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How to Spend 3 Days in Petra

How to Spend 3 Days in Petra

With its age-old carved canyons, the Nabataean city of Petra—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and its nearby attractions will easily fill a 3-day itinerary. Here are our ideas for spending three days in and around this ancient, pink-hued city.  

Day 1: Roam the Rose-Red City

Dedicate your first day to the main Petra site with a full-day tour. If you’re staying in Petra town—known locally as Wadi Musa—most tours are private, with a personal guide to show you the must-sees and provide historical perspective. Most also follow the main trail through the Siq canyon to view the stunning 1st-century Treasury and along the Street of the Facades to the Roman Amphitheater and Colonnaded Street. Some tours offer an optional Siq horseback ride. Consider climbing to the High Place of Sacrifice, a Nabataean ceremonial altar perched high above Petra’s valleys, or delve further into what’s known as the Petra Basin, where the cliffs contain royal tombs hewn by the Nabataeans. End the day with dinner at Petra’s Cave Bar, a candlelit Nabataean rock tomb.

Day 2: Wadi Rum and Beyond

The protected desert of Wadi Rum, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about a 2-hour drive from Petra, so take advantage of its proximity by booking a day trip. Many 3-day tours from places such as Amman and Tel Aviv combine a visit to Petra with a stay in this glorious wilderness. Most day trips and longer tours feature 4WD expeditions through Wadi Rum’s valleys and sometimes include an overnight stay at a Bedouin camp. Other multi-day journeys cover Petra and Wadi Rum along with other Jordan highlights, such as the Dead Sea, Aqaba, the Dana Nature Reserve, and Amman and Roman Jerash.

 

Day 3: Little Petra and Other Experiences

If you’re based in Wadi Musa, use your final day to inspect previously missed sights at Petra. Otherwise, head for Little Petra, reputedly Petra’s ancient suburb. See its rock-cut facades and triclinium dining halls—one still coated with colorful murals—on a 4WD safari or guided walk. Later, sample some Jordanian cuisine with a lunch or dinner experience at a local family home. Wrap up your stay with a classic Turkish bath, enjoying a steam room and invigorating-yet-relaxing massage. Alternatively, join a candlelit Petra tour to see the Treasury at its most magical—its sandstone pillars, portal, and statues softly illuminated against the darkened canyon.

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3 Tours and Activities

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3-Hour 4x4 Safari in Little Petra

3-Hour 4x4 Safari in Little Petra

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6
Explore the hidden treasures of ancient Little Petra on a 3-hour afternoon trip from Petra. Traveling by 4x4, drive to the Little Petra area, once a trading outpost of the ancient, main Petra. Head through the entrance canyon to see caves and buildings once used by visiting traders, and view other highlights including an age-old cistern, Neolithic ruins, and Crusader fort. Tea, snacks, transport, and hotel or camp pickup and drop-off in Petra included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.00
From
$75.00

Cave Bar Private Special Dinner from Petra

Cave Bar Private Special Dinner from Petra

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2
Prebook your table to ensure a meal to remember with this private dinner experience at Petra’s Cave Bar, one of the world’s oldest restaurant settings. Then, on the day, enjoy a private transfer to the cave—a 2,000-year-old Nabataean rock tomb—and be shown to your private table. Absorb the historical atmosphere and candlelit surroundings as you dine, and relax knowing your return travel is arranged. Drinks are at your expense.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.39
Price varies by group size
From
$115.39
Price varies by group size

Classic Turkish Bath in Petra

Classic Turkish Bath in Petra

Experience the benefits of a classic Turkish bath or ‘hammam’ with this 1.5-hour experience in Petra, with round-trip transport. After pickup from your Petra hotel, arrive at a Turkish bath and revel in this time-honored practice — the Middle East’s take on a steam bath and massage. Feel your body loosen up and sweat in a warm steam room; and bathe yourself in warm water. Lastly, enjoy an invigorating massage and body scrub courtesy of a skilled masseur. Come away feeling renewed, refreshed and wonderfully clean!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.34
Price varies by group size
From
$83.34
Price varies by group size