Located in the Negev Desert, Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve is Israel’s largest Natural Park. The vast, unspoiled area is home to many fossils and rocks, various plant species, and wildlife. Hiking on any of the site’s many trails, you may catch a glimpse of animals such as birds, snakes, ibexes, gazelles, hyenas, and even leopards.
Makhtesh Ramon includes three natural craters. The largest crater in the region is the Ramon Crater; hence the park’s name. It is 40 KM long by 9KM at its widest point. It is 500 meters deep. Geologists believe it dates back some 220 million years! However, it is different from most of the earth’s craters. It is not an impact crater; formed when a meteor breaks in a certain spot. Instead, the area where Ramon is located was an ocean, many years ago. This Crater was created by natural factors including weather patterns which caused sand, rocks and water to shuffle, and in the case of the Ramon Crater collect upwards.
Entrance to the site is free of charge, thanks to the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority. On site, at the visitor’s center, you will find an exhibit related to the nature and landscape of this place. There is also an audiovisual presentation describing the Crater and its formation. Don’t forget to go to the lookout point facing the desert. You’ll feel as though you are standing directly in front of The Crater!