Virtuoso Traveler - August/September 2018 - 22
Compass | DISPATCH
In the red: A caravan of
camels in Wadi Rum.
Jordan: Beyond the
along the Southern
Monarch Beach Resort
has a vibe all its own.
This is a Five Diamond
resort with zero
pretense. Pure luxury
that's ever so chill. In a
word, we're Chilluxe.
"Jordan is an active adventurer's dream, from
hiking to horseback riding to snorkeling in
the Red Sea. In Wadi Hidan, one of the country's hidden treasures, we went floating and
swimming through the black basalt canyon in
water up to our necks."
DANA POINT, CA
V I R T U O S O T R AV E L E R
"We followed our guide up the country's
highest mountain, 6,083-foot Jabal Umm ad
Dami in Wadi Rum, and were rewarded with
sweeping views of otherworldly landscapes
extending all the way to Saudi Arabia."
NIKOLA MILCIC/GETTY IMAGES
Petra, the world-renowned archaeological
site in southern Jordan, is the country's biggest
"We spent two days cycling some 40 miles on
attraction. As you approach the ancient city
the new Jordan Bike Trail, and now I couldn't
through the winding, mile-long canyon pathway
imagine experiencing this dynamic country
known as the Siq, says Virtuoso travel advisor
any other way. About halfway through our
Shawn Kirschenman, the most spectacular
ride, we somehow found the energy to
sighting occurs just as you negotiate the final
scramble up the rocks and watch the most
turn. It's there that "a sliver of the magnificent
Al-Khazneh [Treasury] comes into view," he
describes. "Each step reveals more and
Be There: Your
more, until suddenly, the narrow, dark
"After a long day of mountain biking, we
can work with
gorge opens into a sunny plaza, where
met a kind bedouin named Abu Sabah,
the complete masterpiece is revealed."
who invited us into his home outside
The Seattle-based advisor, who
Little Petra for tea and a rest. He has 14
Kent Jordan, to
craft a personalized children, and they live with their animals
recently traveled to Jordan on a
journey to Petra
familiarization tour arranged through
in a tented desert community."
the Adventure Travel Trade Association, says the Rose-Red City is indeed a sight
to behold. Yet Kirschenman emphasizes that
"Many Western visitors come to Jordan having
this Middle East country is "so much more than
never laid eyes on a camel. Almost all depart
Petra." Here, a few of his impressions.
with received wisdom and a strong fondness
for these magical creatures."