Petra Travel Guide

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The Treasury, Petra

The Treasury, Petra

Praful Soneji

If you are in Jordan, Petra is more than likely at the top of your priority list. Carved into the side of the Wadi Musa Canyon centuries ago by the Nabataeans, Petra's solid red sandstone buildings are unlike anything you have ever seen before.  In 1985, UNESCO recognized this ancient city as a World Heritage Site.

In July 2007 , Petra became one of the new 7 world wonders.

Tourists visiting the ancient Nabataean city of Petra , desiring an audio guide can enjoy an audio guided tour utilizing the state of the art audio tour guide service; Easyguide. Major hotels can rent you a portable Easyguide  for commentary in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. Easyguide is also available as a mobile phone service on all Jordanian mobile phone networks, a map is needed to use this service and can be found in all hotels in Petra .

The Siq, a narrow gorge, leads you to the temples, tombs and other buildings. As you walk through the Siq (you can also rent a donkey, camel, or horse), you never expect what is coming next. Then you take a turn and 'bang'.
..  it's there: between the walls of the canyon, you catch a glimpse of the most impressive red sandstone building you have ever seen.  This is what is known as the Treasury. It's so big that it's difficult to capture a good photograph of it from so close. In any case, pictures fail to capture its awe-inspiring quality, and the best way to appreciate it is to see it in person.

Candlelit tours into Petra were introduced twice a week in the Fall of 2004 as an experiment. Check with your hotel to see if the night tours are running during your visit, and if so, make sure not to miss this spectacle, as it is sure to be one of the most impressive sights you have ever seen.

After the initial shock of seeing the first temple, there is a large area with many similar temples, tombs and other magnificent constructions.  Of particular interest is the Roman Theater, so named when the Romans expanded Petra's theater during their occupation of the city, and the Royal Tombs.  You will need a full day to see everything, but the hike to the Monastery and the High Place of Sacrifice is well worth the trouble.

The best way to visit is by foot. You will need lots of water and you should protect yourself against the sun. It is in the middle of the desert, after all. 

Petra is less than 200 km south of Amman. It is also possible to see Petra on the way from Amman to Aqaba, and you may visit Petra as a daytrip, but you are sure to miss a lot of things.  A visit here can (and should) be combined with a stay in Wadi Rum, a stunning desert valley located about one hour south of Petra.

The town of Petra has a wide variety of hotels to fit any budget, and tours can easily be arranged from Amman, Aquaba, Cairo, or most any red sea resort town as well.

(It would be nice if this included information on how to reach Petra, and nearby hotels/hostels for travellers.)

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at:


February 06, 2007 change by rfujitani (1 point)

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