The ancient city of Petra is in the Hashamite Kingdom of Jordan – the country of Jordan – in the Middle East. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and to the west Jordan shares a border with Israel. Petra is in the southwest corner of Jordan about 80-100km east of the Israeli border and the Dead Sea which the two countries share. Petra is in the Jordanian region or governorate of Ma’an which lies east of Amman, Jordan’s capital city.
Where is Petra Geographically
Petra is situated on the side of Mount Hor which forms part of the eastern side of Wadi Araba a valley between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Petra is in a rugged mountainous desert terrain and was once a stop on ancient trade routes, the surrounding cliffs providing protection from the elements as well as being close to a water source and grazing land. Most of the city is carved out of the red sandstone mountains of the area.
Where is Petra Biblically
Petra’s location places it in the heart of the Christian, Jewish and Arab sacred lands, nearby there are a wealth of biblical sites. Miriam – Moses’ sister – Is believed to be buried near Petra and the Arabs believe that Ain Mousa (spring of Moses) near Petra is the place where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came out. Aaron, Moses’ brother is also thought to be buried nearby on Mount Aaron.
How to find Petra
Entrance to the city is from the East through the Siq – a narrow mountain gorge, to reach the Siq tourists travel first to the nearby village of Wadi Musa (valley of Moses), the closest village to Petra which lies in the valley at the entrance to Petra and services the tourists on their journey to visit the ancient city. The Jordanian roads stop at the entrance to the city. Motorized transport brings travelers to the entrance of the Siq and from there they must go by foot.
From Amman tourists travel south on the desert highway and can reach Petra in under 3 hours, from Aqaba, Jordan the journey is about 1 hour and from the Israeli Southern Border (Arava) crossing near Eilat the journey takes under 2 hours. It is also possible to reach Petra on the King’s Highway.