Petra 1

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan. TNS

Petra in Jordan has topped a new list of travel destinations.


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The historic city was named the number one place to visit in Lonely Planet’s latest Ultimate Travel List, a book ranking 500 travel experiences all around the world.

Petra was commended for its “eternal air of mystery;” the ancient sandstone city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, was voted in as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by popular ballot in 2007.

Lake bled 2 Lake Bled, seventh on the list, is one of Slovenia’s most attractive tourist sites. TNS

In second place were the Galápagos Islands, followed by Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia and Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

The longlist of destinations was compiled from Lonely Planet guidebook highlights, before being whittled down to a shortlist.  

Readers and experts were then asked to vote on their top 20 travel experiences to create a definitive ranking.

Galapagos Islands  3 A sea lion mother and pup are unruffled by tourists on Fernandina Island in the Galápagos Islands. TNS

Entries were also given extra points if their sustainability credentials stacked up, while points were deducted for destinations known to suffer from over-tourism.

“We changed the way we calculated the list,” said Lonely Planet’s VP of publishing, Piers Pickard.  

“For this edition we rewarded extra points to sights that are managing tourism sustainably.”

He added: “After seven months of staying at home, now’s the perfect time to start thinking about where and how to travel once normality returns.  

“In putting together this book, we were excited by changes in both the ‘where’ and the ‘how.’ We added 200 new entries into our list of the world’s Top 500.  

Sala 4 Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat in southwestern Bolivia, came ninth on the list. TNS

“And we were both surprised and reassured by just how many of the Top 500 are working hard to create more sustainable visitor experiences.”

The Ultimate Travel List

1. Petra, Jordan  

2. The Galápagos Islands  

3. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana

5. Yellowstone National Park, USA  

6. Lake Bled, Slovenia  

7. Iguazú Falls, Argentina-Brazil  

8. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia  

9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

10. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal  

The Independent