Your adventure begins with a pick up from your hotel and driving to the Arava border cross. After issuing the visa to Jordan we drive through the breathtaking desert scenery. The Desert Highway cuts through the barren landscape and in the distance you can see the Jebel Mountain range rising from the sand. The early morning sun casts a shadow of colors across the dramatic desert scene. As we approach Wadi Rum, after a 2-3 hour drive we notice the subtle change of landscape and then we arrive at one of the Seven Wonders of the World the ancient city of Petra.
The tour guide will tell you about the historic significance of this site and give you an overview of the important role Petra played on the trade route between Egypt and the East since its establishment as a Nabataean capital in 312BC. We pass the obelisks and cave tombs, which are just a prelude to the Rose City carved into the red mountains which awaits us beyond the narrow "Siq" entrance.
Al-Siq is a 1.2km long, narrow (at some point only 3 meters wide) gorge with stone "walls" on either side towering 91-182 meters above ground. You can travel the first 200 meters through the Siq on horseback just as a trader, priest or traveler would have entered the bustling city thousands of years ago.
As we near the end of the narrow gorge the passage way opens up and we are met with the sight of the Treasury. A massive 40 meter high structure hewn into the sandstone mountain with two levels supported by intricately carved columns. The central entrance is flanked on either side by statues of the sons of Zeus. Thanks to the rock overhang the Treasury has been well preserved.
The tour takes us up Petra's central Colonnade Street in the city carved out of red sandstone where you can see every shade of red, pink, brown and yellow. Set in the rugged landscape are temples, homes, altars, sanctuaries and tombs from several periods of ancient history. The awe inspiring structures were once alive with activity when Petra was home to 20,000 Nabataeans. The dazzling architecture was created by master engineers who painstakingly built the city over the course of many years. When the Romans took over Petra in 106AD they made their own additions like the amphitheatre and aqueducts.
We enjoy a late lunch in an authentic local restaurant where you can taste some traditional delicacies then we head for Wadi Rum, Jordan's largest wadi or valley also called the Valley of the Moon. The Wadi has been home to humans for thousands of years as we can see by the prehistoric paintings on the red rocks. The Wadi may also be familiar to some from the writings of T.E. Lawrence. Today the Wadi Rum is home to Bedouin tribes who still live according to ancient traditions.
We leave the dramatic Wadi Rum and move on to Aqaba on the Red Sea coast. We take a short panoramic tour of the city before heading back to your Eilat hotel.