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Aqaba, Jordan is a well-liked holiday destination and rapidly popular cruise destination. Aqaba is Jordon's only port with access to the Red Sea. Aqaba is the gateway to visit the ancient city of Petra 60 miles to the north.
Supplying a superb climate, Aqaba's beaches across the Red-colored Ocean waters have several of the globe’s finest barrier reef diving. Initially known as Elath, it had been the fundamental town of the Edomite community along with a major commercial center.
The environment is neat and the waters. Encircled by palms, beaches, and mountain tops, this city provides a sunset with stunning colors. Aqaba is really a global class seaside resort offering aquatic sports including: deep-ocean fishing, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, rowing and diving. Getting started Aqaba continues to be is stated is the best on the planet. The proper location, has provided the main harbor various Arab-Israeli fights. Aqaba's Petra is stated is the finest historical site in most from the Middle East.
The truly amazing monuments were hewn from living sandstone roughly 2,000 years back, then discovered in 1812. Petra, named for that Greek word meaning "rock," would be a growing commercial center throughout the traditional occasions. You are able to explore the area by walking or by horseback these more than 2,000 years old structures. Archaeologists from around the globe still arrived at excavate the Hellenistic temples, tombs and theaters.
 Roughly only one percent from the city is thought to possess been "discovered." Cruise people will discover the neighborhood people of Aqaba hospitable and friendly. You'll feel safe here .You cannot walk within the port area and need to be shuttled through the ship's coach to some carpark around if going there. The primary reason behind being here's to go to either Petra or even the Dead Ocean so that as port for your it serves well.
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock at a commercial pier south of the city. Shuttles are usually provided into town for those not on a tour to Petra or Wadi Rum. The shuttle may drop off beside the Moevenpick resort at a bus terminal north of the city center.
Local Transportation
The best way to get to Petra is to either go on a tour or take a taxi. You will need to negotiate a rate to have the driver for the whole day - budget around 50 JD. There are buses that go to Petra from Aqaba but they are infrequent and only leave when full so you could be wasting a lot of time waiting.
Points of Attraction
Situated towards the top of the Gulf of Aqaba may be the only access by ocean to Jordan. Cruise ships call in the Red-colored Ocean which is known for barrier reefs, excellent diving and sandy beaches. Its calm waters allow it to be a perfect place for water-skiing, wind-surfing and diving. You will find numerous diving centers in Aqaba, in which the novice might take training, or, for that more knowledgeable diver, you'll be able to rent gear and dive with local guides.
Barrier formations around the reef are stated to become one of the most spectacular on the planet and lots of are close enough towards the surface to have an amateur snorkeler to see effortlessly. Outings in glass-bottomed motorboats may also be arranged. The aquarium, located in the Marine Sciences center, around the Corniche, south-east from the town, has much exotic marine existence in view, for individuals not wanting to obtain wet.
Aqaba Fort. Initially dating towards the 14th century, even though the present structure was built through the Mamluke sultan Qansawh el-Ghawri) and it has been modified many occasions since that time.
Walking Tours
Cruise  passengers start from The Siq. and you may Finish where at Petra Museum. Best time start  early in the morning with sunset because mid afternoon, when heat is at its worst  make difficult for walk.
It is important to remember that many of the sites and buildings at Petra were given fanciful names in modern times that have nothing to do with what we now know were their original functions. Also remember that once inside Petra, a fast but reasonably inclusive tour, without hikes to the sacred high places that overlook the city, can take 5 to 6 hours. Petra deserves at least 2 full days. Give yourself time to feel the mystery and beauty of the place and to explore at your leisure. Petra changes dramatically as the light of day changes.

1 The Siq -- Beginning just near the visitor center, the winding 1.2km ( 3/4-mile) walk through the narrow fissure, or canyonlike Siq, that leads into Petra can take from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on your pace. The journey through this mysterious, highly sculptured passageway can be one of the most memorable parts of the Petra experience (especially in the soft twilight as visitors depart from Petra as night falls).
