As soon as you book your flights to Jordan, part of the trip is already planned, as a visit to Petra is a mandatory stop on any visit. For many, this is the chance to visit the iconic Indiana Jones location (and many vendors will accommodate this desire with numerous market stalls selling Indiana Jones hats to the passing crowds).
Regardless of your level of obsession with late-80s Spielberg films, Petra did not disappoint.
On our first day in Petra, we hired a guide at the visitors centre, who walked us through the site, providing a detailed history of the area.
Petra has been home to people for thousands of years, with the first archaeological evidence dating back to the 2nd century BC when the Nabataeans’ lived in the region. They designed elaborate water conduit systems, which brought water to the city from for miles, prevented destructive flash flooding through building dams, and creating cistern to store water during periods of drought.
These stone carvings of camels were some of the more beautiful early traffic lights, telling traders which way the camels should go when navigating the narrow passage through the Siq gorge to reach Petra.
The 1.2 km walk through the narrow rock gorge is spectacular – the rose-coloured rocks rising high above you, creating an other-worldly landscape.
And then, as you turn a corner, you get a glimpse of the famed treasury as the Siq opens up to reveal the legendary Treasury.
After you fill up your camera with hundreds of photos of the treasury, there is a lot more to explore.
Like the amphitheatre:
Astonishingly beautiful caves in the rocks:
And an intricately tiled floor of Byzantine-era church:
Exploring Petra was incredible, but one day was definitely not enough. Thankfully, we had booked to stay at a local Bedouin camp so we could return to explore some more.