The Seven Wonders of AlUla

One of the mainstream destinations that Saudi Arabia has offered, since opening its doors, to visitors from all over the world in September 2019 was AlUla.

From then on, then AlUla has become a household word when it comes to the best places in Saudi Arabia because of its landscape that are like made from the Middle-Earth, the natural rock formations in particular. That’s an understatement.

The latter is the reason why I added it to my top-rated bucket list KSA destinations. Truth be told, a DIY for visit or tour to #AlUla isn’t advisable because it’s definitely gonna be pricey. This explains why it took this long for me to give this item a tick on the list.

Thank you to our constituents’ (comprising Riyadh Kabayan Tours [RKT]) initiatives in providing relaxation through touring guests to different attractions in KSA. When I came across their travel promo alert post on Facebook for an AlUla Joiner Tour (22-24 Dec 2022) at a very economical price, I’m sold right away! I’m no good at Math, but I can attest to how insanely convincing those digits were such that I needed to reconfirm my understanding of the provisions with the front man, Sir Elmer (Mobile No. 0593355557). I doubt if there’d be any other group travel planner that could rival RKT’s price for this kind of tour as we speak 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 so hurry up because it’s really selling fast. Contact RKT or Sir Elmer—now!

Other than that, what I also liked about the tour was the idea of rekindling my Philippine hiking and island hopping days where I got to meet new people in each of the journeys. Add to that the thought of exercising social skills alongside 45 people.

So after a twelve-hour coaster ride from Riyadh and four “jingle stopovers” 🤣 on 22 December 2022, there we were happily setting foot on and merrily roaming around the many wonders of AlUla.

The first stop of the AlUla Joiner Tour’s day 1 (23 December 2022) was the King Abdulaziz Park, AlUla Viewpoint.

I haven’t figured out the rationale behind until the tour’s conclusion (or when I was already reviewing the photos en route to Riyadh on Christmas eve). This was just an accidental first stop, original itinerary wise, but I’d say kudos to how the Cosmos paved for it.

This park, which is 2,000 feet above sea level is definitely the recommended spot if you want to get a 360-degree view of the AlUla valley or if you’re looking for a place where you can admire the beauty of AlUla from above, this park won’t disappoint. It’s 2,000 feet above sea level and it offers visitors a superb view of AlUla.

The second and third destinations are actually a combination of two primordial territories of the whole AlUla valley.

Dadan is the first, which was a city renowned for its powerful civilizations thousands of years ago or during the late 9th and early 8th century BCE (Kingdom of Dadan) and 5th–2nd century BCE (Kingdom of Lihyan). According to’s articles—the main reference used for the history details in this post—this old city’s architectural structures were ornately built from stones.

The  presence of a museum at this place is genius. The docent was as engaging as the entire place—teeming with captivating qualities that are both cerebral and delightsome. You can challenge his knowledge of said kingdoms’ history, should you have related or even thought-provoking questions 😉

Dadan’s twin is Jabal Ikmah that’s nesting in a desert canyon. What makes it special is that it being Saudi Arabia’s largest open-air library. It’s swarming with petroglyphs and rock art samples right under the warm or pouring sky.

Note: Zoom in on the left side of the photo to get a glimpse of those rock inscriptions.

Standing on this rock somehow made me feel the powerful vibrations of the place.

On our way to the fourth AlUla wonder, majority of the joiners from our bus (no. 2) demanded to grab a hot cup from  this “al fresco style” Starbucks as a way to warm up for AlUla Heritage Oasis’ hiking requirement, considering the season. (Yup, the group would’ve wanted that mentioned like every time 🤣).

This destination truly lives up to its name with all the flaunting abundance of greenery (and orangey 😊). I’m pretty sure you can get one or two pictures, taken here, that can hype up your Instagram.

Green and orange have never been this appealing to my optical organs until that day. The vibrant colors are refreshing while a peek at the local agriculture and water system mechanisms are impressive.

