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Is Petra Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Is Petra Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Petra, Jordan, is one of the most iconic historic locations in the middle east. Whether you want to explore the ancient ruins or enjoy the vibrant local culture, Petra is a must-visit destination. There’s nothing like it anywhere else!

Unfortunately, Jordan and the surrounding area have experienced a great deal of political upheaval in the recent past. With ongoing conflicts in the region, is Petra safe to visit?

If you’re interested in visiting the incredible ruins of Petra and experiencing the wonders that Jordan offers, keep reading to learn about some of the vital safety concerns you should be aware of.

From crime to natural disasters and even dangerous animals, there are many things to watch out for when traveling to Petra. By keeping potential concerns in mind, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable visit!

Is Petra Safe to Visit?

Image of the Palace Tomb without tourists for a piece on Is Petra Safe

Anton Buymov/Shutterstock

Despite some risks, Petra is generally considered a safe place for travelers. Jordan is an incredibly safe country with minor crime. Petra is located in a very remote area far away from any major conflict zones.

If you take the same precautionary measures you would when traveling to any other foreign destination, you should be fine when visiting Petra.

That said, there’s always some risk in visiting a place experiencing political upheaval. You should keep your wits about you and exercise caution when traveling to Petra, especially outside the main tourist areas.

Some critical tips for staying safe in Petra include avoiding dangerous neighborhoods, being aware of the potential risks from natural disasters like earthquakes and flash floods, and always carrying a fully-stocked first aid kit.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the local wildlife and know how to identify any poisonous or dangerous animals. Overall, if you take these simple precautions, there’s no reason why you can’t travel to Petra safely.

Crime in Petra

One of the main concerns for travelers is the crime rate. Unfortunately, Jordan isn’t immune to petty theft and pickpocketing incidents, especially in the most popular tourist areas.

To avoid these encounters, always be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close at hand. Never leave valuables unattended; consider carrying a small travel safe to secure your money and passport.

It’s also a good idea to avoid displays of wealth and stick to well-lit, populated areas at night. If you’re the victim of a crime, call the police immediately and file an official report.

Since Petra is a popular tourist attraction, scammers may try to take advantage of you. Be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true, and check any tour guide’s credentials before hiring them.

Beyond petty theft and scamming, there isn’t a lot of other crime in Petra. You should always be cautious, but you won’t have to worry about the dangers you might experience in a major city.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

Petra is a reasonably small town, but one area is known to be potentially dangerous: Wadi Musa. Wadi Musa is the town adjacent to Petra where most tourists stay. Wadi Musa is home to many refugees who struggle to find work and support their families.

Crime is always a possibility in areas with so much poverty and desperation. If you plan to visit Wadi Musa, it’s a good idea to be extra vigilant about your safety.

Avoid wandering around alone, and stick to areas with large groups of people.

Despite the risks, there is still much to see and do in Wadi Musa. It’s home to many beautiful markets, mosques, and ancient ruins. If you find yourself staying here, be extra cautious and keep an eye on your belongings. 

Getting a Visa to Travel to Petra

View of Roman columns in the Great Temple Complex for a piece on Is Petra Safe

Firebird007/Shutterstock

Most travelers need to acquire a visa to enter Jordan. Fortunately, most nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival. You can obtain this single-entry tourist visa when you land in Jordan at the cost of $40 for single entry and $85 for double entry.

Alternatively, you can also spend $170 for a multiple-entry visa. This visa requirement is simple and includes a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in Jordan, and an onward or return ticket.

However, not all nationalities are eligible for visas on arrival. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for a visa on arrival, it’s a good idea to check with your local embassy before planning a trip to Jordan.

Natural Disasters in Petra

Another primary concern is natural disasters, especially earthquakes and flash floods. Knowing what to do can be the difference between life and death if a natural disaster is happening or is imminent.

In an earthquake, staying calm and finding a safe place to take cover is crucial. If you’re indoors, move away from windows and other objects that might fall on you. If you’re outdoors, move to an open area that is clear of buildings or trees.

Always be aware of your surroundings, and avoid standing near potential hazards like power lines or streetlights. If you get caught in a flash flood, you must be aware of your surroundings and keep calm.

Flash floods are incredibly unpredictable, and they often happen without warning. Get to higher ground as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to drive through areas known for flash flooding, as your car will likely be swept away.

Jordan can also experience extreme temperatures and droughts. To avoid heat-related illnesses, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and wear light, loose clothing made of breathable materials. Wear a hat and sunscreen if you’ll be out and about for the day!

Transportation in Petra

There are a variety of transportation options in Petra. Some buses and taxis run regularly around the city. It’s also possible to rent a car or take a guided tour.

