The Siq is a canyon flanked by colorful stone walls in the heart of the Petra archaeological complex. As one of the highlights of the Middle East, this gorgeous 0.7-mile (1.2-kilometer) valley held a special place in the Nabatean culture. Admire the array of spiritual structures carved into the rocks of this otherworldly canyon.
As they did with much of the surrounding area, the Nabatean people put the rock formation to good use. Carved into the walls are the 2,000-year-old terracotta pipes and holes that once transported water to Petra. Historians think the gorge was also used as a path for spiritual processions. Discover ridges that once held religious relics and figures.
Start at the dam and hike through the tunnel. Spot the remains of a monumental arch that once marked the entrance to the Siq. Confronting you in the valley are the reddish hues of its stone walls, which rise 660 feet (200 meters) tall. Walk through the valley at sunrise or sunset for particularly gorgeous views and photo opportunities.
Note that the width of the canyon varies greatly, narrowing to 7 feet (2 meters) in some places. Arrive at the square tomb at the end and pass through a covered channel to reach the iconic Treasury.
Visit the Siq canyon as part of one of the many guided tours available in the park. Docents will explain some of the history and geology relating to the natural formation, which was created by the opposing forces of tectonic plates. Try to see how the two stone walls match at points where they were once joined.
From the heart of the Petra Archaeological Park, start walking west along the path toward the Siq. You’ll pass the Djinn Blocks and the Obelisk Tomb, among many other landmarks along the way. Continue on the path for the Al-Khazneh, the Urn Tomb and the Renaissance Tomb.