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Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC.  The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city.  An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663.  After Saladin's conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West.   
 
Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC.  The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city.  An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663.  After Saladin's conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West.   
  
The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812.  Burckhardt's accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further.  The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created a number of accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839.
+
The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812.  Burckhardt's accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further.  The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839.
  
The first real excavations of the site were in 1929 after the forming of Trans-Jordan.  Since that time, Petra has become by far Jordan's largest tourist attraction, partially due to the exposure by the Steven Spielberg movie, ''Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'', in 1989.  Due to the fantastic engineering accomplishments and well-preserved dimension of Petra, the archaeological site was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World [http://www.new7wonders.com/index.php?id=371].
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The first major excavations of the site were in 1929 after the forming of Trans-Jordan.  Since that time, Petra has become by far Jordan's largest tourist attraction. The site was included in the Steven Spielberg movie, ''Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'' in 1989 and was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
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Entry Ticket to Petra costs 90 JD (=127 USD) for those who are Day-Visitors to Jordan (i.e. those tourists staying in Israel or Egypt who will spend the day in Petra and return without spending the night in Jordan). Tourists (overnight and cruise visitors) pay 50 JD (=70 USD) for 1 day's access to Petra, 55 JD for 2 days or 60 JD for 3 days. Students have to pay the full price.
 
Entry Ticket to Petra costs 90 JD (=127 USD) for those who are Day-Visitors to Jordan (i.e. those tourists staying in Israel or Egypt who will spend the day in Petra and return without spending the night in Jordan). Tourists (overnight and cruise visitors) pay 50 JD (=70 USD) for 1 day's access to Petra, 55 JD for 2 days or 60 JD for 3 days. Students have to pay the full price.
 
===Visas===
 
 
Most (some exceptions) nationalities can obtain a visa to Jordan at Queen Alia International Airport upon the payment of a JD20 fee. Some Arab nationalities, Turkish and HKSAR passport holders do not require a visa to enter Jordan. See page on Jordan for more information.
 
 
When crossing by road, exit fee from Israel is 103 NIS (Nov 2012). [http://www.iaa.gov.il/Rashat/en-US/Borders/Arava/UsefulTerminalInfo/Rates Eilat Border Info (Arava Crossing)]  Exit fee from Jordan is 10 JD (Nov 2012).  Border is open most days 8AM - 8PM. Entering from Wadi Araba Crossing gives the advantage of issuing the ASEZ Visa which is free. Entering the country from the King Hussein Bridge/Allenby border crossing is difficult without a pre arranged visa.. Holders of a Greek Passport and possibly others have to pay apx 38 euros in the embassy of Jordan in their country. Any other attempt to issue the Visa in the embassy of Jordan in Tel Aviv will be waste of time(December 2012).
 
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
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The minibus from [[Wadi Rum]] costs 5 JD. It takes 1.5 hours to get to Petra. Have the Rum Guesthouse or your tour operator call the bus owner the day before to arrange an exact time for pick up. The bus usually leaves from Wadi Rum at 8:30 in the morning, but may be delayed due to weather or tour groups coming the other way.
 
The minibus from [[Wadi Rum]] costs 5 JD. It takes 1.5 hours to get to Petra. Have the Rum Guesthouse or your tour operator call the bus owner the day before to arrange an exact time for pick up. The bus usually leaves from Wadi Rum at 8:30 in the morning, but may be delayed due to weather or tour groups coming the other way.
  
There are also minibuses from Amman departing from the Wihdat bus station - these leave when full, and tourists are charged 5 JD to get on. Do not allow the drivers to charge you for your luggage, as they might sometimes try to do. The ride is about three hours.
+
There are also minibuses from Amman departing from the Wihdat bus station (cab drivers might also know it as the South Bus Station) - these leave when full, and tourists are charged 5 JD to get on. Do not allow the drivers to charge you for your luggage, as they might sometimes try to do. Taxi drivers at the bus station might also try and tell you the minibuses are cancelled so that you hire them to drive you to Petra - just ignore them and find the mini-bus. The ride is about three hours.
  
 
There is a daily bus to Wadi Musa from [[Madaba]] that travels via the scenic (but slow) [[King's Highway]]. This minibus leaves from outside the Mariam Hotel in [[Madaba]].
 
There is a daily bus to Wadi Musa from [[Madaba]] that travels via the scenic (but slow) [[King's Highway]]. This minibus leaves from outside the Mariam Hotel in [[Madaba]].
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* '''Jafer K. Mashaleh''' Petra, Jordan - +962 777 66 78 40
 
* '''Jafer K. Mashaleh''' Petra, Jordan - +962 777 66 78 40
  
====Aqaba/Eilat Border Taxi Mafia====
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===Getting to Jordan / Visas===
 
+
There is a problematic man running the border taxi service, which has been likened to the "Mafia", just outside the customs gate. As soon as you see him, he will let you know that '''sharing a taxi is not allowed''' (three men were forced to take three separate taxis in Dec 2011). If you want to share a taxi, you must form your group ''before'' exiting the customs area and insist that you are all part of the same group.
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Update from Aug 15th 2012 : This man still seems to be there but there has been some cleanup apparently. A ride to city center is now 10 JOD no matter how many people go in the car. You've to be clear about destination and there won't be any hassle.
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Riding back to the border from city center can be a problem when you pick up people on 2 different (but very close hotels). Should they have to wait, they'll try to switch on the taximeter and ask for 25-30JOD instead of the 10 JOD initially arranged. Don't get intimidated, the driver will call the problematic man and try to pressurize you. Insist on the initial pricing and when it gets hot, offer 2 JOD on top of the 10 to quiet things and get rid of the taxi mafia. As of December 2012 and even the signboard was clear about the price of the ride we pay 12JD. Taxi driver used the excuse of oil prices raise in November 2012. This however come with accordance with the other public transport tickets that increased also.
+
 
