The ancient city of Petra is one of Jordan's national treasures and by far its best known tourist attraction. Located approximately three hours south of Amman, Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that enchants visitors from all corners of the globe. Much of Petra's appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. The site is accessed by walking through a kilometre long chasm (or siq), the walls of which soar 200m upwards.
Activities & What to do :
AMMARIN BEDOUIN CAMP
The Ammarin Bedouin Camp is a sustainable community development project. A combination of history, nature, heritage and culture in one of the most beautiful areas in Jordan.
Any stay at this camp, founded and owned by the local Bedouin, promises living heritage and is sure to have an impact on you, all in the shadow of Petra.
AL-SIQ TO TREASURY TRAIL (MAIN TRAIL)
This trail is the most visited trail in Petra, the trail starts from the visitor center of Petra through The Siq to The Treasury. While most tourists think that the trail ends at the ancient city’s main attraction, The Treasury, the main trail continues past the Siq, Royal Tombs, Colonnaded Street and ends by Qasr Al-Bint (The Girl’s Palace).
Duration: This depends on the pace of the tourist but can take up to an hour from the visitors’ center to the Treasury.
This trail starts from the Visitors’ Center and takes you into the ancient city of Petra through the Siq and past some magnificent monuments. This includes what is known as the ‘street of facades’, as well as a theater craved out of the rock, after which you will explore the intricately carved ‘royal tombs’, which include the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb, before reaching Al-Khubtha High Place and Cistern to enjoy the breathtaking view.
The trail takes around 4 -5 hours to complete
AD-DEIR MAIN TRAIL
This trail begins at the end of the Main Trail, from the museum inside Petra, which is located next to The Basin restaurant. It leads you northwards up ancient steps and after a short walk you reach the Lion Triclinium, which is set in a small side wadi on the left. Continue past this up the carved stairway to reach a hermitage with chambers excavated in the rock and decorated with many carved crosses. You then move on upwards to reach Ad Deir, which lies a short way beyond and offers a fantastic view over the area.
This trail can be self-guided.
AD-DEIR BACK ROUTE
This trail takes you off the main track to reach Ad-Deir, or the Monastery, via a back road route. The trail begins at Kharrubat al-Fajja, which is 50 meters west of the main road to Beidha, and ends at Ad-Deir. The beginning of this trail is easy, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the area and the mountain views overlooking Wadi Araba as you walk. It also takes you through an agricultural area. Donkeys can be used for the round trip, taking you from the starting point to the beginning of the steps that lead to Ad-Deir and back again.
From the visitor center you can go by car or bus to the beginning of this trail, which starts at a site that is just off the main road leading to Beidha.
Duration: 4-5 hours
AD-DEIR TO KHARUBAT AL-FAJJAH
The first part of this trail follows the route of the Main Trail, all the way to Qasr Al-Bint. You then begin an upward climb to the Monastery climbing ancient steps as you pass the Lion Triclinium on the way up to Ad-Deir. Then instead of returning the way you came, this trail takes you past the view point and on to Umm Sysaban, where you will see the remains of an ancient walled settlement. It ends at Kharrubat al-Fajjah, which is located just off the main road leading to Beidha, from where you will need a car or bus to take you back to the visitor center.
Duration: 7-8 hours
BEIDHA – THE FIRST TRAIL
This trail begins at Umm Qussa and ends at Slaysel. The starting point is 40 meters to the west of the main road to Beidha. The beginning of the trail is easy and takes you to Bir al-Arayis, one of the many ancient Nabataean water cisterns found in the area. The trail then leads to Siq al-Barid where you will see one of the most beautiful mural paintings in Petra. From there you will move on to the Neolithic Village of Beidha, and then continue walking through Wadi Slaysel until you reach Slaysel itself, where you will be able to enjoy a wonderful view over Wadi Araba.
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
PETRA BY NIGHT
To visit Petra during daylight is awe-inspiring; to experience it at night by the light of 1,800 candles is truly out-of-this-world! Walk through the Siq to the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) following a candle-lit path and enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouins at the Treasury. Tours start at 8.30pm and finish at 10.00pm every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Allow yourself plenty of time to walk through the Siq - you don't want to miss the show!
BEIDHA – THE SECOND TRAIL
This trail begins at the Beidha Neolithic Village, near to Siq Al-Barid, which is the largest Nabataean site in Beidha. A few services are available here, including toilets, soft drinks and a parking area. You can reach the Siq Umm al-‘Alda entrance by car or bus and then hike to the Baja Neolithic site, which is 30 minutes walking distance away. You will pass some magnificent rock structures on your way to Baja. After exploring the site you follow the same track back to Siq Umm al-‘Alda and then drive to Shkarat Msaied, which is 15 minutes away from Siq Umm al-‘Alda by road. On your way to Shkarat Msaied, driving along Namala road, you can take in the beautiful surrounding landscape and mountains covered with juniper, oak, and wild pistachio trees. Beyond Namala Road you will experience the ancient Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic caravan route, which descends to Wadi Araba and Bir Madhkur and continues on to the Negeb and Gaza, forming part of the main caravan route that connected Petra with Gaza on the Mediterranean. Nowadays, this road is used to connect Petra with Wadi Feynan, the Dead Sea in the north, and Aqaba in the south.
Duration: 4 – 4.5 hours