Responsible Tourism

How can you play a part in preserving Petra? 
Many people ask us this and the answer is simple. Treat Petra as you would treat your own home.  Don’t drop litter, don’t climb on the monuments, and please don’t draw graffiti.

Petra’s natural sandstone rock is highly erosive and is under enough strain from natural elements such as wind and water.  Although when you climb steps to the Monastery or the High Place of Sacrifice, for example, you are walking on original Nabataean hand cut stone stairs, be aware that with every step,  you are wearing away a little bit more of history.  This is not to say that visitors shouldn't’t enjoy Petra and explore it to its fullest extent, but we like visitors to keep in mind how fragile Petra is.
  • Prof. Thomas Paradise monitored two areas in Petra over a period of 10 years: the Khazne and Theatre.  He found that:   
  • From touching, leaning and rubbing, the surfaces of the Khazne have receded by 40mm in less than 10 years  
  • In 1990 15-20% of stone masonry markings in the Theatre could be seen.  In 1999, only 5-10% of these markings could be seen.  Now in 2005 it has been worn away even further. 
Donkey Rides:
A donkey ride to the High Places may seem tempting and may save you climbing several hundred steps, however, research has shown that it is the donkey’s hooves that are causing the worst erosion in Petra.  PNT has been trying to ban donkey transport to the high places in Petra for this reason. Donkey transport is an important source of income for the local community and PNT does not want to stop that source of income; PNT advocates however, that the donkey transportation, like the horse and camel transportation, should be regulated and given the longer and more rigorous routes where they do not tread on the original stone masonry.
Sand Bottles:
PNT is trying to encourage local producers to use artificially coloured sand when making sand bottles instead of breaking apart the sandstone inside the Archaeological Park and grinding it up into fine sand.
Graffiti cannot be removed and it ruins this unique heritage for other visitors. Please refrain from graffiti-ing the site. If you feel the need to have your name in a prominent place, feel free to fill our membership form and donate to PNT and we will inscribe a plaque with your name and put it in the visitor’s centre!
Littering is one of the worst offences in Petra and one that can be so easily avoided.  There are rubbish bins placed throughout the site and we ask that you put your litter in them.  Plastic bags are the bane of Jordan and we would like to keep Petra free of them.   This is one of the topics that will be handled by our Volunteerism program that we are developing.
Helicopter Flights:
In addition to noise pollution, helicopter flights have a negative visual impact and reduce the visitor experience. Furthermore, as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has not yet be carried out to determine what effect the vibrations from helicopters is having on the fragile sandstone of Petra, PNT discourages visitors from taking helicopter flights over the site. Whereas this was a service that was provided in….., since….this service has been discontinued and should not be licensed by the authorities

Responsible Travel Tips in Petra

Please Do:
  • Keep to the main tracks and paths; it is easy to get lost.
  • Ask for a guide if you want to wander off the tracks.
  • Seek the assistance of the rangers or the tourist police, if you’re not sure how to get to the monuments.
  • Take a hat and use sun screen.
  • Bring water or plan to purchase it in the Park.
  • Use rubbish bins and help in keeping the Park clean.
  • Depart the Park before sunset – the Park closes at 7 pm and sleeping in the Park is prohibited.

Please Don’t:
  • Don’t damage the monuments by writing on them, marking them, leaning, sitting or climbing on them.
  • Do not use walking sticks with pointed nibs, it damages the sandstone.
  • Don’t pick flowers or plants, to conserve the natural flora of Petra.
  • Don’t take photographs of the local community without asking their permission.
  • Don’t encourage children to leave their schools by buying from them.
  • Don’t pick up or buy rock fragments from the Park this will encourage vendors to break fragments from the monuments to sell to tourists.
  • Don’t buy antiquities from the Park – it is illegal.
  • Don’t use animals to climb the fragile carved Nabataean sandstone steps to the high places; it causes serious damage to the sandstone steps.


Send us your comments & observations after your visit – it will help to improve services.