Schools - Wadi Rum, Petra & the Dead Sea

Day-hikes in Wadi Rum, float in the Dead Sea and visit Petra





From $1,780 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Learn about the fascinating history of 2000 year old Petra
  • Camp in the desert with the Bedouin people of Wadi Rum
  • Climb Jordan`s highest peak, with views across to Saudi Arabia
  • See the Red Sea`s colourful reef fish from a glass-bottomed boat

Located at the heart of the Middle East, the Kingdom of Jordan has enjoyed a long and fascinating history. Relics of several of the world's great civilizations are clearly visible to the present day. This peaceful desert country, with its contrasting landscapes, provides a simply wonderful destination for a School Adventure. KE's suggested itinerary begins in the historic town of Madaba. From here, we have scheduled a sightseeing day to Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea, before driving southwards to meet up with our Bedouin hosts at Wadi Rum. Situated in the southern corner of the kingdom, not far from the Red Sea, the sandstone mountains or 'jebels' of Wadi Rum provide one of the most dramatic desert landscapes on earth. The weirdly shaped towers, which rise some 500 to 700 metres above the level desert plains, extend across a vast area. Wadi Rum is the name given to the most spectacular collection of these peaks which are centred on the village of Rum. This area was famously described by T.E Lawrence as "Rum the magnificent....vast, echoing and God-like." It is the traditional home and hunting ground of the Bedouin, whose history in the region goes back more than a thousand years. Many of the Bedouin families who live here continue to pursue a semi-nomadic existence, grazing their flocks of sheep and goats in one place for weeks or months at a time and then packing away their goat-hair tents and moving to greener pastures. A highlight of our visit to this part of the world will be the chance to meet the hospitable Bedouin people and to experience the magic of camping out in the desert under the stars. Our 4 days of exploration will begin at once, as we hike up to Lawrence's Well and then drive to our traditional Bedouin camp in the Rakebat Canyon. Throughout our time at Wadi Rum, we will use 4-wheel-drive vehicles to access the most interesting short hikes and easy scrambles. We will follow ancient trails through hidden wadis and across open rocky slopes to the summits of several of the biggest peaks in the area, including Jebel Um Adaami (1832m), Jordan's highest mountain. After our time in the desert, we will transfer to the nearby port of Aqaba on the Red Sea and have the chance to do some swimming and to take a trip out over the reef in a glassbottomed boat. Then, as a fitting finale to this outstanding Arabian adventure, we will visit the awe-inspiring 2300 year old, rock-hewn city at Petra. Hidden within an apparently impenetrable mountain massif and approached through a narrow, kilometre-long chasm known as the Siq, Petra is one of the most remarkable architectural sites in the world. We will have a full guided tour of the site before travelling back to the airport in Amman. This tried and tested KE Schools itinerary can be adjusted to better fit the needs of your group - please call and speak to a KE School Groups Coordinator or email

Is this holiday for you?

This School Adventure is not a long or sustained trekking trip. It is a series of day-hikes in an unusual mountain area. We will have a short walk on our first day at Wadi Rum and walk for around 4 to 5 hours on each of the succeeding 3 days. This will involve walking on desert trails and soft sand, as well as scrambling on the jebels themselves. When climbing on the jebels we will usually be following straightforward routes which have been used for generations by Bedouin hunters and shepherds. There will also be a long day at Petra, exploring its many streets and buildings. The altitudes attained during this trip will not cause problems in respect of acclimatisation. At the time of year that we will be visiting Jordan (autumn and early spring) it will not be extremely hot during the day. However, we might encounter day-time temperatures as high as 30 degrees centigrade and sun protection and adequate hydration are important considerations. We recommend a minimum age of 14 years.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Madaba. Transfers from Amman Airport are provided.
  • Visit Mt Nebo and the Dead Sea.
  • Drive south to Wadi Rum. Trekking to the Bedouin Camp.
  • Traverse Jebel Khasch (1700m) and descend a rocky wadi.
  • Trek to summit of Jebel Um Adaami (1832m) and enjoy desert views across to Saudi Arabia.
  • Jebel Rum, depart Wadi Rum and transfer to Aqaba on the Red Sea.
  • Fun in the sun on the Red Sea. Transfer to Petra.
  • Visit the fantastic UNSECO site of Petra. Full day with guide.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Amman Airport is provided.

