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Plan Your Jordan Vacation

Although it's a small country—about the size of the state of Indiana—Jordan is a destination with a great deal of variety, including fascinating historical and biblical sites, vast and beautiful desert landscapes, the Dead Sea, the ancient city of Petra, and the famously warm Jordanian hospitality. It's also extremely easy to get around, which means that a trip of a week or 10 days is enough to experience many of the country's highlights. Most travelers find that renting a car gives the greatest amount of freedom. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, though if you're hiring a local guide it's a good idea to specify that you want an English-speaking one.

Jordan is a largely desert country, with rocky, dry landscapes, few natural resources, and very little water. Archeological evidence shows that the area was occupied by settlers as early as 7000 BC but the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan wasn't officially established until 1946, when British rule ended. The country is bordered on the north by Syria, on the east by Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and on the south by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1948, Israel was created just to the west and the flood of Palestinian refugees into Jordan doubled the population in 2 weeks. Today the population of Jordan is about 6.5 million, and about 90 percent are Muslim.

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