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Discover the Lost City of Stone, Petra

Published by Kristin Cowles, Editor-in-Chief

Country: Jordan

The Experience

Step back into a time of lost cities and mystical pasts when you visit Petra. This surreal city is housed in southwestern Jordan, in a valley amongst mountains that run from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Discovered in 1812 by a Swiss traveler, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Petra was later declared a World Heritage site in 1985. The history of Petra is somewhat ill-defined, passed from its original creators 6th century Nabataean Arabs , down through to Romans and later to Crusaders, it was eventually left to locals.
The entry way to this amazing archeological site is a stretch of narrow gorge that is called a Siq, created by a natural geographical fault. This passage measures over a mile in length, towers over 600 feet high in some section and can be as narrow as 3 meters wide in places. As the Lost City of Petra gradually appears through the last corners of the Siq, a feeling of the purest and unmatched awe overcomes visitors lucky enough to grab this experience. Passed over by time, this city carved into the rock face is testament to a time of the silk trade, connecting routes that linked China and India with places like Egypt, Rome and Greece.

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When to Go to Petra Jordan

The best times to visit Petra are between March - June or September - November.

Odds n' Ends

To take in all of Petra you should plan a minimum stay of two days for touring around the different parts. Some things to keep in mind before you head into Petra is to prepare for a lot of walking, you can see a lot of it by horse and cart, but the hikes are well worth the effort for those that can hack it. Stock up on good socks and band aids for those tricky blisters. Be sure to have cash, as you will pay top dollar for beverages on site, which might be a blessing in disguise as toilet facilities are at a premium. Other sites to consider visiting if you are in the area is Lawrence of Arabia's Wadi Rum, south of Petra, or the Roman ruins of Jerash, north of Amman.

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Language Guides

Arabic is one of the languages spoken in Jordan. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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