Jordan, an Arab nation on the east bank of the Jordan River, is defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves and seaside resorts.

It is home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. Set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples and monuments carved into the surrounding pink sandstone cliffs, Petra earns its nickname, the Rose City.

1. Amman


Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a modern city with numerous ancient ruins.

Atop Jabal al-Qala’a hill, the historic Citadel includes the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex, known for its grand dome.

Built into a different downtown hillside, the Roman Theater is a 6000 capacity, 2nd century amphitheater offering occasional events.

Within the Citadel, the Jordan Archaelogical Museum exhibits locally excavated artifacts including the Neolithic’Ain Ghazal statues, among the world’s oldest.

2. Aqaba


Aqaba is a Jordanian port on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba.

Its numerous beach resorts are popular for windsurfing and other water sports.

It is also a top destination for scuba divers, with notable dive sites including Yamanieh coral reef, inhabited since 4000 B.C.

It is home to the Islamic-era Aquaba Fort and the adjacent Aqaba Archaeological Museum.

3. Jerash


Jerash is a city in Jordan, north of the capital Amman, inhabited since the Bronze Age.

It is known for the ruins of the walled Greco-Roman settlement of Gerasa just outside the modern city.

These include the 2nd century Hadrian’s Arch, the Corinthinan columns of the Temple of Artemis and the huge Forum’s oval colonnade.

The Jerash Archaelogical Museum displays artefacts excavated from the site.

4. Petra


Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert.

Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.

Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the Rose City.

Perhaps its most famous structure is Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade.

5. Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan.

It features dramatic sandstone mountains like the many-domed Jebel Um Ishrin and natural arches such as Burdah Rock Bridge.

Many prehistoric inscriptions and carvings line rocky caverns and steep chasms, such as Khazali Canyon.

The natural watering hole of Lawrence’s Spring is named after British soldier Lawrence of Arabia, who allegedly washed there.

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