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Petra: Jordan’s most famous tourist site I knew nothing about

Petra: Jordan’s most famous tourist site I knew nothing about

Confession: if you mentioned the word “Petra” to me before I went to Jordan, I would have looked at you blankly. I don’t remember learning about it in history class, I’ve never really seen it mentioned on bucket lists or guidebooks, and it’s been years (and years) since I’ve watched Indiana Jones.

Ancient city of Petra in Jordan

But honestly, that’s exactly how I like it. I prefer to see movies without watching the trailer or reading a review, and taking book recommendations without reading the back cover. The fewer expectations, the better. I’m not always the best informed traveler, I admit it. So I showed up to Petra with only a vague idea of what to expect–and holy, it’s just beyond description. Mind-blowing is honestly the best word I can come up for it. It’s Jordan’s most famous tourism site for good reason!

Monastery in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Essentially, it’s an ancient city that dates back to 325 B.C. It’s famous for the buildings carved into the stone. The Treasury (in the first photo) is incredibly intricate, while the Monastery is much larger. The scale and detail of both structures are both incredible: one of those times when modern architecture just seems hopelessly temporary.

Ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Petra from afar.

Ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Dog in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

New dog friend!

Donkey in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Many people chose to ride donkeys to see the sites more efficiently, but I preferred to walk. It was a fantastic workout and not nearly as scary as holding onto a donkey as they navigate some steep hills with long drops.

Standing bow yoga pose  in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Not a bad background for standing bow pose.

Monastery in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Best description ever.

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan

The ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Camel carving  in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Ancient carving of a man and his camel.

Camels and the treasury in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Note: I was a guest of the Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own.

If you want to see more of Jordan: check out the best of Jordan, via Instagram.

  • Casey

    This has always been a place that has fascinated me.. can’t wait to see it!

  • camorose

    It’s amazing!

  • Megan

    Petra was one of my favorite places to visit, I can’t wait to go back someday to see everything!

  • Anglo Italian

    Those pictures speak by themselves, why haven’t we been to Jordan and Petra yet?

  • camorose

    You must go!

  • Beautiful pictures, Christine. <3 I'd go on the off chance that I'd fall into the arms of Harrison Ford. 😉

  • camorose

    Totally a good reason to go 🙂

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  • I am with you on being less than informed when I turn up to a new place! I recently went to Lake Louise in late May and was a bit surprised to find the glacial lake still frozen… but I was glad I didn’t know that, because what if that would have put me off visiting? I ended up with some completely unique photos of a half frozen lake and was stoked.

    Long live the surprises

  • camorose

    Yes yes yes!

  • Stephanie Nelson

    Looks amazing! I’ve definitely added Petra to my bucket list.