ESSENTIAL SAUDI ARABIA, 19 FEB-8 MAR, 2023

ESSENTIAL SAUDI ARABIA
19 FEB-8 MAR, 2023

with Jeremy Woodhouse

(17 days – 16 nights), maximum group size 8


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DOWNTOWN RIYADH FROM THE FAISALIAH TOWER

Saudi Arabia is quite rich and diverse in its landscapes, traditions and culture. From magnificent coral reefs to desert tombs to vibrant cities, the country is known for its varied topography. Replete with interesting historical and cultural sites, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a perfect destination for adding to the bucket list of every traveller. The most beautiful cities in Saudi Arabia are the top tourist attractions showcasing the country’s awe-inspiring scenery and landscape.

Although a major part of the country is covered with desert, the soaring mountains, date palm oasis, vibrant spice markets, bustling cities, azure reefs and extravagant malls are sure to leave tourists asking for more. In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also well-known for its religious sites and historic landmarks, which are worth visiting. Home to the Great Mosque of Mecca, Kaaba and archaeological site of Al-Hijr, this enigmatic country is a melting pot of the old and new. Blessed with a large number of stunning cities, the country has amazing topography as well, which makes it worth visiting at least once.


Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Sun, 19 Feb – Arrive Jeddah
After arriving at Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport, you are met and taken to your hotel (Hotel check-in is approximately 3:00pm)

The historic crossroads of pilgrims and traders, and the traditional gateway to Mecca, Jeddah is the most fascinating of Saudi Arabia's major cities, with a cosmopolitan and liberal air not present anywhere else in the Kingdom. Visitors will love the city's World Heritage Red Sea architecture, its bustling souq, the laid-back coastline that's home to fantastic dive sites, and its diverse, world-class cuisine.

Al Balad, which refers to the “Historical District” in Jeddah, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Some would describe it as an interactive open-air museum of sorts. Al Balad strives to preserve the history of old Jeddah, whether in its architecture, alleyways, or marketplace. No doubt, it has a distinctive charm to it, especially at night.

O/N Radisson Blu, Jeddah
Smart, spacious rooms in a central location, with all the politeness and professionalism expected of this international chain. The hotel has even tried to blend into the locality with an impressive effort at recreating Hejazi mashrabiyya (covered balconies) all over its large building.

Day 2: Mon, 20 Feb – Jeddah
This morning we spend time walking through Jeddah'shistoric quarter or ‘Al Balad’, with its amazing series of narrow medieval alleys, where beautiful houses made of Red Sea coral have stunning mashrabiyya (wooden lattice balconies). A recreated city gate marks the northern entrance to Al Balad, and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful historic houses, including the Sharbatly House, while Bab Makkah, historically the most important gate for Jeddah, Arabia’s official pilgrim port, stands at the eastern entrance at the beginning of the road to Islam’s holiest city. In the last 14 centuries, billions of pilgrims have passed beneath it. 

Within the old town, the most accessible house is occupied by the privately owned Matbouli House Museum (with its old gramophones and telephones and uneven floors, stairwells and beautiful wood ceilings), while the finest example is Naseef House, where the country’s founding father King Abdul Aziz lived. Look out for the ramps installed by the king to allow his camel-mounted messengers to ride to the upper terrace, and the huge tree left of the door. As recently as 1920 this was the only tree in the whole of Jeddah.

The old town has some of the country’s most beautiful historic mosques – or at least remnants of them – including the snow-white, Ottoman-era Hanafi Mosque Minaret and the tastefully restored Al Shafee Mosque, both named after famous Sunni theologians. Non-Muslim visitors can enter the latter freely outside of prayer times, but must dress modestly and remove shoes. The mosque is close to the bustling ancient Souq Al Alawi, the Kingdom’s most extensive bazaar, where you can buy anything from footwear to exotic spices.

In the afternoon we will visit a more modern part of Jeddah. The Corniche in the northern part of the city has a great new walkway that begins near the Hilton. The coastal area is also home to a series of famous contemporary sculptures that line the wide pedestrian pathways for approximately 30km north of the port. Among the highlights are four bronzes by British artist Henry Moore and works by Spaniard Joan Miró.

