The ancient city of Petra, carved on to the mountains of Jabal Al-Madbah. Petra is believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, and it was possibly established in the 4th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom.
Attractions near Petra
Supposed burial place of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Although in Jewish tradition, the location of Aaron's grave, like that of Moses, is shrouded in mystery, the Islamic tradition places it on Mount Hor, near Petra in Jordan.
A much smaller version of the grand Petra, consisting of three wider open areas connected by a 450-metre (1,480 ft) canyon. Like Petra, it is a Nabataean site, with buildings carved into the walls of the sandstone canyons. While the purpose of some of the buildings is not clear, archaeologists believe that the whole complex was a suburb of Petra, the Nabatean capital, meant to house visiting traders on the Silk Road.
A crusader castle perched on the side of a rocky, conical mountain. It was built in 1115 by Baldwin I of Jerusalem during his expedition to the area where he captured Aqaba on the Red Sea in 1116. The castle was strategically important as it dominated the main passage from Egypt to Syria. This allowed who ever to hold the castle to tax not only traders, both those who were on pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.
The place were Lot, brother of Abraham is said to have lived in a cave with his two daughters. The place consists of a monastery, a Byzantine basilica from the 7th century A.D. and the Cave of Lot.
Known also as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan. It is one of the most popular attractions in Jordan, with deserts and mountains and rock formations. Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabataeans–leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples.
Valley known for its deep gorge cut through the sandstone. It gives its name to the Bronze Age ruins located at its mouth with the Dead Sea- the archaeological site of Numeira.
Where is Petra
Discover more attractions in Ma'an Governorate, where Petra is located
The largest governate in Jordan by area. Evidence for human settlement in Ma'an Governorate dates back to at least 7000 BC, when the Neolithic village of Basta was founded. Basta was one of the first settlements in the world to have agriculture and domesticated livestock.
What visitors say about Petra
Petra is something else all together. So unique, and one of the best places I have ever been to.
The ancient city was built by the Nabataeans thousands of years ago for trade. Nabataeans were nomads, Petra was the city were they used to trade with each other from different parts of the nearby world.
The place is filled with tombs, palaces, temples, and the placement of them carved on tall, huge mountains is a sight to behold. The tunnel like passage called 'siq' through which you will enter the city itself is so magnificent.
There are many interesting spots inside this large ancient city- treasury, temple of sacrifice, monastery, palace, royal catacombs etc and each of them will need separate hikes to get to them.
Each of the spots can be accessed either by hiking or by renting donkeys/ horses/ camels. The hike is qmaamaz, which we did but they are not easy hikes. Also, the place is filled with people trying to sell you artefacts, trying to rent out animals as taxis- it can get super annoying. Be prepared for that.
All in all, this place is a must visit. The shear history and the magnificence and the brilliance of the place will dazzle anyone and everyone. You can plan to spend 1-3 days here. Atleast two are required to checkout all that has to offer by Petra.