We capped the first day off by grabbing some snacks at Salt in order to secure seats and tables at this fifth wonder, while enjoying the music; dreamy lights around; the lights from the night sky; and the almost unobstructed view of Jabal-Al’fil.

How this giant elephant rock took its shape is what makes it distinct from its contemporaries. It took millions of years for natural phenomena to come up with this beautiful byproduct, which for me looks like more of a mammoth.

Let that sink in while admiring that loftiness amid darkness.

After filling our sacs up with heavy food on day 2 of the tour, we  zoomed off to the penultimate destination: AlUla’s Old Town, which is situated in the narrowest part of AlUla Valley. Our arrival’s time coincided with the town’s non-busy hours (i.e., business establishments’) in the area and that’s great!

Because photo ops are way more convenient than when the busy hours are on, right? Check the succeeding photos in the following collage:

The Old Town gave me the Ushaiger Heritage Village vibe (“The Doors, Windows, Lamps, and Mud-Built Structures Of Ushaiger Heritage Village”). The only difference is that AlUla Old Town has more business establishments inside the premises. Crystal shops, Handicraft stores, and Dunkin are only a few of them.

Historically, it was an essential settlement along the pilgrimage route from Damascus to Makkah in the 12th century thereby making it not as Jurassic as its contemporaries in the series.

Ultimately, an AlUla Tour wouldn’t be AlUla Tour or wouldn’t be complete without swinging by Hegra also known as Mada’in Saleh because of three main reasons, at least for me:

1. It’s Saudi’s first ever listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. The place was mentioned in the Holy Quran and many religions and people coexisted in this land throughout history.

3. Photos taken here have extra engagement rates when shared on social media platforms because it’s the most popular site among the seven wonders on the list 💪🏽😁

Salute to the ancient people called “Nabateans” for giving life to this approximately sixty-hectare land back in time. It’s interesting to note that the land’s current surface only constitutes a portion of the overall treasures buried under.

Reflecting from the foregoing account, AlUla is indeed from the Middle Earth, a Masterpiece of Natural Architecture, and a Ferry to a Journey Through Time.

As a side note, the 12-hour drive back to Riyadh on the very Christmas eve became a window on life’s realities and, to some degree, lessons. One of those is realizing that without the attachment of Christmas to the 24th day of December, it’s practically just another ordinary day. All it takes is a single deviation like this, subjecting myself to this tour this time of the year, from the routine to clearly see that. Having said that, I’m convivial about it.

The favorite part of this experience though is the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life. It reinforced the belief that we’re never truly alone. There’s literally always someone around, especially in this kind of trip where every activity in the itinerary is being done as a group.

It’s only in this, I say, deviation where that certain camaraderie among travelers exists. A camaraderie that’s so engaging because interactions are only of pure and innocent motives if not about making new friends.

There’s no replication to the kind of vulnerability and openness that emanate from those interactions. I love that because it’s liberating and mentally medicinal.

Once again, I thank Riyadh Kabayan Tours and the rest of the fun joiners for helping me redefine this kind of experience as one of life’s essential requirements every now and then.

PS, You might be interested in knowing what The Riyadhizen’s review was for this AlUla Joiner Tour (22-24 December 2022). Click on the Facebook Page’s box below.

If you want to get into detail regarding these featured places, read up on the related articles below.

The Most Incredible Natural Rock & Geographical Formations in AlUla (

Experience AlUla: The World’s Masterpiece (

AlUla’s Historical Sites, Culture and More (

4 Lesser-Known Sites In AlUla That You Can’t Afford To Miss Out On (

An Adventurer’s Paradise: The AlUla Experience (

Saudi Arabia’s Elephant Rock: One of world’s weirdest natural formations (

Hegra, an Ancient City in Saudi Arabia Untouched for Millennia, Makes Its Public Debut (


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Truly amazing and beautiful. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. I love to travel.


    1. You made my day, Henry. Thank you for dropping by the site and for leaving an inspiring comment. Happy New Year!


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