If you dream of visiting the Middle East and want a good way to ease yourself into it, then Jordan is without a doubt your best bet. For one, it's a very safe country with locals more than happy to show you around and tell you about their country. In addition to the hospitality, the country is filled ancient attractions that make show why the Middle East is like nowhere else on the planet. Of course, most tourists trot off to ancient Petra, but the beauty of Jordan lies throughout the countryside.

What to do

The ancient city of Petra was carved out of sandstone many thousand years ago and is mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls as a place of cultural importance even then. The beautiful, ornate buildings were carved into the Jordanian cliffs and are considered one of the most important historical and archaeological finds in the last two hundred years. Petra gained international exposure as the sight of the Holy Grail in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but the splendor of the ancient city remains despite being turned into a movie set and attracting crowds from all over the world.

Getting there

The formerly complicated visa system has now been simplified to apply to all travelers equally and visitors to Jordan can get visas for a month, typically without a problem. Flights to Jordan are also being simplified, with most arriving in Amman at Queen Alia International Airport.

Where to stay

Amman, the capital city, has hotel rooms from $35 on up. A fair selection of internationally known resort hotels, with four and five star luxury accommodations are present in Jordan as well. For long-term stays, it is common for furnished apartments to be rented out to travelers.