Photo: Ancient building lit up by candles

At Petra, candles light the way to Al Khazneh (the Treasury), whose function in ancient times is still unknown.

Photograph by Taylor Kennedy, National Geographic

Petra dates back about two thousand years, when Nabataean Arabs carved the city out of sandstone. Does Petra’s Treasury façade look familiar to your kids? That’s because it was used in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Just 160 miles (257 kilometers) to the north of Petra is Amman, Jordan’s capital, with its narrow streets and outdoor restaurants.

Where to Play

From the top of Amman’s Citadel Hill, look out over the city’s slopes dotted with white houses. The Temple of Hercules—with its massive Roman columns—and the Umayyad Palace are must-sees. At the foot of the hill, a Roman theater—with a 6,000-person capacity—is carved into the side. Today, it is used for performances, as it was a thousand years ago. Back in the city center, head to Al-Hashemi Street and bargain with the street vendors.

At Day’s End

Check in at Petra Palace hotel, which is located less than 1,000 feet (305 meters) from the historic area. The hotel comes with an outdoor pool, perfect after a dusty day.


For hotel options in Amman and Petra, visit

See National Geographic's guide to Jordan.

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel