On the drive from the Crusader castle at Karak to the Nabatean city of Petra, we stopped by one of Jordan’s greatest natural wonders, the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
My first introduction to Dana was at a scenic overlook along the highway, home to a Jordanian style food truck offering hot Turkish coffee. The views were splendid, the desert cliffs spotted with a rich variety of trees and raptors soaring high overhead.
The Reserve is home to a wide range of rare species of plants and animals, as well as more than 100 archeological sites. One of the highlights of the experience though is a stay at the Dana Guest House.
Jordan offers many great ecolodges, but the Guest House is one of the best. The first thing one notices are the amazing views of the valley below, but the Guest House is also well known for its food, all prepared with a mind towards sustainability. The accommodations may be a bit minimalist, but the dazzling beauty and camaraderie with other travelers more than makes up for the lack of frills.
Dana Village, a five-hundred year old town, is located near the guest house and for the more adventurous, there are several nature hikes in and around the Biosphere. Regardless of what you choose to do, the Dana Biosphere is a great way to learn more about Jordan’s natural heritage.