Al Siq Canyon is the entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra. The Siq is a narrow canyon that is 1.2 kilometers long, and visitors need to walk through the 80 meter high cliffs to reach the sites at Petra. The Nabatean city of Petra is located in Jordan’s desert where visitors will see jaw-dropping sites including Al-Khazneh and Ad Deir. Each monastery and temple in Petra is carved from sandstone into the cliff faces. It is believed that only 15% of this ancient city is visible with an astonishing 85% still to be uncovered. The entrance to Petra through Al Siq Canyon is a thrilling way to begin a trip to this world-renowned ancient site.
Al Siq Canyon in Petra – Location
The Siq is located at the main entrance of Petra. The canyon is located just under three hours by car from the capital city of Amman. As it is one of the most popular landmarks in Jordan, it is well connected by buses and organized tour groups from all the major cities.
History of the Al Siq Canyon
Although most of the rock of Al Siq Canyon is natural, some of it was sculpted by the Nabateans. The Nabataeans carved sculptures of the Gods because it was believed that the water here was sacred. The canyon was connected to two channels that drew water from the Wadi Musa, also known as the Valley of Moses. The canyon was used for spiritual processions and it was the end point for pilgrims during the Nabataean period who had traveled from far and wide to reach the holy city of Petra.
Things to See
Upon reaching The Siq, visitors will notice the remains of the original city gate to Petra. When walking through the canyon visitors can see the man-made terracotta pipes and stone panels that were used to transport and filter the water from Wadi Musa. The original dams that were used to prevent flooding from the pipes are still in place at the beginning of the canyon. When walking through the canyon visitors will also see religious sculptures. The Siq also opens out to a tomb and a single fig tree. The canyon builds excitement for visitors as the path winds beneath the large rocks until it reaches the ancient city.
How to Visit the Al Siq Canyon
In order to walk through Al Siq Canyon, visitors will need to pay an entrance fee into Petra.
Al Siq Canyon is the very first landmark of the ancient city of Petra. The views above as you walk through the canyon are indescribable and resemble a very different era. When entering Petra through The Siq, visitors can be forgiven for comparing it to a sequence in a fantasy movie. The first visible site upon reaching the end of The Siq is The Treasury.