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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Do’s & Don’t’s for Visiting Petra

Petra Travel Guide is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.


What is your favorite UNESCO World Heritage Site? Since there are 1121, answering is impossible for me because I have not been to all of them, and it’s hard to compare the ones that I have seen (see TPOL’s World Heritage Site List). One of the most remarkable is Petra. Constructed in 5th century BC, Petra and the Dead Sea are the reasons I visited Jordan.

With that intro, let’s get to the Do’s & Don’t for Visiting Petra.

Do 

Take a tour bus to and from Amman. Mind you, I said tour bus, not a tour. TPOL is usually anti-tour guides (see “You’re a Bad Tourist.” Words From Luxor Tour Guide Amalfi Coast: A Beautiful Tourist Trap vs. Guided Tours: Like Attending Class, It’s Boring But Sometimes Useful). The bus leaves early in the morning and comes back in the night, providing enough time to satisfy all your Petra desires.

a blue sign with white text and red text
I used JETT and found it to be reliable and comfortable.

a group of people sitting in a bus

Don’t 

Forget to bring an external charger. There are too many photo opportunities including on the way.

a landscape of a city

Do 

Be in great shape. This is not a walk in the park.

a sign with text and images a tree growing between rocksa man sitting under a treea large rock wall with a patha rock formations in a canyon a large rock formations in a canyon with Ein Avdat in the background a rock formations in a canyon

Don’t 

Be fooled by your arrival at the Al-Khazneh (Treasury). This is only the start of the arduous journey.

a group of people walking through a canyon

a rock formations with a building in the background

Do 

Try to take photos without tourists around.

Petra with pillars in a rock Petra with columns and pillars a stone building with pillars with Petra in the background

Don’t 

Think it will be easy.

a man standing in front of Petra

Do

Enjoy taking pictures of you and your camel friends.

a man sitting in front of Petra with camels

Don’t 

Try entering the treasury. There are guards on duty.

a man standing on a camel in front of a building

Do 

Take time to realize what was built in this desert.

a rocky landscape with a building in the middlea cave in a canyona rocky canyon with bushes and trees a tree in a rocky areaa rock structure in the desert with Petra in the backgrounda large rock mountain with caves a rock formations in the desert with Petra in the background a group of vases on a rock walla rock wall with a rectangular doorway

Don’t 

Think you are a world-class photojournalist because you take photos of locals.

a man and boy sitting on a blanket playing music

a boy riding a donkey
Though I’m sure my photo was better than his.

Do 

Coach up your camels.

a man standing next to camels in the desert
In the words of Gordon Ramsey, “Come on guys!”

Don’t 

Forget the donkeys.

a man standing next to a donkey in a rocky area

Do 

Resist the urge to ride on a donkey. Riding one only results in a donkey traffic jam.

a group of people riding donkeys in a desert

Don’t 

Worry about stopping for more photos. When will you ever come back to Petra?

a man standing in a rocky area

Do 

Talk to the donkeys.

a donkey with a halter on its headDon’t 

Take a horse to the summit. They can’t go up the steep steps and you’ll be right back walking.

a horse drawn carriages in a canyona stone stairs in a canyon

a man sitting on a stone staircase in a canyon
No horse, no problem

Do

Commemorate your arrival to Ad Deir (“The Monastery”) with more photos. a man standing in front of Petra a man standing in front of a stone building a stone building with columns Petra in the desertDon’t 

Be disappointed that the Monastery, at first glance, wasn’t as impressive as the Treasury. To that end, don’t question why you just hiked miles in the sweltering heat for this.

a man taking a selfie in front of Petra

a white box with black text and black text
Reading the history helps.

Do

Keep hiking. The best view in Jordan is coming.

a sign in the sanda person walking on a rocky hill

Don’t 

Be distracted by the beautiful celebrities.

a man standing in front of a goata goat walking on rocksa camel lying on the grounda camel with a harness on its head

Do

Stop for Argelh, if you must.

a sign on a mountain

Don’t 

Forget where you are.

a flag on a pole

Do 

Take in the scenery and reflect on how this could have been built thousands of years ago.

a man standing on a rock a man standing on a rocka man standing on a rocka man standing in front of a large rock formation

Don’t 

Worry about taking the same photo over and over.

a stone building in a desert with Petra in the backgrounda stone building in a desert with Petra in the background Petra in the desert

Do

Capture the best moment using something better than your phone camera*.

a rock formations in the desert

a stone building in a desert with Petra in the backgroundPetra in the desert

a man smiling in front of a building

* While I love the quality, I no longer carry this big camera around.

Don’t 

Forget to include the goats who are equally mesmerized.

a group of goats lying on the ground

a group of goats in front of Petra

a man squatting in front of a group of goats

Do 

Pose with your turban.

a man standing on a stone wall

a man standing in a cave a man standing in a cavetwo men in clothing standing in front of a stone structure

Don’t 

Kiss your woman in the park, a stranger was very upset with a single peck.

a woman in front of a building

a group of men in clothing holding shields and shields
Luckily, these are just actors.

a group of men wearing clothing

Do

Take the same photos on the way down.

a stone building with columns with Petra in the backgrounda person standing in front of Petra people walking in front of a rock cliff with Petra in the background

Don’t 

Forget how long ago all this went down.

a map of the united states

Do 

Remember that there is no ‘P’ in the Arabic language.

a entrance to a building
It’s pronounced Betra.

Don’t 

Expect a conclusion. This post took as long as Petra to complete.

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