Uncovered operate a variety of small group Egypt and Jordan tours, including Jerash, Wadi Rum and Petra, Jordan. Desert, Tombs and Jordan; Egypt and Jordan Explorer; Egypt and Jordan Highlights; Jordan Uncovered
The nearby but unattractive local village, Wadi Musa, where Petra hotels and inns are to be found.
Wadi Mousa contains a variety of top end hotels and friendly budget hotels/inns. Good hotels will offer audio walking guides to the site for hire. Alternatively consider hiring a Bedou guide from the Visitor Centre to enhance your tour of the pink city.
A Djin block - purpose unknown - on the approach to Petra's entrance gorge, Bab Al Siq, from the Visitor Centre.
Inevitably this is a busy tourist site so to optimise your experience stay in Wadi Musa and head into the site at close to 6.0am or 6.30am opening time, depending on the season. That way you'll get a jump on the herds arriving by bus and have a much more impressive initial experience.
Once the Siq and the Treasury have been seen Petra opens out and tourists spread out so the impact of the huddled masses is felt less.
Perhaps the world's best entrance to a developed ancient site, Petra's Al Siq, 1km long and only 3m (10ft) wide in places.
Don't even consider a horse- buggy unless walking is a problem as the ancient, spooky ambience of this sombre and serpentine gorge should be absorbed at a comfortable and meditative pace. And if you have to, let the tourist herds gallop by!
A first glimpse of the Treasury from the Siq, though many have already seen it courtesy of Steven Spielberg's Indian Jones and the Last Crusade movie (1989).
Looking the other way, from the Treasury entrance to the Siq.
The Treasury, El Khazneh, small but perfectly formed and the first of Petra's ancient rock structures inside the basin. Click for more Petra Pictures.
Encounters Travel is a small-group operator running fun, great value Jordan Tours: Jordan Encounters including the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, trekking the 'Rose Red' city of Petra; or there is Ancient Encounters which also includes Egypt's best attractions from the Pyramids to Luxor.
In Arabic the Treasury is called Khaznet Far'oun, Pharaoh's Treasury, from a popular legend that treasure was concealed here by an Egyptian Pharaoh. In fact local Bedouin thought that the urn at the top of the Treasury could be the treasure chest and frequently shot at it in the hope it would explode and shower down gold, as bullet marks attest.
The Treasury's actual purpose is still unknown. Some believe it was a royal tomb, with the premium burial spot in the small chamber at the back, while others think it was an elaborate memorial due to funerary carvings on the facade, or perhaps a temple since it looks like a temple, has a sanctuary in the back and a wash basin.
The construction date of the Treasury is also unknown, but some scholars think around 86-62 BC, under the command of Nabataean king Aretas III Philhellene as the facade contains many references to or symbols of Greek gods as well as Nabataean deities; otherwise it could have been during the reign of Aretas IV around 25 AD. Aretas was responsible for much of Petra's later planning and construction.
But whenever or whoever designed the Treasury at the end of the quietly claustrophobic Al-Siq succeeded in creating a spectacular entrance to one of the wonders of the world, the Nabataean capital of Petra, Jordanie.