If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to visit Petra in Jordan, the quick answer is, yes. But it’s easy to say, and we understand that when traveling in the Middle East like anywhere in the world, things can be confusing and sometimes reading around the internet can be scary (much like researching a medical condition). So we’ve prepared this article to address your concerns and the questions over whether it is safe to visit Petra in Jordan.
Background about Petra
Petra is located in Southern Jordan, in mountainous desert, surrounded by nothing more than a few Bedouin villages. The region was ruled by the Nabateans historically and scarcely populated. Bedouin tribes continued to live in Petra throughout history until it was discovered, relatively recently. The community moved out, to a new village nearby, and the site opened as one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites.
Last updated: February 5, 2018.
So… Is it Safe to Visit Petra?
With thousands of tourists visiting Petra without issues every day, and no issue to suggest otherwise, here’s why we believe there is nothing to be concerned about when it comes to visiting Petra:
1. Jordan has no travel warnings
Neither the US State Department, nor the British Foreign Office has issued travel advice against visiting Jordan, and neither mention safety issues anywhere in the vicinity of Petra (unlike many other countries in the region.) Like when traveling anywhere, it is important to monitor the news and governments for updates, but there is no reason to be scared of visiting Petra based on existing government advice.
2. Tourism is the Petra economy
It’s important to understand that the Bedouin tribes that live in and around Petra are totally reliant upon tourism economically and there is a great deal of respect for tourists who do come and visit, meaning that personal safety and general safety in Petra is very high as there is a shared interest among the entire local community to ensure that Petra remains safe to visit.
3. And Petra is the centerpiece of Jordan’s tourism economy
Similarly, Petra is the focal point for tourism in Jordan, as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Jordanian government has a huge vested interest in ensuring that the site is kept safe. There is a large security presence in Jordan, with a well-trained army (which operates in high-level coordination with the US army in general).
4. All tour groups are accompanied by a member of the tourist police
All tour groups in Jordan are accompanied at all times by members of the tourism police. This is generally in order to help with any bureaucratic issues that can arise during a tour but can also provide an added sense of security for visitors to Petra.
5. There is no precedent or evidence to suggest that it is not safe to visit Petra
With no reported instances of any safety issues in Petra especially in regards to tourists visiting the rose red city, there is no historic based reason for tourists to feel that there are safety issues visiting Petra.
How to visit Petra?
If safety is a concern for you, we suggest that it is easier to visit Petra on a tour. Traveling with a tour takes more of the stress out of your day, without needing to calculate your own travel plans, find taxi drivers, bus stops, and tour guides.
You’ll be accompanied by locals at all times and according to the Jordanian law, a member of the tourism police accompanies all groups. Aside from the more relaxed nature of traveling with a group, it is actually cheaper in most cases. Check out our full selection of tours to Petra here – all including $130 worth of entry fees to Petra – and see if there’s one that suits you.