Camels & Horses, Petra
You really should ride a camel at some stage of your Jordanian holiday, and if Petra is the only time you get the chance, well go ahead and do it. You might as well end your visit with a few extra muscle aches after all the effort you've put in during the day.
Actually, if you get yourself seated properly and relax into the motion of the beast, you'll be fine. The view from up there is terrific and someone will take a great photo of you and your ship of the desert to show the folk back home.
It is not permitted for motorized vehicles to enter the site.
But if you don’t want to walk, you can hire a horse or a horse-drawn carriage to take you through the one kilometer Siq.
Just past the main gate you will be offered horses to ride, or even small buggies for two people. The rides are very inexpensive ($3) and help the local Bedouin make a living. You will be asked several times and then they will politely let you walk on if that is what you wish to do.
The horses at Petra are well groomed and cared for at this site. If you are interested in Arabian horses this is a great place.
You can watch my 3 min 17 sec HD Video Jordan Petra Horse ride out of my Youtube channel.
For the elderly and/or handicapped the Visitors' Centre close to the entrance of the Siq will issue a special permit (at an extra fee) for the carriage to go inside Petra to visit the main attractions. Once inside the site, you can hire a donkey, or for the more adventurous, a camel - both come with handlers and take designated routes throughout the site.
Along with the horses there are also buggies to ride. These drivers can take you all the way through the Siq to the Treasury.
At the entrance of Petra, inside, you will find the Horse Hospital. There you can hire a horse or to ride till the entrance of the Siq, or hire a camel to go all around. Maybe next time I will try a camel ?
There are beautiful arabic horses, if you don't want to hire one, just sit down for a while looking how they move ... beautiful animals
Maybe you could ask for Bassem, that owns few beautiful horses and hire them there. I hope I would have make a picture of those beautiful animals. Bassem is a great person and his animals are his treasure.
you can see Petra walking but there are other ways such as Camel, but i saw all teh camels very lazy, like this one in the picture. Happy when they don't have to work... they didn't look very friendly to me when they had to work. Another way is in donkeys, this way is good if you don't want to want up to teh monastery. Is it dangerous? well, i didn't try!!!!
About price you can arrange a good price if you have enought patience....
Most people stay in Wadi Mousa when visiting Petra. It is walkingdistance between the two but as the road down to Petra is steep and you probably will do a lot of walking in Petra it is good to take a taxi to the entrance of Petra. Most hotels offers the taxi ride for free.
When in Petra there are several ways to go around if you don't want to walk.
From the entrance there are horse-drawn cabs going through the siq to the Treasury (Al-Khazneh). From the treasury to the theatre or "city centre" you can ride a camel. Up to the Monestary you can rid a donkey. It doesn't look convenient neither for the man or donke though.
The best way to explore Petra is on foot, but if you are tired you can rent a donkey or a camel or a horse as you prefer. All the animals are own by beduins and they are very happy to help you expecially if you want to go to the Monastery with a donkey. Anyway it's a another great experience to do in this fantasti town.
Many people will come to Petra and find that the kilometre walk through the canyon to the treasury to be a little much for them. If you are not up to it, then you can hire a buggy and driver to take you through the canyon all the way to the treasury. At present I do not know how much this costs.
If people have problems walking the one and a half kilometer through the siq then they can take a horse carriage through the siq to the treasury.
The price for a returen trip is around 20 jordanian dinar at the time of writing (october 2008).
Be aware though that it´s a very bumpy ride.
Traditional animal quite often associated with the desert and the Bedouins. They are widely appreciated by the Bedouins for their strength. Camel milk over there is considered as the magical potion of the druid Panoramix (not too sure how many non-French speaker will understand this reference ;)
However for some strange reason, there are only a limited number of camels authorized on the site of Petra! On top of the price to pay for this fine beast, the Bedouins also have to get a license number.
That’s why renting a camel can be quite expensive. I’ve mainly seen them on the main site, I don’t think they are used to climb to the top…
I suppose to be on a camel's back is part of a holiday to the Middle East.
In Petra, you can choose to ride on horses, horse-carts, camels and donkeys.
I did not have a problem with these animals being used, or the way they were used, but I did not enjoy seeing the donkeys carrying tourists along the steep and sometimes slippery uphill to The Monastry.
Some kids(guides) were using metal chains to whip these poor animals, carrying obese tourists.
Decide fo yourself.
To get through the siq to reach Petra takes some time. The options are: to walk, ride a horse or camel, or take a horse and cart. In view of our age and fitness we opted for the latter. To begin with the cart is not the most comfortable vehicle. Then then poor horse was having great difficulting walking on the cobbled areas where he slipped and slithered, and had to endure his owner's whip; whereas on the tarmac he went at a cracking pace. By the time we got back at the end of the trip, we felt it would have been better for us and the horse if we'd walked.
Apart from your feet, there are three modes of transport within Petra: camels, horses and donkeys. Even if you are fit, a day walking around Petra, especially up the mountains, is going to make your legs really ache. You might be tempted to let the animals take the strain. Camels are obviously the coolest, and the biggest draw, but they can only travel on the flat areas. Horses are the quickest, and most versatile, but can't make it up the steepest inclines. For those, like the stairs to the Al Deir monastery, you are going to need a donkey.
There is no shortage of pack animals to take the strain, but prices are negotiable depending on the distance, the animal, the desperation of the owner, and how much of a sucker you look. To get the best prices, hail a guy walking back to one of the main transport hubs, like outside the treasury. The fact that they have got custom without having to walk all the way back and wait will help you in getting a lower price.
The Horses & Carriages only can bring you to the Treasury (approx. 20 JD round trip plus tip), burrows and camels can bring you the rest of the way. I thought, I certainly outweighed the burrow, however I was reassured that they are pack animals and can carry much heavier.
The Carriage and Horse drivers will arrange to meet you back at the Treasury, after you are done, to bring you back up to the visitors center. The ride is bumpy, as the road is mostly cobblestone, but you're not doing any of the work. And depending on where you are staying they may very well take you all the way to your hotel (Crown Plaza or Movenpick.)
As the park was once home to The Bedouins, they run all of the businesses within the Park, & they offer different transportation at different locations. And that is why the Horses and Carriages can only bring tourists to the Treasury.
You are able to have a camel or more usually a horse ride down through the Siq in to the heart of Petra.
Please make sure you are happy with the condition of your animal (not for your sake for theirs!)
At the entrance to Petra, just inside the main gate, there is a Brooke Hospital for Animals, your can get your ride from here from locals.
Walking is much better though (~_~)