Petra

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Location

Petra
Jordan
30° 19' 44.4936" N, 35° 26' 35.3004" E
JO
General info: 

The sandstone city of Petra is something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It is a complete city mostly carved to the sandstone aproximately 300BC. Petra was built by the Nabataeans, who carved palaces, temples, tombs, storerooms and stables from the sandstone cliffs.

Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, it was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. From here, the Nabataeans commanded the trade routes from Damascus to Arabia, and great spice, silk and slave caravans passed through, paying taxes and protection money. Archaeologists believe that several earthquakes, including a massive one in AD 555, forced the inhabitants to abandon the city.

Petra is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. The entrance to Petra is the legendary 1,2 km long Siq, a rock landmass that has been rent apart by tectonic forces. Perhaps the most impressive sight in Petra is the Treasury (Al-Khazneh). Treasury is a tomb that gets its name from the misguided belief that an Egyptian pharaoh hid his treasure in the top urn. The Greek-style pillars, alcoves and plinths are truly masterpieces of masonry work.

Petra remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was found by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It is a world heritage site that UNESCO has described as private://one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritageprivate://.

Getting there: 

BUS
JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect Petra to Amman and Aqaba via the fast Desert Highway. The cost is 19 JD (December 2012) per person to travel by JETT bus from Amman (Abdali JETT offices) to Petra and back. Bus departs from Amman at 0630 and from Petra at 1600 sharp. In Aqaba the bus leaves next to Movenpick Hotel.

FROM AMMAN
Public minibuses to Wadi Musa (Petra) leave from Mujamaaa Janobi station from 9.00h untill 16.00h and from Wadi Musa to Amman from 6.00h till 13:00h. Ticket costs JD 5.

FROM AQABA
TAXI- You can get a taxi from Aqaba to Petra and back (waiting for you in Petra)for about 60-80 JD.
BUS - You can catch a public minibus to Wadi Musa from the bus station in the downtown, next to the Aqaba Police Station.
There are 5 buses a day (no buses on Friday), the first one comes in around 6.00h and leaves when it's full. Don't expect a written schedule. The journey takes around 1.5-2 hours.

Costs: 

Visitors that overnight in Jordania pay 50 JD (=70 USD) for 1 day's access to Petra.

If you are coming from Israel or Egypt for one day (without night in Jordan) the price is 90 JD (=127 USD)

Interesting places nearby

This cave bridge waterfall ain´t a scifi movie scene. It’s a real limestone cave carved out of Jurassic limestone over millions of years by winter meltwater.

The sandstone city of Petra is something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It is a complete city mostly carved to the sandstone aproximately 300BC.

Wadi Rum offers some of the most extraordinary desert scenery you´ll ever see and is certainly one of the highlights of any visit to Jordan.

The Dead Sea is the saltiest sea in the world with 34,2% salinity. Practically this means that swimming here becomes floating.

The Gulf of Aqaba offers some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. The temperate climate and gentle water currents have created a perfect environment for the growth of corals and teeming marine life.

Jerash is one of the largest and most well preserved Roman sites outside Italy.