Ports & Excursions

Aqaba (for Petra), Jordan

The port of Aqaba has been an important strategic and commercial center for over three millennia. Originally called Elath, the home of the Edomites became in Roman times a trading center where goods from as far away as China found entry to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Today Aqaba is Jordan's only seaport, and the city serves as an intriguing gateway for travelers. In the surrounding desert lies the lost city of Petra - a city that may date to 6,000 B.C. - and Wadi Rum, where an English soldier mystic named T.E. Lawrence found his destiny as "Lawrence of Arabia."

Perched at the apex of the Gulf of Aqaba, Aqaba offers internationally renowned diving opportunities and the richest marine life in the entire Red Sea. The old fortress on the waterfront dates to the 14th-century. Passengers should drink only bottled water while ashore. Please respect local customs and dress accordingly, avoiding exposed shoulders and knees.

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  • Siq Siq

    The dramatic entrance to the 'Lost City of Petra' is a striking, narrow gorge that winds through towering rock. The canyon boasts prehistoric carvings, and the remnants of a monumental arch.

  • Khazneh Khazneh

    Khazneh, also known as the 'Treasury', is an ancient tomb carved into the cliff face in Petra. Local legend suggests that treasure was hidden in the urn at the top of the cliff.

  • Roman Amphitheater Roman Amphitheater

    Deep in the 'Lost City of Petra', this Roman Theater, which seats 3,000, was built by the Nabataean in the 2nd century. The entire seating area was hand-carved out of the mountain.

  • Royal Tombs Royal Tombs

    The spectacular Royal Tombs in Petra are carved into the face of Jebel Khubtha, a sandstone mountain. The Royal Tombs consist of the Urn tomb, the Corinthian tomb, and the three-storied Palace tomb.

  • Wadi Rum Wadi Rum

    Wadi Rum, located in the south of Jordan, is also known as the 'Valley of the Moon'. This protected desert reserve has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and is now home to the Bedouin.

  • Aqaba Museum Aqaba Museum

    Aqaba Museum houses a wide collection of magnificent artifacts, including coins from Iraq and Egypt, ceramics from the excavations of Ayla (Old Aqaba), and 8th-century Islamic stone tablets.

  • Colonnaded Street Colonnaded Street

    The main street of Petra once boasted numerous stately columns along its route. At the end of the street is the partially-restored Qasr Al Bint, the only freestanding structure in Petra thought to have been the main place of worship in the Nabataean City.

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