Petra is an ancient archaeological site located in Jordan, famous for its rock-cut architecture and historical significance. When visiting Petra, there are several activities and sights to explore:
Al-Deir (The Monastery): Similar in style to the Treasury but larger, the Monastery is another impressive rock-cut structure. To reach it, you’ll need to climb a long flight of stairs, but the panoramic view from the top is worth the effort.
Royal Tombs: Explore the various royal tombs carved into the rose-red cliffs, such as the Palace Tomb, Corinthian Tomb, and Urn Tomb. Each has its unique features and carvings.
High Place of Sacrifice: Hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice for a stunning panoramic view of Petra. This was a ceremonial site with altar platforms and Nabatean carvings.
Colonnaded Street: Wander along the ancient Roman-style colonnaded street, which was lined with various shops, temples, and buildings.
Theater: Visit Petra’s ancient theater, which could accommodate around 4,000 spectators. It’s a great spot to imagine the city’s historical events.
Qasr Al-Bint: This is the largest free-standing structure in Petra and is believed to be the main temple of the city. It’s a fascinating example of Nabatean architecture.
Museum: Petra has a small but informative museum that provides insight into the history and archaeology of the site. It’s a good place to start your visit to gain a deeper understanding of Petra.
The Siq: Start your journey by walking through the Siq, a narrow canyon that serves as the main entrance to Petra. The towering cliffs on either side create a dramatic and awe-inspiring entrance.
Al-Khazneh (The Treasury): One of the most iconic structures in Petra, the Treasury is a beautifully carved tomb facade. It’s a must-see and often the highlight of visitors’ trips.
Hiking Trails: Petra offers several hiking trails, including the back route to the Monastery, the trek to the High Place of Sacrifice, and the path to the viewpoint of the Treasury from above. These hikes allow you to explore less-visited areas of Petra.
Bedouin Culture: Interact with the local Bedouin people who still inhabit the region. You may have the opportunity to enjoy traditional tea, food, or even take a camel ride.
Night Tour: Experience Petra at night by joining the guided candlelit night tour to see the Treasury illuminated by thousands of candles. This creates a magical atmosphere.
Petra By Horse or Camel: You can choose to explore Petra on horseback or camelback, especially if you want a unique perspective and a more relaxed experience.
DESERT THRILLS: WADI RUM CAMPING
If you’re visiting Jordan, one experience you absolutely cannot miss is spending the night desert camping in the protected desert wilderness of Wadi Rum. Before you balk at “camping,” hear me out: There are a wide array of camps to choose from, meaning you can opt for a more traditional Bedouin tent or spring for a camp with luxury tents.
THINGS TO DO IN WADI RUM
While the desert camps may differ in the quality of their accommodations, they more or less provide the same activity options. Here’s what you’re in for if you do decide to spend a night out in the desert.
Photography: Wadi Rum offers endless opportunities for photography, with its striking landscapes, sand dunes, and unique rock formations.
Archaeological Sites: Explore the ancient petroglyphs and inscriptions left by early inhabitants of the region. Some of these date back thousands of years.
RIDE A CAMEL
I skipped out on camel-riding this time around since I’ve done it before, but if you haven’t, it’s worth trying out! You’ll see camels everywhere in Jordan if you’re hitting the major hotspots, and nothing says “true desert experience” like getting up there and giving it a go. In my experience, camels seem less temperamental than horses, so don’t be nervous!
WATCH A SUNRISE/SUNSET
There’s nothing like the pinks and oranges you’ll see when you watch the sunrise above or dip below the horizon in the desert. Add in the solitude and serenity you’ll find at a remote desert camp, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect beginning or end to your day.
Shisha, also known as hookah, is part of the Bedouin experience. Memories we provide shisha to smoke for a small extra fee, there is a beautiful open-air lounge with music playing where you could sit and linger.
One traveler feedback: “As we quickly learned upon pulling up to our camp in Wadi Rum, there is absolutely no cell phone reception in the area, and at our camp there was no Internet, either. I have to say, the Internet part kind of surprised me: For some reason, I just assumed there would be Wi-Fi, not necessarily in our tent but at least at the check-in area, despite the fact that we were in the middle of the desert.”
As you’ll see when you get there, the fact that there’s no connectivity in the camp is a great thing. Take time to relax, digital detox a bit and take in the incredible landscapes around you.
The tent itself had all the modern conveniences you could need, including outlets and various lighting settings.
TAKE A JEEP TOUR
This is the most popular activity in Wadi Rum, and one your camp can almost certainly arrange for you. Jeep tours normally last three hours and take you to several sights, and if you time it correctly, sunset may be involved, too.
CLIMB A SAND DUNE
It gets hot in Wadi Rum (and maps are scarce), so hiking isn’t really a great option unless you have a Bedouin guide. But there’s nothing stopping you from scrambling up the sand dunes you may find either near camp or on your Jeep tour, and in fact, scaling them is encouraged! Bring closed-toed shoes along if you’re thinking of giving it a go. While they’ll fill with more sand than you thought possible, the alternative is burning your feet (that sand gets hot under the scorching sun!).
Rock Climbing: Wadi Rum is a renowned destination for rock climbing and bouldering. There are routes suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.
Hiking: Embark on a hiking adventure to explore the desert on foot. Trails range from short walks to multi-day treks, and you can explore canyons, arches, and viewpoints.
Stargazing: Wadi Rum’s remote location and minimal light pollution make it an excellent spot for stargazing. On clear nights, you can see an abundance of stars and constellations.
Camping: Spend a night in the desert under the stars. You can choose from traditional Bedouin camps or more luxurious desert camps with amenities.
Sunset and Sunrise Views: Wadi Rum is famous for its breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. Find a high vantage point to witness the magical colors of the desert sky. click here to make a reservation.