Built by the Nabateans, Petra fell into obscurity about a thousand years ago, while its existence - and location - were kept a closely-guarded secret by the local Bedouin. In 1812, John Louis Burckhardt tricked his way into the site, and almost immediately tourists began to follow.
No matter how many times you have seen Petra on television or in film, nothing prepares you for the first time you exit the tiny cleft of the Siq (the 1.2 kilometre narrow canyon leading into the city) to be confronted by the enormous splendour of the Treasury Tomb.
Built by the Nabateans, who grew rich through their control of the frankincense trade routes through Arabia, Petra fell into obscurity about a thousand years ago, while its existence - and location - were kept a closely-guarded secret by the local Bedouin.
In 1812, John Louis Burckhardt tricked his way into the site, and almost immediately tourists began to follow - in large numbers. Fortunately, even the largest crowds dissipate in this vast site.
Several days can be spent exploring Petra, although two full days will give you sufficient time to see the main city remains and some of the most interesting outlying sites.
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation in Petra
The Petra Marriott
The Petra Marriott is a good option for a quieter stay and a base from which to see the famous Rose City.
The Mövenpick Resort
Movenpick Resort is ideally located just a few seconds walk from the entrance to the Rose city. Its rooms are simple, yet comfortable, and offer all of the facilities you would expect from this international chain.
The Beit Zaman is a village-style property with views that are truly spectacular. Located away from the hustle and bustle of central Petra, it makes for a wonderfully peaceful retreat.
The Taybet Zaman hotel is a stunningly unique hotel, located a short distance from the main Petra site. Its rooms feature Bedouin influenced decor and traditional Arabesque furnishings.
Petra Moon Hotel
Located just 10 minutes from the main Petra site, the Petra Moon Hotel offers large, comfortable rooms and a rooftop pool with an excellent view of the surrounding mountains.
The Petra Guesthouse is perfect for those who want the best location in Petra on a reasonable budget.