Wander Women Jordan:
Yoga + Ancient Adventures Retreat
Petra + Beyond
May 23-30, 2024
Join us for an eight-day retreat in Jordan to explore the unique and enchanted city of Petra, the amazing desert landscape at Wadi Rum, the impressive city of Jerash, the healing powers of the Dead Sea and the modern capital of Amman!
Jordan is a small country bursting with diverse landscapes, cultures and climates. Though it is home to a World Wonder and on the bucket list of many, it can be a challenging destination in which to carve a unique path. Enter Wander Women Retreats! We’ve scoured the country for off-the-beaten path experiences, boutique hotels, and magical moments you simply won’t find anywhere else — think hip non-profit cafes, chic yoga studios and street art tours in Amman, meditations and spa treatments alongside the Dead Sea, Jordanian wine tastings and cave dinners in Petra, and a movie night under the stars in Wadi Rum.
Still want more? Join us on our Aqaba Extension to soak up the sea, sand and sun of the Red Sea’s poshest beach town.
As always, Wander Women Retreats is focusing on lifting up local women; partnering with a women-led cooking class in Amman, a women’s co-op restaurant in Jerash, and more!
Bonus? A beloved Wander Women photographer will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in their favorite asanas and in front of ancient wonders. Plus, we’ll go all out on a welcome bag full of goods from local NGOs and artisans.
The retreat will be held from May 23-30, 2024. The cost, including all of the below, starts at $4,500 for a shared room or $5,400 for a private room.
• Seven nights accommodation
• Two meals a day
• Entrance fees and tours of all historic sites with an expert guide
• Daily yoga + activities
• All additional local transportation and airport transfers
• A custom welcome bag
• All gratuities for tour guides, included meals, airport pickups, and drivers (we generously tip hundreds of dollars on your behalf, removing the stress and anxiety of when and how much to tip!)
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to local charities
• Visa to Jordan + border crossing fees, if coming from Wander Women Israel
What’s Included // Aqaba Extension
The four day Aqaba Extension will be held from May 30-June 2, 2024 and can be added for $1,350 for a shared room or $1,500 for a private room. Guests who book all three retreats (Israel, Jordan + Aqaba Extension) will receive a complimentary add-on activity of their choice!
• Three nights luxury accommodation
• Two meals a day
• Snorkeling, a discovery dive, or two scuba dives in the Red Sea
• Sea glass jewelry workshop
• A sunset cruise
• Day out at an Aqaba beach club
• Professional photos of the trip, above and below the sea!
• Flights to and from Jordan
• Dead Sea spa treatments
• Motorized water sports not specified in the itinerary
• Additional meals or activities not specified in the itinerary
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1 : Say hello to Jordan! If you’re coming from Wander Women Israel, awesome! We’ll cross the border together. If not, we’ll gather in Amman at the vivid and contemporary W Amman, where we’ll admire the city from the rooftop pool. Enjoy a yin yoga class taught at a local studio before heading to get our first taste of Jordanian cuisine at one of our favorite cooking schools in the world, owned and operated by a local female entrepreneur.
Day 2: We’ll welcome the day with a poolside yoga class before heading to Jerash, the second major site in Jordan after Petra, considered one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world. Our lunch stop is the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative, which aims to make the women in the area financially independent (and is delicious!). Back at the hotel, we will chill out with some free time before dinner downtown at a local hotspot.
Day 3: After breakfast it’s time to explore vibrant Amman! We will start with an outdoor aerial yoga class and a morning perusing nearby galleries before lunch at sleek wildlife charity cafe Wild Jordan, overlooking the citadel you’ll later explore. Before the day is over we will see a different side of Amman with a street art tour of the city’s best art installations! Enjoy dinner at your leisure for our last night in this Middle Eastern capital.
Day 4: After breakfast it’s time to bid Amman farewell and head south towards the Dead Sea! Along the way we will stop for canyoning at Wadi Mujib, one of the hits of last year’s Jordan trip. The Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world, with a spectacular array of scenery near the east coast of the Dead Sea. We will hike the Siq Trail to follow the course of the river between the towering sandstone cliffs to the base of a large waterfall. After, unwind at the Kempinski Dead Sea hotel, famed for its luxurious onsite facilities including an award-winning spa which offers twenty beautifully designed treatment rooms, six outdoor relaxation areas, hydro-facilities, heated lounges, and the largest pool in the Dead Sea. If you’ve come from the Israel side of the Dead Sea with us, fear not: each is a totally unique experience, and you won’t want to miss either!