At the entrance to the Siq and at various points throughout the passageway, you’ll notice channels cut into the rock that once held pipes for the water system that carried the spring of Ain Musa into Petra. There is a modern dam to prevent flash flooding during the winter rains; it is modeled after the ruins of an ancient Nabatean dam uncovered by archaeologists at this site. According to Nabatean and local Bedouin legend, Petra’s water source, Ain Musa (“the Spring of Moses”), was created when Moses, leading the Israelites through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt, struck a rock with his staff in despair as his people came close to death from thirst. The rocks burst forth with cool water. (Petra’s Ain Musa is not alone in claiming to be the site of this miracle.) Niches in the walls of the Siq once held the images of gods that protected the city, and intimidated visitors entering Petra.
2 The Khazneh (Treasury) -- Suddenly, a turn in the Siq reveals the most famous structure in Petra, a royal tomb that has come to be known as the Treasury. Bedouins believed that the solid urn sculpted into the monument’s facade was actually hollow and contained treasure; often they fired bullets at the urn in hopes of having the treasure spill out (you can detect their bullet marks across the magnificent facade). The Khazneh’s stone facade changes color during the day: In the morning it can be a soft yellow-rose peach hue; by late afternoon, a pure, soft rose; at sunset, an intense red, before slipping into the dusty twilight.
Beyond the Khazneh (continuing to the right as you face the Khazneh), the Siq widens into what is called the:
3 Outer Siq -- Here you’ll encounter the busy modern denizens of Petra, sand artists, and water sellers. The outer Siq is lined with carved tomb facades in styles ranging from classical Roman to designs that echo Assyrian and nomadic desert influences. Honoring the dead was an important part of Nabatean culture. The outer Siq also contains caves inhabited until recently by Bedouins—the soft sandstone interiors are as wildly patterned as marbleized paper and are good spots to shelter from the hot summer sun. To the left, opposite the Uneishu Tomb (which an inscription identifies as the tomb of the brother of a queen), is a flight of rough ancient stairs that leads to an uphill trail to the:
4 High Place of Sacrifice & the Tombs of Wadi Farasa -- This can be an arduous hike for those out of shape, but it is a very worthwhile. A hike to the High Place of Sacrifice and back down to the colonnaded main street of ancient Petra by a different route can take 1 1/2 to 3 hours. It’s wise to invest in a guide if you decide to make the excursion. Continuing on down what is now the main street of Petra, you come to the:
5 Roman Theater -- Originally built by the Nabateans, who were always adapting elements of other cultures into their way of life, the theater facing cliffside facades of tombs may have been used for religious ceremonies. In the 2nd century a.d., the theater was enlarged by the Romans (who cared little for Nabatean traditions) and cut into nearby Nabatean tombs to create a vast 7,000-seat venue. The theater has been restored and, after a 1,500-year hiatus, will be used again for performances and other events.
Farther along, on the opposite side of the canyon from the theater, are the:
6 Royal Tombs -- The tombs earned this name because of their elaborate facades, not because they were created for royal burials. The first of these is the:
7 Urn Tomb -- It’s named for the carefully sculpted urn above its pediment. In a.d. 446, the Byzantines converted the inner chamber of this tomb into a church. A few facades beyond is the:
8 Corinthian Tomb -- The tomb’s facade actually includes a small-scale reproduction of the Khazneh. After the Corinthian Tomb is the:
9 Palace Tomb -- Its two stories jut out from the side of the canyon. Part of the Palace Tomb was constructed of stone, rather than carved into the canyon rock. Around to the right is the heavily eroded:
10 Tomb of Sextius Florentinus -- The tomb was built around a.d. 130 for a Roman governor of the Province of Arabia who so admired Petra’s network of tombs that he asked to be buried in a tomb of his own design in this far outpost of the Roman Empire. A faint Latin inscription and a Roman eagle mark the facade. A route of processional staircases and corridors began here and wound uphill to sacred high places on the mountain beyond. Staying on the main path to the city center, you come to the:
11 Nymphaeum -- This two-story fountain, dedicated to the water nymphs, is a major landmark of Petra. This lavish desert structure of flowing water, piped in from Ain Musa, must have been incredible to travelers approaching for the first time. The Nymphaeum was a place of both refreshment and worship. The open water channel that fed the Nymphaeum continued on along the:
12 Colonnaded Street -- The street, built after a.d. 106 by the Romans, lay over the route of an earlier Nabatean thoroughfare. It was lined with shops but also served as a civic and ceremonial route for processions.
