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David Moreno: MorYoga invites you this 11-day "Journey to Petra: A Yoga Adventure" retreat in Jordan. In this yoga retreat, you will practice yoga with an international yoga instructor David Moreno and explore Petra as well as other destinations in Jordan. You will not have to worry because there is already more than you can imagine at Petra. David Moreno: MorYoga only mentions this to you because it is just part of the en vogue and buzz about visiting this timeless country as well as ancient culture.
You will explore the countless treasures of Jordan's capital city from Marriott Amman Hotel, right in the heart of the downtown district. Located just a few moments from landmarks including the Citadel and the Roman Amphitheatre, the Marriott Amman Hotel is designed to exceed your every expectation. You can dine in style at one of the hotel's five on-site restaurants and lounges or visit the Oasis Health Club for a workout while you're here in Amman.
Marriott Amman also offers a soothing spa with a wide range of treatments. Marriott Amman Hotel places you near everything you want to see, do and experience. Brilliant travel begins here at the Marriott Ammann Hotel. The amenities include deluxe pillow top mattresses and marble bathrooms with bidets, robes and slippers.
Thanks to the prime city center location, you will be well-placed to explore the city of Amman. You may also enjoy a swim in the indoor and outdoor pools, relax in the sauna or break a sweat in our modern gym and conclude your workout with a spa treatment.
Evason Ma'in Hot Springs is located 30 kilometers from the ‘mosaic’ city of Madaba and right of the corner of the Dead Sea. It is a scenic 60-minute drive from Amman Queen Alia International Airport (AMM). Lying 264 meters below sea level in a spectacular mountain landscape, Evason Ma’in Hot Springs is close by to the southeast corner of the Dead Sea and a leisurely drive to historic Madaba.
Evason Ma'in Hot Springs combines locally-inspired architecture and ambiance with family-friendly services, facilities and attention to detail. Set like an oasis in the dramatic terrain, the location is easily accessible and defines the resort and spa experience in the Middle East which makes it a destination of choice for those seeking the perfect retreat to relax as well as be pampered whilst enjoying the therapeutic benefits of Ma’in hot spring waterfalls.
The stunning property combines high levels of hospitality with locally-inspired architecture and peaceful surroundings to ensure an unforgettable experience. Evason Ma'in Hot Springs offers a vast array of family-friendly services and facilities to ensure a personal attention in a welcoming atmosphere.
You will retreat to your private Bedouin-style tent with its surrounding expanse of silken sand and luxurious accommodation. Wadi Rum Night Camp consists of 25 fully-equipped luxury tents which each spacious guest tent is luxuriously furnished completed with comfortable king-size or twin beds, Bedouin sofa, mirrors, lamps and the finest bed linens.
All of the furniture is hand-made. There is cozy relaxation area outside the tent to watch the stars at night. Electricity is provided in the guest tents in the evenings via solar power. Each tent has a private terrace with a fantastic view over the Wadi Rum Mountains.
Enjoy one of the Seven Wonders of the World which is the ancient Nabatean city of Petra carved from the rock over a thousand years ago. Embracing traditional hospitality and overlooking Jordan's timeless wonder, the Petra Hotel offers anticipatory as well as traditional service designed to exceed all expectations. The hotel is a haven for comfort and luxury. Almost all of the spacious rooms have spectacular views of the valley.
There are several culinary choices such as Dushara Restaurant where you can start your day with an elaborate breakfast buffet or enjoy Middle Eastern specialties for lunch or dinner and L'Affresco which is an Italian restaurant where you can feast on homemade pizza and pasta. For relaxation, you can swim in the outdoor pool and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Petra Mountains or rejuvenate your body with a Turkish bath, sauna as well as massage.
You will stay connected with Petra Hotel's complimentary Wi-Fi connection in the public areas. Wireless connection is also available in the guestrooms with surcharge. You can also experience a relaxing day at Loofah Turkish Bath after a lively day spent at Petra ancient site which is located just a 10-minute drive from the hotel.
Petra Hotel's spacious rooms feature safe, mini-bar, individual climate control, hair dryer and iron as well as the new bed from Marriott which is luxurious down comforters and fluffier feather pillows The hotel offers incredible comfort for a great night's rest as well as amenities for your morning routine. Most rooms offer spectacular views of the Petra Valley.
You will enter an enchanting world of authentic Bedouin hospitality and natural beauty. Deep in the heart of the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve at the end of a rugged track, Feynan Eco Lodge is an idyllic candle-lit lodge rests in the magnificent Wadi Feynan. Hailed as one of the best 25 eco-lodges in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, the award-winning solar powered Feynan Eco Lodge offers the most developed eco-experience in Jordan.
