There are so many different Jordan tours available from several big name tour operators that it can be hard to decide which one is the best for you. Then you throw in local tour operators in Jordan and you have even more choices. Some Jordan tours cater to families, while others are designed for young people or backpacker budget travellers and some offer luxury private itineraries and completely custom options.
After reading countless bad itinerary ideas, from both tour operators and from people who plan to see the country independently, I put together this guide to help travel planners with their Jordan tour options
Since, booking a Jordan holiday package is once-in-a-lifetime experience where you will visit Petra, Jerash, Amman, Madaba, Mount Nebo, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea aI compared some of the big names in the travel tours industry, as well as some local options and how to book the best private tours if you want to go that route.
Guide to Choosing between the Best Jordan Tours
What you want to know about booking a Tour to Jordan?
I have been helping a friend plan a trip to Jordan and there are SOOOOOO many questions to ask, sooooo many tours out there and when it is a country that you have not been to before, SOOOOO much confusion.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are planning on booking a tour in Jordan
1. What is included in the Jordan Tour?
Do you have to make your way to the hotel before the tour commences?
Are you met on arrival at the airport and have a transfer to your hotel for the tour to begin?
2. Is your Visa included in the Jordan vacation packages?
Most tours that meet you at the airport will include the visa in the price of the tour. But if you do not have a transfer and have to make your own way to the start point, you will probably have to buy your own visa (which for me and many others, is 40 JD). You can get cash at the ATM inside Queen Alia International Airport BEFORE you get to the immigration desk, so do not worry about arriving with cash. You can also pay by credit card. You also will need to get transportation to Amman which is about 45 minutes away.
3. Are site entrance fees included on your Jordan tour and what options excursions are available?
Your tour itinerary should list everything that is included in your tour. Things like Petra entrance fees, the Citadel and Jerash, are all common things that will be included in your tour. But have a read of the optional excursions. Things like Snorkelling in Aqaba, Petra by Night and Camel Rides in Wadi Rum are usually optional and cost extra should you wish to partake in these activities.
4. What are you expected to pay out of pocket during your Jordan tour?
This is a big one and revolves around tips and meals. Jordan is a country that relies on tips. Whether it is your driver, your guide, breakfast staff, housekeeping or the bellboy getting your luggage out of the car or off the bus, they rely on tips to supplement the low wages in the country. Some large group tours will collect a tips kitty on arrival to distribute tips to some of those who provide services during your stay (such as bellboys and restaurant staff) but generally, you will still be expected to tip your tour guide and driver.
Guide USD3-5 per person per day for larger group tours over 10 people
Private Guided Tour USD50 per day (1-4 people)
Driver USD2-3 per person per day for larger group tours over 10 people
Private Driver USD20 per day (1-4 people)
Housekeeping USD1-2 per room per night
Buffet Breakfast USD1-2 per person/couple/family
Bellboy USD1 per piece of luggage
Horses at Petra USD3-4 per person per horse (This is not for donkeys in the site. Pay the negotiated price for the donkey).
Camels In Wadi Rum USD3-5 per camel or ask your tour guide for advice, the price you pay for the camel may include a tip
Jeep Tour drivers USD 3-5 per vehicle
Taxi Drivers Round up to the nearest Dinar.
Washroom attendants 1 USD
5. How is the Jordan Itinerary?
Some Itineraries are terrible (in my opinion) as I have been there several times and know what I liked best and how long it takes to get from one place to the other. But my opinion may be different than yours and time and budget often comes into play. Make sure the hi-lights that you want to see are included and you have sufficient time to see the places you want to.
For example, you CAN see Petra and Wadi Rum in ONE day. I have done it, on my first guided tour in Jordan. BUT it was a rush in Petra and we did not get to do things like the hike to the Monastery or to the Lookout above the Treasury on al Khubtha Trail. BUT, if you are doing a fast tour, you still SAW Petra. Many tours only come for 3 days and try to jam pack everything into a visit. But for me, the perfect tour of Jordan for a first-time visitor would be about 10 days.
