Your driver will collect you from your hotel in Aqaba and drive about 1.5 hours to Petra. You can spend the day exploring the ruins on your own, or, if you prefer, you can tour Petra with a professional guide from the visitors' center. At the end of the day your driver will be waiting to take you back to Aqaba.
More on Petra
No matter how many times you've seen it reproduced on film, nothing can really prepare you for the first glimpse of Petra. The classic entry to the city takes you through the long twilight of the siq, a narrow canyon that twists for more than a mile through the red sandstone, and then stuns you into silence with the sunlit façade of the Treasury, a monument cut into the rock some 2000 years ago with a refinement that is scarcely believable.
From the postcards, you'd think this was what you'd come to see. But it's just the beginning. Petra is a vast archaeological site, most of it still unexcavated; you could spend days exploring the ruins and still not see it all. It was built by the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe who began as tent-dwelling Bedouin but soon came to dominate the most lucrative trade of the ancient world: incense. They used the money to create this city and to build an empire that extended from the Red Sea to Damascus. They also absorbed architectural ideas from Egypt, from the Babylonians, and from the Greek cities of the Mediterranean, using them to create the hybrid culture that you see in these ruins. The Temple of the Winged Lions, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman theatre, the Garden Tomb, the Byzantine church - any one of these monuments would be an archaeological treasure in its own right; in Petra, you can explore them one after another, and find them all set into one of the finest desert landscape in the Middle East.
Transportation from Aqaba to Petra and return in a private vehicle with driver.
Entrance ticket fees - 1-day pass
What's not included
Guide in Petra (Available at the visitors center for US$70)