Jordan is one of the most fascinating destinations in the Middle East, offering attractions that are manifold and unequalled. The country is not blessed with rich oil supplies; its treasures lie in the beauty of the land and a unique combination of antiquities, natural environment and traditions.The rose-red City of Petra and the captivating desert of Wadi Rum draw scores of visitors to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan each year.
Aqaba is Jordan's only port and of tremendous importance to the country's economy. Countless trucks ply the route between Aqaba and the capital Amman, a journey of some 220 miles.With stark mountains rising in the background,Aqaba enjoys an attractive setting. For cruise vessels, the port provides the gateway for excursions to famed Petra, the spectacular desert and mountain region of Wadi Rum and spots at the Dead Sea. Aqaba itself offers a string of shops, hotels and restaurants. Some recent archaeological discoveries in the center of town are thought to be the remains of the oldest church in the world, dating from the late 3rd century. Aqaba is also popular with diving enthusiasts who appreciate the great variety of marine life that abounds in the waters of the Red Sea.
Petra, the area's major attraction, lies 70 miles from the port. The remains of this once magnificent city date to the 3rd century BC when Nabataeans carved elaborate buildings out of solid rock. Abandoned and forgotten for centuries, the rose-red City of Petra was rediscovered in the 1800s. Excavations did not get underway until a hundred years later; the central section was unearthed after 1958. Today the site is recognized as one of the most spectacular attractions in the Middle East - a must-see for any visitor to this area.