Day 5: Rise and shine to yoga overlooking the Dead Sea. After breakfast, enjoy a few final hours of spa treatments, sea floats, self-journaling or catching up on your sleep! Soon, we’re off to Petra. Our hotel and home in Wadi Musa is a beautiful resort compound dating from the 1800’s overlooking the Shahara Mountains. Visit the Petra Museum and Visitor Center to get oriented before enjoying a glass of Jordanian wine at Cave Bar, one of the world’s oldest watering holes. End the night with a highlight of the trip — a first peek of Petra, by the glow of candlelight.
Day 6: An early morning will see us depart for a full day exploring Petra. Through the winding gorge we will find a magnificent city carved out of red rock 2,000 years ago by the Nabataean Arabs. Petra is a treasure of the ancient world, hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains, and one of the most majestic and imposing ancient sites still standing today. They made it one of the Seven World Wonders for a reason! That night, we’ll soothe our tired bodies with a relaxing yin yoga before a special dinner surprise that will be a magical ending to a day you’ll never forget.
Day 7: It’s time for a change of planetary scenery — we’re heading to Mars! Well, not the real Mars of course, but pretty close. We’re heading into the desert and into Wadi Rum to stay in giant tents with panoramic views of the night sky. Before we cuddle up for a night under the stars we will embark on a Bedouin Jeep tour to view the inscriptions, canyons and amazing rock formations known as Jebels that rise from the desert floor.
Day 8: Sunrise salutations and a guided meditation in the desert is the best way to head into our last day in Jordan — unless you’re sticking around to pamper yourself by the Red Sea on our Aqaba Extension. After we feast on a vast Middle Eastern breakfast we will pack up and say ma’a salama to Jordan (for now!) before heading back to the airport.
Joining our Aqaba Extension? Keep reading below…The fun continues with three more nights together in Aqaba to make the most of the weekend!
Extend to Aqaba
Situated four hours south of the capital city of Amman, sandwiched between borders with Israel and Saudi Arabia, and with Egypt just across the water, modern-day Aqaba is pulling out all the stops to establish itself as the best Red Sea holiday spot in the Middle East. With year-round sunshine, luxury hotels, and great diving it is no wonder even the King himself is often spotted at this seaside gem.
This extension is for divers and non-divers alike as we dial back the speed and take an opportunity to bask in the sun and sea before rolling up the towel on what has been an incredible adventure. Certified divers will double dive two amazing sites and those who are curious of the underwater world will finally get to blow bubbles on a discovery dive — no experience required! If you prefer to keep breathing the air above sea level you will be blown away by the beautiful snorkeling in between soaking up the sun on the top deck of our boat.
In addition to our morning out at sea, we’ll take a tour of the town’s mosque, fort, and souk, enjoy a seaglass jewelry workshop at a local women’s cooperative, and soak up tons of sun and beach clubs at our luxurious five star resort’s many oceanfront pools!
Day 8: Settle in for the short one hour drive to Aqaba — we’re beach bound! Jordan’s tiny slice of the Red Sea has been intentionally developed as a chic playground for lovers of all things sun, sand and sea. Start out by making your own souvenir with a sustainable seaglass jewelry workshop and lunch led by local women before checking into our modern hotel. Spend the afternoon splashing around the four outdoor pools and walkable marina filled with shops, restaurants, and yes, bars! That night, enjoy dinner at one of the many options on our island oasis.
Day 9: Salute the sun with morning yoga before we head off for a day to dive or snorkel to our heart’s content! There’s nothing like cruising the Red Sea with great music and company together on the top deck. Back on land, head out on an optional afternoon city tour to explore sights like the Aqaba Fort, the Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque, and the local markets. At night, we’re in for a treat! It’s the weekly Souk By The Sea Friday night event, a lively pop-up market in downtown Aqaba featuring over 50 local artisans, Jordanian food and drinks, music and more.
Day 10: After a morning yoga practice, it’s time to relax at the end of a week (or two!) of wild Middle Eastern travels! We’re heading to Aqaba’s most hip and colorful beach club for a day as chill or active as you crave. Hop between various hammocks and beach beds, or even tubing or jet skis for a thrill. Close out our beach babe day with the only appropriate sendoff — a cruise with a BBQ onboard, toasting to our final Middle Eastern sunset together.
Day 11: We’re not crying, you’re crying! Head to the airport in Aqaba or Amman to catch your flight home, heart full and a bursting list of new travel besties.
Where We’ll Stay and What We’ll Eat
Three nights accommodation at a luxury Amman hotel, one night at a hotel and spa at the Dead Sea, two nights at a traditional cultural village hotel in Petra, one night in a bubble tent under the stars of Wadi Rum, and an optional three nights at a seaside five star hotel in Aqaba.
While many guided trips of Jordan include accommodation in bland chain hotels, we have carefully selected accommodation that blend both comfort and culture!
In Amman we will be staying at the effortlessly cool W Amman, which features local art installations, a swish spa and a heated pool. At the lowest point on Earth, the Kempinski is known for its unique exterior and interior design inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon. In Petra we will stay in the preserved archaeological site that is The Old Village Resort — all of the buildings on the site are the originals built in the 1800s and brought up to date to reflect the needs of today’ traveler. In Wadi Rum we will sleep in a Bedouin camp in our very own bubble martian tents that include private bathrooms and air conditioning. Finally, those of us continuing on to Aqaba will luxuriate at the Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla which includes all of the amenities and onsite services necessary to leave you fully recharged.
Private rooms have one bed while shared rooms feature two twin beds in most cases. While you can of course room with a friend, if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are many of our guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with — and we’ll all be one big family by the end anyway.
Every day, two meals will be included; breakfast and lunch or dinner. For the non-included meal of the day, we’ll bring you to a favorite spot where you can order at your own expense, or branch off and do your own thing. Jordanian food is generally healthy and delicious, and all special diets can be accommodated!
Getting There and Away
International flights will arrive and depart from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman. The tour begins and ends in Amman unless you are coming on the Aqaba Extension. From Aqaba, you can hop a quick flight back up to Amman or cross the border into Eilat, Israel on your own should you wish to extend your adventure solo.
For those who are coming from Wander Women Israel, you’ll be seamlessly whisked across the border by us and all transfer costs between retreats will be included. We recommend booking an open-jaw ticket to fly into Tel Aviv and out of Amman or Aqaba for ease. We are happy to help with an hour of free consultation when booking your travel, get in touch!
Health + Safety
There are no COVID requirements to enter Jordan. Yalla!
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alexandra Baackes as your host, Oriane Attali as your retreat manager, and Jenny Lord as your private photographer.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland, and will lead your yoga practices throughout this trip. She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for over a decade. She fell in love with the Middle East when she first fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting in 2011 and has now launched retreats in many of its countries, including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon, and traveled as well to Bahrain, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. She can’t wait to share the unique culture and landscapes of this region with you!
Oriane Attali first fell in love with yoga while living on a remote beach in Panama. It was miles away (both physically and mentally!) from her Biotechnology degree in Israel, but after having a little taste of a calmer pace she knew she was there to stay. She began traveling and teaching through Central America, Europe, and the Middle East at different festivals, retreats, conventions and hotels. After spontaneously meeting Alex at an aerial class in Mexico, Oriane has been a part of Wander Women Tulum, Wander Women Tel Aviv, and now, Wander Women Jordan! Oriane is now the manager of the Israeli wellness center Guna House and specializes in teaching a dynamic vinyasa flow and uplifting acroyoga classes. Oriane thrives from simply connecting to others and providing a non-judgmental space where each being can feel confident and safe to be as they are.
Jenny Lord is an accomplished photographer originally from the United Kingdom who has shot many of our previous retreats on the Red Sea, in Egypt and in Lebanon. She lives and works in Egypt as a tech dive instructor, speaks an impressive amount of Arabic, and loves to welcome travelers to the Middle East. Jenny cannot wait to capture your best angle from both above and below water!
This retreat has limited space — book soon to avoid disappointment! Your deposit will be the first of five total payments for this trip, spread into convenient monthly installments.
This trip requires a minimum number of guests to run. We will notify you when it is a guaranteed departure! Until then, please do not book non-refundable airfare.
Can’t make this one? Don’t sweat — sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats. Don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
So does non-refundable really mean non-refundable?
Yes, all payments are non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control, you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payments to a future trip.
The reason payments are non-refundable is that we start incurring costs from the moment someone presses “book” — from credit card fees to high hourly wages for our team who correspond with guests, manage trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyze forms to create room assignments, coordinate with our local vendors, and beyond.
There’s nothing we want more than for our guests to take and enjoy the travel they have worked hard and paid for. Thank you so much for your understanding and respect of our need to enforce this policy strictly. We want to be here to travel with you for years to come!
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, it is mandatory for all Wander Women Retreat guests to have personal travel insurance for the duration of the trip, and dive insurance for the Aqaba extension. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers coverage at affordable rates. We recommend you book your travel insurance as soon as you make your trip deposit to protect your investment.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your retreat and we want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s a lot to see and experience, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that balances the best of activity and downtime. But any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, we’re going to cheer you on.
How much money will I need to bring?
Jordan has a healthy economy, and prices may seem comparable to some US and European destinations. For meals at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend roughly $15USD for lunch or $25USD for dinner depending on where you go and what you order. Alcohol is not readily available throughout the country and when it is it can be up to $20USD for a cocktail or simple glass of wine. We recommend stopping to shop duty free when leaving your home country!
What about visas?
Visas are required for travel to Jordan from the US, Canada, The UK, or many other countries. We will be taking care of these for you so that you will have them on arrival to the country.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
Is there a waiting list?
There will be a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is email@example.com.