Petra and Jordan: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Your Visit
Let me start by saying, I love Jordan, and for so many reasons more than just Petra.
But this post is for those of you who may have a short visit, or are just trying to get the most out of your time. So lets dive in:
Invest More Time In Your Visit To Jordan
I know not everyone reading this will be able to change their travel plans, but this was easily my biggest regret when I think back to when I went to Petra. You think you want to just see the iconic Treasury Building of Petra and a quick day trip will do it... but you're wrong.
"But you don't know me, I am an experienced traveler..."
"I am quick when it comes sightseeing trips, I don't like to linger..." or worse...
"I just want to get my picture for the gram and go!"
This is one of the wonders of the world people! And if you are coming in from another country on a day tour you may only have a couple of hours to see it once the traveling and the walk to to get there is done. That leaves you no time to hear about any of the rich history, explore other parts of the city (like the Monastery which is 100% worth the hike), and get the perfect shot. Trust me you will want the extra time.
Not to mention Petra isn't the only attraction while in Jordan. Which leads me to the next tip.
Stay at a Bedouin Camp
"But I'm not really a camping person..."
Friend... (we are friends now right?) I was just coming off a job that put me up in a 5 star hotel in Thailand and would be going to Egypt after to stay in a literal palace renovated into a hotel. I am not saying that so you think I am fancy (trust me I'm not, they were on someone else's generosity and dime) I just know camping doesn't sound great to everyone. But this is an experience you will not forget and if you stay at a place like the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp you won't feel like its you against the elements.
You will enjoy bedouin tea, and hookah around a fire, laughing with new friends and travelers under a sky pricked plenty with stars. If you want memories from your journey and not just a stamp, take a night to stay in a camp.
Witness Petra By Night.
Take in the spectacle.
While we are on the subject of bringing back more than just a passport stamp, this is an activity that may frustrate some of my content creator friends but will force you to be in the moment for a spectacle under the stars.
"I already saw Petra during the day, what is so special about seeing it at night?"
Here at The Tiger Map, we (really just me) strive to provide you with one of a kind experiences. Trust me when I tell you, it is an emotional and spiritual experience who's worth cannot be calculated just by what you see.
That being said, it is absolutely a vision worth beholding, but I would suggest you explore Petra during the day before seeing it at night.
I walked the same walk I had done during the day to get to Petra, but this time my companions were the moon and 1000 candles lighting my path. In the distance I could hear the faint sounds of traditional music, dancing off the canyon walls while a storyteller enchants you with a tale of the lost city. And if you thought the sight of Petra during the day left you speechless, be ready to take an oath of silence.
For my creative comrades who just HAVE TO get a picture or video of the moment, have a tripod or guerrilla pod and a camera that can do long exposures to compensate for the lack of light.
Go to Wadi Rum
Fly through rich red desert sands on an ATV, explore caves decorated with ancient writings, sip tea in the shade of a bedouin camp or take in the desert on a camel. The beautiful landscapes were the set of the movie The Martian and you can easily see why. Wadi Rum looks like another world.
The beauty of the desert is hard to match, and there are plenty of opportunities for photography or film enthusiasts. And lets be real, if you came all the way to Jordan (and followed tip #1) theres no reason not to visit this protected desert paradise.
Take In Some Jordanian Hospitality
Some of my favorite moments from Jordan came out of the kindness and hospitality of the local people I met.
A shop owner served me and my friend bedouin tea and hookah for nothing more than just goodness sake. We were invited to dinner by the same man, and were made a special late night meal by our hosts after Petra by night. And still another local took me to a secret viewpoint and took my favorite picture to date.
The owner of the shop earlier mentioned even used his connections to give me and my friend early access to Petra by Night, before any of the crowds arrived. I sat with my new friends watching stars come out one by one overhead while candles lit up like reflections on the earth below.
Your own experiences may vary, but the point of this tip is to allow yourself more joys than the average tourist. Be smart and use common sense, but,
not everyone is trying to rip you off, or get something from you.
so you might as well enjoy the greatest part about travel: sharing in our common humanity.