Petra (map), the fabled “rose red city, half as old as time”, is a well known ancient Nabataean city in the south of Jordan. Due to its breathtaking grandeur and fabulous ruins.
In 2007, Al-Khazneh was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Petra is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction. Access to the city is through a 1.2-kilometre-long (3⁄4 mi) gorge called the *Siq (map), which leads directly to the Khazneh.
The area around Petra has been inhabited from as early as 7000 BC, and the Nabataeans might have settled in what would become the capital city of their kingdom, as early as the 4th century BC.
At the end of the narrow gorge, the Siq, stands Petra’s most elaborate ruin, popularly known as *Al-Khazneh (“the Treasury”, map), hewn into the sandstone cliff.
The High Place of Sacrifice is located at the top of Jebel Madbah Mountain (map). The beginning of the hike is near Petra’s famous theatre. To get to the actual sight of The High Place of Sacrifice, it is around an 800 step hike.
The Royal Tombs (map) of Petra embody the unique artistry of the Nabateans while also giving display to Hellenistic architecture, but the facades of these tombs have worn due to natural decay. One of these tombs, the Palace tomb, is speculated to be the tomb for the kings of Petra.
⇒ The Jordan Pass (purchased online before coming to Jordan) gives you access to over 30 sights and attractions in Jordan, including Petra, Wadi Rum Protected Area and Jerash.
In order to understand what Petra is, it is better to spend there two days. The first day: Siq – Treasury – City – Monastery. The second day: another way to Petra through Wadi Muthlim – see the Treasury from above on Jebel Al -Khubtha – High Place of Sacrifice.
If you enter Petra through Wadi Muthlim do not turn left immediately after the small Siq, first go right to see Aqueduct, Tunnel and Al-Wu’eira Fort and only after that return to Petra center. It may not be possible to go through this route due to excess water in it. It’s not recommended doing this route without a guide.
The most cold and rainy months to visit Petra are December and January. In this time it is warm during the day and very cold in the evenings and at nights. That’s why it is necessary to take coats, hats and gloves. And it could warm up your visit there if you take a thermos with hot tea with you. Avoid going if the forecast shows a lot of rain, as the guards may need to transport tourists out if the valley starts to flood.
JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect to *Amman and *Aqaba via the fast (but boring) Desert Highway. The minibus from Wadi Rum costs 7 JD. It takes around 2 hours to get to Petra.