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Petra, jordan

Petra, A visit to the lost city

Petra is known as the Lost city of ancient times is the main highlight of all Jordan tours. It is among the Seven Wonders of the World and is a bucket-list destination for travelers and explorers. Its history dated back to the 3rd or 4rth century BC. Petra is rediscovered by a Swiss explorer named Johann Burckhardt in 1812. Besides, it is added to Unesco’s world heritage sights since 1925. About 50% of its sights are yet to be explored. It belongs to Nabataeans which was a group of nomadic desert people whose kingdom rose from these cliffs and peaks.

Other names of petra

Petra has many names and some of famous ones are.

  • The Lost City, hidden by time and shifting to sand, Petra belongs to a Lost civilization that rediscovered after many centuries.
  •  the Rose city, this name is given it due to the color of the stones from which its buildings are carved out.
  • The Stone City and The Rock City. The city structure is carved in rocks made from stones.
Wadi Musa, the nearest city to Petra
Wadi Musa, the nearest city to Petra

How to get to Petra

Buses run the route daily, along with organized tours and private taxis. The Jordan Trail passes through Petra, allowing hikers to connect with Dana or Wadi Rum.

There are two main points from where we can reach to Petra.

  • From Amman, It takes 3 hours to cover the distance of 240km to reach there
  • From Aqaba, it takes 2 hours to cover the distance of about 125km to reach there

In addition, there are three main sources you can take to reach Petra

  • By Taxi. A most expensive but convenient way and cost may be around 100$ for this trip
  • Rental Car is more affordable and you can drive easily within Jordan. The route to Petra is well marked and you can easily reach there by your own drive
  • By Public buses. There are a couple of bus companies that are operational on this route. The most famous one is the JETT company. You have to signup on their website or app and book your ticket. In addition, you can check the timetable to pick the right time for your journey.

Entry protocol to petra

  • Entry tickets. There are two types of tickets for visitors. For day-trippers, the entry ticket is 90JOD.
  • For travelers who make an overnight stay in Petra. The ticket prices are 50, 55,60 JOD for one, two, and three days.
  • The entry fee is included if you have a Jordan Pass
  • The timing of visits to the ancient city of Petra is observed as 06:00 to 18:00 in Summer and 06:00 to 16:00 in Winter.
  • Dress Code: No particular dress code is required to visit Petra.

How to walk through petra

Main Route of Petra is

Visitor’s Center – Bab Al Siq – Siq – Treasury – Street Of Façade – Amphitheater- Colonnaded Street – Monastry

Here are some rough estimates for distance and walking times by foot. However, these distances/time spans are depending on your fitness level and how many photos stop you make along your way.

  • Visitor’s Center to Siq: 1 km (10-15 minutes)
  • Siq to Treasury: 1 km (10-15 minutes)
  • Treasury To Monastery Trail: 2 km (30 minutes)
  • Monastery Trail: 1.5 km (30 minutes)
  • Main Trail (Visitor’s Center to Start of Monastery Trail): 4 kilometers
  • Visitor’s Center to Monastery: 5.5 kilometers
Petra Map
Petra map: Source Pinterest

 Main Attractions in Petra

Bab al Siq

This is the area in which we entered from the tourist center. It is about one km long, an open path which leads to SIQ. You can take a donkey ride, cart, or camels to complete this leg. We, however, preferred to go along the way on foot. On the way, you can see many rock-carved stone houses. . You can see Obelisk tomb on your left and Djin blocks on your right on the way.

Bab al Siq and Djin Block at right
Bab al Siq and Djin Block at right

The Siq

A natural gorge, that gently winds towards the ancient city of Petra. It is about 1km in length and opens onto the magnificent treasury. Again you can use a transfer from available resources or go on foot. The steep walls on either side of this path are really impressive, and they make you feel tiny. You can see two channels beside the path which were used to carry in the freshwater to the city from springs.

