With its famed healing properties, the Dead Sea has long been a retreat for the wary. Travelers and locals alike float effortlessly above the sea and cover themselves with mud that's mineral properties are believed to treat or even cure several ailments.  

Recently, scientists discovered that the Dead Sea almost entirely dried up 120,000 year ago. Today, the Dead Sea is dropping by about three feet per year as water that once drained into the lake is now used for irrigation. Both the tourism industry and environmentalist are worried of the possibility of another Dead Sea disappearance in the future, so this place is best visited before its written into history books.

Visiting from Jordan

How to get there: Most visitors to the Dead Sea make a day trip from Amman. Try checking into a hotel that offers a free shuttle service.

Where to stay: The majority of the accommodations closest to the Dead Sea are four and five star resorts. For a budget option, buy a day pass at one of these luxurious resorts or the famed O beach and stay in Amman.

Visitors wishing to spend the night should try Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, a luxurious resort located just above the Dead Sea.  The resort offers world class spa facilities, two pools, and plenty of activities. Rates vary from special offers at $140 to suites costing over $1,000 per night.

For more information visit Jordan's Tourism Web site.

Visiting from Israel

How to get there: From Jerusalem, the north Dead Sea is only an hour's drive away. Those without a car can take the Eggad bus to Ein Bokek and Ein Gedi. Tourists can find beaches and accommodations at both locations.

Where to Stay: In Ein Gedi try the Ein Gedi Country Hotel, which is located within beautiful botanical gardens. Those heading to Ein Bodek have more options for accommodations; both the Lot Spa Hotel (located on the beach) and Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel and Spa (across street from the Dead Sea) are highly rated. Those on a budget may want to try camping at El Gedi coast for free.

Check out Go Israel for more places to stay and things to do at the Dead Sea.