RTW Trip Petra, Jordan Day 64 and 65: My Brain Exploded from Eye Candy Overload

There are very few moments in life where I am actually floored by what I see.  I mean seriously, head over heels in awe.  Petra, the ancient city with rock-cut architecture is sure to please, and please for days.  We opted for a two day pass, that would allow us to hike around, and see all the highlights we wanted to see.

Petra village copy

If you can find a way to enter through the village, you can supposedly enter for free.

view of petra

Here are my top picks:

1.  This World Heritage Site starts off with an amazing narrow canyon that leads you to the Treasury Building. It is just the beginning, but will definitely impress!

Walking through the narrow canyons towards the Treasury Building.  That guy is Greg!

Walking through the narrow canyons towards the Treasury Building. That guy is Greg!

greg entering petra copy

So is this guy.

2.  Seeing the vast Treasury Building after walking through the canyons.

van and chips

A pic of me and my best friend. The potato chip.

Petracollage.jpg 3.  Seeing all the characters of Petra.  Especially the trend of looking like Johnny Depp’s character, Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.

This guy told us he met one of Johnny Depp's security guards.  This guy really was the spitting image of Jack Sparrow.

This guy told us he met one of Johnny Depp’s security guards. This guy really was the spitting image of Jack Sparrow.


4.  View the Treasury from above.  If you follow the directions here, you can have tea at a little tea shop, and view the Treasury from above.  We met a supposed Bedouin who lived in a cave (and invited us for dinner), and a curious boy who spoke perfect English.  He told us he was half Bedouin and half French, but when we met another set of tourists, he told them he was half American and lived in a cave.  We are still not totally sure what his story was, but it sure seemed like he lived in Petra and was running the tea shop with his friend.  Regardless, it is a sight to see, and whether his stories are true or not, you can definitely have a nice chat with these two!
teashopcollage.jpg americanboycollage.jpg
5.  Taking a break for lunch at any of the amazing views of the cliffs and canyons.
6.  The Royal Tombs are spectacular and still rather close to the entrance, so it is quite easy to get to (even for a novice hiker).
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7.  After climbing a bunch of stairs, you will reach the Monastery, a rewarding site that should not be missed.
us at petra
8. The Colonnaded Street has columns that lead to two large temples carved in rock.  This was one of my favorite areas in Petra.
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Where to stay:
We found an amazing deal with La Maison Hotel, located a 5 minute walk from the bus station, and about a 6 minute walk from the entrance to Petra.  The hotel staff were polite, the rooms were very clean and modern, and it definitely seemed like we were getting way more for our money at this place.
La Maison Hotel - 5-6 minute walk to Petra's entrance.

La Maison Hotel – 5-6 minute walk to Petra’s entrance.

Where to eat:
One of the hotel staff had suggested Fatafeat, a restaurant that had only been opened for 4 days.  He guaranteed that it was local food, and it was!  This is where we had all of our meals, including a few takeaway falafel sandwiches to bring with us during our hikes around Petra.  The staff and customers were willing to give us tastes of what they had, everything we ate was really delicious, and we definitely felt like we were getting local prices.  Was quite a relief, as many of the other restaurants seemed geared for tourists, and did not seem to impress me much.  It was located at the top of the street from La Maison Hotel.  Ask the staff for details, as I am sure they can point you in the right direction.
Delicious food at Fatafeat.

Delicious food at Fatafeat.

Getting there and away:
We had to purchase tickets from the Jett Bus office in Amman.  Our bus departed at 6 or 6:30am.
To get out of Petra, go to the bus station at the top of the hill in Petra (not the one close to Petra’s entrance) as there are many mini buses going to various locations.  We were able to catch one to Aqaba from here even though we were told by another local that there were no more buses for Aqaba for the day.
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Costs on Day 64
Bus from Amman to Petra 19 JD
Falafel sandwich, coke 3 JD
Chips water bread nuts 5 JD
Fatafeat Restaurant – Baba ganoush beef tomato stew rice pickles bread 6.5 JD
Tea at Petra overlooking treasury cafe 2 JD
Petra 83 JD
La Maison Hotel 22.5 JD

Total cost: 141 JD / 2 = $99.41 per person

Costs on Day 65
Petra 83JD
Fatafeat Restaurant – Falafel sandwich 2 JD
Water 1 JD
La Maison Hotel 22.5 JD
Fatafeat Restaurant – Falafel sandwiches 4.5 JD
Water 1 JD

Total cost: 114 JD / 2 = $80.37 per person

What I learned:
Don’t bother buying food within the grounds.  Buy all your snacks from Fatafeat and bring them in.  Start early for good light, but be prepared for a long day.  We started around 8:30-9am and finished around 5-5:30pm each day.  Bring layers of clothing because the temperature from day to night changes drastically.  If you get tired, you can hire a donkey, camel, or a horse cart.  We didn’t ride any though, as we heard some crazy prices and would rather hike/walk to enjoy the sights. 

donkey boy copy

Actual dates of travel: Nov. 6 and 7, 2014