Petra, name Semitic or Raqmu or Rekem, is a pre-Islamic Nabataean city of present Jordan located in Wadi Rum, World Heritage of UNESCO. Located halfway between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, at 3 hour drive from Amman, the Jordanian capital. Founded in ancient times towards the end of VIIIᵉ century BC by the Edomites, then it was occupied by the Nabateans in the sixth century who took advantage of its position on the caravan route to transport incense, spices and other valuable goods between Egypt, Syria, South Arabia and the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, two centuries later, it was seen in the gradual abandonment by its inhabitants due to earthquakes and changing trade routes. In 1812, Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt rediscovered the site. In 1830, the site became a place to visit, additional religious pilgrimages and source of profits for many heads of neighboring tribes.
The numerous buildings, including the monumental facades are directly cut into the rock, make it a monumental and unique set surrounded by a National Archaeological Park.
The situation of Petra, hidden between rocks and steep walls with a safe water supply makes it an ideal location for the development of a prosperous city. The place is accessible only by a narrow mountain trail from the north-west or east through a canyon of about 1.5 kilometer long and up to 200 meters deep, the Siq, access main, which in the narrowest point, has only two meters wide. Collection and water distribution facilities to store and transport water by overcoming the steep terrain are still visible today.
Tourism began after the Second World War, in the past, the city was only accessible to tourists and researchers, accompanied by local guides and armed escorts. The Bedul nomads living in the ruins of Petra until 1980; they are now tourist guides or traders established around. But unfortunately, the tourism sector is dependent on economic and political stability of the region.
Before departure obtain your required tourist visa at the embassy or consulate or upon arrival at the airport in Amman ( you have to pay in local currency) .
You have more than twenty hotels to choose for your visit.
The entrance to the site is paid. A night tour of Petra, under the lights is possible, to discover the city from another angle .
UNESCO and the authorities advise against walking back offered animals as dust raised by the animals encrusted in the cracks and crannies of the Siq and ruins, damaging them.