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Fares from this monopoly run upwards of 100 JOD. You may be able to negotiate down to 75 JOD, even 50 JOD. It may be better to take one expensive cab to central Aqaba and continue from there at the normal price. ''Do not mention Petra in front of this man'', or they may deliberately drop you somewhere their colleagues are waiting. Say you are going to a hotel.
+
 
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In January 2010 a day trip to Petra and back by taxi from the Eilat border crossing cost 50 JOD return for 3 people.
+
 
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Also, if he sees you call your hotel or any other car to come and pick you up, they may be stopped and forced to go back to Aqaba. The man has said, "we will close their hotel" and "we will take their driving license". To try to avoid this, call your hotel or private car while still in the customs area, ''before'' being seen by the taxi man.
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For those trying to walk the 500 meters to the main road, the taxi mafia has connections with the military personnel and may have you brought back.
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Petra is located in the Kingdom of [[Jordan]], for information on getting in to Jordan itself see [[Jordan#Get in]] and for entry requirements see [[Jordan#Obtaining a visa]].
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
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* <sleep name="Petra Gate Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+962 (03)215 6908" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="11 JD per person" lat="" long="" email="petragatehotel@hotmail.com">Warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere; the rooms all with bath and toilet , offers free transportation to the site; free luggage storage; international telephone call service; laundry; wireless internet services; satellite TV; movies; tickets to Petra by Night; and a big buffet-style restaurant. English speaking, super friendly and helpful staff is there to answer all your questions, and they can organise trips to Wadi Rum and to the kings highway and Dead Sea and they will help you during your stay. Clean and quite cheap, breakfast included.
 
* <sleep name="Petra Gate Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+962 (03)215 6908" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="11 JD per person" lat="" long="" email="petragatehotel@hotmail.com">Warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere; the rooms all with bath and toilet , offers free transportation to the site; free luggage storage; international telephone call service; laundry; wireless internet services; satellite TV; movies; tickets to Petra by Night; and a big buffet-style restaurant. English speaking, super friendly and helpful staff is there to answer all your questions, and they can organise trips to Wadi Rum and to the kings highway and Dead Sea and they will help you during your stay. Clean and quite cheap, breakfast included.
[[Update from August 18th 2012]] : Friendly & welcoming but definitely not a clean place. Rooms are disgusting, no air conditioning, no TV, english is approximative, breakfeast just acceptable and you've to ask for towels, toilet paper, sheets etc. Manager sleeps in the entrance hall on a mat. Careful when you come down for breakfeast. Restaurant was not open and it's not really a restaurant. It's cheap but that's probably it's main attraction. </sleep>
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[[Update from August 18th 2012]] : Friendly & welcoming but definitely not a clean place. Rooms are disgusting, no air conditioning, no TV, english is approximative, breakfeast just acceptable and you've to ask for towels, toilet paper, sheets etc. Manager sleeps in the entrance hall on a mat. Careful when you come down for breakfeast. Restaurant was not open and it's not really a restaurant. It's cheap but that's probably it's main attraction.  
 +
</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Saba'a Hotel" alt="" address="Wadi Musa, Petra, Jordan" directions="From the bus station, turn left and walk along the main road to the roundabout, cross over and walk 100yards up the hill on the left." phone="+ 962 776250574 (Ibrahim)and +962 779730533 (Gail)" url="http://www.sabaahotel.com/" checkin="" checkout="11:30AM" price="Prices per person from: single ensuite 16JD, double/twin ensuite 12JD, triple ensuite 10JD,Dormitory beds 8JD breakfast. is included. Be sure to pay only at checkout." lat="" long="" email="sabaahotel@hotmail.com">This hotel opened late 2009 and the couple running it are really welcoming - he's from Jordan and she's from the UK and they really make you feel at home. The rooms are simple and clean, they are all ensuite. Wireless internet (in lobby); packed lunches; laundry service, luggage storage; satellite tv (in lobby); book swap;local information; trips to Wadi Rum are all available.</sleep>  
 
