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Petra

Country
Jordan
State
Jordan (General)
City
Petra
Type of Location
Monument, Caves
About Location

   Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die
 



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How to Reach

By plane

  Most travelers to Amman (and to Jordan) will arrive via Queen Alia International Airport. Very occasionally, regional or charter flights use Marka Airport, centrally located in east Amman a few km beyond the railway station. For most western visitors, entry visas to Jordan can be purchased at the airport, if not already obtained from a Jordanian consulate overseas. The price of visa is 20 Jordanian Dinars ($28), payable in Jordanian Dinars only; at the immigration line you will pay for the visa at the first counter, and then pass through to the second counter to receive the stamp. Money exchange is available before passport control, ATMs after customs. Please note than there is only one post office and no postbox in the airport, located in arrivals hall of Terminal 1 near the Lost and Found office. If closed, you can put your letters/postcards under the curtain.


 By bus

JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect to Amman and Aqaba via the fast (but boring) Desert Highway. Other tourists come with organized groups, including daily trips from Eilat. Tours to Petra from Taba, Sinai and Sharm el Sheikh are also gaining popularity with charter tourism.

It would cost 24 JD for two persons to travel by JETT bus, and allow you to see almost the entire site in an (exhausting) day trip.

  By taxi

Taxi is also a viable option. For 75 JD or less (depending on how much you haggle) you may be able to get a private taxi from Amman to Petra and back, including the driver waiting around for 6 hours.

A taxi from Aqaba to Petra should cost about JD 30 one-way. If you arrange for a daytrip you should be able to find a taxi who is willing to go with you for the whole day for 45 JD (January 2010, round trip, including the wait for the driver).

If coming from Eilat (Israel), opportunistic drivers at the border will ask for much higher fares - upwards of 100 JD. They are all working for the same person and they are all in on it. You may be able to negotiate down to 75 JD. It's better to take one cab to central Aqaba and continue from there at the normal price, but don't mention Petra at the border or they will deliberately drop you somewhere their colleagues are waiting. Most hotels in Petra can also arrange to have someone pick you up.
 

Key places to visit
Siq, Treasury


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Places to Visit

Petra is an archaeological park, so the entrance fees are considered fairly steep compared to other Jordanian attractions. Visitors can purchase tickets at the Visitor's Center for 50 JD/person for a one day pass, 55 JD for a two day pass, 60 JD for 3 days (as of Nov 2010). Note, however, that one-day visitors are charged an impressive 90 JD (March 2011), so even if you want a one day pass, it will only be 55 JD (March 2011) if you can prove that you're staying in Jordan overnight (ask your hotel for confirmation and bring a passport to the Petra's ticket office). A valid student ID card used to allow cheaper entrance, however this offer has been discontinued, it is not sure if it will become available again. Do not attempt to purchase tickets from dubious scalpers around town! Time permitting, the two-day pass is recommended, as there is much to see and do in Petra. For more than one day, the ticket office can ask for your passport as the ticket has your first name on it.

Siq

 The entrance to Petra is a long, winding sandstone canyon known as the Siq (about 2km). There are minor carvings spotted here and there throughout the Siq, but the most impressive sights are the colorful and unusual sandstone patterns in the rock walls. There are also remains of terracotta pipes built into the sides of the canyon that were used in Roman times to carry water.

Treasury

Treasury (al-Khazneh in Arabic). Be sure to note the urn atop the Treasury structure. It has been rumored that the urn contained a Pharaoh's hidden treasure, and the urn bears the bullet pock marks where Bedouin travellers throughout the years have tested the theory. Get there when the park opens at 6AM or 6:30AM (depending on the season) and you may have the Treasury all to yourself or with less than 5-10 people around.
 

Right Time to Visit

Information not available

Temperature

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