Petra: Itinerary & Thoughts
Updated: Nov 27, 2018
Unlike most of our day excursions where Tye and I have hired a guide, we decided we would take Jordan on ourselves and go to Petra on our own. We picked up a Hertz rental car from the airport and drove our hour to get to our hotel located on the Dead Sea. Quick plug - we stayed at the Dead Sea Marriott Resort & Spa and could not have enjoyed our time there more. Very secure, luxurious and beautiful!
From the Dead Sea to Petra, is about a three hour drive. Wanting to get to Petra early and avoid some heat, we hit the road at an early 5:00am. Going to Petra, you will want to GPS or locate the “Visitor Center & Museum” to purchase your ticket. In September 2018 ticket prices were 70JD per person. If you have to go to the bathroom, go here as there are only hot and humid porta-potties inside Petra.
Once you start on the walking path to the sites of Petra, you are immediately heckled to purchase a horse ride to the Treasury. We passed on this. The walk to the Treasury is one of the best parts, as the path is flat and you wind through the narrow Siq.
As we made our way through the Siq we were surprised to find that the Treasury popped through a narrow passage way and opens to a large almost corridor. It took us about 40 minutes to walk from the Visitor Center, through the Siq, to the Treasury.
At the open area of the Treasury there is a little shop, opportunities to interact with camels, and a nice place to sit and catch your breath before continuing on. At about this time on our trip, it's 9:00 am and already 93 degrees Fahrenheit. But, alas we moved on.
Continuing to explore Petra, the naturally defined paths are clear. No need to worry about getting lost. After the Treasury we continued on to the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs, and the theatre. Here you can get up close and personal with the environment. I was so amazed at the beautiful colors of the rock formations and how smooth areas were. We explored this area for about an additional hour to take us to 10:00 am.
I really wanted to hike all the way to the Monastery which is a very well preserved building and is even bigger than the treasury. I knew it was about a mile and a half additional hike though. However, we were in Petra and were determined to see everything. Quickly on our journey to the Monastery we found it was going to be much much harder than anticipated. I had assumed that the hike was of flat land which most of Petra is, but please be warned; IT IS ALL STAIRS.
Tye and I are both pretty active people and we were huffing, puffing, sweating and chugging water. We had to take multiple breaks and catch our breath in the 97 degree heat at this point. I was sweating in places I didn't even know had pores. For this section of the hike, you can buy a donkey ride that will carry you up the mountain, but I couldn't bare putting a poor donkey through that much effort, so we passed.
Through multiple stops, it took us about an hour and a half to hike to the top of the mountain where the Monastery is. And honestly, it's worth it. Most people don't brave the hike (I don't blame them) but once you are up there you have an amazing view of Jordan and it's so nice to sit and admire a Wonder of the World without being in crowds of people. There is a small cafe so we opted to grab a small table, purchase more water and enjoy the view for a while.
After, with shaky legs, we made our decent and hiked back down through Petra and headed out. Arriving at Petra at 8:00am, we kept moving and saw as much as we could, and were able to get back in our vehicle at about 3:00 pm. Dusty, dirty, exhausted and hungry we made our drive back to the hotel and were thrilled to hop in the cold pool at 6:00pm and relax.
A few heads up:
1) You will be heckled all day long. To by this, to by that, to get a ride on a donkey, to buy a guide, to be shown good picture spots for a price. Just like with any Wonder of the World, be prepared to say “No Thank-You” a lot.
2) Bring extra clothes. If you have the opportunity to leave a bag in a vehicle, I would recommend it because we would have loved to changed out of our soaking wet sweaty and dusty clothes for the long drive home.
3) Bring comfortable shoes you don't mind will get dirty. Trust me - Petra isn’t the place to wear your cute heels for a gram pic or your new Nikes. It's the desert. Its dusty and your shoes will get dirty. Not to mention the uneven ground and honest hiking you have to do. I couldn’t imagine doing that in sandals.