When Is The Best Time To Visit Petra? 4 Seasons Guide
If you’re planning to visit Jordan, then you probably want to know when the best time to visit Petra is.
Petra is a truly incredible site to experience and appeals to anyone interested in ancient architecture and history or just sheer natural beauty. It’s always a highlight of any trip to Jordan, and there really is nowhere else quite like it.
But, to make sure you enjoy your visit to this busy attraction, you’ll want to know when to visit.
Let’s break down the best month to visit Petra, Jordan, as well as cover a few tips to keep in mind before you go.
When is the Best Time to Visit Petra, Jordan?
The best time to visit Petra is during the cooler months, which typically span from late autumn to early spring.
This period falls between October and April when the weather is more moderate and favourable for exploring the ancient city. This is also generally considered the best time to visit Jordan.
From October to November and from March to April, the temperatures are mild, ranging from around 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) during the day, making it comfortable for sightseeing and hiking in Petra's vast archaeological site.
Visiting Petra during the winter months, specifically December to February, can also be enjoyable, although temperatures might drop, especially in the evenings, and there is a possibility of occasional rainfall. However, crowds are usually thinner during this time, providing a quieter experience at the site.
The summer months, from June to August, tend to be scorchingly hot, with temperatures soaring well above 30°C (86°F) and sometimes reaching even higher temperatures, making it challenging for extended exploration due to the intense heat.
To make the most of your visit to Petra, it's advisable to plan your trip during the cooler months to ensure a more comfortable and pleasant experience exploring this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Getting to Petra
Now that you know when to visit Petra, you’ll need to know how to get there.
Petra is located in southern Jordan, near the town of Wadi Musa in the Ma'an Governorate. It lies about 3 hours south of the capital city, Amman, by car, and approximately 1.5 to 2 hours north of the coastal city of Aqaba.
The archaeological site of Petra is situated in a basin surrounded by mountains and is accessed through a narrow gorge called the Siq, leading to its famous structures, including the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), the Monastery (Ad Deir), and various other ancient tombs and temples carved into the rose-coloured sandstone cliffs.
There are a couple of different ways you could get to Petra in Jordan.
The nearest major airport to Petra is the Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman, Jordan's capital.
From there, you can take a domestic flight to King Hussein International Airport (AQJ) in Aqaba, which is closer to Petra. Some visitors also fly directly into Aqaba's airport from certain regional destinations.
From Amman or Aqaba, you can hire a car or take a taxi to Petra. The drive from Amman takes around 3 to 4 hours, while from Aqaba, it's roughly a 1.5 to 2-hour drive.
Jordan has well-maintained roads, and signs directing travellers to Petra are clear along the way.
JETT buses and other private bus companies offer services from Amman to Petra. The journey takes around 3 to 4 hours. Additionally, minibuses run between Aqaba and Petra, providing a cost-effective option for travellers.
Many tour operators and travel agencies like us here at Skyhook Adventure offer guided tours to Petra from various locations in Jordan, including Amman and Aqaba. Tours like our Jordan trail trek from Dana to Petra include transportation, a guide, and accommodation.
Hiking to (or from) Petra gives you a chance to experience Jordan’s magnificent landscapes up close. Trekking through Wadi Rum, doing some Wadi Rum camping under the stars, and experiencing the unique sights along the way will make getting to Petra a whole lot more exciting.
Once you arrive near Petra, you'll need to purchase an entrance ticket at the Visitor Center. From there, you can walk or ride a horse or camel for part of the way through the Siq (narrow canyon) until you reach the iconic Treasury building and the rest of the ancient city.
The site itself is extensive, so wearing comfortable walking shoes and allowing plenty of time for exploration is advisable.
Petra is an archaeological marvel, often referred to as the "Rose City" due to its distinctive rose-coloured rock-cut architecture.
It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The site showcases remarkable structures, including the iconic Treasury (Al-Khazneh), the Monastery (Ad Deir), and numerous tombs, temples, and dwellings carved into the sandstone cliffs by the Nabataeans over 2,000 years ago.
Petra served as a significant trading hub and capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, strategically located along ancient trade routes.
Exploring the remnants of this once-thriving civilization provides insight into their culture, architecture, and way of life.
The natural beauty surrounding Petra is breathtaking. The Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, serves as the entrance to the ancient city and leads to the Treasury, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring introduction to the site.
The rock formations, colours, and overall landscape are visually stunning.
Jordanian hospitality is renowned, and visiting Petra allows you to interact with locals, experience Jordanian cuisine, and learn about Bedouin culture.
Additionally, the town of Wadi Musa, near Petra, offers a chance to explore local markets and interact with residents.
Adventure and Exploration
Walking through Petra involves discovering hidden corners, climbing trails to get panoramic views, and uncovering lesser-known structures within the archaeological site.
Visitors can hike to the Monastery or the High Place of Sacrifice for rewarding vistas of the surrounding landscapes.
Petra's beauty and unique architecture have been featured in various movies, including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." For film enthusiasts, recognizing iconic scenes within the ancient city can add an extra layer of fascination.
Whether for its historical significance, natural beauty, or the sense of adventure it offers, Petra stands as an extraordinary destination that enthrals visitors with its rich history and stunning architecture, making it a must-visit site for travellers from around the world.
Travel Tips for Visiting Petra
Besides choosing the best time to visit Petra, there are a few other important Jordan travel tips you should consider before your trip.
Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes suitable for walking and hiking, as exploring Petra involves a significant amount of walking on uneven terrain.
Jordan can get hot, especially during the summer months. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Carry a refillable water bottle and stay hydrated throughout your visit.
Purchase your entry ticket to Petra at the Visitor Center. Consider obtaining a Jordan Pass, which includes the entrance fee to Petra and other attractions in Jordan, potentially saving you money and time.
Consider hiring a licensed guide at the entrance or booking a guided tour in advance with us at Skyhook to gain a deeper understanding of Petra's history, architecture, and hidden gems.
Arrive at Petra early in the morning to avoid crowds and have more time to explore. The site opens at 6 am, offering a quieter and cooler experience in the earlier hours.
The Siq Experience
The walk through the Siq, the narrow gorge leading to Petra's main entrance, is magical. Consider walking or hiring a horse carriage or camel for part of the way. Be mindful of the animal welfare practices if opting for animal transportation.
Carry snacks or a packed lunch as options inside Petra might be limited and relatively expensive. However, be respectful of the site and avoid leaving litter behind.
Plan to spend a full day or more to thoroughly explore Petra. The site is extensive, and there's much to see beyond the iconic Treasury.
Don't rush; take your time to appreciate the beauty and history.
Respect Local Customs
Jordan is a conservative country. Dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting religious or culturally significant sites.
Petra is incredibly photogenic. Capture the stunning scenery, but also take time to put your camera aside and soak in the atmosphere without distractions.
Consider staying until sunset or visiting Petra after regular hours for a different perspective and a magical play of light on the ancient structures.
By following these tips, you can enhance your experience and make the most of your visit to Petra, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable exploration of this remarkable archaeological site.
The best time to visit Petra is during the milder seasons when you don't have to worry about the intense desert heat. Although, you can visit Petra at any time of the year and have an amazing experience.
Just make sure you’re well prepared for the trip, and that you know what to expect before you go. Proper planning will make your time spent at Petra much more enjoyable.