O/N Radisson Blu, Jeddah (B,L,D)

Day 3: Tues, 21 Feb – Jeddah to Abha (Flight)
This morning, we fly to Abha in Asir province in the southwest of the country. Abha is the ideal base to explore the Asir National Park and its mysterious villages. This compact town, nestled in the green, mountainous interior, also boasts historic neighbourhoods of decaying mud houses with unique local architectural features. The best are in Al Nasb and Al Bastah, with the latter home to the country’s only surviving pedestrian Ottoman Bridge, a reminder of the city’s pre-Saudi life as capital of Ottoman-controlled Asir.

This afternoon, we visit the Tuesday Market, where, unusually in the Kingdom, women are the vendors. Abha is also at the heart of the Kingdom’s artistic expression. Al Muftaha Village is centred around a beautiful mosque with calligraphy graffiti, and its museums and galleries have helped created one of the only places in Saudi Arabia with a bohemian air.

O/N Abha Palace Hotel (B,L,D)
Abha Palace is the ultimate combination of hospitality and world-class luxury ~ rarely found, but always expected and longed for by holidaymakers. The hotel is directly linked to Jebel Zerrah and Abu Khayal by two cable car routes. It overlooks the Abha Dam lake, has cool glass lifts and a nice terraced cafe. The rooms can be a tad small but have an understated elegance, and many come with lake views. There is also a good international restaurant on the 5th floor.

Day 4: Wed, 22 Feb – Abha
This morning we drive to summit viewpoint for Jebel Sawdah, the most iconic natural feature of Aseer Province. It is the highest place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sawdah is in the Sarawat Mountains, a range of cliffs that run along the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula from Jordan all the way to Yemen.

From here, we will drive to the UNESCO World Heritage village of Rijal Almaa. Built on the slopes of steep mountains that are enveloped by clouds in the winter, Rija Alma village, dating back to the 8th century, contains some of the finest examples of the fort-like stone architecture of the Asir region.  

O/N Abha Palace Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5: Thur, 23 Feb – Abha/Jazan (125 miles)
Mid-morning we depart by bus to Jazan. The regional capital for the tiny Saudi province of Jazan, this town was an anchorage for vessels travelling between the hinterland and the Hejaz, Yemen and the Indian Ocean. During the 18th century, the town was involved in the regional coffee trade, and in the early part of the 20th century it became something of a hub for the pearling industry

O/N Novotel, Jazan (B,L,D)
Great Sea view rooms. All day dining restaurant, Coffee shop, Italian restaurant and Sea food restaurant. WIFI all over the hotel. 24-hr room service

Day 6: Fri, 24 Feb – Jazan/Farasan Islands/Jazan
Catching the 6:00am ferry, we cross the narrow body of water across to the main island. The waters around the stunning Farasan Islands are rich in marine life, and diving is growing in popularity here. The plankton-rich waters are home to rays, dolphins, giant whale sharks, many varieties of fish, including large numbers of parrotfish – subject of a parrotfish festival from April to May on Hasees Beach and several endangered species of turtle. The islands are also home to some of the few remaining stretches of coastal mangrove along the Red Sea, the habitat of the endangered dugong.

We will spend some time visiting the neighbourhood of the pearl merchants. Staring at the mesmerising geometric and floral designs of the carved patterns that adorn the houses and arched gateways of Farasan’s former pearl merchants, or indeed the Najd Mosque, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the midst of Andalusian or Mughal ruins. Also worth a visit is Al Qessar; this collection of simple mud, coral and reed structures, many with the names of the original owners etched over their facades, is a heritage village with a cafe.

We return to Jazan on the 3:30pm ferry

O/N Novotel, Jazan (B,L,D)

Day 7: Sat, 25 Feb – Jazan to Riyadh (Flight)
After breakfast we drive to the airport for our flight to Riyadh, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, home to Saudi Arabia’s best museum, a World Heritage Site that relates the Kingdom’s genesis story, and some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the country.

Once a walled, mud-brick way station along desert trading routes, Riyadh (meaning ‘garden’) from afar is a picture of soaring modern towers rising up above the surrounding desert. Up close, it can appear cautious and sober and feels more conservative than other Saudi cities like Jeddah. But the winds of change sweeping the nation are also affecting the capital. A long overdue metro system is on its way, as is a public bus service, and the atmosphere is far more liberal than it has ever felt before. Riyadh recently hosted the country’s very first music festival, where a female singer performed live for the first time in Saudi history.

