Major Tourist Attractions: Petra, Wadi Rum, Herodium, Gethsemane, Ma'in Hot Springs
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is probably the most alluring destination in the Middle East, and it is not hard to see why. What was once a busy crossroad for trade routes between ancient great civilizations; today stands as a modern country with one of the most progressive and energetic societies in the Middle East that still conserves its timeless physical and spiritual history.
There are several ways in which you could experience Jordan, but there is no denying that the historical facet of the country dominates the most. Petra, recently named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, will take you 2000 years back in time to the Nabataean civilization with its rock carved temples, treasury, and tombs. Jerash will take you back to the glory days of the Roman Empire with its beautifully ruined citadel, and Wadi Rum will show you the interesting life of the nomadic Bedouins and let you trace the steps of Lawrence of Arabia.
Jordan is one of the easiest countries to travel to and around in the Middle East. Accommodation ranges from budget hostels, to luxury hotels, and even camping in Bedouin tents in the desert. Culinary delights can be found everywhere you look, from the streets stalls in Amman to the Bedouin earth ovens in the wild. Jordan is excellent at showing you how capable it is to adapt and get the most out of its resources.
But, how can you get the most of Jordan? Here are a few recommendations of things you shouldn’t miss:
- Stand on top of Mount Nebo. It is written that Moses saw the Holy Land from here.
- Experience the glory and splendor of ancient Rome in the ruined citadel of Jerash.
- Head to Petra to see the ancient rose-red city carved in the rock formations. Or simply, follow Indiana Jones footsteps to the famous Treasury façade featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Dive in Aqaba and see lots of multi-colored corals and tropical fish.
- Float beyond belief in the waters of the Dead Sea.
- Ride a camel or 4x4 through the alien landscape of Wadi Rum, where the rock formations look like molten chocolate.
- Camp in the desert and have tea with a Bedouin family.
- Visit historical sites in Amman like the Amman Citadel, the Roman Theater, the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace, and the Jordanian Archaeological Museum, among others.
- Head to Azraq Castle to see Lawrence of Arabia's headquarters during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917.
- Drive along the historic King's Highway, a route mentioned in the Old Testament.
- Have Mezze (a selection of several starters) for dinner, to be followed by a delicious main course of stewed lamb, chicken, or other Bedouin traditional dishes.
- Visit the crusader castle of Kerak and the nearby Shobak castle, which once served as the Crusaders’ headquarters in Jordan.
Address: U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 354
Amman 11118 Jordan
Phone: (962-6) 590-6000