If you’ve seen an Indiana Jones movie then you’ve seen the Treasury, but trust me when I say, you’ve seen nothing. It would take 2 to 3 days to explore Petra as a city, and I’m here to tell you about our journey.
Much to my surprise, we did Petra by Night before exploring it by day. Weird as this may sound, after experiencing it, I can confidently say, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The tour which is available at 8:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays is entirely candle lit and accompanied with Bedouin music played on a traditional rababa, a musical delight that dates back to the 8th century. The tour comprises of a walk down the Siq all the way to the treasury. Frankly, words cannot describe the experience, just put on a pair of your most comfortable sneakers, and allow your feet to take you to a magical journey. Typically you might need a sweatshirt or a light cardigan depending on when you’re visiting, although we surprisingly weren’t cold at all as it was surprisingly a warm September night, although they were moments in the Siq were an ice cold breeze would swift through. The siq is paved with stones from the roman times, so it’s quite challenging to have children accompany you, and you might bring a torch along if you’re a senior citizen to allow you to see the path better and risk falling and injuring yourself.
The tour lasts till 10 PM, and entry is 17 Jordanian Dinars per person. Children under the age of 12 enter free of charge. After our Petra by night tour we had dinner at the Petra Guest House Hotel where we were staying. Check out this link for more details.
By the next morning, we decided to tour Petra by Day… Our hotel Petra Guest House Hotel has arranged for a private seclusion of the Rose City in coordination with the Visitors Centre.
As the world’s fascination in the beautiful and ancient city increases, the rose city is in fact one of the places that should be on your bucket list and must be experienced during the day and night at least once in your life. The city actually dates back to the 1st century BC and was known as the capital of the Nabataean Arabs who have utilized the city as a trade hub in frankincense, myrrh, and spices. A quick tour inside the Visitors Center before your journey to the lost city begins is a must where you can learn all about the different phases and residents of the city.
Petra is a lost oasis, and is still being uncovered. Recently a satellite image scan has revealed a platform that could be at least 2,150 years old. If you plan on exploring the enter city, you might want to stay behind for 2 – 3 days. The main trail starts at the Visitors Center, into the city where you can explore various magnificent monuments, into the siq and down to the treasury. You also walk down past the treasury and get the chance to explore the royal tombs, the theatre, and ends at the Basin restaurant which is open daily from 12 PM to 4 PM and only serves Lunch. Enjoy a delicious meal indoors or outdoors and head back up to your starting point.
If you’re still feeling brave and full of energy, you could enjoy an additional trail that starts next to the Basin restaurant and continued up a carved stairway where you can enjoy a spectacular view of petra. This however isn’t for the faint hearted or people who are not fit, as it involves climbing hundreds of steps that are carved into stone.
What can I say? As a Jordanian who can simply take a 3 hour drive down to Petra, I’m quite ashamed of myself for not doing it more often. No matter how well traveled you are, Petra will never fail to impress you. The second you see a peak of the treasury as you approach the end of the siq, your jaw drops, your heart skips a beat, and you look up as you await the rays of sunshine to hit your face while the rose and golden colors of the city welcome you in glory.
Petra is a UNESCO world heritage site and now listed among the New 7 wonders of the world. A must see place in one’s lifetime. If you’re planning a visit, I recommend you stay at the Petra Guest House which is strategically located by the entrance of the city. Check out my review of the hotel here.
September 22, 2016
September 18, 2016