When you think of Jordan, you probably imagine the intricate carved stone buildings of Petra, the souks and historic sites and the nightlife of Amman, or the dark healing mud of the Dead Sea. And these sights and activities are what draw most of the tourists and travelers to this Middle East oasis, surrounded by Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria. It is a sanctuary in the middle of a region of intense conflict and political volatility, a retreat nestled in the eastern Mediterranean side of the Fertile Crescent, a region that has seen the development of great civilizations. ALSO READ: Photos of Thessaloniki That Will Make You Fall in Love with It

Jordanian desert in Wadi Rum, Jordan viewed from Lawrence’s Spring

Jordanian desert in Wadi Rum, Jordan viewed from Lawrence's Spring. Wadi Rum is known as The Valley of the Moon and has led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A view of the sandstone mountains in Wadi Rum

beautiful view of the mountains in Wadi Rum in Jordan

The sand dunes of Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon

Sand-dunes in Wadi-Rum desert

Girl sand boarding on the dunes in Wadi Rum

Girl sand boarding on dunes in Wadi Rum

Camping at the campsites along the rocks in Petra, Wadi Rum

Camping along the rocks in Petra, Wadi Rum

You can also go on a camel trip in the desert

Camel trip in Wadi Rum desert

Burdah Rock Bridge in Wadi Rum, one of the highest arches in the world at the end of a challenging trek

Burdah Rock Bridge, Wadi Rum, Jordan

Bedouin man serving Arabic coffee in Wadi Rum, generally served with dates to offset its bitter taste

Bedouin man serving Arabic coffee in Wadi Rum,

Barrah Siq, a Bedouin Camp in the Wadi Rum Valley

Bedouin Camp Barrah Siq Wadi Rum Valley

A view of the desert from a spectacular balloon flight in the early morning

A spectacular balloon flight over the desert Wadi Rum in Jordan, early morning

The sun sets on the desert of Wadi Rum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wadi Rum in Jordan at sunset

Seven pillars of wisdom, a rock formation named after the autobiographical book of British soldier T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia

Seven pillars of wisdom on Wadi Rum desert

The Little Rock Bridge, an easy to climb rock formation

The Little Rock Bridge, Wadi Rum

The Milky way above the red sands of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

Milky way above red Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

But away in the southern end of this country, near its border with Syria, there are the towering walls of Wadi Rum. The sandstone walls rise up to more than 1,000 feet, amidst a seemingly endless Arabian desert. The summers are hot and the winters are cold, and the nothing about this region is forgiving, especially not the canyons or ‘siqs’, chiseled out gradually by nature. NOW READ: Photos of Seville That Show the Beauty of This Incredible City

These canyons and rock walls are perfect for trekkers and climbers seeking adventure, and a view of the Jordan desert below and the canyons around that sears into your memory like the blazing hot Arabian sun. Even if you are not planning to journey up to the top, a full day trip to Wadi Rum from Petra or Aqaba will give you unforgettable glimpses of the desert safely.