Land Only

The price of our trips does not include international air travel to the start location in the destination city and country. The start location for joining the trip is identified for each trip. It's usually a centrally located hotel. KE can easily arrange all airport transfers for you.

International Air Travel

Please contact us at KE for air travel advice. We will be happy to discuss the flight arrangement which best suits your group.

2 teachers FREE

The Guide Price assumes that 2 teachers will accompany the group. Their Land Only costs are covered by the group's payment.

Guide Price $1,780*
Park Fees/permits N/A
Other Charges N/A

* We give a price estimate for all of our school trips. This is based on 12-16 pupils and includes two free teacher places. If you are interested in a specific trip, we will send you a quote letter. You may wish to take extra teachers or add on additional days and this can all be included into your quote, on request.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Madaba. Transfers from Amman Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Madaba. KE Land Only package services begin with a single group transfer from Amman Airport to the group hotel in Madaba. This transfer is normally in the late evening and a representative of our local agent will accompany the group on the 30 minute journey to the hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Visit Mt Nebo and the Dead Sea.

    Today is set aside for sightseeing in and around the pleasant town of Madaba. After breakfast at our hotel, we make a visit to the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, which is home to a famous 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Set into the floor of the church, the mosaic presents a colourful picture of Jerusalem and its holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dead Sea, Jericho and the Jordan River. It provides a fascinating and very early map of the region. Another unmissable attraction nearby, is Mount Nebo, which is believed to be the burial site of Moses. The views from this dramatic plateau edge extend across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, to the distant spires of Jerusalem. Next, we drop down to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth at over 400 metres below sea level. This inland sea has a high salt concentration (four times saltier than normal sea water) and this means that the human body floats very easily - a fact which we will take the opportunity to test. The mineral-rich waters and sticky black mud are supposed to have curative powers. After lunch beside the Dead Sea, we will return to Madaba and our hotel.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Drive south to Wadi Rum. Trekking to the Bedouin Camp.

    After breakfast, we set off by bus for the morning's drive southwards to Wadi Rum. The Desert Highway runs alongside the railway line which was famously blown up by Lawrence of Arabia during the Great War. We will meet our Bedouin hosts at the new Visitor Centre in Wadi Rum and transfer our baggage from the bus to our 4-wheel-drive vehicles, before walking into the village to a house where our lunch has been prepared. Here, we will meet our guide and drivers. Lunch is likely to consist of salad dishes, pasta and tuna, with sweet tea and biscuits. After lunch, we will take the opportunity to stretch our legs by making the short hike up to 'Lawrence's Well' in Wadi Shelaali. This is an impressive walk, close beneath the towering walls of Jebel Rum. The well is in a cool, damp cleft and has the only running water that you are likely to see during your time in Jordan, as well as fig trees, gardens and grinning Bedouin children and their goats. Returning to the village after a round trip of an hour and a half, we will board our rugged transport for the drive to our traditional Bedouin camp in the Rakebat Canyon. Soon after arrival, tea and biscuits will be served and there will be chance to do some exploring before dinner. Anybody who wishes can sleep outside on the soft sand; you can find plenty of private spots if you wish, or you can remain near to the campfire. Otherwise we spread our mattresses inside the Bedouin tent which is twenty or thirty metres long. As it gets dark, around the campfire you will meet the team of helpers, learn their names and exchange banter with them. An important part of this adventure is to get to know something about the extraordinary people who are the Bedouin of Wadi Rum. Supper usually consists of grilled meat and vegetables, perhaps chicken with rice and vegetables cooked in the embers of the fire. The Bedouin prefer to cook on a fire rather than a gas ring and are careful to only use dead wood. The main dish will be followed by fruit, or possibly by cake. There will be a different evening meal every day and on one occasion there will be a chance to eat as the Bedouin do, using your fingers to eat from a communal tray. In all cases, provision is made for the vegetarians in the party.