Some of the best places to visit in Riyadh are the Masmak Fort, King Abdul-Aziz Historical Center, Al Faisaliah Center and Deerah Souq.

O/N Coral Olaya Hotel, Riyadh (B,L,D)
Large, smart rooms, a hearty breakfast included in the price in a central location

Day 8: Sun, 26 Feb – Riyadh/Diriyah
Today, we begin our sightseeing with a visit to Diriyah, family seat of the Al Saud family and capital of the Emirate of the same name from 1744 -1818. The area known collectively today as Turaif is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1802 after the Al Saud-led Wahhabis captured Mecca, they destroyed some saints' tombs, the visitation of which they considered idolatrous, and turned away the Hajj caravans from Cairo and Damascus as infidels and idolaters. The Ottoman Sultan, nominally in charge of the region and hence the pilgrims, was affronted and dispatched an army under Ibrahim Pasha, son of the Egyptian viceroy, to punish the perpetrators. In 1818 Abdullah al Saud was defeated and sent to Constantinople, where he was executed. Diriyah was destroyed and the remnants of Al Saud family ended up in Riyadh, a few miles to the south.

Several buildings in the Diriyah complex, including Saad bin Saud Palace, Qasr Nasr, and Burj Faisal, have already undergone extensive restoration and the palace is notable for its traditional painted doors. 

In the afternoon we will visit the Souq Al Jamal. One of the largest in the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh’s camel market is a fascinating place to wander. Late afternoon is when the traders really find their voices. If you want to put in a bid, you’ll need SR5000 to SR10,000. 

We will finish off in the late afternoon with a sunset shoot at the Faisaliah Tower, Saudi Arabia’s first skyscraper. Above its 30 floors of office space, the tower houses a restaurant set within a golden glass sphere 200 metres above ground level. The observation deck below this globe provides a breathtaking panorama of Riyadh and the surrounding landscape.

O/N Coral Olaya Hotel, Riyadh (B,L,D)

Day 9: Mon, 27 Feb – Riyadh to Buraidah (220 miles)
En-route to Buraidah in Qassim Province, we stop to explore the mud brick towns of Shagra and Ushaiger, the latter a heritage village, located 200 kilometers northwest of Riyadh in the heart of the Najd, the central plateau of the Arabian Peninsula. Like all ancient desert towns, they were surrounded by thick mud-brick walls with towers placed at strategic points to protect them from marauding nomads. Shagra still has remnants of its old city walls and tower, as well as a small heritage center. In Ushaiger the walls and the gatehouse, which has distinctive stepped merlons, have been restored, as have the carved and painted doors. The town is also surrounded by date palms, perhaps the country’s most visible export after oil.

After lunch we continue to Buraidah, where we visit the souk and the local museum, which is built in the traditional style. Dinner is served at a local restaurant.  

O/N Best Western Plus, Buraidah (B,L,D)
Strategically located in the heart of the city along Prince Faisal Bin Mishal Road in the Al Montazah area, very close to the city center and only 20 minutes away from Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Regional Airport.

Day 10: Tue, 28 Feb – Buraydah to Ha’il (190 miles)
Every morning at 6am the outskirts of Buraidah are home to the world's largest camel market, where thousands of camels (as well as goats and sheep) are bought and sold, along with saddles and other accessories. The whole area gets pretty chaotic (and the smell is said to get pretty intense) but a visit to the market is a truly unique Saudi experience. Also home to the world’s largest date market, Buraydah has swathes of green neighbourhoods with forests of palms waiting to be explored on foot. One of the oldest, As Sabbakh, close to the Dates City complex, offers a glimpse of what old Buraydah once looked like. Here you will find ruined mud houses and mosques peering out from beneath dense palm orchards.