* <sleep name="Saba'a Hotel" alt="" address="Wadi Musa, Petra, Jordan" directions="From the bus station, turn left and walk along the main road to the roundabout, cross over and walk 100yards up the hill on the left." phone="+ 962 776250574 (Ibrahim)and +962 779730533 (Gail)" url="http://www.sabaahotel.com/" checkin="" checkout="11:30AM" price="Prices per person from: single ensuite 16JD, double/twin ensuite 12JD, triple ensuite 10JD,Dormitory beds 8JD breakfast. is included. Be sure to pay only at checkout." lat="" long="" email="sabaahotel@hotmail.com">This hotel opened late 2009 and the couple running it are really welcoming - he's from Jordan and she's from the UK and they really make you feel at home. The rooms are simple and clean, they are all ensuite. Wireless internet (in lobby); packed lunches; laundry service, luggage storage; satellite tv (in lobby); book swap;local information; trips to Wadi Rum are all available.</sleep>  
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* <sleep name="Valentine Inn" alt="" address="Wadi Mousa, Jabal Alzohour Str, Jordan." directions="At the main roundabout, head up the (steep) hill about 200mt, entrance on the right." phone="+ 962 (03)215 6423" url="http://www.valentine-inn.com/index.html" checkin="anytime" checkout="11am" price="Dorm 3JD (14 beds) 5.5JD (9 beds); Single 15JD, feb 2011; double 18JD; Triple 20JD" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The place where every taxi driver will attempt to take you, the Valentine Inn has become very popular with budget travelers and backpackers. They offer a generous and tasty breakfast and dinner buffet (2.5 and 5JD, feb 2011), clean and cool dorm rooms, and sociable dining area with great views of the town. Depending on which staff or owners, you can easily have help with directions or get tea. Like all places they can arrange everything, and offer a free minibus to the park entrance at 7 & 8am and returning at 5 & 6pm. The dorms may be cramped, but there is free Wi-Fi and pickup from the bus stand. Laundry is available at 2.5jd</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Valentine Inn" alt="" address="Wadi Mousa, Jabal Alzohour Str, Jordan." directions="At the main roundabout, head up the (steep) hill about 200mt, entrance on the right." phone="+ 962 (03)215 6423" url="http://www.valentine-inn.com/index.html" checkin="anytime" checkout="11am" price="Dorm 3JD (14 beds) 5.5JD (9 beds); Single 15JD, feb 2011; double 18JD; Triple 20JD" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The place where every taxi driver will attempt to take you, the Valentine Inn has become very popular with budget travelers and backpackers. They offer a generous and tasty breakfast and dinner buffet (2.5 and 5JD, feb 2011), clean and cool dorm rooms, and sociable dining area with great views of the town. Depending on which staff or owners, you can easily have help with directions or get tea. Like all places they can arrange everything, and offer a free minibus to the park entrance at 7 & 8am and returning at 5 & 6pm. The dorms may be cramped, but there is free Wi-Fi and pickup from the bus stand. Laundry is available at 2.5jd</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Nawaf Bedouin Camp" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+962 795 537 109" url="http://sites.google.com/site/nawafdeserttours/" checkin="" checkout="" price="95JD/night, including dinner and breakfast" lat="" long="" email="nawafpetra@yahoo.com" checkin="">Very good way of getting to know the real Bedouin lifestyle. Nawaf is a warm and respectful person, and the way he manages his camp has very little to do with a hotel - he likes to work with small groups of tourists, so he can use all his energies to make you feel comfortable and spend time talking with you around the campfire. At night, in the magic atmosphere of the Bedouin tent, he will prepare on the fire (just in front of you) a very tasty dinner, following the old Bedouin traditions. The price also includes transportation to and from the Bedouin village next to Petra and to the desert camp in Wadi Araba.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Nawaf Bedouin Camp" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+962 795 537 109" url="http://sites.google.com/site/nawafdeserttours/" checkin="" checkout="" price="95JD/night, including dinner and breakfast" lat="" long="" email="nawafpetra@yahoo.com">Very good way of getting to know the real Bedouin lifestyle. Nawaf is a warm and respectful person, and the way he manages his camp has very little to do with a hotel - he likes to work with small groups of tourists, so he can use all his energies to make you feel comfortable and spend time talking with you around the campfire. At night, in the magic atmosphere of the Bedouin tent, he will prepare on the fire (just in front of you) a very tasty dinner, following the old Bedouin traditions. The price also includes transportation to and from the Bedouin village next to Petra and to the desert camp in Wadi Araba.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Peace Way Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" fax="+962 3 2156963" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="18JD/night, single room including breakfast, feb 2011" lat="" long="" email="peaceway_petra@yahoo.com" checkin="">free wifi in the lobby, free transport to Petra in the morning (1-way only)</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Peace Way Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" fax="+962 3 2156963" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="18JD/night, single room including breakfast, feb 2011" lat="" long="" email="peaceway_petra@yahoo.com" checkin="">free wifi in the lobby, free transport to Petra in the morning (1-way only)</sleep>

Revision as of 20:33, 18 May 2013

The Treasury (al-Khazneh)

Petra, the fabled "rose red city, half as old as time", is a well known ancient Nabataean city in the south of Jordan. Due to its breathtaking grandeur and fabulous ruins, Petra was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

Contents

Understand

Petra was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom from around the 6th century BC. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city. An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until a catastrophic earthquake destroyed buildings and crippled vital water management systems around AD 663. After Saladin's conquest of the Middle East in 1189, Petra was abandoned and the memory of it was lost to the West.

The ruins remained hidden to most of the world until the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab scholar, infiltrated the Bedouin-occupied city in 1812. Burckhardt's accounts of his travels inspired other Western explorers and historians to discover the ancient city further. The most famous of these was David Roberts, a Scottish artist who created accurate and detailed illustrations of the city in 1839.

The first major excavations of the site were in 1929 after the forming of Trans-Jordan. Since that time, Petra has become by far Jordan's largest tourist attraction. The site was included in the Steven Spielberg movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989 and was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Get in

Entry ticket

Entry Ticket to Petra costs 90 JD (=127 USD) for those who are Day-Visitors to Jordan (i.e. those tourists staying in Israel or Egypt who will spend the day in Petra and return without spending the night in Jordan). Tourists (overnight and cruise visitors) pay 50 JD (=70 USD) for 1 day's access to Petra, 55 JD for 2 days or 60 JD for 3 days. Students have to pay the full price.

By bus

JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect to Amman and Aqaba via the fast (but boring) Desert Highway. Other tourists come with organized groups, including daily trips from Eilat. Tours to Petra from Taba, Sinai and Sharm el Sheikh are also gaining popularity with charter tourism.

It would cost 19 JD(December 2012) per person to travel by JETT bus from Amman(Abdali JETT offices) to Petra and back allowing you to see almost the entire site in an (exhausting) day trip. Bus departs from Amman at 0630 and from Petra at 1600 sharp from the parking lot just outside the Petra visitor centre.