    • Accommodation Bedouin Camp

    • Meals bld

  • Traverse Jebel Khasch (1700m) and descend a rocky wadi.

    The itinerary that we have set up is easy-paced and there is no need to make too early a start. Breakfast will usually be under way by 7am and this consists of bread, sometimes heated on the fire, a choice of jams, cheese and halva, as well as eggs, either served as an omelette or hard boiled. Tea is supplied in quantity and coffee is also available. Anybody who wishes can pocket a snack for later. Usually fruit is available also for this. From our tented camp, we can look across the open wadi to some of the most striking rock formations the area and we may see see griffon vultures soaring from the high cliffs as the sun rises in the sky and the thermals created by the rock walls become active. After breakfast, we will board our vehicles for the exciting cross-country drive southwards to Jebel Khasch. Here, we start out hiking through an interesting rocky valley with some sparse vegetation, before negotiating easy rocky slabs as our route twists and turns to the plateau area beneath the highest rocky piles of this massif. We will choose a prominent summit as our high point (c.1700m) and enjoy views which extend on all sides across the desert landscape. Descending towards the west through another rocky valley, we will effectively make a traverse of Jebel Khasch which takes around 4 hours. There are some great rock colours, blues and purples, as we finally reach a sandy wadi and meet up with our vehicles for lunch. After lunch, we descend an impressive wadi, where we may see Sinai or roseate finches (the national bird of Jordan). This walk also takes us through an ancient Bedouin cemetery and into an area of red rocks and red sand. After a couple of hours of walking, we will hop on our support vehicles for the drive back to Rakebat Canyon and our camp.

    • Accommodation Bedouin Camp

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to summit of Jebel Um Adaami (1832m) and enjoy desert views across to Saudi Arabia.

    There are even better views today, as we set off to tackle Jebel Um Adaami, the highest mountain in Jordan, which lies on the border with Saudi Arabia. This is quite a difficult drive for our 4-wheel-drive transport, but an enjoyable one for the passengers. Especially memorable is the wide and lonely Wadi Saabit, close to the mountain. Notice the deep stream bed in the centre of this valley – it shows just how much water used to fall in the Wadi Rum area. Arriving at the start of the day's walk, we can see a Nabatean dam on the left as we head up into a sandy valley. Still in use by the Bedouin, a long line of stones (now set in cement) directs as much water as possible into the shaded reservoir under the cliff. At the end of the valley we climb up a gulley onto the mountain and this is the only difficulty in the ascent. The rest of the path is a stoney one, leading to the cairn marking the summit. Here, we are right on the border and can see far into the Saudi mountains. Expect to take lots of photographs! The Bedouin guide might even brew a cup of herb tea on the summit, using materials gathered on the ascent. After this 3-hour round-trip, we will find a suitable spot for lunch. In the afternoon, we will have a 2-hour walk across the desert, through an area where we are likely to see Bedouin camps and grazing goats and camels, before returning to our camp. One option tonight is to have a traditional Bedouin dish of chicken or lamb, cooked in an underground oven. These ovens are often improvised in the desert, dug out and lined with a metal drum, before a fire is lit inside and the oven heated for a couple of hours. The meat and vegetables are placed on the embers and sand heaped high over the oven. A couple more hours and the dish is ready. The cooks will start this dish before we arrive, but you can see the finished product being brought out.

    • Accommodation Bedouin Camp

    • Meals bld

  • Jebel Rum, depart Wadi Rum and transfer to Aqaba on the Red Sea.

