Awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, this rock-carved, rosy archeological site is located deep into the desert, hundreds of miles from Amman in Jordan. It’s said that Petra was ‘designed to strike wonder into all who entered it’ and it draws historians and history buffs in droves, along with busloads of package tourists. The highlight here is the Treasury (El-Khazneh), which can be reached on foot or by horse-drawn carriage from the main entrance.

When you arrive at Petra, you enter the complex through a tight crevice lined with niches that were once home to elaborate statues of spirits and gods. Head straight for the dazzling Treasury (El-Khazneh) and watch the ever-changing colors of the façade, affected by the position of the sun throughout the day.

If you tire of walking, go by horseback or horse-drawn cart. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed here, a testament to its unique atmosphere. The ancient city was carved by Nabataeans in the 6th century BC and the elaborate palaces, tombs, temples and stables give great insight into their lives.


Siq: after the entrance of the site, there’s a trail to the Valley of Moses (Wadi Musa) and all along the path are tiny Nabataean tombs in the dry rock. Beyond here is the entryway to the Siq, the main route into Petra itself. The walls of the Siq are impressive, with channels cut in to carry drinking water to the city and a dam diverting an adjoining stream to prevent flooding.

Khazneh (Treasury): is the most popular of the monuments in Petra and the first one you see when you enter the complex. The well-kept façade is stunning and the structure is thought to have been somewhat of a cross between a temple and a tomb, although it’s also said to have been a hiding place for treasure.

Royal Tombs: are three big structures cut into the rock face of the King’s Wall. Urn Tomb is a well-preserved monument with a rather fancy façade for its one undecorated room.

High Place of Sacrifice: getting here involves a steep climb, rewarded with remnants of a free-standing building that once housed priests.

Path to El-Deir: crosses to the north of Petra’s center and is highlighted by Nabataean stairs and a small tomb called the Lion Tomb.