Pretending to be Indiana Jones in Jordan
For a long time now I have wanted to visit Petra. The Treasury at Petra has to be one of the most common images to come up on the many travel instagram accounts I follow and I have always wanted to explore it for myself. After visiting, I can officially say its worth a trip to Jordan just to see this one destination.
I can not think of a grander entrance to the ancient city of Petra than the Siq, the 3/4 a mile long path that winds down a canyon with walls towering from 200-500 feet hight. When you walk down the Siq, each turn builds the suspense as you wait for the view of the Treasury at the end to come into view. Don't rush through though, make sure to take the time to look for the engraved statues and religious emblems on the walls.
The TreasuryThe most famous spot in Petra is The Treasury. Located at the end of the Siq, this is where you will see crowds of people gathered for photos. If you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend arriving at 6 am when the gates open at the visitor center. Anytime before 8 am should still be safe for crowds but after that the crowds can be obnoxiously large, with people posing on camels and crowding around the entrance. To get a different perspective, there are two overlooks. The "Shortcut" requires the hire of a local guide to bring you to the top of the Siq overlooking the Treasury. There is a free alternate route past which takes you to the opposite side of the Siq. How to get to the overlook of the treasury? Walk past the royal tombs and follow the signs for the Al-Khubtha Trail up something like 600 steps and you will be at the top. Sounds easy right?
While I loved the Treasury, I think personally the Monastery was my favorite spot in Petra! On my second day in Petra, I decided to wake up super early to be the first one through. I hiked as fast as I could the whole distance (took me an almost exactly an hour from the front gate) so I could be at the Monastery before anybody else. I ended up spending close to 4 hours sitting there afterwards, drinking a coffee, hiking further to the overlook, and exploring the many different angles to take photos of this amazing place. Sadly most people don't venture this far into Petra since its known to be a 2-3 hour hike from Treasury. Good news for the people that do make it out there, the crowds never seem to be that bad. Technically there are camels for hire to help you climb the stairs, but recommend just hiking
Other Petra SitesI can not stress this enough, PETRA IS HUGE!!!! There are so many other little sites to check out and I think most people tend to rush through to see the one to two big spots and then leave. Please stop and take a breath to enjoy some of the really cool history of the other ruins. Some of these spots include the royal tombs, winged lion temple, byzantine church and the great temple.