Petra named world's ultimate travel destination

The ancient archaeological site in Jordan topped Lonely Planet's list of 500 unmissable experiences

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Jordan's Petra is the number one must-do travel experience in the world according to Lonely Planet.

The travel experts ranked the world's top 500 unmissable travel experiences for an updated version of its Ultimate Travel List guidebook.

The ancient home of the Nabateans in Petra took the top-spot on the list. This Unesco World Heritage Site humbles travellers with its impressive sandstone construction and a history that dates back more than 3,000 years. The renowned 40-metre high Treasury building intrigues anyone who stands in front of it and Jordan, an emerging adventure travel destination, also gets brownie points for managing its tourism sustainably.

The new listings were compiled from highlights in Lonely Planet's extensive archive of guidebooks. These were then whittled down to a shortlist with the travel community asked to rank their top 20 experiences.

The remote Galapagos Islands featured as the second ultimate travel destination on the list. Famed as the place where Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution by natural selection were shaped, the islands are home to unique creatures including 200-year-old tortoises, giant pink land iguanas and flightless cormorants.

Third on the list is Uluru, a 348-metre tall sandstone leviathan that is sacred to Australia's Aṉangu people and wondrous to gaze upon.

Nepal's trekking circuit, a lake in Slovenia and waterfalls straddling Brazil and Argentina also featured in the top 10.

See the full list below or click through the gallery at the top of the page.

Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel List

J2F5BB Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador were ranked second in Lonely Planet's list of ultimate travel experiences. Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

1. Petra, Jordan

2. Galapgos Islands, Ecuador

3. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana

5. Yellowstone National Park, USA

6. Lake Bled, Slovenia

7. Iguaçú Falls, Argentina-Brazil

8. Angkor, Cambodia

9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

10. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal