You can download our complete tour details and guide for DANA TO PETRA. Also, you can schedule a callback from UFO Adventure Travel.
On this holiday we will be trekking through a desert world that has been crossed by nomadic people and their livestock for generations. Nowadays, the area is just about accessible by 4WD vehicles and there are rough ‘roads' to the various camping places that we will use. We will be trekking on scant trails, however, far away from the route taken by our support vehicle. The underfoot conditions will include dry wadis, open sandy desert and rocky desert known as ‘hamada'. There are also sections of narrow trail across rocky terrain including some easy scrambling. The tracks and trails we use are generally not difficult. We will walk for an average of 5 to 6 hours on each of days 2 to 6, covering as much as 15 kilometres each day and with a reasonable amount of ascent and descent. This is a relatively short trekking holiday and at low elevation.
Trek the 'Inca trail of the Middle East'
Walk the sculpted sandstone canyons and camp under the stars
Visit the ancient stone city of Petra
Meet at the group hotel. A single group transfer from
Amman Airport to the group hotel in Madaba or Amman is provided. 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.
We will make an early
start for the drive southwards to the Dana Nature Reserve. Here, we meet our
trek crew and trekking guide set off on a first day’s walk which will take 6
hours including a stop for lunch. The walk from Dana to Feinan is essentially
downhill with the initial 800 metre descent taking place in the first hour of
the walk. After this, the route levels out and we can enjoy a far more gentle
walk through a wide open valley flanked by the Dana Mountains. Arriving in Wadi
Feinan, we set up our first camp of the trip.
This is another 6-hour walking day, which will take us across classic ‘hamada’ landscape – dry, rock-strewn desert, with little sand. The route from Dana to Petra is quite level and there are spectacular views of the high mountain ranges to the east and the expansive Wadi Araba Desert stretching out to the west. Although the terrain is essentially flat, there are several small wadis (dry valleys), that must be crossed throughout the day. We pass both Byzantine and Nabatean ruins during the course of today’s walk and our local guide will point these out. We set up camp for the night in Wadi Barwas.
Leaving the stony ‘hamada’ desert behind, there is a steep
ascent across rocks and small boulders which eventually leads to a twisting
goat herder’s track. The initial uphill section takes approximately 3 hours.
The track leads up into the mountains through a narrow and dramatic valley with
wonderful views eastwards towards the Wadi Araba Desert. This is a steep and
challenging section of the route, but extremely rewarding, as we finally reach
the top of a high saddle. The descent to the river valley beyond is on a
well–defined trail through rocky surroundings. There are views ahead of the
next day’s route. On reaching the dry river bed, we turn upstream for half an
hour to our camp at Ras el Feid.
We retrace our route along the riverbed, before turning off on a
Bedouin trail that traverses a rocky valley side, gradually ascending by way of
dry wadis and indistinct cols. This part of the path is particularly
challenging, becoming less well-defined, with some easy scrambling to overcome
the largest obstacles. This section lasts approximately 2 hours and eventually
descends to a riverbed with perennial water. Look out for the elusive ibex in
this remote area. The trail continues along the wadi floor and gently climbs up
into the pale coloured sandstone mountains of the Petra region. The climb from
the valley to the escarpment (where Petra is situated) is gentle and beautiful
with a slight uphill climb towards the end across bare rock slabs. We camp at
the col of Shkaret Msei’d.
Leaving the campsite
at Shkaret Msei’d the scenery changes
dramatically. We leave the narrow, confining wadis behind and find ourselves
amongst wide-open sandstone hills that have something of the feel of a
moonscape. The rock is smooth and soft and despite there being no apparent
trail the terrain is easy to negotiate, with wide tracks and walkways. The
Nabatean influence is apparent here and the first cut steps can be seen. The
trail passes through Bedouin encampments, before reaching another rocky area
where the track once again becomes indistinct, with interesting route-finding
and easy scrambling. We descend into Little Petra using a little used route.
The splendor of Little Petra provides an insight into what lies ahead at the
main Petra site. From the main entrance of Little Petra, we make our way
towards Beidha with evidence of modern human settlement in the form of jeep
We will say goodbye to our local trekking guide and crew this
morning and we continue with our guide. The walk from here to Petra will take
between 2 and 3 hours, with the initial walk across open farmland. The route
then follows a well–defined mountain track with fantastic views across to the
Araba Desert, some 100 km / 60 miles away. The views are impressive and with
the exception of one short (2 metre) section a head for heights is not
necessary. The walk into Petra is magnificent and is the culmination of 5 days
of hard walking. The initial glimpse of the top of the Monastery, as it comes
into view through the mountains, has a similar effect of the first glimpse of
the Treasury from the Siq. We will then trek down from the Monastery and exit
Petra by the secondary Siq before re-entering the site through the main Siq so
you get to see the most famous view of Petra as though you are entering for the
first time. After our sightseeing visit to Petra, we overnight at a hotel in
nearby Wadi Musa.
After an early breakfast, we transfer by private vehicle (3hrs) to Amman International Airport. UFO Land Only package services end on arrival at the airport. However, if you would like to extend your visit in Jordan to visit the Red Sea, the Dead Sea or Jerash, please contact our team of adventure travel consultants.
Feel free to contact us about Dana to Petra Trek at [email protected]
The most amazing thing about UFO was the flexibility shown to accommodate very quick changes to the itinerary. We traveled to Ladakh and had to change our itinerary due to circumstances in the region. We requested them to make the change the same morning we were supposed to leave for our destination. Their response time to make the change was just 10 minutes!! We had an amazing trip with UFO and will look forward to another holiday with them.
For a first-time trekker, I thought picking Mt. Kilimanjaro was maybe not the smartest choice. But thanks to UFO it felt like a breeze. The guides and crew were excellent in every single way. For a group of 8 trekkers, UFO deputed a total of 40 including 4 experienced guides, cooks, servers and porters. I would definitely recommend using UFO as your adventure guides. They prepare you for every step of the way - from buying your trekking gear to getting you safely back down.
I have done two treks with UFO. One in Nepal and another in Ladakh, India. I am pretty sure I want to do my third trek with the same team. And I do recommend this company for treks any-day!
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