Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea in the mountains of western Jordan, Petra is one of the most famous archaeological spots on the planet. The UNESCO World Heritage site features churches, temples and other buildings that date back thousands of years.
It is an easy 20-minute walk through the Siq canyon to the ancient city. When visitors step through a final narrow gap in the rocks, the magnificent Treasury building appears. The structure, which is one of the world’s most photographed places, was carved into the rock more than 2,000 years ago.
As travelers roam among the façades, monuments, and caves carved into colorful sandstone, they are following in the footsteps of nomadic tribes, Israelites, Edomites, Nabateans, Crusaders, Arabs, and Romans that occupied the sacred site over the millennia.
For visitors seeking a different experience, Malia Asfour of the Jordan Tourism Board recommends seeing the Treasury at night. Typically offered three nights a week, Petra by Night includes a guided walk to the site, which is illuminated by more than 1,500 candles that are positioned around the famous building.
She says that the new Petra Museum also is a must-do. Located near the entrance of the archaeological park, the attraction houses hundreds of artifacts that have been unearthed in the area. Its galleries help tell Petra’s story from the Stone Age to modern times.
Top Culinary Options
Petra Kitchen Experience
Ammarin Camp Experience for Bedouin Zarb (includes traditional Bedouin meal)
Top photo: Petra by Night
Photo by Jordan Tourism Board