The trails in Petra are steep, and challenging in the summer heat. Get some practice walks in if you can.
Small group tour, 4-18 people (min. age 16) with a tour leader.
Leisurely/moderate – with some steep uphill walks in Petra.
3* hotels, 1 night in a basic campsite with running water and fixed toilet.
Solo travelers welcome. Own room available with surcharge.
Accomm., breakfasts, transfers. Flights if booked.
Breakfasts, 1 dinner. £200-£250 advised for extra meals.
Small group vacation
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.
Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Jordan vacation, a week in Jordan
Activity: We try to minimise litter as much as possible and are careful to emphasise that clients should not damage or remove pieces from any historical sites we visit. As we hire local guides as well as Bedouin guides, we can ensure that our activity has a positive effect on the economy and that our clients take away some of their passion and knowledge of Jordan. Our guides are trained in responsible travel issues and will be able to convey these in briefings.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: You will spend 7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms and 1 night in a Wadi Rum desert camp. We employ local Bedouin people to run the camp, so we know we are directly benefiting local communities with our business. The hotels are also locally staffed as per law in Jordan, so our stay here is also in support of local employment. Where meals are provided, ingredients will be sourced from a local market wherever possible. Clients may eat a ‘zarb’ (where food is slow cooked underground) at the Bedouin camp and there will also be plenty of chance to eat in restaurants selling ‘mezze’ style specialties like kebabs, fresh salads, and bread with hummus.
Local Craft and Culture: Usually guides take clients to the market on the day going from Petra to Wadi Rum or Aqaba. This is a great cultural experience where clients can buy their own vegetables and fruit and even see how some meals are prepared- like falafel. We also visit the ancient city of Jerash, Madaba, the Dead Sea, and the fortified town of Kerak, but the cultural highlight of the trip for many is the visit to UNESCO World Heritage city, Petra. There is a full day here to explore the ancient, rose-coloured rock-cut architecture including El Khazneh (the treasury) and El Deir (the Monastery). There are some local handicrafts and souvenirs available here like hand painted ceramics, jewellery and vases filled with coloured sand. Clients can also support the community by purchasing donkey or horse rides from local people.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Reviews of Jordan vacation, a week in Jordan
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 27 Feb 2017 by Hely Collie
The most memorable moment was Petra (of course) and the camel ride at Wadi Rum (it is an optional but well worth it!). Our local tour leader was excellent (knowledge of history and kept us entertained during our bus journeys), the group blended well (the best so far), trips well organised and plenty of shopping opportunities.Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Feb 2017 by Geoffrey Leigh
There was so many memorable moments. Trying to stand up in the Dead Sea it is nearly impossible for your feet to find the bottom so you end up bobbing like a cork! Walking down the canyon to Petra but also going up on the long way to the place of sacrifice. The amphitheatre in Amman. The call to prayer echoing across the city from the mosques is a wonderful musical recitation.Read full review
Visiting Petra and having two full days to explore were the most memorable parts of the vacationRead full review
Reviewed on 05 Apr 2016 by Joanne Offer
The walk into Petra is just breath-taking and there is something new to see every time you turn a corner. Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Nov 2015 by Annette Starfield
A great adventure.....Floating in the Dead Sea, snorkelling in the Red Sea, Petra.Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Nov 2015 by Julie Forshaw
There were many memorable parts for me; floating in the Dead Sea, snorkelling in the Red Sea, visiting Jerash and Petra plus the camel ride and overnight stay in Wadi Rum....Excellent - achieved all I wanted to see and do!Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Apr 2015 by Geoffrey Shaw
Cannot separate the majestic desert scenery of Wadi Rum from the exploration of the lesser known areas of Petra. Both stunning and comparable to the best experiences anywhere.Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Apr 2015 by Hilary Feaver
If you have ever fancied seeing Petra then go for it. The country is safe, the
people are warm and friendly but not pushy, the sites brilliant, the food good
and the hotels very comfortable.Read full review
Reviewed on 12 May 2014 by Jane Welsh
The most memorable parts were the walks through Wadi Rum - and the climb up a mountain. Epic scenery, absolute quiet and amazing exercise.Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Oct 2014 by Joyce Wright
Excellent. Would thoroughly recommend it....The first glimpse of Petra has got to be up there as one of my most WOW moments of all time, not just on this vacation. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 May 2014 by Judith Murray
I loved the vacation. It was well organised, our guide was fantastic; he was
enthusiastic and evidently proud of his country which came across in the way he
talked. His knowledge of all the sites we went to was extremely good, his timing
excellent, suggestions for evening meals were very good too.Read full review
It's difficult to choose between walking and climbing around the awe inspiring landscape and buildings of Petra and the serene beauty of riding camels in Wadi Rum. Both places and experiences took our breath away.Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jan 2013 by Justine Hughes
An excellent vacation from start to finish - run by a friendly knowledeable staff who are happy to help. The oragnisation was exceptional as was the level of care shown towards its customers.Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Oct 2013 by Christine Hicks
Absolutely fabulous, stunning scenery, ancient ruins and charming people, could not have improved on itRead full review
Reviewed on 10 Oct 2013 by Lorraine Wuth
It was a fantastic week. The activities were diverse. The locals were warm and welcoming and the tour staff excellent.Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Aug 2013 by Frances gibney
Great vacation. The people were very friendly. There was so much to do and it was the best vacation I've been on in ages....Petra was amazing and snorkelling in the Red Sea.
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Reviewed on 12 Aug 2013 by Rebecca Mitchell
The most memorable parts were floating in the Dead Sea; sleeping in the desert; exploring Petra; shopping and experiencing the markets...One word...Wow! Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Jul 2013 by Amanda Johnson
Unforgettable...the best parts were Petra by candlelight, the Wadi Rum camp and
snorkeling in the Red Sea.
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Reviewed on 03 Nov 2012 by ian woods
Possibly the best trip I have been on yet. It will be a hard one to beat.Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Nov 2012 by Karin Weston
The highlight undoubtably was the 2 days in Petra, followed closely by the night in the desert camping in Wadi Rum.
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I went on a nine-day vacation to Jordan. There most exciting and memorable part of the vacation was obviously the two days spent in Petra. Nothing can prepare a person for the "awesomeness and majesty" of that site...Magical, awesome, exceeded all my expectations.
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Reviewed on 29 Apr 2012 by Liz Weaver
The first walk down the siq at night and then seeing it in the daylight next day. Exceeds the hype.
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Reviewed on 03 Apr 2012 by Lizzy Chaloner
The most memorable part was the morning walk away from most other tourists to the High Place of sacrifice above Petra. You really feel on top of the world.Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Oct 2012 by Rosie Power
I think the best part was staying in the desert at Wadi Rum and sleeping under the stars - also the very peaceful and relaxing camel trek the following day. On the other hand the walk at Petra the second day was also extremely enjoyable and memorable!Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Dec 2011 by Fiona Bardsley
Walking to the high place and then Harouns tomb in Petra then being the only people on the way back past the treasury and through the souk. Plus fab guide...It was a full and fascinating trip.Read full review
Reviewed on 15 May 2011 by Louise Noon
Excellent - Exciting, fun and so informative....The operator was excellent in giving us tips before we left so leaving with an open mind I can only say, let go and enjoy every minute.Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Apr 2010 by Alastair Mann
Our guide was excellent and the 17 in the party got on really well...Read full review