Jordan is one of the Levant’s most celebrated destinations; the red-rose city of Petra became one of the new seven wonders of the world back in 2007. But there is much more to this magnificent site than meets the eye.
Thousands of years ago, between 400BCE and 106CE, the now-abandoned red-rose city was thriving as a trading centre and the capital of the glorious Nabateans empire. For hundreds of years, the buried gem of Jordan was unknown to the West, until a European traveller disguised himself as a Bedouin and secretly infiltrated the city, and revealed its mystery to the world.
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The Nabateans inhabited Petra since 312BCE, long before the emergence of the Roman empire. At that time, the Nabateans controlled the trading route which stretched from the West Bank to Jordan and onwards to the northern border of the Arabian peninsula. They occupied the largest part of the Levant, and left behind transport and irrigation technologies that can still be seen in full function today.
Petra is half built, half carved in stone. The awe-inspiring monuments of Petra are cut into cobblestone cliffs and mountains, showing a whole spectrum of colours at the rising and setting of the sun. In its flourishing years in 1CE, Petra had a population which soared to 20,000 inhabitants.
Petra stood tall as the most successful crossroad of trail; camel caravans loaded with spices and textiles would pass through to the most distant regions of the Levant and back.
The decay of the red-rose city started as Byzantine rule grew stronger, reaching its nadir as the Roman Empire ended Nabatean independence in the 2nd century. Petra was mostly abandoned by the 7th century.
Today, local Bedouins still inhabit the magnificent city, making their own living by guiding tourists and selling souvenirs at ambiguous sights, such as one in which, legend tells, Moses struck his staff to the ground, exploding a water fountain.
Petra still perches on the throne of magnificence throughout the pages of history. Although the “Lost City” has been found, it still conceals secrets so deep mankind is yet to discover them. Want to see it for yourself? You can now visit Petra with Culture Trip by joining our immersive small-group Jordan tour, led by our Local Insider.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.