By minibus

Public minibus from Wadi Musa (Petra) to Ma'an is 0.55 JD and from there to Aqaba 1.50 JD (April 2012). The main route from Wadi Musa to Aqaba is overpriced for tourists! The same for the route from Amman to Wadi Musa. With the stop over in Ma'an you should be able to pay the normal price for the public minibus.

Public minibuses also depart with no timetable(when they fill up) until midday, from Aqaba bus station in King Talal Street(next to the Police Station)for Wadi Musa(5JD) and the opposite. From there take a taxi and will cost you no more that 1-2JD to the visitor centre. The opposite is possible when you finish your visit. Taxis are available in the entrance of the Site and will take you back to the Wadi Musa bus station. Do not count on afternoon departures so better is to start your tour as early in the morning you can. As said this route is overpriced due to tourists.

The minibus from Wadi Rum costs 5 JD. It takes 1.5 hours to get to Petra. Have the Rum Guesthouse or your tour operator call the bus owner the day before to arrange an exact time for pick up. The bus usually leaves from Wadi Rum at 8:30 in the morning, but may be delayed due to weather or tour groups coming the other way.

There are also minibuses from Amman departing from the Wihdat bus station (cab drivers might also know it as the South Bus Station) - these leave when full, and tourists are charged 5 JD to get on. Do not allow the drivers to charge you for your luggage, as they might sometimes try to do. Taxi drivers at the bus station might also try and tell you the minibuses are cancelled so that you hire them to drive you to Petra - just ignore them and find the mini-bus. The ride is about three hours.

There is a daily bus to Wadi Musa from Madaba that travels via the scenic (but slow) King's Highway. This minibus leaves from outside the Mariam Hotel in Madaba.

There is a minibus going from Aqaba, for those that cross from Eilat and don't want to pay the outrageous taxi fare. The problem is, there's no timetable - it leaves early in the morning (6:45) from Wadi Musa towards Aqaba, then returns from Aqaba when it fills up etc. The trip was 5 JD (Dec 2011).

By taxi

Taxi is also a viable option. For 75 JD or less (depending on how much you haggle) you may be able to get a private taxi from Amman to Petra and back, including the driver waiting around for 6 hours. In December 2012 we manage to pay 60 JD from Petra to Amman. Official rate said to be 70JD.

A taxi from Aqaba to Petra should cost about JD 30 one-way.Negotiate the price with driver including the clarification that you are headed directly to the Petra visitor centre. Manage to pay 27JD fot the trip (December 2012). In January 2010 a day trip to Petra and back from Aqaba was 45 JD.

If you get there renting a minibus with a driver in the hotel at the Dead Sea, the one-way price would be 140 JD.

Phone numbers for taxi operators:

  • Jafer K. Mashaleh Petra, Jordan - +962 777 66 78 40

Getting to Jordan / Visas

Petra is located in the Kingdom of Jordan, for information on getting in to Jordan itself see Jordan#Get in and for entry requirements see Jordan#Obtaining a visa.

Get around

Camels are a common form of transportation in Petra

The only modes of transport allowed within Petra are on two feet or four (camel, donkey, or horse). When entering Petra, there is a brief hike down towards the Siq. "Free" horses will be available for travel to the entrance of the Siq, or you can choose to take a horse-drawn buggy through the Siq (a distance of about 0.9 kilometers) and down to the Treasury. WARNING: Be very careful in dealing with the horse men - they will tell you that the horse ride is free, but once you are riding, will reveal that the "tipping" cost is actually 18 JOD per person (around £15 GBP/20 Euros/US$25). The ride takes about 5 minutes and is no quicker than walking. You can try negotiating - 4 JOD per person will probably be accepted - but these guys are mercenaries and will take you for every penny - tourists being scammed of 60 JOD for a family of 3 is usual. It really isn't worth it. Do not do it. The horse have been treated so badly in the past that a clinic to treat and heal them from the bad treatments they receive has been opened left to the entrance. It's not uncommon to see wounded animals, especially those pulling the carts, to be put to gallop under 37°C. So if you can walk, it's better to spare the animals.

There are 4 segments within Petra with 3 potential animal transport. From the entrance to the Siq (by horse), From the Entrance to the Treasury (by cart), From the Treasury to the stairs of the Monastery (donkey or camel), the 800 stairs of the monastery (donkey).

Once you arrive at the Treasury and throughout Petra, there will be many camel and donkey owners jockeying for your business. Be prepared to do some bargaining and don't pay more than 10 JD, a more reasonable price is around 3 JD a person. Often there are times when the owner will drop his price in half simply by hearing a few phrases in Arabic.

Camel transport could be an option. Riding a camel is a unique experience on more level ground, but a donkey is recommended for more ambitious climbs, such as the ones to the High Place or the Monastery. Camels are the only animals respected by their owners in Petra as they're very expensive and less docile than donkeys or horses. So riding them is ok but deal well with the owner before climbing on them.

However if you are reasonably fit and the weather is good, the walk is quite nice. Prefer climbing the Monastery's path from 3pm on, it will be mostly in the shadow. Riding a donkey is nothing for the animal friends as they treat the animals really badly and the climb at noon is really hard for them. You'll see them passing by and it will definitely deter you from riding one of them. They're exploited by small groups of beduin youths who uses 75cm electrical cable sections to strike them all the way up to the monastery.

Between your hotel and Petra entrance, you can either walk or take a taxi for 1-2jd. Most hotels have free shuttle to the entrance on fixed schedules.

A good idea is to stock up on high quality batteries for your digital camera, before you enter the site. You will need more photos than you think, and local batteries will often not last many minutes.

