<p class="MsoBodyText"><br> Built by nomadic Nabataeans two millennia ago, rose-red <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/petra/" target="_blank">Petra</a> is a “lost” city well worth finding. The ancient commercial crossroads chiseled from bedrock cliffs is situated between the Red and Dead Seas, about a hundred miles north of King Hussein International Airport. Follow the 3,300-foot-long, serpentine entry path—the Siq—through towering sandstone walls to Al-Khazne (the Treasury). The elaborately carved, 13-story tomb served as the final resting place of the Holy Grail in the 1989 movie <i>Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade</i>. Explore empty caves, visit the archeological and Nabataean museums, and hike 800 steps up to the top of Al-Dier (the Monastery). From Petra, head south to <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/jordan-photos/#/wadi-rum-desert_11368_600x450.jpg" target="_blank">Wadi Rum</a> (“Valley of the Moon”), the desert valley setting for <i>Lawrence of Arabia, </i>where local Bedouin guides lead rock-climbing treks, canyon hikes, jeep tours, and horseback and camel rides. Highlights include the Red Sand Dunes and the spectacular Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation, the latter named for T.E. Lawrence’s autobiography. End the day sleeping under the stars at one of the area’s <a href="http://na2.visitjordan.com/visitjordan-na/Default.aspx?tabid=130" target="_blank">Bedouin-style desert tourist camps.</a></p>

Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan


Built by nomadic Nabataeans two millennia ago, rose-red Petra is a “lost” city well worth finding. The ancient commercial crossroads chiseled from bedrock cliffs is situated between the Red and Dead Seas, about a hundred miles north of King Hussein International Airport. Follow the 3,300-foot-long, serpentine entry path—the Siq—through towering sandstone walls to Al-Khazne (the Treasury). The elaborately carved, 13-story tomb served as the final resting place of the Holy Grail in the 1989 movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Explore empty caves, visit the archeological and Nabataean museums, and hike 800 steps up to the top of Al-Dier (the Monastery). From Petra, head south to Wadi Rum (“Valley of the Moon”), the desert valley setting for Lawrence of Arabia, where local Bedouin guides lead rock-climbing treks, canyon hikes, jeep tours, and horseback and camel rides. Highlights include the Red Sand Dunes and the spectacular Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation, the latter named for T.E. Lawrence’s autobiography. End the day sleeping under the stars at one of the area’s Bedouin-style desert tourist camps.

Photograph by Gabriele Croppi, SIME

Best Winter Trips 2012

Winter doesn't have to mean long months indoors. Our editors have chosen ten trips that will have you gearing up for adventure or joining in local festivities—warm- and cold-weather travel that's sure to cure the winter blues. Do you have a favorite winter destination? Share it with fellow travelers below.

Read This Next

Soils found in Antarctica seem to contain no life

The complex situation for immunocompromised people and COVID-19 vaccines

Champions of wildlife and wild places win prestigious awards

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet