What makes Petra a wonder for me is that these magnificent monuments were not built, like a normal structure would be built, from the ground up, but carved out of huge rocks. You’ve seen photos and you’ve seen films, but nothing would prepare you to face one of the world’s most outstanding wonder, really.
It was still good as I had Khalid as my guide, so we were able to go to all the important sites in a strategic matter and without getting lost. And as I said, who can be a better guide than those who were born inside Petra.
There are many written guides on Petra with suggested walks and hikes. But I would really suggest getting a guide so that you don’t only see the monuments, but also hear the stories behind them, and most importantly not get lost. There are professional guides available at the tourist center where you buy the tickets. I don’t know how much they cost, could be expensive, but you can inquire and use it as a basis to negotiate with the unofficial guides (the Bedouins). Many Bedouin men work as guides in Petra and Wadi Rum. Ghassab and Khalid are the same but I was their guest, not customer. Read about the Bedouins in Petra for stories of my cultural experience with them.
While doing some query before arriving Petra, many told me to just allow 1 full day to visit Petra, unfortunately I believed them. Surely I was able to see the major monuments such as the Monastery and Treasury, but there were a lot of sites that I didn’t have time for. You would need about 3 – 5 days to fully explore its spectacular landscape and scenic trails.
Archeologists have been digging since 1979 and truly amazing relics are found as we see today. But according to them only 15% were uncovered as they’ve only found relics dates as far a 2 B.C and the ancient city of Petra dates as far back as 400 B.C.. There are more secrets to be unraveled underground. Below photo is a site uncovered directly under the Treasury building.
Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985 and in 2007 was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The entrance fee for Petra Archeological Park is at 50JD for 1 day, 55 for 2, 60 for 3. I believe that’s the maximum. You don’t have to pay after 3 days. If you’re Jordanian, Jordanian resident or student, you only pay 1 JD. If you come during the height of summer, the sun can be scorching 40˚C ! So wear long sleeves cotton shirt, hat, sun glasses, and sun block.