See

the Siq
The urn atop the Treasury


Petra is an archaeological park, so the entrance fees are considered fairly steep compared to other Jordanian attractions. Tickets for visitors spending at least one night in Jordan cost 50/55/60 JD for a 1/2/3-day pass (Dec 2011). Bring your passport to prove your stay in Jordan. Day-visitors to Jordan are charged an impressive 90 JD (Dec 2011), although you may get away with the normal rate if you don't say anything. Student discounts are not available. Do not attempt to purchase tickets from dubious scalpers around town! Time permitting, the two-day pass is recommended, as there is much to see and do in Petra. For more than one day, the ticket office can ask for your passport as the ticket has your first name on it.

Guides can be hired from about 50 JD and up (depending on what you want to see) at the Visitors Center. Many of them were born and raised in Petra, and will gladly share their knowledge with you. You could hire the Bedouin licensed guide " Samer Twaissi - email : Twaissi@hotmail.com , cell : 00962 77 909 52 53" he is the expert in this area.Alternatively, major hotels can rent you a portable Easyguide [1] audio guide (JD 10/day) for commentary in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. Easyguide is also available as a mobile phone service on all Jordanian mobile phone networks, a map [2] is needed to use this service.

  • The entrance to Petra is a long, winding sandstone canyon known as the Siq (about 2km). There are minor carvings spotted here and there throughout the Siq, but the most impressive sights are the colorful and unusual sandstone patterns in the rock walls. There are also remains of terracotta pipes built into the sides of the canyon that were used in Roman times to carry water.
  • Upon exiting the Siq, visitors can view the jaw-dropping grandeur of the Treasury (al-Khazneh in Arabic). Be sure to note the urn atop the Treasury structure. It has been rumored that the urn contained a Pharaoh's hidden treasure, and the urn bears the bullet pock marks where Bedouin travellers throughout the years have tested the theory. Get there when the park opens at 6AM or 6:30AM (depending on the season) and you may have the Treasury all to yourself or with less than 5-10 people around.
  • Past the next bend is the outer Siq or Street of Facades, a large canyon lined with the facades of various tombs.
  • At the end of the Street of Facades is the 7000-seat Roman Theater. The theater was created by the Nabateans but later enlarged by the Romans. It is still used for occasional performances.
  • On the side of the valley opposite the Roman Theater and a short walk up the hill, are the Royal Tombs. The name was given because they are quite grand in scale compared to the others in the area, but it is unclear for whom the tombs were originally constructed.
  • The Monastery (ad-Deir), the largest carved monument in Petra, dates back to the 1st century AD. The interior, like that of the Treasury, is puny in comparison to the facade. The more than 800 steps up to the Monastery can take over an hour; Few visitors choose to ride donkeys up to the top. The donkeys are treated very badly, and it's quite depressing seeing this along the way.
  • Petra by Night happens on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 20:30. Entrance fee is 12 JD (Dec 2011) and you do not need a day pass. Order your tickets at your hotel. It is only made of candles, you'll hear a short play of Bedouin music and be served some tea in plastic cups while you sit on mats at the Treasury. It's best to see this before you see Petra by day, as it becomes far less impressive if you already walked up to the Treasury during daytime. It's not amazing, but it's something nice to do during nighttime. There are really mixed feedback on this, see for example, TripAdvisor Reviews on Petra by Night
  • Princess Alia Clinic, Brooke Hospital for Animals [3] located just inside the entrance to the park. As you can witness inside Petra, not all donkeys, horses and camels are treated right. A few are overworked, carrying overweight tourist or being excessively whipped. The Brooke charity educates owners about the treatment of equestrian working animals and treats the animals for free. The clinic is happy to tell you about conditions for working animals in Jordan. You can give a donation to the clinic.
  • Wadi Musa which is the city next to Petra doesn't have any big touristic attraction

Do

For the terminally energetic, there are a number of popular hikes around Petra.

  • In order to understand what in reality Petra is, it is better to spend there two days. The first day: Siq - Treasury - City - Monastery - entry cost as of November 2012 is 50JD which is very expensive. The second day: another way to Petra through Wadi Muthlim - see the Treasury from above on Jebel Al -Khubtha - High Place of Sacrifice. If you enter Petra through Wadi Muthlim do not turn left immediately after the small Siq, first go right to see Aqueduct, Tunnel and Al-Wu'eira Fort and only after that return to Petra center. It may not be possible to go through this route due to excess water in it. It's not recommended doing this route without a guide.
  • The High Place of Sacrifice - The site at the top of the mountain contains elaborate rock altars used for sacrifices. From the High Place, one can view much of Petra from above. Beautiful scenery. It can get cold and windy up there. The trek down the back side of the mountain reveals many interesting tombs and carvings that might be missed by the average tourist. The round trip generally takes 1.5-2.5 hours. Not many people go through the back route as it's not always clear where it starts - ask.
The Monastery is one of Petra's most impressive structures
* The Mountain of Aaron (Jabal Haroun) is the highest peak in the area. At the top you will find a small church and the tomb of Aaron, brother of Moses. The route to the top and back will take you past the Monastery and will take 4-8 hours depending on your chosen path.

Most hikes last about 2-3 hours both way.

Buy

Ancient coin, mister?
The Bedouin tradesmen around the area will display artificial "ancient" Roman or Nabatean coins which are rather large in size. If pressed further, they will generally have a hidden stash of small, authentic coins from various periods. However buying these coins encourages the illegal looting of archaeological sites. To supply you with a souvenir the local inhabitants destroy graves, tombs and buildings in searches for coins and other antiquities. The Antiquities Law of 1988 states that individuals who engage in illicit excavations and/or trading in antiquities are criminals.


