Petra off the beaten track

A Bedouin we met on our travels around Petra, told us that to see all of it you need to spend at least a week there. I absolutely believe him and would say to most people that 2 full days felt like the minimum amount of time you'd want to spend exploring some of the trails. The site is just massive. Almost overwhelming.

Once you’ve ticked off the main sights in the valley and been up to the Monastery, as we had on day 1, the next hike I can recommend takes you up to the High Place of Sacrifice. It's a shorter walk up than the Monastery trail, starting just before you get to the Theatre in the main valley, and taking you up to the through the rock (which is nicely shaded for most of the day) until you reach a giant plateau and altar at the top, thought to have been used for sacrificial ceremonies. The steps are clearly marked at the bottom beside a cafe and a toilet block.

Waiting for you at the top of the steep climb is another awesome view down to the Royal Tombs and the rest of the vast site - otherwise known as the "Superview".

The nice thing about this trail is the fact that the journey down takes a different route from the journey up – just make sure you leave ample time as it takes almost twice as long thanks to the littering of tombs and sculptures you’ll want to stop at along the way. It’s also not super easy to find the path from the top – we asked for directions from one of the locals and had to put our faith in their instructions as the trail isn’t obvious from the start. But it soon turns into well cut stairs and a meandering path.

You’ll arrive at the Lion Monument first

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Followed by the Garden Trinclinium

Then the Roman Soldiers Tomb and the Colourful Trinclinium, unique for having a carved interior.

Roman soldier tomb petra

Before you find yourself on flatter soil and a path across the scrubland where you can have a look at how the Bedouins still live in the caves. 

We emerged back in the Collonaded street from where we went up to take another look at the Royal Tombs. The colors in the rock both inside and out were just ridiculous. And the light streaming in through the arches - magical.

Just make sure you save some time and energy for one more trail. Head behind the Tombs, to a path that takes you up to a seriously special lookout spot above the Treasury - you only need an hour or so for this one. This lesser known trail starts off on a wide, grand staircase carved out of the stone, before flattening out at the top where you can take a rest and soak up the scenery.

When you reach the plateau you'll be scratching your head wandering which way to go - ignore your intuition and head left - downhill. Keep heading down as the dull sand underfoot turns an increasingly brighter shade of orange and you spot a little hut up ahead, perched on the edge of the cliff. Continue on until you reach the hut - and you'll have reached the view point.

Treasury above petra

The hut is home to Sammi who will happily sell you a drink and perch with you as your marvel at the Treasury from the sky.

treasury bedouin

If there's one hike to put on your bucket list, it's this one.

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a guide to the best hikes in Petra, Jordan. www.caribbeansnowflake.com.png