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Jordan tours, another question

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I've posted before about an upcoming trip to Jordan as a solo traveler, in November. I have tickets! Now the hard part: finalizing tour options. I'm torn between two ways to go:

1. As has been suggested before, use Madaba, a small town, as a base, and arrange day trips from there. I like the idea of staying in a smaller town, and living expenses are cheaper in Madaba than a bigger city like Amman. My only qualm is that the 'tours' arranged by the hotels seem to involve transportation only. I really want to learn more about the sites I"ll be visiting, which I'd get from a tour guide.

2. Join a week-long group tour. I found a reputable company and almost signed up. But the tour involves sleeping most nights in Amman (with some time in Petra), and I'm not wild about either of the hotels that they use. This may seem like a small point, but it seems like a waste of money pay for hotels I wouldn't choose on my own, and I'm not sure I'll be as comfortable being based in Amman.

I know 'colduphere' will weigh in. Hope I'm not being a pest! I really appreciate all the help offered on this forum.

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