On a rise of land to the right (north), as you walk down the Colonnaded Street, is the:
13 Temple of the Winged Lions -- Named for the winged lions that serve as capitals for its columns, this was probably a temple dedicated to the worship of the female deity, al-Uzza. Built in a.d. 27, this was one of Petra’s major temples until it was heavily damaged, apparently by fire, in the 2nd century. The structure was then used to house families until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 363. That the temple was not rebuilt as a religious structure after the fire in the 2nd century may indicate the old region of Petra had gone into decline under the Roman occupation.
Also several hundred meters to the right of the Colonnaded Street is the:
14 Byzantine Church -- Here’s a large structure with triple apses and extremely beautiful and well-preserved mosaic floors that have been uncovered by the joint Jordanian-American team excavating the site. On both sides of the Colonnaded Street are the outlines of ruined buildings. According to some theories, the Roman forum of Petra would have been among the structures to the left (south) of the Colonnaded Street. At the end of the Colonnaded Street is the:
15 Triple Arched Gate -- The gate is adorned with carved panels containing bas-relief busts, animals, and geometric and floral designs. These monumental gateways would have borne wooden doors that opened to the temenos, or sacred precincts, of your next stop.
16 Qasr al Bint (Palace of the Pharaoh’s Daughter) -- Perhaps the most important temple in Petra (again, despite its romantic name, the temple has nothing to do with a Pharaoh’s daughter), this massive structure was built of stone, rather than carved from rock. It is the most impressive building in Petra. It faces north, toward the Sharra mountains, from which the name of the chief Nabatean god, Dushara (“he of Sharra”) is derived and may have been a sanctuary for the Dushara cult. This temple was built around the time of Jesus and was most likely destroyed late in the 3rd century. Just to the south of the Arched Gate, but not accessible at present to visitors, were the:
17 Baths of Petra -- These had access to a corner of the temenos. Beyond the ruins of the Qasr al Bint Temple, you’ll find the:
18 Petra Museum -- There’s a small collection of sculptural artifacts, jewelry, and pottery found at Petra. The museum building also houses the Petra Forum restaurant, as well as restrooms. A second part of the museum is housed in a nearby tomb.
Aqaba - Jordan
Its calm waters allow it to be a perfect place for water-skiing, wind-surfing and diving. You will find numerous diving centers in Aqaba, in which the novice might take training, or, for that more knowledgeable diver, you'll be able to rent gear and dive with local guides. Barrier formations around the reef are stated to become one of the most spectacular on the planet and lots of are close enough towards the surface to have an amateur snorkeler to see effortlessly. Outings in glass-bottomed motorboats may also be arranged. The aquarium, located in the Marine Sciences Center, around the Corniche, south-east from the town, has much exotic marine existence in view, for individuals not wanting to obtain wet.
Royal Diving Center
Wake up near to gorgeous barrier reefs and colorful seafood while you snorkel or dive only at that popular attraction, offering diving instruction for beginners and adventurous dives for pros. The Royal Diving Center is situated 17. Using its own private beach beside an excellent reef, this is actually the best run scuba diving and diving center in Aqaba, supplying a complete variety of equipment rental fees, training, dives and diving tours. You will find lockers, altering rooms, along with a snack bar, causing this to be a pleasant spot to spend your day.
Petra arrives at less than a half-mile walk-through a narrow crevice within the sandstone coves. Pink vertical rocks, temples, royal tombs, funeral chambers, a Roman amphitheater, houses, baths, and marketplaces get this to city a sight to determine. The enchanting rose-red-colored town of Petra is essential for just about any customer to Jordan. This ancient Nabatean city is really wealthy ever that everyday new things has been discovered.
It is really an enormous royal tomb, which was created from solid rock within the side from the mountain. After this point, a stairs decline in the rock takes the customer to rock-made streets lined with 100s of temples, majestic tombs, tiny and big houses, banqueting halls, water channels and tanks, baths, monumental stairs,  buzzing marketplaces, beautiful arched gates, awe-inspiring public structures and paved streets
Visiting this ancient site requires a lot of walking. The walk to from the visitor center to entrance of the siq is around 15 minute and downhill. You will be offered ""free"" horse rides for this stretch but they will want a 10 JD tip. You can save the horse ride for the way back since it is uphill and you'll be tired but negotiate only tipping 2-3 JD beforehand. The siqht is a twisty narrow canyon that extends for over 1/2 mile and buggy rides are offered at this point to the treasury. Your first peek at Petra will be this magnificent building carved into the cliff and you can explore the rest of the city from this point. You will be offered donkey or camel rides from here. You will need to prioritize what you want to see with how much time you have. Site entry fee 50 JD but 90 JD for visitors without an overnight in Jordan (Dec 2011). Cruise ship visitors may be able to get the lower fee.