Afterwards, we drive to Ha’il, capital of the province of the same name. Nestled between Mount Shammer to the north and Mount Salma to the south, the city of Ha'il was once the capital of all the Arabian Desert and home to legends like Hatim Al Tai, the Arabian poet whose altruism earned him spots in stories like “One Thousand and One Nights” (also known as “Arabian Nights”). Today it’s the capital of the north-central region of Saudi Arabia bearing the same name and a popular stop during the pilgrimage to Makkah. The city of Ha'il is also known for hosting international events, including a Desert Festival celebrating the area’s culture and the Ha'il International Rally, where rally cars, quads and motorcycles race through the Nafud Desert and through Ha'il, Baqaa, Al Ghazalah and the village of Umm Al Qulban. 

This afternoon we visit the 18th-century mud-brick A’Arif Fort. Perched on the top of a mountain bearing the same name, the fort is located in the heart of the city of Hail. It was built in order to guard the city against possible enemies and has become today a landmark that offers a wonderful view of the northern city.

Next we see Al Qishlah, a mid-20th-century structure built in the 1940s during the principality of prince Abdul-Aziz bin Musa'ad Al Saud of Ha'il province. It is a two-floor mud palace, with long walls that stretch over 140 meters and are 8.5m tall, and it has eight watch-towers along in the walls with two main gates, east and west.

O/N Holiday Villa Ha'il Hotel (B,L,D)
Equipped with modern technology, the hotel is clean and well organised. The staff is friendly, professional, and very courteous.

Day 11: Wed, 1 Mar – Ha'il/Jubbah /Al Ula (270 miles)
This morning we drive north towards Al Ula, stopping to visit the cliffs at Jubbah, the most recent of Saudi Arabia’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is arguably the Kingdom's premier pre-Islamic site and open-air art gallery. Covering an area measuring 39 sq km are some of the most impressive petroglyphs (rock carvings) you are likely to ever see. The finest carvings date from around 5500 BC, when much of this area was an inland lake and inhabitants carved game animals that came to the waters. Elegant rock-cut ibex, oryx and camels abound, as well as significant Thamudic inscriptions dating to 1000 BC.

O/N Shaden Desert Resort, Al Ula (B,L,D)
There’s a collection of 121 Deluxe Rooms and Villas here, all of which have a private terrace or balcony.

Day 12: Thur, 2 Mar – Mada’in Saleh & Al Ula
We will spend two days exploring Mada’in Saleh and the town of Al Ula. Mada'in Saleh was designated Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Often dubbed the ‘second Petra’, Mada’in Saleh, for many, is on a par with – if not more impressive than – its famous cousin across the border in Jordan. Both were major trading cities along the ancient Nabataean trade routes, as confirmed by recent excavations that have revealed the foundations of houses and a market area for traders and caravans. However, it’s the 131 enigmatic tombs, which combine elements of Graeco-Roman architecture with Nabataean and Babylonian imagery, that grab all the attention.

Continue to Ekma Rock with its Thamudic script and rock carvings, the Diwan with niches for statues of the Nabatean gods along its siq and spectacular panoramic views, and the ubiquitous Qasr al-Farid, carved from a single lonely outcrop of rock. Time permitting, end the day with a spectacular drive to the cliff-top of al-Hurrah to watch the sunset over the oasis and wadi.

We also spend time exploring the historic center of the town of Al Ula. Nestled in a large, spectacular valley, where palm groves run down the centre of a wadi (dry riverbed) and forbidding red-sandstone cliffs rise up on either side, Al Ula has a delightfully mysterious air about it. It is also the gateway to Saudi Arabia’s very own ‘Petra’, Madain Saleh, with most visitors to the World Heritage Site staying here in town.

Al Ula’s old-town ruins are among the best examples of traditional northern Arab architecture, and with a history that stretches back to the 6th century BC, the town is surrounded by a host of fascinating pre-Islamic sites.

O/N Shaden Desert Resort, Al Ula (B,L,D)

Day 13: Fri, 3 Mar – Mada’in Saleh/Tabuk (200 miles)
Drive from here to Tabuk – a growing tourist destination – which was a strategic stopping place for pre-20th-century hajj pilgrims trekking on foot from the Syrian capital of Damascus to Medina and onward to Mecca. The city’s culture was deeply influenced by Egyptian travellers (one of the largest groups of land-travelling pilgrims) from the west, and the Ottomans (who controlled pilgrimage routes for centuries) from the north, who left a physical reminder by way of the Hejaz Railway remnants near the centre of town. 