    This morning, we drive back northwards into the rarely-visited Wadi Ramman on the western side of the 10 kilometre-long massif of Jebel Rum. At the entrance to a large valley we say goodbye to our vehicles and set off on a pleasant 4-hour walk which will take us through Jebel Rum. To begin with, we are trekking through granite scenery, as this is the rock which forms the plinth on which the sandstone jebels are based. There are different flower species associated with this rock type. This walk involves a height gain of around 250 metres to a low pass amongst spectacular rock scenery. We then contour around, with views of the desert area north of Rum Village and drop down steeply through a narrow valley to meet up with our transport in Wadi Rum. After returning to Rum Village for lunch there is the option of a short camel ride and a chance for a cultural exchange at the village school. In the late afternoon, we say goodbye to our Bedouin hosts and board our transport for the 2-hour drive to Aqaba. On arrival in Aqaba, we check in to the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fun in the sun on the Red Sea. Transfer to Petra.

    Today, there is the chance to take it easy after our time in the desert. Situated at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba is known for its sandy beaches, unbelievably clear water, coral reefs and colourful fish. It is an understandably popular spot for SCUBA diving. We will start our day with a short glass-bottomed boat trip out into the Gulf of Aqaba. As well as allowing us to see some of the multi-coloured fish that inhabit the offshore reefs, this boat trip will give us a new perspective on the port of Aqaba and its mountainous backdrop. After the boat trip, we will spend some time on the beach, with clear, warm water. Lunch will be either at a beach café or at a restaurant in the centre of town. There will be time to look around the old part of the town, before we get back into our bus for the 2-hour drive north to Petra. Overnight in Petra.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the fantastic UNSECO site of Petra. Full day with guide.

    We have arranged for a full sightseeing visit to the ancient city of Petra, accompanied by a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. Making an early start, we will walk to the Visitor Centre, pick up our tickets and set off through the narrow 'Siq' which leads to the heart of this site. If you wish, you can ride a horse for the first few hundred metres of the approach to the site - the horsemen expect a tip. Petra was created by the Nabataeans, an industrious people of Arab descent who came to this part of Jordan some 2500 years ago. Petra lay entirely deserted and forgotten for a period of approximately 300 years before its 'rediscovery' in 1812. Approaching through the gloomy kilometre-long chasm of the Siq provides a dramatic contrast as we reach arguably the most spectacular of the city's rock-hewn buildings, the magnificent Treasury, with its intricately carved facade. There are over 800 individual monuments at Petra, including temples, tombs, arched gateways and entire streets, carved from the colourful native sandstone. Other highlights are the High Place of Sacrifice, which offers views across the whole area, and the Monastery which is even bigger than the Treasury and is reached by way of 800 steps. We will spend most of the day at Petra. Overnight Petra

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Amman Airport is provided.

    Departure day. A single transfer to Amman Airport is provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A qualified UK KE Schools leader
  • Experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Amman Airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • A guided sightseeing tour of Petra including entrance fees
  • A full service trek including all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Jordanian Visa
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in Madaba at a 3 star hotel. We will also have a night in a tourist-class hotel in Aqaba and 2 nights at a similar establishment in Petra. Whilst on trek there are 3 nights at a fixed Bedouin camp. All hotel accommodation is allocated
on a twin sharing basis. When camping in the desert, we stay in large Bedouin tents but it is quite usual for group members to sleep out under the stars.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included, from breakfast on Day 2 to lunch on Day 8.

Breakfasts on trek consist of bread, a variety of cheese, honey, jams, fruit, tea and Nescafe. For lunch there will be a variety of salads, spicy humus, breads and other dishes from which you can choose. Dinner will usually be barbeque or pan fried meat and vegetables with plenty of bread, yoghurt, and humus followed by fresh fruit and tea or coffee. Mineral water is provided.

