Petra is on everyone’s bucket list for a reason. No matter how many times you have seen the Treasury, Petra’s most famous image, in movies or guide books, nothing prepares you for the first breathtaking moment you lay eyes on the real thing. Once you get past this initial thrill there is so much more to discover. We spent two full days in the park. I can’t wait to go back and explore more.
See: Little Petra. You’re not here unless you’re planning to see Petra proper. But if you have the time Little Petra is worth a short visit. It was the place to stop back in the caravan days to enjoy prostitutes, booze and belly dancers. While it doesn’t have the same spectacle or size of the main attraction it does have a few lovely facades and a remnant of what would have been an amazing fresco ceiling. What remains gives a taste of how wealthy and lavish this overnight stop on the trade route must have been.
Eat: My Mom’s Recipe Restaurant. This family run traditional style hidey-hole is through a small door and up a narrow staircase that leaves you wondering if you are in the right spot. I loved the Bedouin tent inspired décor of the 3rdfloor veranda that managed a comfortable coolness during an uncharacteristic summer heatwave. We lingered, avoiding the afternoon heat, over great salads and wonderful barbequed dishes. The ingredients were fresh; the portions large. The service was friendly, the atmosphere laid back. A great place for lunch.
Stay: the Movenpick. You stay here for the location. Steps from the entrance to Petra. There is so much to see that you need more than one visit to absorb it all. So nice to just stroll over when it suits your energy level and schedule rather than waiting for cabs or busses. The rooms are basic, nothing special but are clean with everything you need. Rumor has it a big reno is coming in 2019. Could be a game changer for the area encouraging people to stay more than the typical one or two nights and explore some of the smaller subtler attractions.
Tip: Get the Jordan Pass before you leave home. It makes getting through customs upon arrival easier and gives significant discounts for many sites throughout the country including Petra.