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The ancient city of Petra has long been a major draw for tourists to its home country of Jordan. Deep within the Jordanian desert, the enormous city emerges through a narrow gorge, revealing mesmerizing structures carved into the surrounding sandstone cliffs. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, a phenomenal destination distinct from many other ruins around the world. But tourism to the awe-inspiring city, which is half-built and half-carved into the rock face, has fallen due to concerns over safety in the region.

To help combat recent hits to the tourism industry, the country recently opened The Jordan Trail, a 400-mile hiking path that runs the length of the country, beginning in the north at Umm Qais and running all the way to the Dead Sea in the south. The trail passes through various ecosystems, many historical sites and 52 settlements, where hikers can engage with the locals and even stay with them in their communities.

Walking the entire length of the trail takes about 40 days to complete, though with such breathtaking scenery, it may seem much faster. For those who don’t wish to wander biblically through the desert for almost six weeks, the trail has been separated into eight sections, each featuring its own distinct landscapes. The options are endless, with multiple trails ranging from day hikes to multi-day trips, all of which can be guided (prices vary) or explored independently.

H/T: The Independent

Featured image of Petra courtesy of Boris Streubel via Getty Images.

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