- Our saving
- US $ 1,333
- Rather Poor
- BLBarryWritten on November 28, 20172.0 - Rather poorBeware booking Jordan Explorer package with Encounters Travel What we thought we had booked turned out to be very different from what we actually got! Our tour included; • staying at 2 named hotels (both of which were changed for substantially inferior hotels at short notice) • transport via AC coach (which in our case had faulty AC) • a maximum tour group size (which was exceeded) • and a tour leader/guide (who said he would fix the problems we encountered but then did nothing). In addition our tour bus included people who had booked different levels of accommodation (3,4&5 star) staying at different hotels which were not in close proximity. On average more than 2 hours each day was wasted with pick ups and drop off 's. If you're considering booking a holiday with Encounters Travel then I suggest you read on to understand some of the problems we encountered in more detail......... 1) HOTELS WERE CHANGED AT SHORT NOTICE We booked the Jordan Explorer 6 Day Package in July 2017 (4 months prior to departure in November 2017). As always we did our research and were very happy with the deal as stated by Encounters Travel which included the Amman International and Petra Guest House hotels. We did not expect both hotels to be changed at the last minute! AMMAN The Amman International Hotel is perfect, it is a "top end" 4 start hotel with an outdoor pool, 4 dining outlets and bars and is ranked 5 of 150 hotels in Amman on Tripadvisor ..........but this hotel was changed to........... The Sulaf Luxury Hotel which is situated on the incredibly busy Al-Monawara St (a three lane inner city road that is heavily congested during daylight hours and remains busy 24 hours a day). The hotel has no swimming pool and more importantly for anyone who enjoys a drink it has no bar. Restaurant facilities can best be described as basic. The hotel is ranked 50 of 150 hotels in Amman on Tripadvisor. Whilst both hotels meet the Jordanian 4 star rating The Sulaf Luxury Hotel is of a much lesser standard than the Amman International Hotel PETRA The Petra Guest House is amazing and one of the main reasons we chose the tour. It is situated in the heart of Petra at the visitors entrance to the Siq and only steps away from the archaeological site. The hotel offers a fabulous dining experience and an atmospheric and original Nabatean bar surrounded with a large Piazza. It is ranked 5 of 40 hotels in Petra on Tripadvisor ..........but with just 24hours notice this hotel was changed to........... Petra Sella Hotel which is located out of town at the top of a very steep hill 2 miles from visitors entrance to the Siq. Transport or taxi is needed to get to the heart of Petra and back. Its a dry hotel with no bar and is generously ranked 10 of 40 hotels in Petra on Tripadvisor although having read the reviews I would suggest that a number of those reviews look suspect! When we were shown to our room at Petra Sella Hotel it was cluttered with three single beds. We called reception and requested a double room but were told none were available so we asked for someone to rearrange the beds to form a double. Moving the beds revealed a fungus growing on the wall and we asked for the manager. Surprisingly he was able to find another double room so we moved rooms but still encountered problems (TV with no signal, Fridge unplugged and empty, Safe not working, No phone..etc...) Although once again both hotels have a 4 star rating The Petra Sella Hotel is of a considerably lesser standard than the Petra Guest House. Whilst staying at Petra we decided to call into the Petra Guest House for lunch and spoke Guest Reception to check if they had any rooms available and guess what? they confirmed they did have rooms available should we wish to stay so I explained that we had booked with Encounters Travel and had expected to stay with them but Encounters Travel had switched our hotel at the last minute. I was told that a number of tour operators advertise the fact that they use Petra Guest House and whilst they would be happy to have their business when it comes to making a firm booking those same tour operators often choose to book cheaper hotels that are available in the town? 2) TRANSPORT BY COACH WAS EXHAUSTING ! The tour notes from Encounters Travel make mention of "small distances" involved in Jordan....... 'we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour' ........ In reality - we travelled on journeys varying from 2.5 hours to 5 hours. Hardly small distances and we were never refreshed because temperatures on the coach throughout the day were either far too hot or too cold On the first day the tour guide said he would get the coach changed for one where the AC was working but this never happened. Pick up and drop off from 4 hotels added an additional 2 hours travel per day. Pick up started at 07:00am and drop off's usually finished some time after 18:00 The coach driver slept on the coach. The coach was dirty inside and not cleaned until the last day of our tour. 3) GROUP SIZE EXCEEDED THE MAXIMUM ADVISED Don't believe the Encounters Travel tour notes which state; "Most of our tours have a maximum of 12-18 travellers. However to keep costs down, we do allow our Shoestring Tours to have