Petra: the crowning jewel of Jordan. I mean, how is this place even real? To think that it was once a city of thousands, intricately carved right into the mountains…wow. It was humbling.
We decided to go straight to Petra after our camel ride in Wadi Rum, which made for an exhausting but incredible day. Thankfully, we chose to purchase Jordan passes for our trip, which included two days at Petra (you need at least two days to see all the highlights and could easily spend three). The Jordan Passes also include the visa fees to visit Jordan, as well as entry to several other sites like Wadi Rum and Jerash – great value for the money.
Most people only know Petra because of the Treasury, which is undeniably beautiful; however, Petra is SO much more than that! I couldn’t believe how massive and extensive this ancient city really is, not to mention how well-preserved most of the structures are.
There are a wide variety of routes you can take through Petra, ranging from flat, easy walks to more intense hikes. If you visit, expect to be bombarded by people asking if you want to ride a horse, donkey, or camel. Most of these people are not licensed professionals and in my opinion, most of the animals there did not look well taken care of. Personally, I did not feel comfortable riding any of them and chose to go on foot. I also enjoyed the intensity of the longer hikes and wanted to be able to stop and take in the views as I pleased.
The hike to the Monastery was one of the highlights for me. Along the way, there are tons of great views, it’s not nearly as crowded as the Treasury, and there is a great little cafe right next to it.
Our other favorite hike was to the High Place of Sacrifice. The views from the top were stunning.
It’s amazing to imagine what Petra would have been like back in its heyday, when people still lived in caves nestled along the mountains’ walls. This New Wonder of the World is an ancient marvel not to be missed.