The Siq
The Siq Petra, Jordan

The treasury

The heart of the Petra and most picturesque point of the area. It comes at the end of the SIQ. The most crowded area and you have to wait for your good shot here. However, there were very few visitors when we visited during the Covid Pandemic. In general, for talking a good picture you have to come very early or near sunset time. In this way, the combination of Petra treasury with sunlight gives you a dream shot of Petra. Although every time is a treasure point when you see it.

If you interested in Petra by Night then treasury is the main point that lit up under thousands of candle lights and mesmerizes you. However, right now (March 2021) show is stoped for the time being due to a very less number of travelers and covid situations in Jordan.

Treasury through Siq
Treasury through Siq
Treasury Petra, Jordan
Treasury Petra

The street of facade

After a detailed visit of Treasury, we entered into the Street of facades. We can see various carved tombs and other monuments on both sides of the street. There are a lot of these tombs and many of them marked too. The most significant is the tomb of Anaishu which is a well-preserved tomb, and one of the biggest carvings on the Street of Facades.

Anaishu Tomb in Street of Facade
Anaishu Tomb in Street of Facade

The amphitheater

The amphitheater comes on our left side while we were passing through the street of facades. This is a Roman-style theater that was built within the 1st to 3rd century AD. We took some photos of it from the street. The entrance to the theater was closed for visitors.

Amphitheater Petra, Jordan
Amphitheater Petra

The royal tombs

After the Amphitheater, we came across a series of carved ancient tombs which were similar to the treasury but it may have damaged or unfinished look. These tombs including the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb, and Palace tomb. At the end of the street of facades, there was a trail that leads to the famous viewpoint of Treasury. From viewpoint, you can take your postcard picture of Petra.

The Royal Tombs
The Royal Tombs. Urn tomb at center

The Colonnaded street

Here The street of facades merged into the Colonnaded Street. this was a paved street and it was assumed that in old times probably it served as a market. Here we can see many shops and sellers. Some of the columns are still standing and at the end of the street, there is a magnificent Tenemos gate.

Colonnaded street Petra, Jordan
Colonnaded street Petra

The great temple

In the colonnaded street, we can see many tall pillars which are the remains of The great temple on our left side. It used to be the city center of old Petra. There are a big staircase and the remains of an open-air plaza. We can see a beautiful wide-angle view from here.

The Great Temple, Petra
The Great Temple, Petra

Qasr al bint

Qasr el-Bint or the temple of Dushares, has the largest facade in Petra. It is a square tomb and is situated at the end of the colonnaded street.

Qasr al Bint, Petra, Jordan
Qasr al Bint, Petra

Monastery and high place of sacrifice

Monasrty is the second most famous point in the Petra after the Treasury. As it took a steep step hike to reach there so you can see a less travelers here as compared to treasury.

High place is a panoramic viewpoint above Petra where religious sacrifices of animals and incense were offered. However we couldn’t visit it due to shortage of time

Monastery trail Petra, Jordan
Start point of Monastery trail Petra

Where to stay in petra

There are many places in Wadi Musa where you can stay overnight. However, we stayed in Amman in Sadeen Amman Hotel and took a day tour to Petra.

What we missed

Nowadays there is a strict lockdown in Jordan which starts from 18:00 to 06:00. So you have very little time to explore the top attractions in Jordan. In any case, you have to be in your hotel maximum by 19:00. So a day tour is not a good option nowadays.  A lodging in Wadi Musa may be a good option to start your visit as early as possible. For Multiday tours you can add the Amman City Tour, The Dead Sea for a float, Wadi Rum, Madaba, and Jerash in your itinerary.

Hey, This is Rashid and I am here to share my Wide Angle Dreams with you, with the aim to provide you a Wide Angle to catch your bucket list dreams of travelling and trekking. If you love to travel but feel that you are bound in tough daily routines and find very little time to catch your travelling dreams, then you are at a right place.

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