If you’re planning on renting a car, research which local insurance is required. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license, your insurance policy, and adequate funds to cover any potential damages to the vehicle.

Another option is to take a guided tour of the city, which is one of the best ways to learn about the history and culture of Petra. Many tours will also include transportation, accommodations, and meals.

Cellular Phone Service in Petra

Camels resting in front of Al Khazneh carved into the rock face to help answer Is Petra Safe

DimaSid/Shutterstock

Cell phone service is widely available throughout Petra and Jordan. If you plan to travel around Jordan, consider buying a local SIM card to access data and make local calls.

If traveling to Petra from another country, you should check with your phone provider about international roaming fees. However, buying a local SIM card is often cheaper once you arrive in Jordan.

A local SIM card is affordable and you can purchase one in most stores. A local SIM will give you internet access through Jordan. The only requirement is that you have an unlocked phone. 

Health and Disease Concerns in Petra

Traveling to Petra is, for the most part, safe and easy. However, awareness of everyday health and disease concerns is a wise travel move. In particular, it’s crucial to avoid contracting malaria or dengue fever.

To help prevent these diseases, wear mosquito repellant and long-sleeved clothing outdoors. Knowing about food safety in Jordan is also essential, as some foods may be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

This is especially a concern with undercooked or spoiled food. As always, wash your hands before eating. In Petra, you may want to drink only bottled or boiled water. 

Finally, you should have access to a reliable source of health care in case you experience any medical issues during your trip. Make sure to carry a medical kit with you and follow all recommended health precautions when traveling in Petra.

Dangerous and Poisonous Animals in Petra

With its arid climate, Jordan is home to various dangerous and poisonous desert animals. Several types of venomous snakes call Jordan home. The most hazardous are the Palestine viper, the serrated scale snake, and the black uraeus.

Be wary of scorpions in Petra and throughout Jordan. Scorpions can deliver a powerful sting that is both painful and potentially deadly.

It’s also essential to be aware of the local wildlife, including camels and other animals that may be more aggressive than you’re used to. Always keep your distance and report any animal bites or stings to a local medical professional as soon as possible.

Weather in Petra

Jordan is known for being one of the hottest climates in the world, so if you’re planning on traveling to Petra, it’s wise to be prepared for the heat. First and foremost, you’ll want to stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water while you’re there.

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, which will only dehydrate you further. You should also wear a hat and use sunscreen. Sun exposure is hazardous in Jordan, and it’s easy to get burned quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rock openings carved in with a distant view of Petra Jordan

Jerome Stubbs/Shutterstock

Visitors wondering how safe it is to visit Petra typically have a few common questions. Review them below to learn more about visiting Petra safely!

Is Petra safe at night?

Petra is generally safe at night, but you should still take precautions to protect yourself. Avoid wandering alone on the streets after dark, and avoid unlit or isolated areas.

You should also be alert for any potential security risks and take steps to minimize these risks. Stay aware of your surroundings and stay in well-lit areas with lots of people around.

Is Jordan safe for tourists?

Jordan is generally safe for tourists, although there are some potential risks you should be aware of. Crime is a concern in many parts of the country, particularly in urban areas. You should always be mindful of your belongings and avoid walking alone at night.

Is it safe to visit Petra from Israel?

There is some risk involved in visiting Petra from Israel, as the border between these two countries is often a site of conflict.

If you're planning to travel from Israel to Petra, you should take steps to minimize the risk of violence or unrest, such as checking for security updates about the border crossing.

Is it worth it to go to Petra?

Yes, Petra is a truly unique and awe-inspiring destination that is well worth a visit. With its beautiful natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and fascinating archaeological sites, there is something for everyone in this fantastic place.

Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day trip, you're surely enthralled by the stunning rock formations and ancient architecture of this iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Is Jordan safe from Isis?

Generally, yes. While there is some risk of terrorism in Jordan, especially near the border with Syria, it's generally considered a safe country for tourists.

How do you get to Petra from Israel?

There are several ways to get to Petra from Israel, including by car, bus, or train. If you travel independently, the simplest option is likely to drive or take a bus, as these are the most direct and convenient options.

So, Is Petra Safe to Visit?

Overall, Petra is a safe and welcoming travel destination. Still, there are several precautions that you can take to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

Whether traveling solo, with a family, or with a group, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary safety steps. Try to avoid the nearby “bad neighborhoods” – Wadi Musa – and if you must go there, stay alert. 

Take precautions to protect yourself from other potential safety issues in Petra, like venomous snakes, scorpions, and heat-related illness. With some basic preparation and common sense, you can enjoy all Petra offers without worrying about safety concerns!