1. Bethany Beyond the Jordan River & Iraq al Amir Tour
After pickup from your accommodation in Amman, travel in an air-conditioned vehicle to the River Jordan, soaking in views of Jordan's barren landscapes along the way. Arrive at Bethany Beyond the Jordan River, known as El-Maghtas in Arabic, which is the site on the eastern bank of the river where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Meet your local guide and take a tour of the riverbanks and key excavated ruins. Learn how the site was sanctified as the place of Jesus’ baptism by the Vatican and visited by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Drink in the powerful sense of spirituality and see the remnants of Roman and Byzantine churches, caves, wells, and baptismal pools. Discover why this place is held to be deeply holy in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam: learn why archaeologists believe that John the Baptist lived, preached, and performed baptisms here, and why it is believed to be the site of the Prophet Elijah’s ascension to heaven. Afterward, reconvene with your driver and return to Amman, where your tour ends at your accommodation. You can also choose to include a visit to Iraq Al Amir after your tour of Bethany Beyond the Jordan River. This is home to numerous cliff-side caves dating to the Copper Age. Drive through olive groves and pine trees and after viewing the caves continue to nearby Qasr al-Abad, a restored pre-Roman building dating from the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. Admire the exterior, pillars, and animal carvings as you walk around the age-old edifice, which is thought to have been a villa or minor palace. Then, reconvene with your driver and return to Amman, where your tour ends at your accommodation.