Petra is an archaeological park, so the entrance fees are considered fairly steep compared to other Jordanian attractions. Visitors can purchase tickets at the Visitor's Center for 21 JD for a single entry and 26 and 30 JD for a 2 or 3 day pass respectively. A 3 day pass will get you a 4th day for free. A valid student ID card used to allow entrance for 11.5 JD, however this offer has been discontinued, it is not sure if it will become available again. Do not attempt to purchase tickets from dubious scalpers around town! Time permitting, the two-day pass is recommended, as there is much to see and do in Petra.
Guides can be hired from about 10 JD and up (depending on what you want to see) at the Visitors Center. You may want to take advantage of the knowledge of the Bedouins who work in Petra. Many of them were born and raised in Petra, and will gladly share their knowledge with you for the price of a camel or donkey ride. Alternatively, major hotels can rent you a portable Easyguide (JD 10/day) for commentary in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. Easyguide is also available as a mobile phone service on all Jordanian mobile phone networks, a map is needed to use this service.
The entrance to Petra is a long, winding sandstone canyon known as the Siq. There are minor carvings spotted here and there throughout the Siq, but the most impressive sights are the colorful and unusual sandstone patterns in the rock walls. There are also remains of terracotta pipes built into the sides of the canyon that were used in Roman times to carry water.
Upon exiting the Siq, visitors can view the jaw-dropping grandeur of the Treasury (al-Khazneh in Arabic). Be sure to note the urn atop the Treasury structure. It has been rumored that the urn contained a Pharaoh's hidden treasure, and the urn bears the bullet pock marks where Bedouin travellers throughout the years have tested the theory. Get there when the park opens at 6AM or 6:30AM (depending on the season) and you may have the Treasury all to yourself or with less than 5-10 people around.
Street of Facades
Past the next bend is the outer Siq or Street of Facades, a large canyon lined with the facades of various tombs.
At the end of the Street of Facades is the 7000-seat Roman Theater. The theater was created by the Nabateans but later enlarged by the Romans. It is still used for occasional performances.
On the side of the valley opposite the Roman Theater and a short walk up the hill, are the Royal Tombs. The name was given because they are quite grand in scale compared to the others in the area, but it is unclear for whom the tombs were originally constructed.
The Monastery (ad-Deir), the largest carved monument in Petra, dates back to the 1st century AD. The interior, like that of the Treasury, is puny in comparison to the facade. The more than 800 steps up to the Monastery can take over an hour; many visitors choose to ride donkeys up to the top.
Princess Alia Clinic
Princess Alia Clinic, Brooke Hospital for Animals located just inside the entrance to the park. As you can witness inside Petra, not all donkeys, horses and camels are treated right. A few are overworked, carrying overweight tourist or being excessively whipped. The Brooke charity educates owners about the treatment of equestrian working animals and treats the animals for free. The clinic is happy to tell you about conditions for working animals in Jordan. You can give a donation to the clinic.
For the terminally energetic, there are a number of popular hikes around Petra.
In order to understand what in reality Petra is, it is better to spend there two days. The first day: Siq - Treasury - City - Monastery. The second day: another way to Petra through Wadi Muthlim - see the Treasury from above on Jebel Al -Khubtha - High Place of Sacrifice. If you enter Petra through Wadi Muthlim do not turn left right after the small Siq, firstly go right to see Aqueduct, Tunnel and Al-Wu'eira Fort and only after that return to Petra center.
High Place of Sacrifice
The High Place of Sacrifice is a popular destination in Petra. The site at the top of the mountain contains elaborate rock altars used for sacrifices. From the High Place, one can view much of Petra from above. The trek down the back side of the mountain reveals many interesting tombs and carvings that might be missed by average tourist. The round trip generally takes 1.5-2.5 hours.
The Mountain of Aaron
The Mountain of Aaron (Jabal Haroun) is the highest peak in the area. At the top you will find a small church and the tomb of Aaron, brother of Moses. The route to the top and back will take you past the Monastery and will take 4-8 hours depending on your chosen path.
JETT buses, both ordinary and all-inclusive guided tour, connect to Amman and Aqaba. Other tourists come with organized groups, including daily trips from Eilat. Tours to Petra from Taba, Sinai and Sharm el Sheikh are also gaining popularity with charter tourism.
It would cost 24 JD for two persons to travel by JETT bus, and allow you to see almost the entire site in an (exhausting) day trip.
The minibus from Wadi Rum costs 3 Jordanian Dinars (JD) each. It takes 1.5 hours to get to Petra. Have the Rum Guesthouse or your tour operator call the bus owner the day before to arrange an exact time for pick up. The bus usually leaves from Wadi Rum at 8:30 in the morning, but may be delayed due to weather or tour groups coming the other way.
There are also minibuses from Amman departing from the Wadabat bus station - these leave when full, and tourists are almost always charged 3 JD to get on. DO NOT allow the drivers to charge you for your luggage, as they might sometimes try to do, considering you're already paying more than the locals (who pay 2-2.5JD).
Taxi is also a viable option. For 75 JD or less (depending on how much you haggle) you may be able to get a private taxi from Amman to Petra and back, including the driver waiting around for 6 hours.
A taxi from Aqaba to Petra should cost about JD 30 one-way. If coming from Eilat (Israel), opportunistic drivers at the border may ask for much higher fares; it's better to take one cab to central Aqaba and continue from there at the normal price. Most hotels in Petra can also arrange to have someone pick you up.
If you get there renting a minibus with a driver in the hotel at the Dead Sea, the one-way price would be 140 JD.
The only modes of transport allowed within Petra are on two feet or on four feet (camel, donkey, or horse). When entering Petra, there is a brief hike down towards the Siq. Horses will be available for travel to the entrance of the Siq, or you can choose to take a horse-drawn buggy through the Siq (a distance of about .9 kilometers) and down to the Treasury. The prices for such rides are not set and are extremely negotiable, depending on one's bargaining abilities.
Once you arrive at the Treasury, there will be many camel and donkey owners jockeying for your business. Be prepared to do some bargaining and don't pay more than 10 JD, a more resonable price is around 3 JD a person. Often times the owner will drop his price in half simply by hearing a few phrases in Arabic.
Camel or donkey transport should be seriously considered. Riding a camel is a unique experience on more level ground, but a donkey is recommended for more ambitious climbs, such as the ones to the High Place or the Monastery. However if you are reasonably fit and the weather is good, the walk is quite nice.