Amman Airport transfers are included on arrival and departure. The KE School Group Leader or KE representative will meet you on arrival and assist with the transfers to the group hotel. Full joining instructions along with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with the booking confirmation.

At around 7 a.m. breakfast will be under way and you will be able to make your way to the centre of the desert camp to pick up that all important first cup of tea or coffee. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your trek bag which will be kept safely in one of the support vehicles until we reach our next camping place. After breakfast, the group will climb aboard the 4-wheel-drive transport for a usually short transfer to the location of the day's hike. Bottled mineral water is provided throughout the time in the desert. The natural water source at Wadi Rum is the pure aquifer at Dissieh so ample water is provided for drinking and for washing. Usually, our route will involve a mix of walking, through cool canyons and across open rocky terrain. Where the chosen route involves scrambling, the guides will keep a careful watch on any group members who are not absolutely comfortable. Sometimes, we may meet a Bedouin family at their goat-hair tented camp and be invited to drink tea. On arrival at camp, we can relax on mattresses around a central area covered by matting and take a cooling drink, with tea or coffee also available. Dinner is ready at around 7 p.m. and is served either outside or in a Bedouin style goat-hair tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trip so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature starts to fall and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

All KE school adventures are led by a specialist UK KE Schools leader. During the trip the leader will be assisted by an English-speaking local guide and on trek will be supported by a trek crew including a cook, camp staff and 4WD baggage transfer.

Approximately £100 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. You should carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival at the airport in Amman. Sterling and US dollars are equally exchangeable in Jordan. The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). Your local expenses will include paying for your Jordanian Visa on arrival and paying tips to your local guide, drivers and trek crew. The cost of the Petra visit is included in the trip price. If you are intending to buy souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or other refreshments, you should allow for this.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your local guides and other staff, but they are very much appreciated. Most groups will want to show their appreciation to the local staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Normally, tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each pupil contributes £30 (in Jordanian Dinars) to these tips. Your KE School Adventure leader will help you make arrangements for a fair distribution of tips among the trek crew.

During the trip your baggage will be carried by Land Cruisers throughout and the only baggage limit is that imposed by your airline. However, Jordan is a hot country and you will not require any heavy clothing, nor are you required to bring a camping mattress. We recommend that the weight of your packed trek bag does not exceed 15 kg as this will make transiting airports a much more pleasant experience for you.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This itinerary does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag should be no more than 15 kgs / 33 pounds.

You must bring the following items:

  • Approach shoes or lightweight walking boots
  • which are suitable for scrambling.
  • Gaiters
  • Training shoes or sandals for sightseeing and camp use
  • Socks
  • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rain-pants
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • At least 1 long sleeve shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • T-shirts
  • Warm jacket (eg. Fleece)
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Daypack - 30 litres capacity
  • Headtorch / headlamp spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 litre / 1 quart (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Swimwear
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Sleeping bag (rated to 0 degrees centigrade)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite)

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest (a foam mattress is provided)
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera, memory cards, batteries
  • As Jordan is an Islamic country, modest dress is preferable in the towns and cities. Shoulders should be kept covered, and full length trousers/skirts are recommended.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The best period for trekking and scrambling at Wadi Rum is in the winter season from October through to mid April. Outside of this period it can be very hot. Maximum daytime temperature is likely to be around 30 degrees centigrade, falling as low as 10 degrees centigrade at night. At Christmas, the weather is usually very settled, clear and sunny, although the days are shorter and the nights are particularly cool, possibly as low as 0 degrees centigrade.

Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum. Tony Howard. Cicerone. Jordan - Walks, Treks, Caves, Climbs and Canyons. Taylor and Howard. Cicerone Press. Jordan. Lonely Planet.

Reise Know-How Verlag 1:400,000

Double-sided and detailed map, dividing the country horizontally just underneath al-Karak. Combines clear road and tourist detail with general relief indicated by contours, altitude tinting, mountain passes and peak heights.

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