It is an experience only made possible by a unique partnership between eco hotels and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature which is a Jordanian NGO devoted to the protection of the Kingdom’s finest natural landscapes.
Feynan Eco Lodge is set against the glorious desert landscape. The guests will be staying at the 26-room lodge that can be found adventuring through the untouched outdoors, sipping sweet tea with the native Bedouin, exploring local archaeological sites or simply unwinding in the serene courtyards and terraces of the candle-lit complex. You will be safe in the knowledge that your travels in Jordan are socially and environmentally responsible.
Each of the 26 guestrooms at Feynan Eco Lodge is unique. They are designed around a series of internal courtyards reminiscent of the ancient caravanserai or inns on the silk routes through the desert. Whichever distinctive room you choose, you will enjoy ambient lighting from candles tucked in alcoves around the room and solar-heated showers in your private en-suite bathroom. Solar generated electricity is provided in the bathrooms for your convenience.
The Dead Sea Marriott cannot wait to exceed your wildest expectations. Showcasing a picture-perfect location on the sandy shores of the enthralling Dead Sea, Dead Sea Marriott welcomes business and leisure travelers with five-star resort lodging and a remarkable assortment of luxury perks. All of their spacious as well as stylishly appointed hotel rooms and suites, provides sensational views of the Dead Sea, deluxe bedding, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar and much more.
You will be thrilled with Dead Sea Marriott's wide selection of fine dining options, their multiple heated pools and their cutting-edge signature spa. You will treat yourself to the adventure of a lifetime at the Dead Sea Marriott. Every resort room showcases separate living and sleeping areas as well as sweeping views of the Dead Sea. You will also take an advantage of a flat-screen TV, luxury bedding, a storage safe, a mini-bar and a coffee maker.
Dead Sea Marriott's signature spa can help you discover the essence of rejuvenation. As one of the largest spas in Jordan, Dead Sea Marriott features massages, facials, a Dead Sea salt pool, yoga and fitness classes as well as a variety of luxury packages.
Getting to Jordan will be a bit of its own journey. You can allow yourself a day to acclimate. If you are up for it, there will be an informal dinner and orientation at the hotel on November 1, 2017. However, the meal will not be included in your package.
You will tour the modern and ancient capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Amman. Amman has a population of about 2.8 million people and is a busy commercial and administrative center. It is home to many fine hotels, restaurants, art galleries, three museums as well as old markets and Souks that sell gold and spices. Modern boutiques offer everything from local handicrafts to the latest imported fashions.
Towering above Amman in an area known as the “citadel”, the excavations have revealed structures from the Neolithic period through to the Hellenistic which is the late Roman period to the Arab-Islamic period. The structures include the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and a Byzantine church. At the foot of the citadel and carved into the hill, there lies the Roman theater that has 6,000 seats which still used for various events to this very day.
The marvels of nature and the genius of medieval Arab military architecture have given northern Jordan two of the most important ecological and historical attractions in the Middle East such as the sprawling pine forests of the Ajloun-Dibbine area and the towering Ayyubid Castle at Ajloun which helped to defeat the Crusaders eight centuries ago.
Ajloun Castle (Qal’at Ar-Rabad) was built by one of Saladin’s generals in 1184 AD to control the iron mines of Ajloun and to deter the Franks from invading Ajloun. Ajloun Castle dominated the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and protected the trade and commercial routes between Jordan and Syria. It became an important link in the defensive chain against the Crusaders who unsuccessfully spend decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village.
After visiting Ajloun Castle, you will drive to Tell Mar Elias and Anjara where you will have a garden lunch at Lady of the Mountain Village under ice pine, olive and fig trees. The ladies of the village will prepare this wonderful home cooked meal and the profit will go to helping out the community and orphanage. After lunch, you will head to Jerash which is a close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan.
The ancient city of Jerash boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years. Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities which is the Decapolis League.
The city’s golden age came under Roman rule during which time it was known as Gerasa and the site is now generally acknowledged to be one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world.
Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash reveals a fine example of the grand and formal provincial Roman urbanism that is found throughout the Middle East which comprising paved as well as colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains as well as city walls pierced by towers and gates.
You will have a morning yoga and breakfast. Then, you will continue the exploration of Amman before heading to Umm Qais. Umm Qais is a town in northern Jordan near the site of the ancient town of Gadara. It is situated in the extreme northwest of the country where the borders of Jordan, Israel as well as Syria meet and perched on a hilltop (378 meters above sea level).
The town is overlooking the sea of Tiberias, the Golan Heights and the Yarmuk gorge. You will have lunch at Romero Restaurant which overlooks the Sea of Galilee and all three countries. The dinner will be on your own tonight.
