Just right after the entrance you will be fascinated, passing through the sneaking canyon, called Siq; where the rocks were modeled by the rain, the water and the wind; and finally when you will get to see El Khasneh, or better known as The Treasury of Petra, you will really feel like Indiana Jones and will be amazed of what human minds and hands could imagine and create centuries ago. This is only the first of hundreds and even thousands of incredible architectures that you will discover walking around.
There are different trails to explore all the area of Petra, and if you want to have the time to admire and enjoy most of the tombs and temples magically engraved and nestled in the rocks, you will need at least one full day. In case you have money and time to spend you can get at the counter a multiple-day ticket, with a maximum of three consecutive days. Also inside, for the ones who want to try a different experience, are a little lazy to walk or just want to go faster saving some time, you can move around riding donkeys, camels or horses.
In any case, the best way to really live and see Petra is just walking around and getting lost in the halls of the caves, where you can chill getting fresh and taking a break from the hot weather outside, capturing the little details, like the local kids playing or the animals resting, and just be stunned in front of the monumental sculptures.
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The more beautiful and impressive tombs to see are the Royal tombs from the Nabateans kings. Surely you will notice while passing in front because they overlook like giants on the valley. After you enjoyed the awesome view from the tombs, if you come back down and keep on walking on the principal trail, crossing the Colonnaded Street, the old city center, until the Arched Gate of Traiano, you will feel like if you would have been transported into another age of Petra, the one under Roman empire control. From here you can follow your way up the hill until you reach the farthest point in Petra, The Monastery, that is the largest monument in all the complex and its construction is dated at the first century before Christ. The walk is around 12 km from the entrance, but it is totally worth it.
In the last part of the way, most of it are stairs and while walking you can entertain yourself checking out the little stalls or just admiring the barren landscape that surrounds you, where the sun shining on the rocks makes them change their colors in all the hues, from white to yellow and from red to pink. And that’s why, because of the color of the stones where it is carved, Petra is known as well as Rose City of the desert. At the end when finally the top is reached, you can enjoy the view of the monastery, sitting and relaxing in a nice little cafe in front of it.
And last but not least, during my visit in Petra I was impressed by a detail, quite difficult to notice compared to the big constructions around, but after all one of the most important, because permitted and still nowadays permits the life and civilization in this desert area: the water system. Canals, so easy to recognize along the Siq, tubes in the middle of the constructions and cisternes to collect rain water, like the ones of the High Place of Sacrifice, are really the prove, besides the huge architectures, of the great capacity and intelligence of this ancient civilization.
Definitely Petra is a place to discover, where you should let your nomadic spirit guide you through history, following the steps of Bedouins and Nabateans, that created and for first walked those paths. The perfect combination of sand, architecture, sun and culture makes this place marvelous and unforgettable. Certainly an unmissable stop while traveling in Jordan!