Tabuk’s early-20th-century Hejaz Railway station is one of the best preserved in Saudi Arabia. There are 13 recently refurbished buildings spread over 80,000 sq metres and these include include a workshop, a handicrafts centre, and a building that houses a locomotive, a freight car and several Ottoman relics worth viewing. The site is also going to be the home of Tabuk’s new state-of-the-art city museum, which was due to open in early 2020.

O/N Hilton Garden Inn, Tabuk (B,L,D)
The first high-end hotel to arrive in Tabuk, the Hilton has a brash glass building that makes quite the statement along the busy Prince Sultan Rd. Rooms are stylishly furnished and the customer service is impeccable. There’s also an excellent cafe and restaurant with a children’s menu, and a nice outdoor swimming pool.

Day 14: Sat, 4 Mar – Tabuk
Spend the day exploring Tabuk. Dating to 1559, Tabuk Castle is now a museum, with several rooms housing some interesting historical artefacts from the Ottoman period and lots of signage about the history of Tabuk, its connection to the Prophet Muhammad and several famous travellers, including Ibn Battuta and Evliya Celebi. The castle features a ground-floor mosque, an open courtyard and a stairway to the castle’s 2nd-floor mosque and watchtowers. Outside are cisterns that once captured water from a spring that the Prophet Muhammad reportedly drank from.

Today Tabuk has bustling and extensive souqs, including Souq Twaheen for Bedouin goods and Tabuk Souq. Split into sections, this cluster of hundreds of shops offers every product imaginable, from thobes (men’s shirt-dresses) to South Asian food.

O/N Hilton Garden Inn, Tabuk (B,L,D)

Day 15: Sun, 5 Mar – Tabuk/Wadi Qaraqir/Duba/Sharma (100 miles)
Drive to Wadi Qaraqir, one of Saudi Arabia’s natural wonders. This is a 15km canyon running through the Jebel Qaraqir, a palm dotted oasis with crystal clear waters, which we explore on foot and by vehicle. We then continue to the Red Sea city of Duba to visit its fish market, before driving on to the resort town of Sharma

O/N Royal Tulip Sharma Resort or similar (B,L,D)

Day 16: Mon, 6 Mar – Sharma/Ras al Sheikh Hamed/Maqna /Tayeb Ism/Madyan /Tabuk (225 miles)
Drive to Ras al Sheikh Hamed, a beautiful sandy cape which used to be the westernmost point of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until the cession of Tiran Islands by Egypt to Saudi Arabia in 2017. We continue to the coastal town of Maqna, a town on the Gulf of Aqaba famous for its wells that witnessed an important episode in the life of the Prophet Moses.

When approaching by the road that runs along the turquoise waters and white beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, what strikes people first is the imposing shape of the 600-meter-high granite massif of the Tayeb Ism, whose sharp edges fall into the Gulf of Aqaba. We explore Tayeb Ism, or the ‘Valley of Moses’, one of the magical natural wonders of Saudi Arabia. Continue to Madyan, an ancient city with Nabataean-era tombs, and supposedly where Moses sought refuge after fleeing Egypt. From here, we return to Tabuk. 

O/N Hilton Garden Inn, Tabuk (B,L,D)

Day 17: Tue, 7 Mar – Tabuk/Jeddah (Flight)
Today, fly back to Jeddah. This evening we gather for a farewell dinner and share our memories from the past two and half weeks of travel

O/N Radisson Blu, Jeddah (D,B)

Day 18: Wed, 8 Mar – Depart Jeddah (B)

END OF TOUR


Arrival & Departure 

Arrival & Meeting Place
Arrive Sun, 19 Feb, 2023 at King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA). Transfer to Radisson Blu, Jeddah

Departure
King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) on Wed, 8 Mar, 2023


Travel Notes

Saudi is open to international visitors. Please review the following requirements carefully to ensure that you have a seamless journey and a pleasant arrival in Saudi.