Throughout Petra, vendors will offer bottles of decorative sand art. While they may appear similar to other such souvenirs found in other Jordanian locations, these are unique in that the sand used to create the art is naturally colored sand scraped from the rock walls of various Petra canyons and not artificially colored. The most common design displays a camel's silhouette against a desert background. Some artists can write a name inside the sand bottle in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Eat & Drink

There is only one restaurant in all Petra at the far end of the Roman Highway, which does a roaring trade despite steep pricing. It also has the valley's monopoly on beer.

For just snacks and hot & cold drinks however, there are a number of small stores and vendors scattered throughout Petra.

Shade is sparse in Petra, and on a hot summer day you can expect to go through at least 4 liters of water (and more if you can afford to carry it). The need for water in the winter months is much less. 1.5 liter bottles cost 0.5 JD.

In Wadi Musa, there are many more eating options.

  • Of particular note, is Al-Wadi Restaurant on Shaheed roundabout/Circle in the center of town. Reasonably priced, and the servers are extremely friendly. Also great food that you will be unlikely to finish. Expect to pay JD2-JD4 for a main dish.
  • Also, Cleapatra restaurant below Circle/Al Wadhi restaurant. About 1JD for a falafel or a tea.
  • Wrangler Bar, (at Petra Palace Hotel). cosy bar with alcoholic drinks and oldies but goodies music JD 4 for beer and wine.
  • Si Wan restaurant has some good local food with fair prices. Also, there's a good and cheap bakery near it.
  • Mountain Pub (at Hidab Hotel). Traditional wood bar with alcoholic beverages, hot and cold drinks, and snacks

Sleep

Budget

  • For free: A surprising number of locals (around 50!) are active couchsurfers (search: Wadi Moosa, Ma'an, Jordan), including several in the nearby Bedouin village of Umm Şayḩūn. Most work as tourist guides in Petra, or are involved in the tourist industry.
  • Al-Anbat 1, +962 (06) 215 6888 (, fax: +962 (03) 215 6888), [4]. Clean rooms with satellite TV (including BBC & CNN). All upstairs rooms have baths and the occasional balcony. Poorly located some 4 km from Wadi Musa, but breakfast and transport to Petra is included in the price. Internet cafe, restaurant and Turkish bath. In January 2009 the hot air from the air-conditioning system was being switched off at night and during the day ("when all the tourists are in Petra"), that caused extremely cold temperature inside the rooms, where you could stay only having your coat on or under two covers. From 45JD (January 2009).
  • Al-Anbat 2, +962 (06) 215 6888. All rooms have air-con and satellite TV. Single 10JD; double 10JD.
  • Cleopetra Hotel, +962 (03) 215 7090, [5]. mid range hotel with common area with TV and couches. Recently refurbished (December 2010), all rooms have bathroom included. Located up the hill (near the bus station) but free transport is provided to Petra. Great reception with lots of advice and can organise trips to Wadi Rum. Mosleh will take care of you - he seems to know everyone in town. Breakfast is also included in the price which makes this hotel great value! Single: 25JD; Double: 30JD.
  • Petra Gate Hotel, +962 (03)215 6908 (). Warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere; the rooms all with bath and toilet , offers free transportation to the site; free luggage storage; international telephone call service; laundry; wireless internet services; satellite TV; movies; tickets to Petra by Night; and a big buffet-style restaurant. English speaking, super friendly and helpful staff is there to answer all your questions, and they can organise trips to Wadi Rum and to the kings highway and Dead Sea and they will help you during your stay. Clean and quite cheap, breakfast included. Update from August 18th 2012 : Friendly & welcoming but definitely not a clean place. Rooms are disgusting, no air conditioning, no TV, english is approximative, breakfeast just acceptable and you've to ask for towels, toilet paper, sheets etc. Manager sleeps in the entrance hall on a mat. Careful when you come down for breakfeast. Restaurant was not open and it's not really a restaurant. It's cheap but that's probably it's main attraction. 11 JD per person.
  • Saba'a Hotel, Wadi Musa, Petra, Jordan (From the bus station, turn left and walk along the main road to the roundabout, cross over and walk 100yards up the hill on the left.), + 962 776250574 (Ibrahim)and +962 779730533 (Gail) (), [6]. checkout: 11:30AM. This hotel opened late 2009 and the couple running it are really welcoming - he's from Jordan and she's from the UK and they really make you feel at home. The rooms are simple and clean, they are all ensuite. Wireless internet (in lobby); packed lunches; laundry service, luggage storage; satellite tv (in lobby); book swap;local information; trips to Wadi Rum are all available. Prices per person from: single ensuite 16JD, double/twin ensuite 12JD, triple ensuite 10JD,Dormitory beds 8JD breakfast. is included. Be sure to pay only at checkout..
  • Valley Stars Inn, ''+962'' 3 2155733 (), [7]. Family owned and operated, and the manager's devotion to service and direct attention to details makes this two star hotel like a five star international quality experience. Bright and sociable living room/ eating areas with warm and homey atmosphere and unlimited free high speed wireless internet access. Clean and comfortable guest rooms. Manager speaks and writes (emails/ texts) English, graciously responds to all questions about your complete Petra vacation, and can arrange for local guided tours. Upon request, Manager will assist with travel plans to and from other points within Jordan, organize trips, and provide travel advice for Wadi Rum, Wadi Dana, Aqaba, Amman and other destinations, all for a fair and honest price (no need to haggle). Free shuttle service provided to and from Petra main gate. Free luggage storage upon check-out. Boxed lunches can be arranged for day trips with a local restaurant and delivered to hotel. JD 35 for double, includes international breakfast buffet, complete with eggs cooked to order. Half board for JD10 extra adds a superb dinner.
  • Valentine Inn, Wadi Mousa, Jabal Alzohour Str, Jordan. (At the main roundabout, head up the (steep) hill about 200mt, entrance on the right.), + 962 (03)215 6423, [8]. checkin: anytime; checkout: 11am. The place where every taxi driver will attempt to take you, the Valentine Inn has become very popular with budget travelers and backpackers. They offer a generous and tasty breakfast and dinner buffet (2.5 and 5JD, feb 2011), clean and cool dorm rooms, and sociable dining area with great views of the town. Depending on which staff or owners, you can easily have help with directions or get tea. Like all places they can arrange everything, and offer a free minibus to the park entrance at 7 & 8am and returning at 5 & 6pm. The dorms may be cramped, but there is free Wi-Fi and pickup from the bus stand. Laundry is available at 2.5jd Dorm 3JD (14 beds) 5.5JD (9 beds); Single 15JD, feb 2011; double 18JD; Triple 20JD.
  • Nawaf Bedouin Camp, +962 795 537 109 (), [9]. Very good way of getting to know the real Bedouin lifestyle. Nawaf is a warm and respectful person, and the way he manages his camp has very little to do with a hotel - he likes to work with small groups of tourists, so he can use all his energies to make you feel comfortable and spend time talking with you around the campfire. At night, in the magic atmosphere of the Bedouin tent, he will prepare on the fire (just in front of you) a very tasty dinner, following the old Bedouin traditions. The price also includes transportation to and from the Bedouin village next to Petra and to the desert camp in Wadi Araba. 95JD/night, including dinner and breakfast.
  • Peace Way Hotel, (, fax: +962 3 2156963). free wifi in the lobby, free transport to Petra in the morning (1-way only) 18JD/night, single room including breakfast, feb 2011.
  • Amra Palace Hotel, P.O.Box 124 Wadi Mousa 71810 - Petra - Jordan, +962 3 2157070 (, fax: +962 3 2157071), [10]. wifi in lobby and bedroom (7jd for 1 day but often special unlimited offer mix with other things). Located just next to the Petra Gate Hotel - offers a nice terrace with good standing, a swimming pool and clean rooms 24JD/night, single room including breakfast, feb 2011.
  • Cleopatra Hotel, P.O. Box 125 - Wadi Mousa - Petra, (, fax: +962 3 2156963), [11]. wifi (2jd for all your stay) 25JD/night, single room including breakfast, feb 2011.
  • Moon Valley Hotel. Rooms for 22JD/night (April 2011). 20JD for additional nights. Room was decent for the price but not the cleanest. Air conditioning, Satellite TV, and hot water. Included in the price is a minimal breakfast. WiFi for 2JD/day. Staff was very nice and helpful. Walking distance to Petra's entrace, although it may take 10 minutes or so. It's near a bunch of cheap supermarkets, SiWan restaurant (great local food, fair prices, not the cheapest), and near a good and cheap bakery.
  • Sharah Mountains Hotel (sharahhostel@yahoo.com), Wadi Mousa (500 meters from the bus station), 00962779421440, [12]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Sharah Mountains Hotel is located in Petra (Wadi Mousa), One minute walk from Al-Shaheed roundabout. Offers free transportation to & from the gate of Petra at any time you want, deposit safe, reservation for other hotels in Jordan , Organizing transportation to any place in Jordan with very competitive prices. 20 JOD per room per night.
  • Qaser Al-Bint Hotel (mshmaseen@yahoo.com), City Center (five minutes to The bus station), 00962776434952, [13]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Offers clean and comfortable rooms with air condition and private paths. 18 JOD per room.
  • Hidab Hotel (hidabhotel@batelco.jo), City Center (five minutes from the entrance to Petra), 0096232159100, [14]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Budget 3-star hotel offering spacious rooms with air conditioning and private bath, satellite TV, hair dryer, fridge, 24-hour front desk service, Turkish Bath undergoing renovations and is closed, Moonlight Terrace Restaurant, where service is spotty and they are surprised when you show up to eat, and Mountain Pub. Breakfast included. 25 JOD per room.

