In the early morning light of the cavern called “the Siq” in Petra, we three friends were alone in our walk round the twists and turns of the 30 minute walk to that classic view of Petra — the view of the Treasury through the slim gap of the Siq.
We did actually have company in the form of three other tourists who outpaced us and a local dog. Plus a few of the local Bedouin guides trying to sell us donkey rides. But mostly, we were alone, skipping along the well kept path between the rose pink sandstone. The evening before, we had traipsed in the dark to the same spot with 300 other tourists for “Petra by Night” and I’d recommend it. The night walk costs 12 Dinars ($17) and the day pass costs 50 Dinar ($71) but it was worth it. I avoided the donkey and camel rides but the 20 Dinar ($28) horse cart gallop up the walk is also worth it. The two hour up the 800 steps to the “high place” did not seem worth it to me but you can take a donkey up and then, for those who enjoy vertiginous thrills, it might be worth it. But then you could also walk up in stilettos.
Although Petra is touristy, it is much less so than many places on anyone’s list of places to see. I recommend getting up and going at 6 a.m. when the park opens. And bring friends.