You can add a visit to Little Petra and the nearby Neolithic site of Beidha when you are staying in Wadi Musa. It is a great appetizer for your Petra visit. Next to that, it won’t take more than 2 hours to visit both the sites. If it ‘s fits in your program, try to visit in the late afternoon on your arrival day in Wadi Musa.
Located approximately 10 kilometers north of Petra, lies Little Petra – a smaller, yet equally enchanting destination to explore. Unlike Petra, Little Petra is a serene and tranquil place with fewer crowds.
When you enter through the ‘Siq al Barrid,’ which means ‘the cold gorge,’ you’ll see awe-inspiring mountains, facades, water reservoirs and a series of stairs leading upwards. They think that this site was where once the gathering took place for traders and their camels on the ancient Silk Road. Loading and unloading their goods such as damask and silk.
Don’t miss the Painted Biclinium, a cave adorned with a first-century fresco on its ceiling, showcasing an array of nature’s beauty. Climb up the stairs to witness the stunning display of grapes, birds, cupids, insects, flowers, and fruit.
You can add a visit to nearby Neolithic site of Beidha after Little Petra. From the Little Petra parking is is a nice 15 minute hike, along the trail that would finaly lead you to the start of the hike up to the Monastery. (I would advise to do the so called Back Road hike on your second day in Petra).
In the fenced area you can make a round tour along the ruïns of this tiny village. It was occupied from 7200 BC to 6500 BC and was home to Neolithic farmers. They used the rich soil to grow wheat and barley and kept domesticated goats. It’s one of the first settled villages in human history. It represents a critical moment where people developed a farming economy and began to live together in settled communities.
Little Petra is also the start for the so called Back Road hike. To access Petra from the north, at the Monastery, the most high facade of the Rose red city. And counts as well for the hight of the facade itself. as well as the altitude.
Off course you also need to hike all the way up, either from the Basin at the end of the colonnaded street, or from the Little Petra area. The advantage of the back road hike is, that is’s less steep, very scenic and with beautiful views over the Wadi Araba desert in the west. Here you can read about the logistics to take this hike up to the Monastery.