A good Jordan tour company - a tour or selfdrive?
Favorite thing: For assistance with anything to do with Petra or Jordan I now recommend and advertise the reliability and enthusiasm of Sami and Adeeb at Jordan Inspiration Tours - if youre the go-by-tour person, want a driver guide or want a car and hotels to self-drive then these guys can help happily with all that.
Fondest memory: An awesome experience!! Its easier to get to Jordan, and travel around Jordan, than I imagined and the amazing carved out of and into rocks Rock city of Petra is an amazing must-see - truly a wonder of the world!
- Women's Travel
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Petra general background
Favorite thing: Petra is a historic and archaeological city famous with its rock cut architecture. It dates back to the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. Now it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourism attraction.
It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.
Petra is an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die".
You can watch my high resolution photo of Petra on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 30° 18' 44.22" N 35° 27' 56.10" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Petra landscape 1.
Petra, a place to enjoy!
Favorite thing: My favorite thing about Petra is, of course, the Siq, and when you see the Tresoury. I think every moment i was there i enjoyed and i know i will go back one day.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is the hospitality of the people in Petra, in Jordan in general. The silent moments in the early morning and the different changes of the stones with the light.
How long to spend in Petra?
Favorite thing: A visit to Petra can be quite modular :
1) Walk through the siq to the Treasury and come back
-> you could take the classical picture and tell everyone you have been to Petra. Indeed I'm wondering how many tourists are chosing this option.
2) Siq + Treasury + Royal tombs + Theatre+ Roman city
You can easily do that in less than a day. I'd bet that's what most of tourist in a hurry are doing!
You already have a good feeling of the area but you are still missing something.
3) See Point 2) + Climb up to the Monastery
If you arrive early, you can eventually do everything in a single day but that would be a long one!
In this case, you could still rent a donkey to climb to the monastery...
4) See point 3) + High Place
That's slightly less than what I've done. Two days are needed.
5) See point 4) + some more hiking
More than 2 days. A classical add-on would be to walk to Aaron mount (1 day hike)...
Also note that two half-days in Petra are not the same as 1 day:
- first, 1-2km walk through the Siq to arrive to the Treasury
- around, Roman Theatre and Royal tombs
- the roman city is still 1-2km away
- the path to the Monastery is located close to this city.
This would be more relaxing to do it in two half-day but assuming you are climbing to the Monastery, that means you would have to walk again to the end of the site on the second half-day...
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: There are decent toilets in Petra but they are strung out, so it is a good idea to make use of any that you see.
You can find them at the Visitors' Centre before you start off, a little bit below the theatre on the other side of the valley, inside the Basin restaurant down the bottom and round beside the Qasr el Bint.
If you get taken short in between, it is really better to find a convenient rock to hide behind rather than use one of the tombls. Some of them smell very nasty, since the smells don't dissipate in the enclosed space. Rocks are better!
Posted by Lulu
get up early.
Favorite thing: get up early in the morning to see petra.
once the tour groups arrive it gets a little hard to see the place properly and get nice photos.
petra opens very early in the morning and if you get there early you have the whole place to yourself.
Fondest memory: the superb combination of nature and culture.
The Rock Formations of Petra
Favorite thing: One of the more interesting aspects of visiting Petra, besides the magnificent tombs, are the wonderful shapes and colours of the rock formations inside of the tombs themselves. This actually more so in some of the smaller tombs. The photo that you see here was taken in an otherwise lesser tomb but the colours of the rock walls are awesome. Do not run through Petra to quickly so that you miss nature at its most vibrant.
- Family Travel
The colours of Petra
Favorite thing: The intense colours and extraordinary striations you see everywhere in Petra really give a whole new meaning to the term 'living rock". Everywhere you look you see the rock forming amazing patterns - here looking like shimmering pleated silk, there looking for all the world like a giant layer cake with frosting dripping over the top. Swirls of colour dip and dive, turn right angles and twist back on themselves. Reds, greys, blues and golds dazzle the eye. Inside the tombs they glow with an inner light, outside under the fierce sun thay become paler, more muted but take on deeper and stronger tones in the shadows and as the sun moves through the day they shift and change in a kaleidoscope of colour and pattern that is quite breathtaking.
Favorite thing: The site is enormous. Incredibly, many 'do' Petra in an exhausting one day trip - the highlights being the Siq, the Treasury, the Monastery and those remains in between. To put it into perspective, it took us one and half hours walking downhill from the Monastery to the entrance (and the directest route possible!).
The bets option if you have time is to stagger your trip over 2 or 3 days. Its not a cheap option - JD11,13,16 for 1,2 or 3 days off-peak, double during the high season (and days are consecutive) but it is worth it - Petra is one of the most extraordinary sites.
Fondest memory: Just about everything but the first view of the Treasury on Day 1 and the finally reaching the Monastery on Day 2 can not be bettered.