larger groups with a maximum of 26 travellers". Our tour is not a shoestring tour. Encounters Travel define the tour type as "Small Group" and group size "Min2/Max26". They have brought together travellers staying in 3 4 and 5* hotels but included 30 travellers in that group. The tour group maximum size was therefore exceeded bringing with it all the associated problems which I could list but don't want to bore you. 4) ENCOUNTERS TRAVEL AGENT IN JORDAN: We attempted to resolve our issues via the agents in Jordan (Al-Thuraya Tours) and raised them with Sami Atmeh (our tour guide). Sami said "He would fix it" but despite reminders he did nothing. Eventually he said "I am employed as a freelance guide and have nothing to do with booking hotels" he offered to swap our 4 star hotel for a 3 star hotel in Petra but would do nothing to get us into our original hotel. We don't really know who runs the show (Encounters Travel or Al-Thuraya Tours) but having paid our money to Encounters Travel I believe they should take ownership. 5) MISCELLANEOUS FRUSTRATIONS • Coach pick up times were rarely achieved (the worst was 50 minutes late) • At Wadi Rum it felt like we were the "poor relations" when with more than 30 4x4 jeeps available the 6 vehicles assigned to our group were the oldest "rust buckets" they had. Encounters Travel must have negotiated a special cheap deal for us to have so many poor vehicles assigned when other much better quality vehicles were not being used. I've got to add that our 4x4 churned out more clouds of diesel fumes than you would expect from an industrial chimney. • The tour guide was knowledgeable and passionate about the history when visiting the sites but did the bare minimum when it came to keeping us informed about our surroundings when travelling onboard the bus. When booking a holiday we do a lot of research about the location, accommodation and transport required to ensure we enjoy our time away. We do not expect hotel bookings (made 4 months in advance) to change at the last minute or be expected to accept sub standard travel arrangements without challenging them. The Tour Leader/Guide should have been able to address problems as they arose but far too often what he said and what he did were two very different things. I hope this helps anyone thinking of booking a Jordan Explorer Tour in the future.Show detailed ratingsEncounters Travel commented on this reviewDear Barry, Thank you so much for taking the time to review our Jordan Encounters tour however as you mentioned in your first sentence you didn't actually travel on this specific tour with us but our more budget Jordan Explorer package booked via Travelzoo. We have requested Tour Radar to remove this review for this reason. We also see you left the same review on TripAdvisor which is perfectly appropriate as it is not tour specific. We have also emailed you personally addressing each point individually outlined here and on TripAdvisor.
- KDKarenWritten on September 7, 20173.0 - AverageJordan has always been on my bucket list. So glad I've been. 4 days of our tour were awesome but Day 1 was a waste of time. Not good and not worth it Jerash, the Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum were all amazing beautiful places. Our first hotel was fantastic. Sulaf Hotel. But we were dropped off to our camp on Friday morning at 11.30 at Wadi Rum with no guide and no idea what was happening. It was 40 degrees our accommodation was a tent which was hotter inside it. We sat at camp the remainder of the day with no electricity or guide or plan. Our guide wanted to get back to Amman early to spend time with his family. Odd when you pay top $$$ for a tour and your left on your own. On the Saturday morning we asked one of the staff who was coming to pick us up to go back to Amman and no one knew anything. We were told to wait. Our accommodation in Amman on the Saturday night was terrible. It was on a busy roundabout which was so so noisy and you couldn't sleep. This was no 4 star accommodation which our tour was rated. Some itinerary changes need to be made.Show detailed ratingsEncounters Travel commented on this reviewDear Karen, Thanks for taking the time to get back to us with your feedback, it’s very much appreciated and helps us to improve our tours for our future travellers. I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed with some elements of your trip, we’ve tried to address each of the points you’ve raised below. I hope that this is helpful. Day 1 It's great to hear that you were able to tick off one of your bucket list destinations and that you felt most of the tour was awesome. However, I’m sorry if you felt that day 1 was a waste. I’m not sure if you are meaning the tour to Pella and Umm Qais here, or the arrival day, so will cover both here. As you had made your own pre-tour arrangements prior to joining the tour, you perhaps had more free time on the arrival day than is usual for our travellers who mostly arrive later on this day and appreciate some free time after their flights. We do offer some optional day trips in our Tour Notes for people who do arrive early. Pella and Umm Qais visited on Day 2, the first sightseeing day, are not Jordan’s most important or dramatic sites, but we do feel that they add something to the tour. Umm Qais