Petra: The Definitive Guide
Al-Beidha (Little Petra)
Petra Tourist Guide
Petra is about 262 km (164 m - 2½ hours drive) south of Amman and 133 km (84 m - 1½ hours drive) north of Aqaba.
Arrive early at 8 AM. Petra sights are at their best in early morning and late afternoon when the sun warms its multicolored stones. The Siq and The Treasury will be in deep shadow at afternoons.
Petra is a huge archaeological site, allow 1 to 3 days to tour Petra. You will need 3 days minimum for honest exploratory coverage.
Bring water and some candies with you.
Guided Tours are available, and staff at the Petra Visitor's Center at entrance of the site are at your service to answer your questions and provide assistance. Maps and excellent guidebooks are on hand.
We suggest that you walk the one-kilometer-long Siq, or hire a horse-drawn carriage to enter the site. You can hire a donkey, horse, or camel inside the site (the donkey is very useful for climbing!). In all cases, its better to hire a horse when leaving the site through The Siq.
Remember to pace yourself, as the site is large and can involve some fairly steep climbs. The way to The Monastery takes about an hour with approximately 800 steps, and it takes about 35 minutes to The High Place of Sacrifice with approximately 1050 steps.
What to Wear:
Sportswear, baggy pants, and walking shoes are advisable. Keep in mind the relative conservatism of Muslim societies, so please don't embarrass the local people by showing "too much skin". Summer evenings can be quite cool, so one should be prepared to wear a shawl or sweater. Winters are cold, windy and rainy.
Daily: 6 AM to 6 PM
Day 1: Djinn Blocks, Obelisk Tomb, The Siq, The Treasury, Street of Facades, The Theater, Aneisho Tomb, The Royal Tombs (Urn Tomb, The Silk Tomb, The Corinthian Tomb, The Palace Tomb), Sextius Florentinus Tomb, City Center (Colonnaded Street, The Byzantine Church, Winged Lions Temple, The Arched Gate, Qasr Al-Bint), The Unfinished Tomb, The Columbarium, Al-Habees Museum, Petra Archeological Museum, then back to The Treasury.
Day 2: The Siq, The Treasury, Street of Facades, Colonnaded Street, The Arched Gate, Lion Triclinium, The Monastery, back to The Treasury or Turkmanian Tomb then to The Treasury.
Day 3: The Siq, The Treasury, High Palace of Sacrifice, Lion Fountain, The Garden Tomb, Triclinium, Renaissance Tomb, Broken Pediment Tomb, Roman Soldier Tomb, and back.
Where to Eat:
Local restaurants and American style restaurants like Pizza Hut are to be found nearby the entrance and in Wadi Mousa town. There are three restaurants inside the site, one adjacent to Petra Archeological Museum, another behind Qasr Al-Bint, and the third nearby The Monastery.
Petra Archeological Museum is located inside the site (see Petra Map #22), which houses a wide variety of finds from Petra (Hours 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM).
Another small but interesting museum is to be found in an unusual Nabataean structure set into the hillside of Al-Habees (Hours 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM), see Petra Map #21.