JORDAN: is a unitary state under a constitutional hereditary monarchy. King Abdullah II had been the monarch since 1999. His mother, Queen Noor, was born in the US. The current Prime Minister (from 2018) is Omar Razzaz.
Jordan is a relatively young state that occupies an ancient land. It bears the traces of many civilizations. In biblical times, the country that is now Jordan contained the lands of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Bashan. The Nabataean Arabs managed to establish an independent kingdom in 169 BC and controlled much of the ancient trade routes. The Al-Khazneh in Petra is believed to be the mausoleum of one of this tribe’s Kings. Petra is one of the 7 Modern Wonders of the world and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and was chosen then by Smithsonian magazine as one of the 28 places to visit before you die. For more information see www.visitpetra.jo
The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken. The primary religion is Sunni Muslim. Jordan’s climate is generally arid. Average monthly temperatures in the north range between 46 and 78 °F (8 and 26 °C), while at the far south they range between 60 and 91 °F (16 and 33 °C). The prevailing winds throughout the country are westerly to southwesterly.
VISA Permit: Jordan issues single-entry visas to U.S. citizens upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport and most international land border crossings. Our tour representative will be there to help facilitate entry. As a reminder, passports should have at least 6 months validity.
Travel Tip: For all international travel consider enrolling in the US Smart TRAVELER Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Currency: Jordan’s currency is the dinar. Currently 1 $US = .709 JD www.XE.com. Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops including AMEX, Visa, Diner’s Club, and Master Card. Many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian dinar and it is essential for shopping the local souks (markets). Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange booths and most hotels. Avoid street moneychangers. If bringing American currency I suggest asking your teller for clean notes.
WIFI: Our city hotels have WIFI connectivity.
Electricity: 220 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs.
What To Pack:
- Footwear:Well fitting hiking shoes/boots are a good idea. It is recommended to bring moleskin for possible blisters. There is more to Petra than the wall face we see in the movies so expect some walking there.
- Clothing:Jordan has an arid climate and can get hotter in the daytime and cool at night- especially in the desert. Layers are best in this climate. Please remember that it is a primarily Muslim country and their clothing often covers arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs but very revealing clothing is never appropriate and conservative dress is suggested for both men and women. Shorts are rarely worn by either sex. One-piece swimsuits are preferred.
- Sun Screen:The sun can be very strong and we will be out during the day so bring lots of high SPF sunscreen and hats and long sleeved shirts (with SPF ratings). **
Camera Gear: Bring lots of cards and extra batteries. And if you are only planning to photograph with your cell phone OR even if you intend to rely mainly on your regular camera, make sure you have cleared it’s memory for all those extra shots. A comfortable day bag will be a nice way to avoid tired shoulders at the end of the day. And it goes without saying that you should know your equipment before you come and have your manuals or copies on your computers. Bring your tripods for the night shoot at Petra.
- Vaccinations: At this time no specific vaccinations are required. As always, please consult with your physician. Here is the link to the CDC https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/jordan
- Motion Sickness: Travelers who are susceptible to motion sickness might consider natural Ginger remedies and should also seek advice from your doctor.
- According to my research, Medical services are excellent in Jordan. Most Doctors are bilingual in Arabic and English. Larger hotels have a physician on call.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended. Note: to be purchased within 15 days of booking this tour.
Cuisine: Jordan is the 8th largest producer of olives in the world. We will see typical middle eastern food such as hummus, labenah, baba ghanoush,, tabbouleh, olives and pickles. The national dish of Jordan is “mansaf” which consists of rice with meat boiled in thick yogurt and topped with pine nuts and herbs
Shopping: Some popular handicraft items available for purchase are hand-rugs and cushions, embroidered clothing, traditional pottery, silver jewelry and Bedouin knives. And of course there will be plenty of Dead Sea spa products. We will definitely be consulting with our local guide as to what is available and the best places to get them!