Exploring Petra: Recent Updates and Essential Tips

Prepare for a captivating read! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a journey to Jordan’s crowning jewel, the Rose City of Petra, a wonder of the world. This blog will uncover its beauty, provide invaluable tips for an exceptional visit, and introduce the latest enhancements made in 2024 to elevate the visitor experience.

Visiting the vast expanse of Petra means you will spend no less than five to seven hours marvelling at the Nabatean city’s splendour. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and suitable footwear for walking and hiking. Do not forget to pack sun protection, including a hat and sunglasses, and to stay hydrated with a bottle of water. Collect a map from the visitor centre, ensure your camera is charged, and get ready to capture moments that will last a lifetime.

To maximise your visit, start early to avoid the crowds, a tip that holds true across all seasons. Petra opens its doors from 06:00 to 16:30 in winter and until 18:00 in summer. Cap off an unforgettable day with the mesmerising Petra by Night show, available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at around 20:30.

Enhancing your Petra exploration can be as simple as hiring a local guide, adding depth and insight to your adventure. Here are the current guide fees:

·        Main Trail: 4 KM    50 JD
·        Main trail + High place of sacrifice monument:   6 KM    100 JD
·        Main trail + The Monastery:   8 KM    100 JD

New trails and maps will be announced soon, offering fresh adventures. While the classic trail, featuring the Treasury, takes about 2-3 hours, immersing yourself in Petra’s wonders ideally takes 2-3 days. Start at the visitor centre and follow the Main Trail through the Siq to key sites like The Treasury and Qasr Al-Bint.

Click here to see Maps or Trails
Information about new trails will be published soon.

The Backdoor Hike:

The backdoor hike is frequently chosen by our clients for its unique perspective of Petra. This excursion, lasting between 1.5 to 2 hours (or 3-4 hours for those opting to return to the main entrance), commences with a journey from Petra to Beida, also known as Little Petra. This route offers a landscape with stunning views, ancient ruins, and the Monastery’s allure, unveiling the hidden gems of Petra.

Concerns regarding the safety of the backway hike have been addressed with significant enhancements to the trail, making it suitable for a wide range of visitors. The path has been improved and is well-signed, guiding travellers clearly. The recent restoration of the 400 steps has made the trail more accessible. While the hike presents a moderate to challenging difficulty, undertaking it with a local guide is recommended for a safer and enriched experience. It’s noted, however, that those with back issues, severe injuries, or knee problems might find the hike challenging.

Prior to setting off, acquiring your Petra entrance ticket is crucial. Tickets are available at the visitor centre or a governmental booth in Al Beida. It’s recommended to secure your ticket at the visitor centre to ensure availability.

Shuttle buses from the visitor centre to Al Beida run every 30 minutes, providing convenient access to the trail’s start. Depending on the season and visitor flow, there may be a wait for the shuttle, especially during off-peak times. For those with a personal driver, direct transport to the site is an option.

Upon reaching Little Petra, you’re presented with two approaches to the back entrance: on foot or by a 4×4 taxi, available from Al Beida. The shared taxi service, costing 5 JOD, delivers you to the trail’s commencement within 15-20 minutes.
The second choice is to initiate the hike from Al Beida, walking for approximately an hour until you reach the trail’s starting point.

The hike spans approximately 8 kilometres until you reach the impressive Monastery, with the option of a 4-kilometre hike to the Visitor Centre. It typically takes 2 hours to complete (or 3-4 hours if walking back to the main entrance).

For a comprehensive Petra experience, consider allocating 2 days, beginning with the backdoor hike and exploring the main attractions the following day. After completing your first day’s hike, a complimentary shuttle service from the Basin area to the cultural village and then onto the visitor centre facilitates your return to the town of Petra, ready for the next day’s adventure.

Unveil the Khubtha Trail:

Embark on a journey along the Al-Khubtha trail, starting from the visitor centre and making your way down to the Treasury. This path is your gateway to securing that breathtaking photograph from an elevated perspective. The adventure begins with a brief walk to the trailhead, leading into a challenging ascent. Wearing sturdy, non-slip footwear is advisable as you ascend roughly 600 steps to the viewpoint. Once there, indulge in a cup of coffee at the quaint café stall, savouring the surroundings and capturing that quintessential moment.

Petra in 2024: Anticipated Enhancements and Services:

The Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority, has outlined a comprehensive strategy for the preservation and enhancement of Petra in 2024. This strategy includes removing all Bedouin stalls from the site and plans for a new visitor centre in Al Beida. A notable advancement for visitors is the assurance of a hassle-free experience, free from unsolicited selling, thanks to the relocation of local vendors to a newly established cultural village in Um Sayhoun. This move ensures that all services within Petra are managed by the authorities, guaranteeing consistent quality and protection against scams.

Furthermore, for those feeling tired after exploring Petra, the site now offers complimentary shuttle buses from the Basin area, ensuring a convenient return to the visitor centre, with a compulsory fifteen-minute stop at the cultural village en route. The duration of this bus journey is nearly the same as the time it takes to walk back to the visitor centre. Your decision on whether to take the bus or walk depends on how tired you are from sightseeing. In such a scenario, the shuttle bus offers an added convenience.

This addition, alongside the nightly Petra by Night show which will become available in the autumn of 2024 (it currently runs three days a week), will enhance the visitor experience, ensuring that every traveller can enjoy this mesmerising spectacle every evening.

The absence of Bedouin stalls within Petra directs those interested in local crafts and souvenirs to the cultural village in little Petra, where a shuttle bus service facilitates easy access.

The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority is currently engaged in future plans, which include the restoration of the main road, the creation of 25 new trails within the park, the construction of a visitor centre in Al Beida, and the development of a tourist route connecting Shobak Castle with Petra city. These plans also encompass various maintenance and restoration projects.

Discover Petra’s timeless beauty with us, from the iconic Treasury to the hidden Monastery. For any queries or assistance, Jordan Select is here to help you plan your next adventure. Your journey starts here – let us turn your travel dreams into reality.