shows a distinctive Roman city layout and has a lovely location high in the mountains, while Pella is rich in both antiquities and ruins covering thousands of years from a Chalcolithic settlement from 4000BC, Iron and Bronze age walled city remains, Byzantine churches a Greco Roman theatre, and early Islamic houses and a medieval mosque. Wadi Rum camp The tour includes a jeep safari in Wadi Rum in the morning, and then a free afternoon at the camp. The guide will sometimes return to Amman from Wadi Rum rather than staying overnight and we cover this in our tour notes (one of our shorter tours returns to Amman from Wadi Rum and if there are people on that trip the guide will return with them). This is something which we are considering changing for 2018 though as we agree that it would be better for the guide to stay overnight with the group here. The reason we haven’t done this in the past is because the crew at the Bedouin camp are normally very helpful in suggesting and arranging things to do during your free time (such as walks to the nearby sand dunes, longer hikes, camel rides of anything from 30 minutes to a whole afternoon, and then star gazing later at night). I’m sorry the camp staff weren’t as helpful as they should have been during your visit. It appears that this was because of the heat that you mention which made them assume that people would not want to be doing much activity in the middle of the day. We’re ensuring that assumptions are not made like this in future and all options are offered to fill your time to suit your preferences. Unfortunately due to the nature of camping in the desert, it can make the tents uncomfortably hot during daylight hours. There are some larger camps outside the desert reserve that can provide air conditioning, but this isn’t an option in the smaller camps that we like to use that are right inside Wadi Rum. Return to Amman We are ensuring that the communication is much better from the camp about the return to Amman. This tour is advertised as staying in 3 and 4-star level hotels with the final night in Amman being in a 3-star hotel. We do explain this in the tour notes and show the 3-star Antika Hotel as being used in Amman for the second stay. We like to use a Downtown hotel for your second stay in Amman so that you are much closer to areas of interest for your final evening, and the Antika Hotel has a great location at the top of Rainbow Street. This is a busy road with the locals (which is one reason we feel it is a good place to stay, as there are numerous cafes and restaurants to visit and relax in). Your stay coincided with the Eid Festival in Jordan which did result in downtown Amman being much busier and noisier than is usual. Overall I’m sorry once again that some elements of the tour didn’t live up to your expectations. I agree that communication could have been better in some sections and we are working on this, as well as planning some adjustments to the itinerary as a whole for 2018.
- AAnonymousWritten on January 2, 20144.0 - Goodtypically small group travel experiences can be very new and enduring. However, this one was moved by the presence of overwhelming tourisths that complained about all things. Their demeanor made it challenging to have a posititive vacation experience. Our driver, Yousef, made all the difference for us. His pleasant, helful and attentative approach turned what could have been a bad experience into a very pleasant one. I was very amazed by the way that he so calmly and professionally handled two tourist that were so difficult to please. Overall I had a wonderful Jordan experience.
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 20125.0 - ExcellentThis has been an amazing tour. I've enjoyed the whole week from day one. I've felt very welcome here in Jordan and I would definitely return. Petra by night is incredible as well as walking to the top to see the monestary. The Dead Se we go to tomorrow but realy looking forward to that. All in all this has been a memorable trip and I'll be keeping these memories I've made here close to my heart forever. The history and culture is incredible and thanks for running the tour. Thanks to Bashan for being a great driver / guide too!
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 20125.0 - ExcellentBashan the guide was fantastic. He kept us informed and answered all our questions. He is your best asset! Overall great tour. The hotel in Amman is quite far out of town center, and not a lot to do in the hotel or surrounding area. Maybe we would have preferred a night at the Dead Sea or Medaba instead of penultimate Amman night
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 20125.0 - ExcellentWhilst the standard of the hotel in Amman was fine, the towel smelled unwashed - small point. We appreciate the flexibility that the guide showed. May not have been possible for a larger group.
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 20125.0 - ExcellentA very big thank you to our driver Yusef for taking such good care of us on our holiday. We had a really relaxing holiday and my back and my back is feeling much better because we had time to re couperate. We will make sure we tell our friends and family back home all about it and hopefully we may even come back to Jordan for a second holiday soon!
