Undoubtedly the landscape of Petra do you know him. It is the jordan postcard but it has also appeared in several Hollywood movies. It is almost like a door to the past, to the mystery, to the old. The truth is that you cannot plan a trip to Jordan without taking an excursion to this beautiful place that has the honor of being World Heritage since 1985.
Only by walking there one can affirm that this title is valid for every speck of dust, every rock, column, temple and art left before our sight despite the passage of time, so here is the best practical information to visit Petra.
This city it used to be the capital of the Nabatean kingdom thousands of years ago, a kingdom that was absorbed into the Roman Empire that took care to grow the city until turning it into an important commercial center. Even suffering a terrible earthquake, it managed to last in time and only in the time of Saladin, towards the end of 1100, it was left in the hands of the desert and passed into oblivion.
Like much of the treasures of the ancient world came back to light in the XNUMXth century from the hand of European explorers, in this case from the hand of a Swiss named Burckhardt. It was his reviews that attracted other explorers who in turn created excellent illustrations that must have fallen in love with more than one amateur archaeologist. However, it was in the 20s that the first professional excavations took place.
Today Petra is one of the most valuable treasures of the Kingdom of Jordan and in addition to being a World Heritage Site it is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
How to visit Petra
There are several options, it all depends on what your starting point is. If you are in amman, capital of Jordan, there are many buses that depart from 6:30 am and arrive at the ruins around 10:30 am. They are from the company JETBus. The return trip is started at 5 pm and tickets cost JD 10 per leg. Its fleet is made up of modern cars, 200 in total, and it makes many other trips around the country.
You can also use the public minibuses going to Wadi Musa departing from Mujamaa Janobi station. The trips are from 9 am to 4 pm, while in reverse they start at 6 am and the last service is at 1 pm. It is a cheaper option Well, it costs half. ¿You can take a taxi? Yes, both from Amman and from Queen Alia Airport and the price is 90 JD if you go by car and 130 if you go by of, for whole vehicle not per person.
Public minibuses also link Aqaba with Wadi Musa making a tour between the police stations of both cities. There are five services a day and it does not work on Fridays. The first leaves around 6 am and leaves when it is full. The trip takes an hour and a half, two hourss and you must calculate a ticket between 5 and 6 JD. Finally you can also take a taxi, a white taxi that departs from the police station. They are around 35 JD but it can take up to four people. There are also green taxis, these even take you to the border with Israel, for about 90 JD.
From cities like Wadi Rum or Madaba you can also get to Petra. By bus from 6 am. Pick up the passengers at the Wadi Rum Visitor Center, make a stop in the Rum village and arrive in Petra at around 8:30 am. It costs around 5 or 5 JD. There are also taxis. And the same if you want to join Madaba.
This trip is particularly beautiful because the tourist bus travels along the King's Highway, very beautiful, so much so that there is even a photo stop at Wadi Mujib and another at Karak Castle an hour before arriving in Wadi Musa at 3 o'clock 4 pm. Of course, this service can only be used if you stay at the Hotel Mariam, although other hotels offer similar services. Find out.
As well there are excursions to Petra from east Israel. There are three border posts between Israel and Jordan: the Allenby Bridge, Eilat, and Beit Shean. The former connects Jerusalem with Amman but you must have a Jordanian visa processed in advance. Crossing is not complicated but it takes a long time so it all depends on the time you have. You may even want to book a more expensive but well-oiled tour.
Petra Archaeological Park
It is a very large site and you can explore it at ease, although local people usually offer themselves as guides. However, there are those who recommend up to four or five days to do a complete examination. Without getting too excited, I would say that two or three are enough. A single day will leave you exhausted and with the feeling that you have traveled nothing. With two full days is enough.
Wadi Musa is the modern city on the outskirts of the park, nowadays of about 30 thousand inhabitants. It is full of tourism agencies, in case you want to sign up for a tour and hotels and other accommodation. It is a safe city with friendly people and you can stay here or closer to the park if you want. If so, you can even walk to the ruins, otherwise you can always take a taxi. Next to the park there is a parking lot and also the bus stop to Amman or Aqaba.
Tickets are not cheap but you amortize the more time you dedicate to the visit. The one-day ticket for those who spend at least one night in Jordan costs 50 JD, the two-day 55 and the three-day 60 JD If you visit Petra as soon as you cross the border it is 90, 40 and 50 JD respectively. If you also stay for the night and return to the ruins on the second day, you will get a refund of 40 JD.
If you are not staying the night then admission is 90 JD. When buying the ticket you have to present passport. It is purchased at the Visitor Center before or when you visit and you can pay in cash or credit card. They proposed three sightseeing tours:
- Camino Principal, travels 4 kilometers and costs 50 JD.
- Main Road + Sacrifice Monument, runs 6 km
- Main road + Monastery, runs 8 km.
You can look at these tours on the official website and some others will be published this November. There are also car tours: there are two, one connects the Visitor Center with the Treasury (round trip), 4 km), at 20 JD; and another connects the Center with the Museum (round trip, 8 km), for 40 JD. They are cars for two people.
A visit to Petra basically cannot be left out: Bab Al Siq, the Dam, the Siq, the so-called Treasury or Al Khazna (the famous postal facade of the city), the other facades located all along one street, the Theater , the Silk Tomb, the Urn Tomb, the Palace Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb, the Roman Cemetery, the Street of Columns ,, the Great Temple, the main church of Petra, the Temple of the Winged Lions, the Sacrifice Site, the Tomb of the Roman Soldier, the Monastery ...