Because there is so much that goes into choosing the perfect tour, I have come up with some packages that I think offer good value, good itineraries or other factors that travlers look for. These Itineraries are varied and appeal to a wide range of visitors to Jordan. Check out each one below, I am happy to answer any questions you have about any of these tours.
6. What is the Size of the Group?
If the thought of a big tour bus makes you turned right off tours, then keep in mind the max group size of these tours below. Up to 6 people fit into a Van in Jordan and then there are different sizes coaches for different sized groups.
If you are interested in a private small group tour, check out this post about Jordan private tours and guides.
Example upcoming Tours
G adventures Classic Jordan 8 Days (3 nights in Jordan)
Although I have never taken a G Adventures tour, everyone that I know who has, has nothing but rave reviews! G Adventures prides itself on using local hotels and services that directly benefot those who call Jordan home. This tour is one of their highest rated with 100% of the services being locally run. Whether it is the hotel, the guide or the local team on the ground, they are all Jordanians living and working in the country.
What you will not see on a G Adventures Tour in Jordan is 5 Star household named hotels such as the Marriott or Intercontinental. This also means that you are most likely staying in mid-range accommodations.
I like that this tour gives you an overnight in a bedouin camp in Wadi Rum and plenty of time to see the highlights of Jordan. Their max group size is 15 and their departures are guaranteed, even if it does not sell out. Singles do not pay more to travel on G Adventures tours but will be paired up with another same-sex solo traveller. If you want your own room on this tour, there is an optional single supplement.
I do not like that you are responsible for getting to Jordan and getting to the start point on this tour. This means you need to pay for your visa (JD40) and get to the hotel. BUT it does offer the opportunity to come earlier and explore on your own, or come over from Israel by land before the tour starts.
Experience Jordan Trekking Dana to Petra (8 nights)
Much of this tour is spent trekking one of the best trails in the world. It is probably the most popular section of the Jordan trail and popular among hikers. You will spend 4 days hiking and camping before arriving into Petra and then finishing at the Dead Sea. This tour does not see a lot of Jordan, but you get the main highlights of Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. It is designed for active people who want to get their boots dirty and hike.
I personally love the outdoors and this is a great itinerary for those who want to do some hiking in Jordan. The Dana to Petra trail is mostly unmarked so having Experience Jordan put it together for you makes it much easier.
Experience Jordan is a well known tour operator in Jordan and are known for great trips. This group has a max of 14 and is for adults 18 and up. I like that this tour offers airport pick up and drop off.
Jordan and Egypt with G Adventures 15 days (8 nights in Jordan)
This tour is an extension of the 8 day itinerary above. It is great for those who have more time and want to see more of the Middle East. It balances Egypt and Jordan well with a week in each country and hits the big sites. if you have time to see both Jordan and Egypt and love the G Adventures brand, or are keen to try it out for the first time, this is a great option to see both the Pyramids and Petra!
(I have a post coming soon about choosing between Egypt or Jordan and how to do both. This is a great example on how to do both)
Jordan and Israel for Contiki Tours (18-35 year olds) 11 days
What I like about this tour is that you get the best of Jordan and Israel in Just 11 days. The downside to this tour is it is a whirlwind visit. You could easily spend 11 days in each country! I do not like that there is no overnight in Wadi Rum (as that is one of my favorite things to do in Jordan) but you do at least visit the desert. Having never been to Wadi Rum, when travellers are looking at tours, they have no idea that spending a night in the desert is really a must-do!
This tour is also very Israel focused with most of your time spent there (including your Dead Sea visit). I would not suggest this tour for young people who want a Jordan focused tour, it is more of an Israel experience with a bit of Jordan thrown in since you are already in the Middle East.
Booking Day Tours from Aqaba
If you are basing your trip in Aqaba and looking for tour options from the coastal Red Sea town, check out this post: The Best Day Trips and Tours from Aqaba.
I also have a post on choosing an Aqaba to Petra Tour.