The Siq is an interesting geological phenomenon: an earthquake tear that formed a long, colorful path confined by soaring cliffs. It feels like being in a mountain's pocket - and most visitors are so amazed by its beauty, they almost forget what incredible ancient attractions await them further down the path.
The Siq is the main way to see the Petra Archeological Park; it connects many of the site's most popular structures and is your easiest way in and out. Let's make sure you won't miss anything on the way.
It was created by tectonic forces eons ago, as a geological fault, later to be smoothed by water flowing down from the ridges and the nearby valley, Wadi Musa. In that, it's different than standard canyon channels which are shaped initially by water drainage. The result is a long and constricted path – in several parts, not wider than 3 meters – engulfed by towering cliffs, 90 to 180 meters high. The Siq itself is about 1.2km long.
In ancient times, the Siq was used as a caravan route entering the Lost City of Petra – the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Its narrow, serpentine form helped limit access and hold enemies at bay; the geography helped the Nabatean city grow and flourish. Many of Petra's most significant structures were carved into the red cliffs, and the Siq is the path that helps us go between them.
1.2km, and its deepest, darkest part which looks otherworldly, is about 160 meters long. The oath takes about 20 minutes to walk through, but you will want to stop and appreciate the view, take loads of pics, and enjoy the cool breeze.
The Siq itself is gorgeous; you can walk or take a Donkey/Gulf Cart ride that will take you deep between the cliffs until you'll reach the bottom of the gulch and stand in front of the huge, red passage. As the cliffs become as high as skyscrapers, you'll know you've reached the Siq.