Situated in the south of Jordan, about 3 hours away from the capital, Amman, Petra is considered one of the loveliest and most cinematographic cities in the world. And this is no exaggeration: the city was the setting for scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Transformers 2, and Mortal Kombat: the Annihilation, besides being the stage for the Brazilian soap opera Viver a Vida, by Manoel Carlos – as well as being mentioned in two publications: Les Voyages D’Alix and Destinos de Tintim. The historical and archeological city of Petra is famous for its constructions, since the local architecture is sculpted on the rose colored rocks that make Petra the “Pink City”.
If you haven’t been seduced yet by the charms of Petra, see how the city was described by those who have been there. In the poem by John William Burgon, an English Anglican, Petra is “a rose-red city half as old as time”, while the American Smithsonian Magazine describes it as one of the “28 places to see before you die”. However, the best description came from UNESCO, when Petra was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, in 2007: one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.
Without a doubt, Petra is a symbol of its country, which can be observed by the commercial exploitation of its image, stamped on Jordan’s postcards. Its fame follows its ancient foundation, in 312 BC, by the Nabataean Arabs, responsible for the commercial routes that made the city a strategic point in the Middle East, and an attraction for tourists who wish to buy souvenirs and eat delicacies. The best time to visit is in April and May, as well as in September and October. Although no vaccines are obligatory, the local government recommends vaccination against hepatitis, poliomyelitis, tetanus and typhoid fever.
What to visit in Petra: You need an average of 3 days to visit the main attractions of the Pink City, which can be viewed calmly, since they are spread over an area of about 5 square kilometers. As cars aren’t allowed, the option is Petra’s charming horse carriages, or even horseback rides. Besides the imposing El Kazneh, 30 meters wide and 43 meters tall – the Treasure Chamber in Indiana Jones – Petra has numerous temples, theaters, tombs, and cisterns – that’s right, the city is also known by important engineers who admire its efficient water works.
Tourist Center: The settlement of Wadi Musa is not only the starting point for the archeological sites, it is also where you will find the main restaurants, shops, hotels, and exchange houses.