Ramon Crater
You'll be amazed by the beauty of this Geological Formation

The Ramon Crater in Hebrew Makhtesh Ramon is an amazing geological formation in the Negev Desert of Israel. It is located on the High Plateau called in Hebrew Ramat Hanegev, less than 100 km south of the city of Beer Sheba, the capital of the Negev and 140 km north of Eilat Israel. The whole area is called Ramon Nature Reserve, the largest in Israel.

The observation point in Mitzpe Ramon

The World’s Largest Crater

It is the world’s largest crater and experts say it was not formed by a meteor. Shaped as a heart it is about 40 Km long by 12 Km wide in the widest part. It is the largest of the Negev’s three craters.

The only town in the vicinity is Mitzpe Ramon also an Observatory Point with lots of information about the formation and the nature of the crater.

You will be guided by expert tour guides that will show you films and slides. On the way to Eilat resort it is worth a visit. Especially children will learn a lot from that visit.

The Unique Hotel Beresheet on top of Maktesh Ramon


Ramon Crater was formed hundreds of millions of years ago when the area called Negev today was under water.  The waters receded and the remaining mountain started to deepen from the inside and exposing many layers of walls millions of years old. Today the crater is 500m deep.

There is only one spring inside the Makhtesh called Ein Saharonim or Saharonim Spring.  The wildlife of the crater is sustained by this water.

Many Geological Forms

A few impressive elevations are found inside the crater:

  • Har Ramon (Mount Ramon) on the south
  • Har Ardon (Mount Hardon)on the northeast
  • Har Marpek ( Mount Elbow) on the south
  • Har Katum (Chopped Mount) on the south.
  • Givat Gaash (Volcano Hill) a black hill on the north side
  • Shen Ramon (Ramon’s tooth) is a black sharp rock on the northern part

This amazing formation called Shen Ramon or the Tooth of Ramon

Hiking Routes

A Wadi or dry river runs through the Maktesh. Its name is Wadi Nikarot and begins in Sinai being about 70 Km long.

There are many hiking routes for desert lovers with magnificent views of this spectacular nature phenomenon. The routes vary on intensity according to age and health shape of the participants.

But two things are common to all, being protected from the sun of the desert is one of them and water is the second. It is recommended to have plenty of water for each participant.

The consequences of not adhering to those rules could be severe.Also the timing is important, always plan for autumn, winter or spring. The heat of summer in the Negev could be devastating. And of course, try to start very early in the morning, trying not to be outside with no shadow at noon.

Before starting any tour, I recommend sitting at the Visitor’s Center. Going south from Beer Sheba on route # 40 there signs directing you straight to the Visitor’s Center located at the northern side of the Crater. They have a great observation point with spectacular views.

The Hiking Path leading to Ein Saharonim Spring

Hai Ramon Wildlife Center

It is located near the Visitor’s Center and feature models of some of the local animals that roam through the Makhtesh Ramon. It consists of:

  • Reptiles like tortoises, chameleons, lizards and snakes
  • Rodents like fat sand rats, spiny mice and porcupines
  • Hedgehogs like snails and scorpions.

Let’s visit the Ramon Crater, take the kids, no matter their age. It is a lifetime experience.

A beautiful Gazelle roams free in the Hai Ramon Wildlife Center

Just recently they opened up a Super Deluxe Hotel that I visited recently and very much recommend.

Beresheet, on the Edge of the Ramon Crater by the Isrotel Exclusive Collection is the perfect experience.

The Beresheet hotel looks out across an ancient landscape that is simply breathtaking in its beauty, situated on high cliffs that slope down into the Makhtesh Ramon, a unique and rare natural phenomenon that has no equal anywhere in the world. The Isrotel Beresheet Hotel is now open.

Image Credits:
makhtesh and mitzpe n/a
saharonim by oren peles
shen ramon by daki
wildlife by yosi wunsch

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The resorts images are courtesy of the resorts mentioned.

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