Splurge

  • Petra Moon Hotel, Petra Visitor Center Street, Wadi Musa, +96232156220 (), [15]. Right next to the Mövenpick (only 100m from the Petra entrance) but half the price. 50 JOD (US$70) for a double room. Swimming pool on the roof. Nice rooms with large LCD TVs. The most highly rated hotel in Petra.
  • Mövenpick Resort & Petra, Wadi Mousa 71810 Petra, + 962 3 21 57 11 1 (, fax: +962 3 21 57 11 2), [16]. checkin: 14:00 hrs; checkout: 12:00 hrs. Located directly at the entrance to the historic city of Petra, the luxurious Mövenpick Resort Petra is certainly one of the most notable hotels in the Middle East. The Mövenpick Resort Petra is delighted to welcome its guests and visitors to the newly refurbished and tastefully decorated rooms and suites. The newly remodeled rooms and suites are elegantly designed and decorated with modern stylish furniture and fixtures that will satisfy the most discerning individual. All rooms and suites are equipped with the latest technological requirements such as wireless broadband internet connection and a 32/37 inch LCD flat screen television. Rates starting from JOD 99.00++. (30°19'32.48N,35°28'10.21E)
  • Grand View Resort, Queen Rania Street (Beside the Marriott overlooking Wadi Musa), +962 (3) 215 68 71 (), [17]. One of the top 5 hotels in Wadi Musa, the Grand View Resort offers excellent service with a fantastic view of Jabal Haroun (the Mountain of Aaron) and the surrounding area. Single: 75JD; Twin: 100JD; Studio: 150JD; Junior Suite: 250JD; Executive Suite: 450JD.
  • Taybet Zaman Hotel and Resort, +962 (06) 215 0111. Located in a renovated 19th-century village, this is quite possibly the best hotel and almost certainly the most stylish one in Petra, if not in all of Jordan. The 111 rooms are all located in individual houses decorated in Bedouin style. The inevitable handicraft shops are attractively camouflaged in a "souq", and there are good restaurants and even a Turkish bath on hand. The resort is a fair distance from Petra, but a courtesy shuttle bus is provided once a day: 9:30AM to Petra and 2:30PM for the return. This doesn't give enough time for exploration of Petra. If you have your own transportation, this is doable. If not, you end up paying 8JD each way for a taxi.there are two seasons in petra.the high season the price is getting up 195$.in low season is 130$. Rooms start at $110.
  • Mövenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel, Wadi Mousa 71810 P.O BOX 184, +962 3 21 57 20 1 (, fax: +962 3 21 57 20 9), [18]. checkin: 14:00 hrs; checkout: 12:00 hrs. Mövenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel is a 10 minute drive from the entrance to the historic site of Petra, situated in a breathtaking secluded position on a hillside at an altitude of 1,400 metres. All the hotel's 90 rooms and suites are spacious and most have extraordinary views over the Great Rift Valley. Interconnecting rooms and non-smoking rooms are available on request. Rates starting from JOD 66.00++. (30°17'19.15N,35°27'23.70E)

