Petra is one of those places that everyone wants to visit at least once in their lifetime. Being one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, visiting Petra was a definite must-visit for me.
Most people who visit Petra are part of a tour group. This is unfortunate because most tour groups only goes as far as the Treasury.
If you are wondering what the Treasury is, it is the world famous picture of Petra
Most people think that the Treasury is Petra but actually it is not, it is just one of the view points in the entire complex.
Other point of interest in the complex includes (but not limited to) the following:
High Place of Sacrifice
As you can see, if you don’t explore the entire Petra complex, you will be missing out on seeing the many amazing monuments.
Now that I’ve got your attention and you definitely want to see the rest of the Petra complex, you must make sure you prepare adequately for exploration.
Here are some important survival tips in order for you to succeed in exploring the entire area:
Tip #1: Bring enough water
When we explored the entire complex, we consumed a grand total of 5 litres of water each. You will need a lot of water because this place is pretty much a desert and the place is very hot and dry. Being parched is your default state here and you don’t want to pass out from dehydration.
Tip #2: Bring electrolyte supplements (hydralyte)
Sometimes, water is not enough to help you recover from dehydration. Bringing some form of electrolyte supplement such as Hydralyte tablets or gatorade will help you feel replenished much quicker. The supplements definitely helped us out when we started feeling the effects of dehydration.
Tip #3 Bring a hat
For the majority of your time in this complex, you will be exposed directly under the sun. I personally got a headache while exploring this area as a direct result of being under the sun for too long.
Tip #4: Bring sunscreen
Because of the scorching sun, you will definitely get sunburns if you don’t apply sunscreen prior to exploring the complex. This is not the place and time to go sun tanning. Protect your skin from the sun and apply sunscreen!
Tip #5: Bring sunglasses
You can easily harm and damage your eyes if you don’t properly protect it during your hike. Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun!
Tip #6: Break into your hiking shoes beforehand
This tip is very important to heed because I personally got a huge blister for wearing brand new hiking shoes while exploring Petra. The entire complex took us seven hours to hike. Wearing uncomfortable footwear or a brand new hiking shoe is a sure way to get some nasty blisters at the end of your trip.
Of course you can cheat and ride a camel or donkey during your trek. The cost is about 10 JOD ($20 or so) depending on your bargaining skills. We opted not to do the camel or donkey ride but you are more than welcome to if you don’t feel like hiking.
Tip #7: Hone your bargaining skills (or shop near closing time)
Unfortunately, the entire Petra complex is swarmed with aggressive sales people that is trying to push camel or donkey rides, scarves, water, juice, and all sorts of trinkets you can imagine. If you are the type of individual that likes shopping or you want to take a camel or donkey ride, then you better prepare to bargain!
Some quick tip for you, prices start to drop around 4:30-5pm near closing time. The vendors prefer not to leave too much old stock in their shops. They are more than happy to give you a discount later in the day.
Petra is a huge complex and it will take you roughly seven hours to hike all the way to the end where the Monastery is located. There are also steep hikes up the “High Place of Sacrifice” that will test your cardio. Make sure you use all the tips mentioned above and you will have the time of your life when you visit Jordan.
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