Petra is such an amazing place. I have travelled a lot and seen some incredible places, and Petra is up there as one of them. It is incredible that this site, which once once a vibrant and lively city, was not ‘discovered’ until 1812, as the site is huge and there is still much of the city to be uncovered. But the city is well ‘hidden’ between the mountains in which it is built. Driving into Petra and looking out onto the mountains, you cannot even detect any semblance of the city.
It is thought that Petra has been inhabited since 312 by the Nabataeans and was the centre of their caravan trade. They built some incredible structures in the red rock of Petra, which still stand today. The city was inhabited by the local bedouins until 1985, when it became a world heritage site and the bedouin people were relocated in a village nearby. Today these people work in the site, offering camel and donkey rides, selling souvenirs and running cafes.
Petra is one of those must see places and of course the highlight of any trip to Jordan.
There are many tours from both Amman and Aquaba which offer day or multi-day tours to Petra. Once in Petra village, the site is only a short walk away.
Have a chat with the bedouin/kiwi guy selling copies of his mother’s book “Married to a Bedouin” by Marguerite van Geldermalsen. In 1978 his mother made a trip to Jordan and ended up marrying a bedouin man and living there. Her son has since lived in New Zealand and Australia and is a great guy to have a chat to. He sells copies of his mother’s book and some beautiful locally handcrafted jewellery.