Stay healthy

The most cold and rainy months to visit Petra are December, January and February. In this time it is warm during the day and very cold in the evenings and at nights. That's why it is necessary to take coats, hats and gloves. And it could warm up your visit there if you take a thermos with hot tea with you. Avoid going if the forecast shows a lot of rain, as the guards may need to transport tourists out if the valley starts to flood (like on Jan 18th 2010), it occasionally snows in Petra (around two days a year). During summer the hot, dry air sometimes results in nosebleeds for those who are prone to them. Carry petroleum jelly (Vaseline or other brands) or petroleum jelly based products like Vicks and apply liberally to the insides of the nostrils to avoid nosebleeds. Also, carry plenty of water and Oral Rehydration products like Electral if you are traveling to Petra in the hot summer months to avoid dehydration. A good cap and sunglasses will help you avoid getting a heat stroke.


Things To Do In Petra.

After a day of trekking through Petra, there’s no better way to soothe those aching muscles and rid yourself of the dust and sand than to check into a hammam (or Turkish bath). There are several hammams in Wadi Musa (alyakhor turkish bath) that serve both male and female clientele. A typical hammam session consists of a steam bath, a body scrub and an oil massage.cost only 20jd the offer free Transportation from your hotel and back to .

Al Yakhor Turkish bath is located in Quiet Street where next to Petra Palace hotel. Just 200m far from main gate of Petra. Freshen up with a centuries-old spa treatment! A scrub in a Turkish bath is not just part of a bathing ritual, it also helps with detox and enhancing our immune system. Indulge in a hammam and get clean on the inside as well as out! The Turkish bath, also known as a hammam, is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath. During the Ottoman Empire, Turkish baths served as places of social gathering and ritual bathing. Today people use the hammam as a pampering form of cleansing and relaxation. How the hammam works The Turkish bath is modeled on the Roman system of bathing with a warm room, hot room and cool room. The bather enters the warm room where their body warms up, then enters the hot room, or steam room, which has water basins along the walls and a large heated stone platform in the center. The bather can rest on the stone to increase body temperature and promote sweating, then rinse off at the water basins. One of the main specialties of the Turkish bath is the foam and scrub massage where a masseuse or masseur lathers up the bather with a special cloth sack full of foam and scrubs off dirt and dead skin with a loofah. The bather can then continue to relax in the hot room and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the steam and heat. Address : www.alyakhorturkishbath.com Al Yakhor Hammam

Jordan - Petra - Next To Petra Palace Hotel E-Mail : alyakhor@gmail.com Tel : +962775766861 or 00962776038004 Direct line 03 2154944

Get out

  • Little Petra is accessible by taxi or from/to Petra. A fair price would be about 15jd to go there from Wadi Musa, stay about 1h and come back with the same taxi. There is also at least one minibus leaving from the bus station (city center) around 12 (May 2012).
  • Wadi Rum, a stunning desert valley in southern Jordan, lies about an hour south of Petra. Buses leave in the morning (~6:30am) and generally cost 5JD. Taxi for 25 JD and not more than 30 JD. (June 2012)
  • Mujib nature reserve
  • Buses to Aqaba also leave in the morning for 5JD (price for Tourists) (~ 7am).
  • Public minibus from Wadi Musa (Petra) to Ma'an is 0.55 JD and from there to Aqaba 1.5 JD (Dec 2011).
  • It is recommended to do Kerak on your path between Petra/Amman as most hotels don't organized one day tour back to the initial place.
  • To get to Amman, you can take a minibus at the central bus station (5.5JD). There must be one per hour until 2 or 3pm. Jett compagny also has a dayly bus leaving at 5pm from the parking close to the visitor center, around 8JD. (May 2012)
  • Bedouin Meditation Camp ☎ +962 795506417 zedn_a@yahoo.com Located in Wadi Rum World Heritage Area. It is a great place to sleep in the Red Desert and see the White Desert. You get to experience Bedouin Culture. In addition its a great place to watch the Sunset.

Most budget hotels have tours but the level of organization changes a lot and could block you to take a tour. Best to form a group yourself (at least 4 persons). Example tour could be Kings way trip: hotel, shoubak castle, dana, tafilah, karak castle, dead sea, madaba, mount nebo, churches madaba, amman for about 30jd at Valentine Inn.






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