12/02/2013 09:55 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2014

10 Reasons Why Jordan Is So Much More Than Petra

Jordan -- it's a country we've all heard of. Maybe you've seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as he travels on horse to reveal Petra's Treasury carved out of its rock surroundings. In some ways this was Petra's unveiling to the world, and perhaps Jordan's unveiling as a tourist destination. But Jordan is no one-trick pony. It's so much more than that. It's a place where travelers' dreams can come true.

Here is a sampling of the many other amazing sites and experiences you can have in Jordan apart from Petra.

  1. Skydiving over the Dead Sea - The Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan operates solo and tandem jumps over the Dead Sea at various times of the year. If you can't get enough skydiving, then this is the location for you. The Dead Sea is the lowest point in the world, giving you an extra 400 meters of skydiving enjoyment.
  2. Flying - The Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan also operates ultralight aircrafts. Fancy the opportunity to pilot a plane? This is your chance. The fact that it's done over breathtaking Wadi Rum is a bonus.
  3. Hot air balloon - Rounding out the aerial adventures is a hot air balloon ride over Wadi Rum. Take in the sunrise over the majestic desert where Lawrence of Arabia once walked.
  4. Wadi Rum - The filming location for many a movie, let the Bedouins give you a glimpse into their life and lifestyle as you take in the out of this world scenes around you. Staying in a Bedouin tent and enjoying their hospitality is the only way to visit Wadi Rum.
  5. Jesus' Baptism site - See the spot where John the Baptist baptized Jesus 2000 years ago and the ruins of churches built thereafter to mark the holy spot. You can be baptized in the Jordan River as well if you wish. Another religious site not to be missed in Jordan is Mt. Nebo, the mountain ridge where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land.
  6. Scuba dive in the Red Sea - The Red Sea is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world. Grab a snorkel or scuba tank and take a look at the abundant coral, colorful fish, and sea creatures from one of the many dive centers in Aqaba. If you don't want to get in the water, glass-bottomed boats are a great alternative.
  7. The Dead Sea - As Earth's lowest point, the Dead Sea is a unique spot in the world to take in. Too salty to support life, you can enter and experience the legendary buoyancy this sea offers. The landscape is totally different from the rest of Jordan, where tropical flora flourish in a bone dry environment.
  8. Desert castles - Quseir Amra, built in 705 A.D., is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of many well-preserved desert castles in Jordan. Some castles built and used by the crusaders can be visited as well.
  9. Roman Ruins - Jerash is a 6,500-year-old city just north of Amman. It is most famous for being one of the Roman Empire's ten great cities of the Decapolis League. Performers enact chariot races in the hippodrome and local guides' stories bring the ruins of this city to back to life.
  10. Four countries at once - Whether in Aqaba or standing atop a mountain in Petra or Wadi Rum, you're generally able to see Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia all at once while standing in Jordan.