Site of Christianity: 3 places in Jericho to trace Jesus’ footsteps

Jericho Palestine, West Bank, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown

Expectation

Next stop – site of Jesus’ life, according to biblical references.

I expected cool weather – simply because there was never a warm day in my trip so far.

This was the next stop in a full day tour of the West Bank. First stop was Ramallah and it was a bummer. So I didn’t expect much.

The Journey

It wasn’t a long bus ride from Ramallah but the views were superbly, remarkably, outstanding!

Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Cute sheeps and amazing hilly landscape; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

Weather

It was HOT! Temperatures could’ve been well over 30 degree Celsius at least.

People

There’s not a lot of locals around (except the ones attending the very few shops and tourist sites) but there’s lots of tourists and pilgrims.

Food

We didn’t get to eat here as we were on a schedule and I only saw two restaurants – one near the excavation site and another at the Mount of Temptation.

We did stop to have a break at a restaurant at the mountain but I didn’t get anything as I was too tired and it was just a short break before we made our way down.

I remember we were all famished but lunch would only be served in Bethlehem, which was our next stop.

Sightseeing

Excavation site: Tell es Sultan

This is the first stop in Jericho! We had a local guide from here on.

Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world and these excavation sites are proof of it.

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Visiting the excavation site; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
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Relics from the bronze age and iron age can be found around the excavation site; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
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Jericho is one of world’s oldest cities; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
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The site covers quite an area; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
The (ancient) stairs are very visible; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
First visit in Jericho; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

I was happy as this was my first time at an excavation site but I couldn’t keep up when the guide was explaining the history – neolithic, bronze age, iron age, etc.

Mount of Temptation

This mountain is huge! I was staring at the majesty of it and absent-mindedly said, “Wow! How did Jesus walk all the way up there?” to absolutely no one. One of the Peruvian women replied, “Exactly right? He was such a strong man”. I nodded, still awe-struck. And when my brain started working, I added, “Especially in this weather”.

The tour guide was telling us how a few years back, a male tourist decided to walk up the mountain and died while trying because the weather was unforgivably HOT! We were there during spring and it was already too hot, imagine the tourist who went during summer.

Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Queuing for the cable car ride
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
View while in the cable car up towards Mount of Temptation; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
View at the top. Somewhere in the distance is the Dead Sea
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Going up the steps was both scary and amazing

Monastery of the Temptation

After the cable car ride, we had to walk up further to the place where supposedly Jesus (AS) meditated and fasted for forty days and were tempted by the Satan (thus, name of the mountain).

The steps up were very slippery and the views made me a little giddy (fear of height) but it was so amazing! These photos doesn’t do justice at all.

Before we reached Jesus’ (AS) sanctuary, we reached this little cave.

Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
This cave was filled with Christians praying and meditating; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

These were pilgrims – I heard they would pray and meditate on the mountain for forty days, just like Jesus did.

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Walking further in; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

We went up further and reached another prayer building, which was very small.

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Church interior, just to the right of where this was taken was a small staircase going up towards where Prophet Jesus (AS) supposedly meditated; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
The place where Jesus (AS) was said to have meditated; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

Baptism Site: Qasr el Yahud

Jesus (AS) was supposedly baptised here and this is also “traditionally considered to be the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, and Elijah the Prophet ascended to heaven.”

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Entering the Baptism Site of Jesus (AS); Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
The river Jesus (AS) was baptised; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
This river separates Palestine and Jordan; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger

This side where we were belongs to Israel and just across the river belongs to Jordan. Anyone who falls or enters in between (where the floats are), will be disputed to which authority will have power over him/her.

Although Jericho is in the West Bank, the “baptism site and facilities are administered by the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism as part of an Israeli national park“.

Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Where the river flows; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Worshipers bathing in the holy water; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger
Jericho Palestine, West Bank, palestine, international travel, israel travel, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, Jericho, Palestine, Qasr el yahud, excavation site, mount of temptation, baptism site, Jesus, biblical, Jordan River, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, cost
Landmine just outside the site; Photo Credit: Lauren Yarger

The Verdict

Visit Rating

4.5/5. I really love the historical significance here and the views are simply out of this world! Hate the hot weather though.

Should you wander to Jericho? If you’d like to know the biblical references of Prophet Jesus (AS) and love history, YES!

Tip

  • Take LOTS of pictures and videos – it’s simply breathtaking!
  • Wear lots of sunblock and light clothes.
  • Drink lots of water

Cost Breakdown

  • Tour price: $135, 12hrs duration including travel time, Ramallah-Jericho-Bethlehem
  • Snacks: Free, bananas, strawberries and other snacks given by tour guide (not stated in tour package)

*All prices are in SGD (estimate).

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