Temperatures dip sharply as October progresses, but they remain pleasantly mild. Skies usually begin to get overcast by the third week in October, and the chance of the first light rains points to the not-too-distant arrival of winter. However, rain falls only one day this month on average, so a rain jacket is hardly essential. But you should definitely pack a warm jacket, as some days and most evenings can be cold: Petra’s high temperatures average 81°F (27°C) this month, dipping to an average daytime cold of 54°F (12°C).
Bring sunscreen, plus a shade hat, sunglasses, and comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes.
For more on weather this month, see Jordan in October: Travel Tips, Weather, and More.
Crowds & Costs
By early October, Jordan hits its autumn peak of visitors and although numbers begin to tail off throughout the month, you can expect Petra to be fairly crowded. You can again expect full occupancy for hotels, and guided excursions and tours. And don’t expect any price breaks and bargains
It’s wise to book flights and reserve accommodations and even tour excursions well in advance.
What to Do
Before (or after) exploring the archaeological sites at Petra, spend one or two hours putting the sites in perspective at the stunning new Petra Museum, at the Visitor Center.
Opened in May 2019, its eight climate-controlled galleries showcase exhibits—from stone statues and pottery to coins and jewelry—spanning the long history of Petra, from its first inception by the Nabataeans. Learn how they grew wealthy and powerful controlling the caravan trade of frankincense and other luxuries to the Mediterranean region; which gods the Nabataeans worshipped and honored; and how and why after the Roman era, Petra lay unknown to Europeans for hundreds of years. You visit will give you a whole new appreciation for what you’re seeing.
Now relive a little of that history by witnessing the Jordan Heritage Revival Company perform dramatic historical re-enactments. The Petra Visitor Centre can provide the current schedule for the four-times-daily shows (except Fridays and during Ramadan) by actors dressed as Nabateans and Roman centurions. The highlight is the changing of the guard ceremony at the Treasury. The show is included in the price of your entry ticket to Petra, but donations to actors who pose for your photos supposedly go to support local community projects.
October weather is ideal for cycling, especially for active travelers who plan to ride the Jordan Bike Trail. Spanning the country north to south, this 450-mile (730 km) mixed-surface bike route totals 12 single-day stages, including the Shobak-Petra (30 ml/49 km) and Petra-Abbasiya (34 ml/55 km) stages. You can choose to experience the Trail independently as a minimalist "bike-packer" adventure, or on a fully supported group tour. One thing's for sure: You’ll never get so close to so much desert beauty in a vehicle.