How best to visit Petra?

Oct 8th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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How best to visit Petra?

I'll be visiting Israel and want to see Petra. I plan to go from Eilat. I know I can take a one day tour, but are there any tours that stay overnight in Petra, or that I could go with on 1 day, stay overnight on my own and then return with the next day? It just seems like such a spectacular sight; I don't want to rush in and out with masses of tourists (did that at Ephysus and it ruined it for me). However, not sure I want to hoof it all on my own. Any advice appreciated!
Aunt_A is offline  
Oct 8th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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All your questions can be answered at this site
Hardbones is offline  
Oct 10th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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We were in Petra a few years back having done a one day tour from Eliat. The tour was easily arranged from our hotel and I'm sure you could book a 2 day tour the same way. Whatever you do, go for more than one day. Petra is a huge site. Also nearby is Wadi Rum which is certainly worth a visit.
galiano is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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I can't speak for specifics as we visited Petra as part of a Jordan only tour but I wanted to say, yes yes yes on your plan to overnight there! We actually did two nights, arriving late one evening, and ensuring we had the entire next day inside before a last overnight and leaving the next morning.
Anything less and that day inside will be cut short by arriving or leaving.

We could happily have spent an entire second day inside so perhaps that will give you an idea of scale.

We benefited too from the Jordanians' misfortune - we went at a time a few years ago, shortly before the Iraq war began, when tourism was virtually at a standstill and we had the site almost to ourselves...
Kavey is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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I was in Petra two weeks ago. I would recommend 2 full days. We walked across the border, then shared a cab with another traveler to Petra (about 1 hour plus). This was VERY easy and somewhat affordable. We stayed away from the day tours from Eilat because they seem to spend only a half day in the park (although I would recommend this option if you are in Eilat and time is an issue).

We stayed 2 nights at the Movenpick, which is adjacent to the entrance to the park. It is expensive compared to other options, but well worth it for the location and comfort. You can buy a multi-day pass at the visitor's center at the entrance and get an official guide for varying lengths.

We had a guide for 6 hours on Day 1. Day 2 was on our own. On Day 3 we went into the park at 6am (highly recommended - the colors are their best at sunrise and the park is empty), then took a taxi back to Eilat and were on a plane to Tel Aviv by mid-afternoon.

Everything was very easy, and the Jordanians were very hospitable. Lodging seems to be available at every price range, however, (lodging and taxi aside) the park, guides, food, etc. make Petra a relatively expensive place to visit, but it is more than well worth it.
Dan5 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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We wished we'd had longer at Petra, next time we're hoping to also do as you did - some time with a private guide, some on our own and also a sunrise visit.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Dan5, thanks for this information. I'm not sure whether to go independently or via a tour. I did get a price from a tour company in Eilat that would arrange for a hotel at Petra for an overnight, then I'd go back with them the next afternoon. I could probably save some money doing it on my own. I'm curious - how much did the cab cost each way? Are the fares bargained for or fixed? Were you able to change money at the border? Was there (or is it pie inthe sky) an ATM or did you need to have cash? Was it easy to cross the border? Did you already have a Jordanian visa? What time did you cross the border - very early or mid-morning or later?
All this is so helpful!
Aunt_A is offline  
Oct 26th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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when we went to petra we stayed at an awesome hotel, each room was like a cave, with beds built into the walls,I can't remember the name, but hopefully someone will know what I am describing.I would definetly stay there if possible.
morninglory8 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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morninglory8, was this called the Taybet Zaman hotel?
WingBeats is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:28 AM
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I was only in Petra for a day this past July, we went with a guide, easily arranged from our Eilat hotel.
Actually what happened is that we were escorted by an Israeli person to the Israel-Jordan border crossing, where some paperwork and payments have to be made. Then we walked through 'no man's land' border crossing (nice signs about land mines and such) and then were met on the Jordan side (near the town of Aquaba) by our Jordanian guide, who did some more paperwork and then we got into his van and were off. The drive to Petra was at least 2.5 hours as I recall. Our guide pointed out some things along the way, and of course we saw camel crossings and stopped for some pics.

Petra was awesome, for once that word is not a cliche. It's important to go early in the day, so that you can see the Treasury when the sun is on it, later in the day it will be in shadow I believe.

At Petra we had lunch at a hotel that was built into the cliffs, the hotel might have been a Crowne Plaza, it was an excellent casual lunch outdoors on a terrace.

I have a report on my Israel trip, you can click here. There's also reference to a complete trip file I can send if you email me.
elaine is offline  
Nov 9th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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Answers to questions from Aunt_A:

I'm curious - how much did the cab cost each way? Are the fares bargained for or fixed?

-Fares are bargained. We paid J20 from the border to Petra. J35 for the return. We arranged the return with the hotel, so it was more expensive. If I went again, I would probably arrange for a pickup at the border through the hotel. More expensive, but you also don't have to deal w/the hassle. (btw, while in Petra cab drivers asked constently if we were going to need a cab back to Aqaba or Amman - they generally oferred about J25 to Aqaba, but it seemed bargainable).

Were you able to change money at the border? Was there (or is it pie inthe sky) an ATM or did you need to have cash?

- No ATM. There is a currency exchange at the border in the customs area of the Jordanian side, with a poor exchange rate. We got money here to pay the taxi driver. There are ATMs in Wadi Musa though and the driver should be able to stop there before dropping you at your hotel; on our departure we had the taxi stop at the ATM.

Was it easy to cross the border?

Very easy into Jordan. We were the only ones there; took about 15 minutes tops to leave Israel and go through Jordanian customs.

Easy for some into Israel, hard for others: It took us about 20 minutes to return into Israel - it was very easy for us. After crossing back into Israel the border guard called for a taxi as there was none waiting - this seemed routine.

Did you already have a Jordanian visa? What time did you cross the border - very early or mid-morning or later?"

- You get a free tourist visa upon entry at this border. You have to pay an exit tax upon leaving Israel however. It was fairly high, but can't remember the exact amount (you also pay when you exit Jordan for Israel - I think this was about J5). Both times crossing - the border was basically dead.
Dan5 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Dan5, once again - much thanks!! Your information is so helpful! I'll be leaving on Nov 20th for the trip. Your information will go with me.

Aunt_A is offline  

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