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.
Suggested itineraries featuring Petra
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Petra, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Petra
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation choices for Petra
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Petra. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Petra
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Petra, and which use the best local guides.