Petra Official Website - http://www.petrapark.com

Wadi Rum - If you've been to Jordan before, this scenic valley is the second most popular attraction in the area. Much of Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here. It is 45 miles away from Aqaba.
Aqaba - This seaside city has a small beach and lots of markets. The only sights in town are a museum and fort. Boats by the water offer glass bottom tours. Better beaches and resorts can be found in the South Beach area.
The Red Sea Astrarium, a 1.5 billion dollar resort and theme park is under construction just south of Aqaba city center and is projected to be complete in 2017
Among the most popular things to buy in Jordan are the decorated sand bottles, sometimes with the most intricate designs done in the sand, with the aid of a knitting needle and a funnel! The photo above, while very colourful (I couldn't resist it!), shows the young man using DYED sand, that is to say ordinary beach or desert sand mixed with powdered colours. These coloured designs will fade fairly soon and very quickly indeed if exposed to the sun. It is better if possible to buy the bottles in Petra, where the sand used is almost always the natural sand of the rocks. These bottles and the sand in them are often referred to (by the salesmen!) as "Petra's treasure". A large bottle incidentally, can be turned into an attractive and original table lamp. The only problem is that it's heavy to carry home. You might like to look at http://www.sandandart.com/
Visitors can look forward to plenty of Aqaba Shopping opportunities. Aqaba is Jordan’s most important port, being the main entry-point for goods imported into Jordan. Aqaba is located in the vicinity of countries like Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and along a prominent, international trading route. Thousands of ships unload their stock at Aqaba’s main harbor, every day. Due to its robust commercial development, Aqaba has become home to all the leading retail brands and the best of regional offerings. Aqaba’s most popular shopping spots include:
Noor Al-Hussein Foundation Shop
This shop should be visited for buying the best of native creations. The most popular item here is the jewelry. This includes creations sourced from across the border, from nations like Egypt. The prices are reasonable but there is little room for bargaining. This shop is a prominent exporter of jeweled creations to many European designers. Visitors can choose gift items like embroidered baskets and hand-painted ceramics. The shop is supported by the Queen Noor Hussein Foundation. Thus, a part of all the sales is directed towards regional development in Jordan. Other noteworthy offerings here include hand-woven carpets and a vast range of cushion-covers and glassware.
Directions: located opposite to the Archaeological Museum, near Sherif Hussein Bin-Ali House.
Duty-free Shopping Zone
Established in 2000, this place is a shopper’s paradise. The prices are much lower than anybody’s expectations and those wanting to buy goods at wholesale can look forward to astonishingly cheap bargains. The discounted prices are primarily due to the duty-free policy that is applicable throughout the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. Commonly referred to as the ‘Free Zone,’ it also offers goods that have been confiscated. These goods are sold at dirt-cheap prices. The best deals are found among the electrical goods. There is a mini-bar where shoppers can relax before beginning their shopping spree. Nearby market locations include Sami's Supermarket that is great for picking-up some fresh meat.
Directions: part of the ASEZ, Aqaba Special Economic Zone, along the southern border of Aqaba.
Some other, popular shopping opportunities include:
Redwan Bookshop (Zahran Street)
This store has a comprehensive listing of all the regional authors and best-sellers from across the globe.
Dream Mall (Downtown Aqaba)
This mall caters to the shopping needs of the locals. This is a commercial-cum-recreational center that is excellent for obtaining some great discounts.
Aqaba Shopping Tips
The best time to shop in Aqaba is during the evening. This is when all the shops are open and the shop-owners seem to be in the mood for bargaining. The daytime is extremely hot and reserved for shopping for the bare necessities. Most of the retailers keep the stores half-shut during the daytime to evade the scorching heat. An exception to this norm is during the month of November and the first few weeks of December when the shops tend to open early.

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