You will have a morning yoga and breakfast. Then, you will leave for Mount Nebo which is the mountaintop memorial of Moses with captivating views of the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and The River Jordan. Early Christians built a small Byzantine church there which has been expanded into a vast complex. During his visit to Jordan in 2001, the Late Pope John Paul II held a sermon here that was attended by some 20,000 faithful.
You will embark on a tour of Madaba. Madaba is best-known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. Madaba is home to the famous sixth century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of vividly colored local stone, it depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta. The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George.
You will walk to Harriet Jdodna Restaurant for another amazing regional lunch. After lunch, you will drive to Hot Springs Ma’in Hotel. Once at the Ma’in, you will have an afternoon yoga session followed by free time for the hot springs, spa treatments and hikes. The buffet dinner will be included at the hotel restaurant.
You may enjoy another of Jordan’s natural treasures. Just minutes away from the Dead Sea at 866 feet below sea level is the Evason Ma’in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa. This oasis reopened in 2010 after a 12 million USD renovation. It is known for its access to waterfalls that are fed by hot mineral springs. Legend has it that they were once the bathing place of King Herod the Great since the water had medicinal and therapeutic properties.
A new spa complex is devoted to the healing properties of these mineral rich waters. The spa also features treatments such as the three-hour Hammam Ma’in signature journey which includes the use of dead sea salts, steam, mud wrap, a body massage and a scalp massage using warm henna flower oil as well as a bath in the waters from the hot springs.
You will have a morning yoga and breakfast. After a leisurely morning, you will head out for Wadi Rum Dessert which is the majestic backdrops the films Lawrence of Arabia and the Martian. This will be one of the longer bus rides of about four hours heading south. Wadi Rum is known as The Valley of the Moon which cut into the sandstone and granite rock.
It has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times. Many cultures (including the Nabateans) leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti and temples. In the West, Wadi Rum is known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917-1918. Desert trekking, jeep safari, camels ride, hot air ballooning and camping are some the activities you can do in Wadi Rum.
You will take jeeps to watch the sunset before heading to the luxury camp with David Moreno: MorYoga's spaces and well-decorated tents. The buffet dinner will be included.
You will be up at 04:30 to mount the camels and head toward sunrise. This will be a breathtaking experience as you will become part of a Bedouin tribe of camels and camel herders. After greeting the sun, you will head back to camp for showers, yoga and buffet breakfast. Then, you will hop aboard the same jeeps as the day before to head back to the bus in order to drive from Wadi Rum to the city of Petra for about two hours. A 3-hour Petra visit will include The Obelisk Tombs, The Siq, The Treasury, Tombs, Roman theater, Point of view of the Royal Tombs and buffet dinner at Petra Marriott Hotel.
In Petra, you will explore ‘the hidden treasury of the lost Nabatean city of Petra’. Petra (meaning ‘rock’ in Greek) is the legacy of the Nabatean race, an industrious Arab people who lived in the city nearly 2,000 years ago. The city is a great feat of engineering with its unique architecture and sophisticated water channels.
Because of the city’s hidden location, it had been kept a secret by the Arabs and remained unknown to the Western world until 1812 when it was revealed by the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt who tricked the Arabs into gaining access into the city. The city was designated a world heritage site in 1985 and recently it was declared one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Petra is a city which architecture was carved in the rock. David Moreno: MorYoga's guides will take you through “Al-Siq” which is the historic entrance into the rose red city which follows a kilometer long chasm with walls soaring 200 meters above.
The original entrance to Petra will take you down through a winding gorge dramatized by the huge range of colored sandstone ancient rock walls. At the end of the Siq, Petra’s most famous monument which is the treasury will come into view. The journey into the city will be breathtaking.
You will get an early breakfast to get an early start back into Petra. If you get an early enough start, you will have time to chant in some of the tombs and temples then hike it while the temperatures are still agreeable. You will also hike, walk, ride donkeys and horses to new locations including the “monastery” and have a very good buffet lunch which is included at the international restaurant on site.
The part of the day will be with David Moreno: MorYoga's tour guide and the rest will be up to your own exploration. After a good chunk of the day on the ruins, you will return to the hotel and you may sit by the pool as well as re-hydrate. The dinner will be on your own before you head back to the site for the candle lit evening presentation called "Petra By Night".
You will have a morning yoga and breakfast. After that, you will drive to the picturesque Dana Village and through the terraced gardens and local craft workshops. You can meet the local residents, see original Ottoman architecture and learn more about Dana’s rich history. There will be lots of long haired goats to watch too before lunch at the village trail. Then, a two-hour drive to Feynan Eco Village will be arriving in time for sunset hike and candle lit evening in the desert.
