Described as the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World, Petra is an awe-inspiring sight
This adventure trip is based on a fabled “rose red city, half as old as time,” a well known ancient city in the south of Jordan. Carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans over 2000 years ago, it was an important trade link between southern Arabia and the Far East. Due to its breathtaking grandeur and fabulous ruins, Petra was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. As one of Jordan’s biggest attractions, Petra is a must see for any visitors to this area.
Also explore the ruins at Jerash, a Roman city dating back to the Neolithic Age. Stay at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, with an opportunity to float in its salt-dense water. Conclude your stay in Jordan with a jeep and camel safari in Wadi Rum where the massive pillars of sandstone rock rise from the rose-red desert floor and where the Bedouin still herd their sheep across an unchanged landscape in living continuity with the ancient past.
The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812. Burckhardt’s accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further. The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created a number of accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839. In 1917, T. E. Lawrence of Arabia led a small force of Syrians and Arabians in defending Petra against a much larger force.
The first real excavations of the site were in 1929 after the forming of Trans-Jordan. Since that time, Petra has become by far Jordan’s largest tourist attraction, partially due to the exposure by the Steven Spielberg movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in 1989. Due to the fantastic engineering accomplishments and well-preserved dimension of Petra, the archaeological site was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Major attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Mount Nebo, Madaba, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea
Numerous medieval mosques and churches, and unspoiled natural locations (as Wadi Rum and Jordan’s northern mountainous region in general), as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions. Jordan also offers health tourism, which is focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking, scuba diving in Aqaba’s coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan’s cities.
Petra in Wadi Musa, home of the Nabateans, is a complete city carved in a mountain. The huge rocks are colorful, mostly pink, and the entrance to the ancient city is through a narrow gorge in the mountain. In the city are various structures carved into rock the Treasury, which has been designated as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” Other major sites include the Monastery, the Roman theater, the Royal Tombs, the High Place of Sacrifice. Petra was rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.
Amman is a modern and cosmopolitan city known for its shopping centers, hotels and an ancient Roman amphitheatre. Makes a great base for traveling the country.
The Dead Sea It is the lowest point on earth, is the only depository of River Jordan and was part of the biblical kingdoms of Midianites and later the Moabites. The Dead Sea area is home to numerous world-class resorts such as the Kempinski, Mövenpick and Marriott. There are water parks, a public beach and international restaurants. The ultra-chic destination in the area, however, is the O-Beach which is home to cabanas, bars, international restaurants, and a beach club.
Wadi Rum is a desert full of mountains and hills located south of Jordan. It is popular for its sights in addition to a variety of sports that are practiced there, such as rock-climbing. It is also known for its connection to Lawrence of Arabia. Barren, isolated and beautiful, granite cliffs contrasting with desert sand.
Organised tours – Much of Jordan’s more dramatic scenery requires 4×4 vehicles with drivers or guides familiar with the territory. Most people visiting Jordan opt for organised tours, although it is possible to use local guides from the various visitors’ centers at Jordan’s eco-nature reserves. These include Wadi Rum, the Dana Reserve and Iben Hamam. The majority of tourists crossing into Jordan from Israel are on one-day Petra tours or in organised tour groups. They make up a significant percent of the daily visitors in Petra and Jordan’s natural attractions.
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Ancient City of Petra • Locations & Activities