Jordan’s journey highlights: Wadi Rum & Petra

Deep within the deserts of southern Jordan, lie two unbelievable sights: the mysterious historic metropolis of Petra, and the boundless Wadi Rum. You could possibly spend at some point and one night time in every place and see the highlights, or, you can spend days exploring every crevice. I’m Tristan, an NYU scholar, avid backpacker and journey geek who spent per week doing simply that just lately…

Petra, generally known as the “Pink Rock” or “Rose Metropolis” was the capital of the traditional Nabatean folks. The Nabateans have been a cave-dwelling tribe that managed a part of the Silk Highway commerce routes an extended very long time in the past and far of their historical past remains to be debated.

To get into Petra, stroll by way of Al-Siq, an extended canyon hall carved by the river way back. Discover the stratification of the rock, the canyon’s layers are fantastically marbled.
By means of the clearing, the Treasury, Petra’s most iconic construction, begins to look. (For those who haven’t seen the third Indiana Jones film “The Final Campaign”, it’s best to watch it earlier than going! Simply don’t get any concepts; it’s not attainable to enter the Sanctuary.)


is a large park, with dozens of websites and trails scattered off of the primary previous metropolis boulevard. All the trails are walkable, and most issues are inside a 45-minute radius. Nevertheless, a few of the actually far websites inside the park (Tomb of Aaron, and many others.) can take as much as 6 hours to get to on foot.

For those who solely have 1 day in Petra (there are 1, 2, or Three-day passes), I extremely recommend taking a donkey/mule or camel to expedite the journey, and looking out on the map beforehand to be sure to’ll have time to see what you need.

Undecided which path to take? The most effective factor to see (after the Treasury, which you’ll’t miss) is the Monastery, which even bigger. To get there, stroll or take a donkey up the slim winding path. The various historic tombs and amphitheater are usually alongside the way in which to the Monastery, so should you arrive early within the day with a plan, it’s attainable to see all the most important websites at a relaxed tempo.
For a wide ranging view, head as much as the highest of the mountain which overlooks the Treasury. Most individuals don’t come up right here, nevertheless it’s an ideal photo-op.


Discount laborious, the guides might inform you it’s 20JD to journey the donkey up the hill to see the Sanctuary– it’s not, you are able to do it for five, it’s solely a ten or twenty-minute journey. Longer treks are about 10-20JD, for actual, and should take an hour or longer.
To journey the horses again to the doorway after an extended day mountaineering, it’s 2JD — the horse journey is definitely included within the ticket, nevertheless it’s customary to tip the horsemen. You don’t must tip rather a lot, so talk about the tip earlier than driving, and don’t allow them to con you into tipping outrageous quantities.
On the finish of every path, there are unbelievable viewpoints and bedouin-tent-style cafes. Additional up from the Monastery, there’s a view over Petra’s mountain into Israel. I sat up right here with some pals and frolicked with the Bedouins for some time.


I hope you want your espresso black and your tea additional candy!

“Petra at Night time” is an extra exercise provided on the park; round eight or 9, three days per week, there’s a conventional Bedouin music present and the Treasury is lit up. I went to Petra by night time final yr, and it was unbelievable. Al-Siq is filled with luminaria main as much as the magnificent Treasury, the place we have been served tea and listened to oud and flute music.
This yr, it was horrible– they just lately added coloured lights, making the Treasury neon inexperienced, then purple, then blue, it’s actually unlucky. I wouldn’t suggest it anymore. Nonetheless a pleasant expertise however fairly tacky.
In case you have numerous time, try ‘Little Petra’, extra ruins which can be somewhat farther away from the remainder of the park. Little Petra is free to enter and near the Bedouin village. The Bedouin listed here are nothing just like the slightly-obnoxious businessmen of Petra, and can you present you nothing however hospitality.
(Political correctness isn’t actually a factor for the shopkeepers right here, so don’t be offended if folks loudly name to you by your nationality, or at the very least, what they assume your nationality is.)


Wadi Rum

Additional into Jordan is the well-known Wadi Rum, a very nice tenting spot. Not your typical tenting although– Bedouin-style tenting. Scattered all through the desert are Bedouin tents of various luxurious. Final yr, I stayed in a standard material tent and slept on the bottom.
This yr, we stayed in a a lot nicer place, the “tents” even had showers in them; so don’t really feel thrown off by the concept of ‘tenting’, it’s probably not tenting except you need it to be! The most costly locations are basically Four-star inns; non-public king-sized beds inside futuristic dome-shaped buildings, some even have massive skylights on the ceiling so you’ll be able to stargaze out of your mattress!
Decrease to mid-level Bedouin tents, about $10/night time.

Wadi Rum is understood for its rock bridges and red-orange sand. Jeep or camel excursions take vacationers on excursions day by day, to discover the expansive desert. Aside from the gorgeous panorama, there are additionally Nabatean ruins and carvings, Basic T.E. Lawrence’s previous lean-to, and different small websites.


The archeological websites are attention-grabbing however nothing in comparison with Petra. My recommendation is simply to benefit from the jeep journey, hike up the most important rock you could find, and soak all of it in. It doesn’t get significantly better than this; the wind in your hair and the recent desert solar beating down whilst you cruise across the sandy trails. (For those who haven’t seen the film, Lawrence of Arabia, add that one to your record too.)

After a day trekking round, your Bedouin hosts will put together some sort of feast; there are a couple of attention-grabbing Bedouin cooking strategies, a few of which contain cooking meals underground. It’s at all times an enormous manufacturing! Bedouin hospitality is unparalleled.

After dinner, drink some extra candy Bedouin tea and loosen up underneath the celebrities. I extremely suggest planning your journey across the moon cycle– the perfect day clearly is the New Moon– my first journey to Wadi Rum, I noticed extra stars than I’d ever seen in my life. Completely insane. Final weekend, sadly, the moon was about 80% full so we might hardly see any stars.
Nonetheless don’t understand how to do that ‘astral images’ factor however you get the concept– numerous stars!
It’s enjoyable to hang around with your mates in Petra and Wadi Rum, but in addition completely doable as a solo traveler. Both manner, ensure to take a while to speak to the Bedouin and ask them about their lives; the Bedouin lifestyle is fascinating and the tradition is wealthy.


A Bedouin man displaying me his rababa, a standard bowed instrument


Jordan: Know earlier than you go


When is the perfect time to go to Jordan?

Additionally, I extremely suggest going late February-April or October-November when it’s not too scorching however not too chilly both! It’s freezing in January, and boiling within the Summer time.


How protected is it to journey in Jordan?

Don’t fear– Jordan is totally protected, most likely safer than America.


Study the language: Primary Arabic (Jordanian Levantine dialect)

Hey (Peace): Salam
Good Morning: Sabbah el-khreer
Good Night: Messeh el-khreer
How are you?: Kayf ha-lek?
What’s your title?: Shu Ismek ?
My title is: Ismi..
I’m misplaced: Ana die-e-aw
The place is the…?: Wayn el…
Rest room: hammam
Bus station: mahata el autobeese
I would like: Bidi
What is that this?: Shu hathe?
How a lot?: Adesh hathe?
Sure (formal): nam
Yeah: aye-wa
No: leh
Sorry: asif
Please/Excuse me: lao samaht
Thanks: shukran


Need extra on Jordan? 

Take a look at our Jordan journey information

Take a look at our Jordan journey excursions

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