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It’s easy to see why Jordan stands at the vanguard of the recent boom in Middle East tourism. The Kingdom is by far the most stable and welcoming in the region, with a highly educated populace and a culture that manages to be both pro-Western and pro-Arab. Its written history dates back to the Old Testament (this is where Moses first glimpsed the Promised Land, and where Jesus was baptized). The desert landscapes are simply out of this world, the coastal scenery stunning and the Greco-Roman ruins on a par with anything in Europe or in the Levant.
The reason almost everyone comes to Jordan, however, is because the country is the home of one of the great wonders of the ancient world. Hidden at the end of a winding, narrow ravine in the depths of the desert, Petra is a lost city whose marvels, which lay undisturbed and forgotten for over a millennium and a half, are often mentioned in the same breath as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and the Egyptian pyramids.
The legendary rose-red ruins fully deserve to top any list of sightseeing priorities, but a visit to Petra can be combined with a string of no less memorable experiences. Camp under the surreal desert mountains and starry skies of Wadi Rum; wallow in a Dead Sea mud bath; crowd watch over a cardamom coffee amid the exotic bustle of Amman’s souk; or climb the sun-bleached ramparts of a crusader castle for a view over the desert you’ll remember forever . . .
Amman, the capital of Jordan is a fascinating city to visit, full of bustling markets, boutiques, art galleries, and museums. It is full of the old and the new, thus preserving a rich culture and tradition as well as embracing modernity. Its location amongst a hilly landscape is ideal for exploring the desert as well as the fertile Jordan Valley.