At the heart of Israel’s vast Negev Desert, lies the Ramon Crater, the world’s largest erosion crater, also known as Machtesh Ramon. Encompassing a vast diversity of rocks of fantastic colors and forms, this mesmerizing natural phenomenon measures 40km in length and between 2 and 10km in width, shaped like an elongated heart, and forms Israel’s largest national park, the Ramon Nature Reserve.
Far from the city lights and crowds, featuring multicolored sandstone, volcanic rock, and fossils, the Ramon Crater is often described as Israel’s very own Grand Canyon.
The truly stunning views from the 300m edge lookout point of Machtesh Ramon, reminiscent of a Hollywood backdrop offer a powerful experience for tourists from all over the world, all year round.
A visit to Machtesh Ramon offers a range of exciting experiences and attractions specifically geared towards tourists and world travelers:
Ramon Crater Visitor Center – Built on the crater’s edge, the visitor center overlooks the awesome views from the Machtesh and offers an opportunity to learn about its unique natural phenomena, and also about the life and work of Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.
Hai Ramon - Raising awareness to the local animal population, The Hai Ramon animal park offers a fascinating encounter with the often obscure and unseen small animals of the desert, The site features about 40 species of animals: lizards, snakes, turtles, spurs, hedgehogs, falcons, pheasants and more.
Kahn Saharonim – a short walk from this once station on the Nabatean Spice Route, is Ein Saharonim, a beautiful spring (dry in the summer) which features rich vegetation and the footprints of the many animals that come to enjoy its waters.
The Carpentry – a fascinating geological phenomenon, The Carpentry is a concentration of elongated stones in the form of prisms formed when the sandstone was "baked" at the high temperature created by a hot lava flow from the depths of the earth. During its cooling, the rock formed into thousands of ribbed columns, and the fragments of the columns act as the prisms.
The Ammonite Wall - a rock wall featuring fossils of ammonites - marine animals that lived millions of years ago in the sea which then covered the entire Negev area.
A trip to Machtesh Ramon is a fascinating experience, one guaranteed to create a strong impression and a lasting memory.