The Lost City of Petra - Jordan

Filippo Cesarini

My life is complete. I remember, when I first saw a the Movie Indiana Jones, I made a promise to myself that I would go there one day. In May last year, my dream finally comes true.

I spent in total 13 days In Jordan, starting from Amman, continuing the journey in Jerash, then the dead sea, passing trough Dana, then spent couple of nights in Aqaba, on the way to Petra, I spent two nights in the beautiful desert of Wadi Rum and finally, Petra. I spent one full day discovering trails and explored all the ruins in the area. As you would have expected from Petra, there were lots and lots of tourists, but I was able to escape them by waking up ealier than everyone. The sights were worth sweating for as the trails took us through some remote ancient ruins tugged away in the desert mountains. Seeing Petra was something I had been looking forward to for ages and it sure delivered!

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Siq: Entrance to Petra

Siq is the main entrance, a rose-red 1.2-kilometer long gorge leading to the city of Petra. The walls are a stunning 80-meter high at some point! Small channels carved out of the side of the rock showed an innovative water management system built by the Nabataean people. Petra opens at 6 am, I arrived a bit earlier trying to sneak in before everyone, and it worked. I was inside and I had nobody behind me.

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The Treasury

At the end of the 30-minute walk through the Siq gorge, an unreal 40-meter high structure appears from behind the rocks. The Treasury is the most beautiful and well-known sight in Petra. For a more unique perspective, hike up to the viewpoint. The Treasury is just a small part of what Petra has to offer.

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The Monastery

I didn't spent a lot of time at the Treasury as I know many tourists were coming, so I made my way towards the Monastery. One of the largest and most beautiful structures discovered in Petra is the Monastery. The trail from The Treasury towards the Monastery takes 1.5-hour and includes 40 minutes of solid hiking up and the 900 steps to reach the top. It’s a walk with a couple of beautiful panoramic viewpoints over the desert. Once at the Monastery take the time to wander around, have a look inside and get some refreshments at the cafe. Is the hike worth it? Yes! The Monastery is beautifully detailed and has more space so feels less crowded.

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Petra by Night.

Make Petra by Night the last thing you do in Petra or Jordan. Once inside Petra finishing my day tour, I asked to one of the guard if I could stay inside between the closer time and the reopening for Petra by Night, and he said yes. So I watched the sunset and made my way to the Treasury. It was 8pm when they started lighting the candles up. It took them about 30 minutes to make everything ready. The gates open at 8.30 to the tourists and it takes 30 minutes to get to the Treasury, so I had basically 30 minutes to enjoy the moment alone! Seeing Petra during the day is beautiful but seeing it at darkwith all these candels, it's magical!

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My name is Filippo and I'm a travel photographer. My mission is to help you plan your next trip or even better, find the best photography spots!

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