All travelers must:

  • Have a valid tourism visa obtained before arrival. Visa on arrival remains suspended for health and safety reasons
  • Provide a negative PCR test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure
  • Have COVID 19 insurance. This insurance is included in all new tourism visa issues. If you are entering on a previously issued tourism visa, you will need to pay an additional fee of SAR 40 at the airport on arrival to cover insurance for any COVID-19 related medical expenses
  • Download and register the Tawakkalna application before arriving at the point of departure. To use Tawakkalna in Saudi you will need phone and data services on your cellphone

If you are fully immunized against COVID-19 with vaccines approved by the WHO and Saudi Arabia there are no quarantine requirements for fully immunized travelers meeting the criteria below:

  • All visitors arriving in the country with a valid tourism visa must provide evidence of a full course of the vaccines currently recognized: 2 doses of Pfizer BioNTech OR Comirnaty; 2 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca OR Covishield OR SK Bioscience or Vaxzevria OR2 doses of Moderna OR Spikevax OR 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson
  • Travelers who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted on the condition that they have received an additional dose of one of the vaccines approved in the Kingdom mentioned in the above paragraph
  • Vaccine certificates issued by official health authorities from the country that provided the vaccination for incoming travelers must be provided. The final dose (the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single dose vaccine) should be received no less than 14 days before traveling to Saudi. Travelers should carry either their vaccine certificates or proof of vaccination status via applications recognized in Saudi Arabia

If you are fully immunized against COVID-19 with vaccines approved by the WHO but not recognized in Saudi Arabia OR you have received the first dose only of any of the vaccines recognized in Saudi:

  • Travelers who do not hold Saudi citizenship or residency must undertake a five day period of institutional quarantine in a designated hotel. Quarantine will be lifted upon a negative PCR result on the fifth day after arrival
  • Travelers are advised to book the quarantine package through the airline on which they are arriving
  • Travelers who hold Saudi citizenship or residency must undertake a five day period of home quarantine. Quarantine will be lifted upon a negative PCR result on the fifth day after arrival.

Vaccine registration

You should register your vaccine status at https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home before arrival and after obtaining your tourism visa. The site is available in Arabic and English

For your convenience, you should check the current entry requirements with your chosen airline before purchasing a ticket


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Saudi E-Visa

Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to the world through its new tourist visa. Through the fast and easy-to-use online portal, international visitors from 49 eligible countries can apply for an eVisa and discover the warm hospitality of Saudi people the rich heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse and breathtaking landscapes; from the mountains of Abha to the beaches of the Red Sea to the shifting sands of the Empty Quarter.

The eVisa will be a one-year, multiple entry visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country. It covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding Hajj season) and excludes other activities such as studying.


Average Weather in Feb/March

In February, weather conditions in Saudi Arabia make it a good trip destination. The average temperatures you'll face in February would be between 18.5°C and 29.5°C, with exceptional possible peaks as low as 7°C and high as 39°C as observed in previous years.

Depending on your exact destination, you can face more or less rain, the average amount of rain observed during February in Saudi Arabia is 8 mm and you would typically have 1 rainy day.

February Weather in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Daily high temperatures increase by 7°F, from 70°F to 77°F, rarely falling below 61°F or exceeding 88°F. Daily low temperatures increase by 6°F, from 50°F to 56°F, rarely falling below 43°F or exceeding 64°F.

February is a nice time to visit Jeddah, with temperatures graduallyrising by the day. The highest daily temperature is around 29°C, but can exceed 32°C. On average the daily sits at 23°C, while the lowest daily temperature is 17°C. The number of sunshine hours in February is an impressive 11 hours, while the average sea water temperature is a balmy 26°C.

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Tour Cost: $TBA
DeposiT: $1,500*

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Single: $TBA
GROUP SIZE: 7-8



Tour Price Includes

  • Accommodations and meals as noted in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • All sightseeing, events, and visits as noted in the itinerary
  • All porterage, entrance fees, service charges, and standard taxes
  • Services of local guides, drivers
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and other staff
  • Bottled or filtered water and soft drinks at included meals and while sightseeing
  • Internal flights as noted in the itinerary and priced separately

    Tour Price Excludes

    • Round-trip airfare and en-route expenses
    • Internal flights (priced separately)
    • Gratuities for trip manager
    • Passport and visa fees
    • Increase in VAT or other tourism taxes, which may occur at any time
    • Excess baggage charges, departure fees, and airport taxes
    • Personal expenses and incidentals, such as phone calls, internet, and laundry
    • Trip cancellation, travel delay, baggage loss or similar insurance
    • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control