Petra, Jordan. Arguably one of the seven wonders of the modern world. For many, it brings back images of Indiana Jones & horses making their way through the narrow passageways to the stone faced Treasury. There is so much to see here so I recommend you purchase at least the Petra 2 day pass. We spent 2 days and 3 nights here on a longer trip to Jordan and Israel.
Where I stayed
Our taxi driver from Amman called our guesthouse (My House Petra) and took us directly to our spot. He commented on how great our location was and after I told him what he had paid he was shocked how great a deal we found. And he was right. The location was great. We were on the last developed street in town. We could walk down one road and find the entrance to Petra in about 5 minutes. The other road at our intersection headed to Little Petra. Just across the street, was this view of Petra. Book it now at booking.com. If not already registered at booking.com, get $25 off your first stay by registering here.
Dinner in the Village of Wadi Musa
It was dinnertime and our guesthouse owner recommended we go into town instead of eat at the overpriced restaurants around the entrance so he drove us into town. I was too scared to order this:
Petra by Night
After dinner, we decided to get our first taste of Petra by attending the Petra by Night show. We paid a bunch of money and then followed candle lit luminaries a couple kilometers down the Siq until we reached the Treasury.
It was aglow with luminaries as well and we got Bedouin tea and were instructed to sit on mats. Some guy told a short story and another guy played a flute. Then they turned on some colorful lights. It was beautiful and great for photos but I had one big complaint – the tourists sat for about 10 seconds before they all started running up to take their selfies – very selfish. It was impossible to get pictures without people or shadows in them. And then after taking their pictures that just stood there talking like it was a bar. So maddening! I was mad after paying all that money and I may have kicked a luminary or three on the walk back to our guesthouse.
The Treasury at Sunrise
We had a two day ticket to Petra so this gave us the chance to visit on a more relaxed pace. It is possible to do all of the things we did in one day but you’d be rushing around and doing some climbing at the hottest points of the day.
we got up early so we could see the sun rise against the famous Treasury building.
Other sites in the Valley
Almost all of the buildings in Petra have names and are tombs. People lived in houses that no longer exist or lived in caves at that time. Some Bedouins still live in caves and you can see evidence of this.
Our main goal of the day was to get up to the Monastery. This involved about an hour walk up hills and stairs. It was already hot by mid-morning so we took several breaks along the way. The Monastery was even more impressive than the Treasury. It was more in the open so there were many vantage points for viewing.
There were also active archeology digs around the area.
After climbing a hit beyond the monastery, there were great views of the valleys beyond. We could see for miles and miles. This hill appeared to be the highest point for many miles. We sat in the shade and enjoyed this view:
I was so glad we made the climb in the morning. As we were heading down by mid afternoon, the people heading up looked unbearably hot. Some people were riding mules. Poor animals.
We visited a few more sites, so interesting mosaics, and more tombs in the afternoon.
I talked to the woman who wrote a book about marrying a Bedouin. She was from New Zealand but now has stayed in Jordan even though her husband passed away years ago. We talked about the tourism reduction since the Syrian war started. From her description it’s amazing how empty the sites are. It’s nice to see the sites without 100’s of people in the way.
We waited until the sun was nice for photos and then made our way out of the park and stopped at the Cave Bar. Supposedly the oldest bar in the world, built in a cave near the park entrance.
On our second day, we started a little later but still got to see the sun rise against the Treasury.
The High Place of Sacrifice
Today we did the loop hike that went up to the High Place of Sacrifice. There were some interesting rock patterns on the way up.
There weren’t many ruins at the top but there were great views and the most amazing blue lizards. We didn’t see these lizards anywhere else in Jordan.
The highlight for me was going down the back side of this hike. Here we saw the most striking red rocks and rock patterns and there was no one out here – we only saw a few other tourists in the hour we were there.
We walked out the Siq one more time – this was getting tiresome by now – this was the 6th time we had walked this 2 km stretch. It was possible to get rides by horses and carts but we walked everytime.
We arranged to have Issam, our guesthouse owner to give us a ride out to Little Petra and realized we had arrived right at closing, but the guard let us and a couple other people go in and have a quick peek. The most interesting thing here was some frescos that still remained. The print looked almost like gaudy wallpaper – flowers and cupids.
Seven Wonders Bedouin camp
From here we walked to the Seven Wonders Bedouin camp. This is a beautiful camp in the rocks that is an alternative to staying in town. If you want starry nights and a bonfire nightly, consider staying here. The Bedouin camp was hosting some Jordanian families as well as several tour groups so they served quite a few people that night.
After dinner, we sat by the fire and sipped the yummy Bedouin tea. The hill was lit up by electric luminaries – it was magical. The camp workers sang a couple songs and then a few tourists did a contortion act. They invited a couple of the Jordanian kids to participate and it was so cute. After our fill of tea, we headed back to our guesthouse. This was a great way to end our 2 days & 3 nights in Petra.
And thus ended our 2 days and 3 nights in Wadi Musa on our Petra 2 day pass.