Petra – A World Wonder

We were both thrilled to visit our first country in the Middle East – Jordan.

Getting to experience Petra felt like entering a world from the past. We travelled back in time to 300 BC to the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom in Jordan’s southwestern desert. We threw on our scarves and headed out to this historic site. Entrance to this ancient city is by way of a natural stone passage call the Siq. As you continue through this old waterway, several single horse drawn carriages will charge past you.

After 45 minutes of walking through the Siq, the passageway begins to open up to the magnificent…

Treasury Building

These Nabateans were skillful stone carvers and built highly detailed tomb facades and temples into the rose colored rock surfaces. Petra is made up of 27 of these sites with this Treasury building being it’s most famous.

Continue walking along and see,

The Street of Façades

The Royal Tombs of Petra

Climb to have birds eye view

and end all the way down for a snack break at…

The Monastery

Petra is one of the 7 Wonders of the world with UNESCO describing it as “One of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. This was one of our favorite Wonders because it is not only a full day of hiking and also has dozens of opportunities to explore different tombs along the way. We were blown away by how well preserved these 2,000+ year old exposed structures were. This site felt like a giant outdoor museum that we got to explore every corner of. Getting a chance to soak in the ancient city of Petra was a once in a life time experience.

Our Petra Tips:

  • It takes about 2.5 hours to walk from the entrance all the way to the Monastery so we’d recommend getting there early to have the most sunlight possible.
  • We recommend staying at a hotel in the town Wadi Musa, the closest town to the historic site – only a 10 minute walk to the entrance.
  • Entrance fee – 50JD ($70) for a one day pass
  •  Open 6am – 6pm during summer and 6am- 4pm in the winter. Get there early to allow enough time enjoy all the sites, have lunch, and take photos.
  • There are only two places to get food inside – both are expensive. Ask to  have ala cart or bring in your own food.
  • In the Siq watch out for charging horse drawn carriages, they sometimes come fast around sharp turns.
  • There is a place to see the treasury building from a high vantage point but you need to hire a guide to do that portion. People will approach you and offer this if you’re interested.
  • “Only 1 dinar” – you will hear this everywhere from Bedouins selling trinkets, smile and say “no thanks.”
  • People will ask you several times about camel and donkey rides, be polite, don’t feel pressured to ride. Several people take the donkeys up steep climbs. Be aware of how animals you interact with are being treated.
  • You came all this way, hike all the way to the Monastery. This is great place to have drinks and soak up the view at the top
  • Petra is the location used for the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Other cool things we encountered:

We got to chat with a young bedouin girl with amazing eye makeup. Fact: their eye liner is made by mixing ashes with olive oil and protects their eyes from the intense reflections of the sun.
We also heard quite a lot of barking and were led to the side bag of a donkey. A tiny pup then popped it’s head out. Too adorable not to snap a quick photo of 🙂