Petra – Jordan
Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction.
One of the most fascinating candidates on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the ancient city of Petra captures the curiosity of thousands of visitors every day.
You can see most of Petra in a full day, about 7-8 hours. But to really explore the area plan on 2-3 days to feel like you’ve seen it all.
The city was extensively occupied from about the fifth century B.C. to the fifth century A.D., and was at its heyday during the fifth centuries B.C. and A.D. Much of Petra’s appeal comes from its spectacular setting deep inside a narrow desert gorge. The site is accessed by walking through a kilometer long chasm (or Siq), the walls of which soar 200 meters upwards. Petra’s most famous monument, the Treasury, appears dramatically at the end of the Siq.
The colour of the rock ranges from pale yellow or white through rich reds to the darker brown of more resistant rocks. The contorted strata of different-coloured rock form whorls and waves of colour in the rock face, which the Nabataeans exploited in their architecture.
Jordan’s incomparable city in stone is a mute monument to the powerful civilization that blossomed 2,000 years ago in this remote desert locale surrounded by rocky mountains, gorges, and cliffs. The Nabataean capital was also a remarkable feat of urban planning. Some 30,000 people once lived in this dry desert location, quenching their thirsts by a channel-and-cistern system that harvested and stored winter rains for future use.
Petra is epic in scale and it’s about more than just ruins—if you like hiking you’ll love Petra. It’s a geological and manmade wonder and it is definitely the highlight of Jordan.