Petra, also known as the Rose City, is an ancient city located in the heart of the desert in southern Jordan. It was carved out of the red sandstone cliffs over 2,000 years ago by the Nabataean people and was an important crossroads for trade routes that linked China, India, and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece, and Rome. Petra’s unique architecture, engineering, and water management system make it one of the most fascinating historical sites in the world.
How to get Petra Jordan ?
Getting to Petra is easy as it is located just a few hours’ drive from Amman, the capital of Jordan. The closest airport is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, and there are several bus services that operate daily from the capital to Petra. The journey is scenic, with the road passing through beautiful desert landscapes.
Once you arrive in Petra, you’ll need to purchase a ticket to enter the archaeological site. There are different types of tickets available, ranging from a one-day pass to a multi-day pass. It’s worth noting that Petra is a huge site, and you’ll need at least a full day to explore it. The site opens early in the morning, and it’s recommended to arrive early to avoid the crowds and the heat.
What is the best month for Petra?
The best time to visit Petra is during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is mild and comfortable for exploring the site. The summer months (June to August) can be very hot, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C (104°F) in the daytime, which can make it challenging to explore the site for an extended period. Winter (December to February) can also be cold and rainy, which can make it difficult to enjoy the outdoor activities in the area. However, if you are prepared for the weather conditions, visiting Petra during the winter months can also be a unique and rewarding experience, as the site is less crowded and the landscape takes on a different look.
How many days should to spend at Petra?
To fully explore Petra, it is recommended to spend at least two full days in the area. This will allow you to visit the main attractions at a leisurely pace and also have time to explore some of the lesser-known sites and hiking trails.
On the first day, you can visit the iconic Treasury, the Monastery, the Great Temple, the Royal Tombs, and the Colonnaded Street. You can also take a guided tour or hire a local guide to learn more about the history and culture of the site.
On the second day, you can explore some of the more remote areas of Petra, such as the High Place of Sacrifice, the Garden Temple Complex, and the Lion Monument. You can also hike to some of the scenic viewpoints, such as the Al-Khubtha Trail, which offers panoramic views of the site and the surrounding landscape.
If you have more time, you can also consider visiting some of the nearby attractions, such as Little Petra, Wadi Rum, or the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which offer unique experiences and insights into the natural and cultural heritage of the region. Check out Jordan’s journey highlights: Wadi Rum & Petra
How much does it cost to hire a guide in Petra?
The cost of hiring a guide in Petra can vary depending on the guide’s experience, language skills, and the length of the tour. Typically, a guided tour of Petra lasts for 2-3 hours and costs between 50-70 Jordanian Dinars (approximately 70-100 USD) per group of up to 10 people.
It is important to note that hiring a guide is not mandatory, and you can explore the site on your own if you prefer. However, a guide can provide valuable insights and information about the history, architecture, and culture of Petra, which can enhance your overall experience of the site.
If you do decide to hire a guide, it’s recommended to book in advance or arrange for a guide through your hotel or tour operator to ensure that you get a reputable and knowledgeable guide.
Is it safe to go to Petra at night?
Petra is generally safe to visit at night, but it’s important to take certain precautions and to be aware of the risks associated with nighttime visits.
Petra by Night is a popular evening experience that allows visitors to walk through the Siq (the narrow gorge that leads to Petra’s main entrance) and see the Treasury illuminated by candles. This event takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and lasts for around 2 hours.
During Petra by Night, the site is well-lit, and there are security personnel present to ensure the safety of visitors. However, it’s still recommended to take extra care when walking in the dark and to be aware of your surroundings.
It’s also important to note that some areas of Petra may not be well-lit at night, and there may be uneven surfaces, steps, and narrow passageways that can be challenging to navigate in the dark. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight or headlamp if they plan to explore Petra at night.
The main attraction in Petra is the famous Treasury, also known as Al-Khazneh. This iconic structure is the first thing that visitors see when entering the site, and it’s one of the most photographed buildings in the world. The Treasury was carved out of the rock face in the 1st century AD and was used as a royal tomb. Its façade is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures, making it a masterpiece of ancient architecture.
As you explore Petra, you’ll come across many other impressive structures, such as the Monastery, the Great Temple, and the Royal Tombs. The Monastery, also known as Ad Deir, is located at the top of a mountain and can be reached by climbing over 800 steps. It’s well worth the effort as the views from the top are breathtaking. The Great Temple, on the other hand, is a massive complex that was once the center of religious and social life in Petra. The Royal Tombs are a series of monumental tombs that were carved into the cliffs and served as the final resting place for Nabataean royalty.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Petra is its water management system. The Nabataeans were able to harness and control water in the desert, which allowed them to build a thriving city. They constructed an intricate network of channels, dams, cisterns, and underground reservoirs that ensured a constant supply of water for the city’s inhabitants and visitors. You can still see some of these structures today, and it’s amazing to think that they were built over 2,000 years ago.
Apart from the historical and architectural wonders of Petra, there are other things to do and see in the area. You can take a camel or horse ride through the desert, go on a hike in the nearby mountains, or visit the traditional Bedouin village of Wadi Musa. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the town of Wadi Musa, where you can sample local cuisine and buy souvenirs.
Petra – The must-visit destination
Petra is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture. The city’s ancient buildings, water management system, and desert landscapes make it a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, Petra is a destination that should be on your travel bucket list.