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 20124.0 - GoodOur driver was exceptional and we would love to recoomend him. He arranged everything brilliantly and his time keeping was immaculate. The Geneva Hotel in Amman was oor for a 4-star hotel. Boathroom was poor. Service was poor. The tour would have been better if we stopped overnight in a Dead Sea resort on day 6 instead of traveling back to Amman. Alot of time was wasted driving between Amman, Jerash and teh Dead Sea on day 7. This could be avoided by staying in the Dead Sea overnight and give you more time there. We had 1.5 hours at the Dead Sea which was nowhere near enought. Thank you for helping to make this a holiday we will never forget!
- AAnonymousWritten on September 4, 2012We swopped Jerash for Hot Springs. It was incredible. We didn’t do Kerak as we didn’t want to. Our guide was excellent. Overall a good tour. We wish we had more assistance with the hotel situation as by the time we got internet access, Joseph told us to contact you directly
ItineraryDownload PDF Brochure
- Day 1: Arrive in Jordan, transfer to hotel
- Day 2: Pella and Umm Qais
- Day 3: Jerash and the Dead Sea
- Day 4: King's Highway to Petra via Madaba and Kerak
- Day 5: Petra tour and free time
- Day 6: Little Petra, Wadi Rum safari & Bedouin camp
- Day 7: To Amman via Wadi Mujib (seasonal)
- Day 8: Amman, free time, transfer to airport
AccommodationRated Average by past passengers
GuideRated Average by past passengers
MealsRated Average by past passengers
TransportRated Rather poor by past passengers
Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.
I'm going as a solo traveller for this trip, I'd like to know what are the other types of travellers going on this trip?
Generally there would be a good mix of passengers, from couples, singles, friends, family.
I'm a solo traveller, will I be sharing a room?
Yes, if there is an available. You will be sharing with a same gender solo traveller. However if sharing is not available then you have to pay for the single supplement. Please contact us to arrange this.
What is the minimum number of passengers needed for this tour to depart?
A minimum of 2 passengers is required for this trip to depart.
What are people saying about TourRadar?
- Anna9th July 2018
- SundayOct 7, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayOct 14, 2018to Amman10+ seats left$136$1,469-9%USD $1,333
- SundayOct 21, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayOct 28, 2018to Amman0 seats left$59USD $1,410
- SundayNov 4, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayNov 11, 2018to Amman0 seats left$59USD $1,410
- SundayNov 18, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayNov 25, 2018to Amman0 seats left$55USD $1,324
- SundayDec 2, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayDec 9, 2018to Amman0 seats left$55USD $1,324
- SundayDec 16, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayDec 23, 2018to Amman0 seats left$55USD $1,324
- SundayDec 23, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayDec 30, 2018to Amman0 seats left$59USD $1,410
- SundayDec 30, 2018from Amman8 DaysSundayJan 6, 2019to Amman0 seats left$62USD $1,487
Monthly price comparison
About the countries
Plugs & Adapters
- Recommended for Jordan and Egypt. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis A
- Recommended for Jordan and Egypt. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended for Jordan and Egypt. Ideally 2 months before travel.
- Recommended for Jordan and Egypt. Ideally 1 month before travel.
- Yellow fever
- Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Jordan. Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an infected area for Egypt. Ideally 10 days before travel.
- Start and end in Amman.
- Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
- TourRadar only requires a deposit of $250 to confirm this Encounters Travel booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 20 November 2018 the full payment of $1,333 is necessary.
- Cancellation policy
- No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $1333 for Jordan Encounters, but the deposit of $250 is non-refundable. If you cancel via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
- Some departure dates and prices may vary and Encounters Travel will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
- Credit Cards
- The following cards are accepted for Encounters Travel tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express
- Amman (Jordan)
- 285 km
- Aqaba (Jordan)
- 41 km
- Wadi Rum (Jordan)
- 82 km
- Petra (Jordan)
- 98 km
- Kerak (Egypt)
- 61 km
- Madaba (Jordan)
- 13 km
- Mt Nebo (Jordan)
- 34 km
- Amman (Jordan)
- 36 km
- Jerash (Jordan)
- 90 km
- Dead Sea (Jordan)
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- All reviews are verified from travellers who went on Jordan Encounters