Petra: The 8 Wonders of The World (Part 1)

One of my favorite goals that I accomplished was to see all 8 Wonders of the World before I turned 30. It was a fun adventure, and in this series I’ll walk you through what the eight wonders are, and about how to visit each one.

General Info

Location: Petra, Jordan
Nearest Major Airport: Queen Alia International in Amman, Jordan (airport code AMM)
Overall Difficulty to Visit (ranked among wonders, 1 is the most difficult, 8 is the least difficult): 2
Why That Difficulty Rating? There are not as many international flights into Amman as others like Rome, Beijing, or Rio de Janeiro. There is no public transit that you can take to Petra, and limited options for hiring a shared ride. The best option tends to be renting a car or hiring a private driver, both of which add to the expense. Jordan traffic and roads are easy to navigate, and the country is well-signed. If you’re nervous about driving, avoid Amman. (Going to the Dead Sea or Petra from the airport will take you away from the city traffic.)

Amanda Plewes at the Petra Treasury

How Much Does a Day Pass to Petra Cost?

There are multiple options for buying a day pass – the best option for Americans, Europeans, and others who need a Jordanian visa is the Jordan Pass. The price depends on how many days you plan to visit Petra – 1 day in Petra is 70 JOD ($100USD), 2 days is 75 JOD ($106USD), and 3 days is 80 JOD ($113USD).

Considering the entry visa (which is available on arrival at the airport) is 40JOD ($56USD), and buying the Petra entry tickets alone makes them 50 JOD (1 day), 55 JOD (2 days), or 60 JOD (three days).

So if you’re visiting Petra for more than a day, you will save a good amount of money with the Jordan Pass. Know that you have to stay 3 nights in Jordan for the visa to be included in the Jordan Pass. It’s not hard!

What to Know About Petra Itself

How long should you go? I’d recommend at least 2 days visiting Petra itself (so not including travel). If you’re going in the heat or you tire easily, I’d recommend 3 days. Including travel time (and due to visas), plan on spending at least three nights in Jordan.

What are the key things to see? The two absolute highlights of Petra are the Treasury and the Monastery. You’ll immediately recognize the Treasury from its appearances in pop culture and movies.

The Treasury at Petra, Jordan

You might not recognize the Monastery, but it’s an incredible sight! It absolutely dwarfs the Treasury. It’s pretty hard to get to – you’ll go on quite the hike. Take LOTS of water!

Amanda Plewes at the Petra Monastery

Besides the Treasury and the Monastery, I highly recommend enjoying the Royal Tombs and taking the path all the way up. It ends at the best possible vantage of the Treasury for awesome photos!

The best vantage for an awesome Petra Treasury picture

Are there other events or activities to do? If you’re visiting on a day when Petra by Night happens, I would absolutely recommend going! The ticket is NOT included in your Jordan Pass, and it’s 17 JOD ($24USD). They light up the entire path to the Treasury (about a mile), and then there is a musical show while they light up the building. I thought it was magical!

The Treasury at Petra at Night

How Much Does the Whole Trip to Petra Cost?

The cost for a trip to Petra and Jordan heavily depends on your tastes.

If you want to know how much I spent visiting, you can find my costs to visit Jordan here.

Here are rough ranges you should expect to spend (in USD), and this assumes you’re making a trip to and from the US. If you’re adding Jordan to another trip overseas, you’ll save in places like flights!

Low End

Roundtrip Airfare from the US to Amman: $750-$1400, depending on dates, seasons, etc.
Car Rental: Starts at $45/day and goes up
Hostels/Low-Range Hotels Per Night: $10 – $40/night
Meals (focusing on deals, eating hotel breakfast, etc) Per Person Per Day:$15 – $30
Jordan Pass (2 days Petra): $106
Extras and Miscellaneous Per Day: $15 – $40
Total (assuming 3 nights in-country): $1,100 – $2,000

The royal tombs at Petra

Mid Range

Roundtrip Airfare from the US to Amman: $750-$1400, depending on dates, seasons, etc.
Car Rental: Starts at $45/day and goes up
Private Driver: Starts at about $100/day
Mid-Range Hotels Per Night: $25 – $75/night
Meals (mid-range, some fast food but some sit-down restaurants) Per Person Per Day: $30 – $80
Jordan Pass (2 days Petra): $106
Extras and Miscellaneous Per Day: $40 – $50
Total (assuming 3 nights in-country): $1,300 – $2,500

The drive to Petra, Jordan

Higher End

Roundtrip Airfare from the US to Amman: $750-$1400, depending on dates, seasons, etc.
Private Driver: Starts at about $100/day
High-End Hotels Per Night: $150 – $450/night
Meals (high-end, at hotels and with table service) Per Person Per Day: $80 – $120
Jordan Pass (2 days Petra): $106
Extras and Miscellaneous Per Day: $60 – $80
Total (assuming 3 nights in-country): $2,000 – $3,600

Amanda Plewes in front of the Royal Tombs in Petra

Is Petra Worth Visiting?

Petra is one of the harder, longer wonders to get to, but it’s worth it. There is so much at the site to explore – you could spend days! The scenery on drive on the way to Petra is absolutely breathtaking, and the site itself is well-kept. If you’re going, I highly recommend spending a few more days discovering the other amazing things in Jordan like the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum!

Wadi Rum sunrise.


A full guide to visiting Petra with 2018 costs.

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