Feynan Eco Village is located on the western end of Dana. The lodge has been mentioned by National Geographic Adventure magazine as one of the top 50 eco lodges in the world. The lodge is part of a Jordanian non-governmental organization known as the royal society for the conservation of nature (RSCN). It is devoted to protecting the kingdom’s natural landscape and wildlife.
You can do stargazing followed by dinner as you will listen to Bedouin folk songs accompanied by the delicate sound of the oud (Bedouin stringed instrument).
You will practice yoga followed by a sunrise hike before breakfast. Next, you can have a cooking class where you can make your own tasty lunch and learn how to create wonderful Arabic food. You will leave in the afternoon and begin a two-hour drive to the Dead Sea with vistas stops along the way. You will arrive and check in to the Dead Sea Marriott late afternoon. The dinner will be on your own. There is a very good Italian restaurant at the Marriott which is one of three dining options.
You will have a morning yoga and breakfast. Today can be your spa day and Dead Sea mud experience with swimming pools over looking the Dead Sea while facing Jerusalem and Jericho in Israel. This day is to catch up, hang out and indulge. You will have plenty of free time.
You will have morning yoga and breakfast. Then, you will have more pool, sea and spa time. The Dead Sea which is the lowest point on earth is lying in the Jordan rift valley. The Dead Sea is surrounded by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west. It is over 400 meters below sea level and is considered to have therapeutic and healing properties. The mud and water are both rich in minerals making its famously buoyant water a joy to experience.
The Dead Sea has also been a historical and religious importance. The five biblical cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar were all believed to have been located in this region. It is also the site of John the Baptist’s settlement at ‘Bethany beyond the Jordan’ where Jesus was baptized and also where you will visit in the late afternoon.
After a lovely dinner at the hotel, you will have a closing ceremony here before some will leave for late night flights while others stay the night and leave the next day.
Note: This itinerary is susceptible to minor changes and refining.
Yoga Alliance RYT 500 (Yoga)
David Moreno has taught at international yoga conferences, festivals, universities and teacher training programs worldwide. He has worked privately with students in the fashion and entertainment industries and has trained world-class athletes including the coach of the 2004/2008 Olympics US men's swim team. He has also served as a product adviser and ambassador for the Canadian company Lululemon Athletica. He is a certified pilates instructor and is an ordained minister.
In this yoga retreat, you will practice yoga at David Moreno: MorYoga's provided accommodations and have adventures in Jordan including Amman, Ajloun Castle, Tell Mar Elias, Anjara, Jerash, Mount Nebo, Wadi Rum, Umm Qais, Madaba, Feyan Eco Village, Petra, 'Bethany beyond the Jordan' as well as the Dead Sea. Traveling around Jordan is effortless and seldom takes more than three hours to get from place to place in David Moreno: MorYoga's air-conditioned tour bus.
David Moreno: MorYoga never felt safer in a foreign country than Jordan. This has been a total surprise considering how volatile the Middle East can be which has also been the number one concern expressed by students interested in traveling to Petra.
To date, Jordan is the safest country in that region and exceeding even Turkey’s political unrest and violence. The benefit about this misconception about Jordan being a dangerous place is that tourism is down so none of the great sites like Petra which is the seventh wonder of the world are overrun with tourists who make it easy to get a real sense of these sites with little hassle.
Equally surprising is that vendors are low key and respectful and seldom bother tourists to buy their wares even though one would think they would be desperate to do so. It is something that is very different from other Arab countries. Thanks to better satellites and drone images, archeologists have received a much better idea of the scale and importance of this new site even though it will be years before Petra is excavated. Also, Vogue Magazine just featured Jordan in its top ten travel destinations.
During this yoga retreat, you will be served with all breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners. On day 1, you will have a garden lunch at Lady of the Mountain Village when you drive to Tell Mar Elias and Anjara. The ladies of the village will prepare you a wonderful home cooked meal. On day 2, you will have lunch at Romero Restaurant at Umm Qais which overlooks the Sea of Galilee and all three countries. However, the dinner will be on your own tonight.
On day 3, you will walk to Harriet Jdodna Restaurant at Madaba for an amazing regional lunch and a buffet dinner will be included at the hotel restaurant. On day 4, you will have a buffet dinner at the camp. You will also have a buffet dinner at Petra Marriott Hotel on day 5. On day 6, you will have a very good buffet lunch which is included at the international restaurant on Petra site and the dinner will be on your own.
On day 7, you will have dinner as you will listen to Bedouin folk songs accompanied by the delicate sound of the oud (Bedouin stringed instrument) at Feynan Eco Lodge. On day 8, the dinner will be on your own. There is a very good Italian restaurant at the Marriott which is one of three dining options. On day 10, you will have a lovely dinner at the Dead Sea Marriott hotel.
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