The Gorge that Leads Towards Petra
Favorite thing: One of my favourite aspects of Petra was the interesting walk though the gorge that leads to the various tombs and graneries. The rock formations are incredible and are worth pondering over as you hike through the gorge. The gorge is about one kilometer long and it takes about fifteen minutes to walk through. For people who might have problems making this hike there are pleasant horse drawn carridges that make the trip through the gorge. I do not know right now how much this costs.
People might remember that a scene in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was shot in the gorge. It is near the climax of the film.
- Hiking and Walking
Sleeping in the desert with Bedouins
Favorite thing: Hello everybody,
My name is Claudia and I just got back from Petra, in Jordan. The site it's awesome and really worth a visit.
You can including go from Israel or Egypt because it's easy an close by. I went there crossing the border in Eilat, Israel, after a visit to Jerusalem.
It's a very good idea to sleep in Petra, and not just go there for a day trip, to travel or camping around. I asleep in a hotel call Sunset Hotel that charges a fair price for a good service (30 dinars for a twin room) and started to discover Petra at morning before 8 o'clock before all the tourists get there. Also, if you sleep in Petra you have a big discount on the entrance ticket and, instead of pay 90 dinars, you pay 50 dinars.
I met some awesome Bedouin people and I can recommend a company call Bedouin Discovery, that is unique because all the members are 'the real Bedouin' that lived in the caves in the past and know all about the culture and history of Petra and around.
You can include send them an email before you get there and I am sure they can organize a car to pick you up on the border cheaper than the taxi there. You can send Mohamed an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or skipe him using the username bedouindiscovery. He is an amazing guide, speaks very good English and have tons of jokes to make you laugh a lot.
Bedouin Discovery is a family business and everybody is so kind and helpful _ with huge positive note for Mousa, a young guy that will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable and at home in the middle of desert. I told him in a conversation before the trip that I like tea with milk and surprisingly, in the middle of desert, he took a can of milk from his bag and gave it to me to add to my tea. It's was a very nice touch that show how much they care about our needs.
Usually I don't recommend any business but this one is special. I am a lady and had just my mom with me and we felt really save with them. The Bedouin Discovery took us to the desert and looked after us so well for such a good price that you would not believe. And they treat my mum with a special attention too.
There are a lot of "agencies" in Petra city (not the ancient city) that will tell you they are Bedouin and blablabla. But do not trust them as all the original Bedouins are living in a village near by call Bedouin Village. The place is amazing and the people too. Go for it and happy trip.
Fondest memory: The sunset at the desert. It's was lovely to see the sun while I had a tea with my mum prepared for a original Bedouin.
The feeling of the sand and the stars in the desert are unforgettable too.
I spent 2 days with Bedouin Discovery and before our trip to the desert they took us to a Cave and cooked a dinner. It's was amazing experience feel how people used to live in Petra years ago.
I am interested in know all about the culture of people and the Bedouins really got into my heart. Such a lovely people and lovely habits.
Like they say: 'The desert it's a hotel with a million of stars'. I agree. Wonderful experience.
- Adventure Travel
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
A little history
Favorite thing: The Nabateans first came here in the 6th century BC, and for many years their capital was here. They gained control of lucrative trade routes and carved their edifices into the colourful stone at Petra (which actually means 'stone' in ancient Greek).
The Nabateans enjoyed centuries of prosperity in their city of stone. Earthquakes in 363 and 747 caused severe damage, and Petra was cut off from the West for over 1000 years. The Beduin who lived among the stones guarded their secret place, refusing entry to outsiders until 1812, when a Swiss explorer entered Petra and published his stories.
Favorite thing: Nobody knows why the first facade cut into stone that greets people as they emerge from the Siq is called the Treasury. This building was always a burial site and never had anything to do with money matters. The well-preserved facade is decorated with a rich variety of symbols related to death. Nabatean gods in charge of guiding the souls of the dead, Medusa heads, eagles and winged victories.
Favorite thing: I had in mind the classical cliché from Hollywood. I was imagining the Bedouins as a bunch of independent people raiding proudly in the desert. That was maybe true in the past but doesn’t hold true anymore.
They are now settled in a concrete village without any charm located close to Little Petra, 1-2 kilometers away and they are commuting every day to the main site.
They are almost exclusively living from the tourism. In the worst cases, that simply turns them on to beggars trying to sell you their souvenirs or services. This is the annoying part of Petra, at every major attraction; you will almost be harassed by a bunch of Bedouins trying to sell their stuff!
My guidebook doesn’t stop praising their hospitality and it’s true they are friendly but at the end you can never know if they do it for fun or with an interested goal in mind…
At least take your time and try to talk to them, don’t rush through every site to be seen, maybe you’ll have a better impression than the first one…
- Horse Riding
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: When visiting Petra, you have to see the Treasury or "Al Keznah" in arab.
Its almost impossible to miss this famous site in Petra, as its just on the end of the "Siq", a small canyon which builds the entrance to the Petra site.
The Keznah is a ancient, nabatean tomb. His exterior looks beautiful. The entirior is only a rectangular room, without any ornaments.
Fondest memory: Climb up the rocks opposite of the Keznah to have a nice view of the monument from above!