If you are familiar with the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, you may remember Aqaba as the destination of Lawrence’s first campaign across the desert. But for modern travelers, Aqaba is probably best known as a diving and beach resort, with gorgeous coral reefs, that provides access to the remarkable archeological sites at Petra and the Wadi Rum Desert.
While in Aqaba, visit one of the many coffee shops for sumptuous Jordanian dishes such as mansaf, knafeh or baqlawa, but don’t tarry long as both Petra and the Wadi Rum (pronounced Ramm) deserve plenty of your attention.
Wadi Rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southwest Jordan. The dramatic landscape attracts many rock climbers and hikers, and the Bedouin tribes there have done well promoting adventure sports.
Petra is renowned for its rock-cut architecture from more than 2,000 years ago. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Petra is described in several Bible passages as the “cleft in the rocks,” and it served as Lawrence’s base of operations during his World War I operations against the Turks.
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