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“I'm still wide-eyed”

Petra World Heritage Site
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Petra by Night Tour Ticket
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Owner description: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra (ancient capital city of the Nabataean people) recently proclaimed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I'm still wide-eyed”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Petra is an experience never to be forgotten. It speaks to the ancient history of this complicated area of the world, it tells a story of brilliant architectural design, faith in the human spirit, ingenuity and in the end fulfills exactly what many have come to understand about this ancient land, that humankind existed here, built here and paved the way for generations to come.

I won't take up time telling you about the history of Petra, there is plenty you can find online on that score. Instead let me try and support any notion you have to venture to Petra and try to calm any concerns that would turn you away.

1. Getting there-is actually quite easy. Plenty of good tourist agencies have established trips. My advice don't do this on your own. Go with a recognized and accredited travel agency.they take care of everything from either side of the border (Jordan or Israel).

2. Safety and security-this is simply not an issue. The peace between Israel and Jordan is strong if maybe a bit cold. Yes it's a bit bureaucratic and if travelling to Petra from Israel you have to show your passport more than you think necessary but its surprisingly smooth. And most tour companies supply an armed security guard once in Jordan which gives an unneeded sense of security.

3. Food and drink-try to bring your own water though there is plenty of water to be ought at twice the price. food is plentiful with cafes even set up in the ancient city, though strangely they do not take away from the experience. DRINK, DRINK, DRINK cant stress this enough!!! While not as hot as Eilat it can get oppressive and water is the only antidote.

4. Walking-is an overall theme of Petra. While there is undoubtedly a lot of it don't let it deter you. The walk into Petra is about 2km through an incredible canyon. It's a slight decline so its an easy walk and when you come upon your first glimpse of Petra it all seems worth it. The way back is a bit tougher since you have to negotiate the incline but if you take it easy and have no mobility issues its not as bad a some suggest. For those who complained about donkey dung along the road...give me a break...it's the Middle East, get use to it! You can take a horse, donkey and carriages but urge you not to take it. There are too many stories of tourists being ripped off with demands of exorbitant prices. Forget it! Total walking about 10 km.

5. Overall a great breathtaking experience. Best to go anytime from March to June. After that its just to hot for comfort.

Hope this has been helpful.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank BernieFarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Grafton Australia
Level Contributor
74 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“The Hidden Valley Of Petra is Remarkable!!”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Petra is a hidden valley built by the Nabateans in the fourth century BC, but evidence shows that settlement here took place around 1200BC. The location of Petra was lost to western civilisation for over 1,000 years only the locals knew of it's whereabouts until 1812.
We visited Petra in January 2012. Petra itself is extensive, and one really couldn't see much of it if you are planning to be there only a couple of hours. We saw a bus load of visitors arrive down through the Siq while we were photographing the treasury building and literally they snapped hurried photos of themselves in front of the treasury AND then turned around and walked back up through the Siq... and these people thought they had just seen Petra.We were left astounded by this.
We stayed two nights at Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp so that we could have a full day at Petra. It is situated only 5 mins drive away in Little Petra. The modern town that overlooks Petra is called Wadi Musa, and most hotels are situated there.
Entry into Petra is through a km long narrow canyon called the Siq ( literally meaning "the shaft"). You walk approximately 1 km from the Visitor Centre before you reach the canyon.The canyon or Siq is another km in length before you come out to face the treasury building (or the Al Kazneh )and then another 2kms walk or ride to the end of Petra valley, where you have to climb 850 stairs to The Monastery. You can get a horse ride to the entrance of the Siq from the VC and a horse and carriage ( 10JD for two people) ride through the Siq if you choose and then there are donkeys and camels for anyone to ride on through the valley. We chose to walk the whole way. After you leave the treasury turn right and a short distance (400m) on your left you come to a set of stairs (250) situated near a souvenir shop that takes you up to the High Place of Sacrifice. From there, we walked around what is locally called the Back Way- past the Lion Monument, Garden Tomb Soldiers Tomb..and entered Petra valley at its far end again, then walked back up through the valley to the treasury building once more, passing and visiting the museums,temples, theatre and nobles tombs on the way up. We didn't go to the Monastery... after walking almost 7-8kms already we decided to head back up through the Siq. What we were told later was that we could have entered Petra from the Monastery end by 150 stairs and then descend the 850 stairs down into the valley and walk back up to the treasury that way. You would still need to climb the 250 stairs to the High Place of Sacrifice if you come this way. So enquire about this when you are staying at your accommodation. Petra is just magnificent, the Nabataeans were skilled builders of dams,cisterns and water aquaducts to maximise the ancient city's water supply. You can a see a number of dams, cisterns etc throughout the valley as evidence of this. If you are keen to see all of ancient Petra then give yourself two full days here, unless you're prepared to run sections of it. You will be glad you gave yourself that amount of time once you have visited. For us, it was the pinnacle of our time in Jordan.
Cost of entry was 50JD each but if you buy a ticket for several days it works out less expensive, each day. It is a UNESCO site so the whole area is kept in a clean state. Excavations are ongoing and new tombs etc are still being unearthed. Visitors can also see Petra by night when the Siq and valley is lit by tealights everywhere. We didn't go to Petra at night so I can't review the experience for you. Ask your hotel/ Bedouin Camp accommodation about this when you book if you would like to do this.

Visited July 2012
Thank Debbie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Outstanding; outstanding and outstanding”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It should be on everyone's bucket list. The walk in through the high stone cliffs is amazing but when you first sight the treasury through the canyon walls your heart may skip a beat. I have been on all 7 continents and this is tied for number one with Antarctica.

Visited April 2013
Thank manoabob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing!!!!! No words to describe this place.”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Donkey´s riders are so funny, do not hesitate to speak to them.
People living in Petra can talk so many languages due to their business so you can learn a lot about a culture always willing to share and to help!

Visited April 2013
Thank Javier_Norija
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
105 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

What an experience this is a place that words cannot describe and must be seen to be believed. The entrance is unbelievable and then PETRA truly humbling. Don't rush the visit take your time after 12 midday the tourist bus loads leave and then the mystery of Petra is tangible. Enjoy your visit NOTE Its a strenuous walk and is relatively steep down and up there is an option to get a horse carriage ride "at your peril" Take your own water

Visited April 2013
4 Thank Doug pullen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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