heading towards the hills of big petra and later turn left towards the main road. It may sound complicated and hard to follow, but it's difficult to describe it any better. You can hitch back from the main road (same as which the taxi took the opposite way to little petra) to Wadi Musa.
It is an unforgettable trek with amazing scenery and landscape. And only a very few did it. For us, it was more memorable than Petra itself. I can highly recommend it.
It is also possible to trek into big petra, on the condition that you have the ticket. Now, it is more controlled than before, with guards patrolling around.
Just take a lot of drink and food with yourself. The whole trip will take about 6 hours, with some stops and including a bit of loosing your way too.
I think you can enter Petra on three consecutive days only.
Petra at night is also very nice!
If you want to sleep at Wadi Rum, it is possible to camp there. It is actually not so bad, but it can be really cold at night time! The campsite (with tents) belongs to a restaurant, where you can get (a bit overpriced) food. There are a few small grocery shops around too.
There will also be a lot of guides offering jeep and camel rides.
Have a great trip!