A Farewell Tour of Jordan: Little Petra & Petra by Night

Last time we visited Petra, we went by taxi. Which meant we didn’t have a lot of flexibility of movement. Since we had a car this time, we thought it necessary to make the 15-minute trip over to Little Petra.

Initially, we had planned on doing this before our big Petra hike, but at the last minute we noticed that Petra by Night only happened on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so we swapped the two days.

I can’t say that we were at Little Petra for more than an hour, but it was a lovely visit. There are some quaint, but well-preserved structures, as well as plenty of “stairs to nowhere” to climb on. That became a theme of our time in Petra – can I climb it? Yes. Does it go anywhere? Probably not. Am I still going to do it? Definitely.

Another thing I liked about Little Petra is that nearly the entire area exists inside the canyons, giving the whole place Siq vibes, which, as you know, I love.

We went later in the morning, so the sun was shining and hitting everything just right.

It’s impossible to get lost in Little Petra, there’s really only one path. If you stay straight, you’ll find yourself at the base of stairs that, like previously mentioned, seem to go nowhere. These, however, lead you to a stunning lookout filled with great views, and, you guessed it, consumerism.

We didn’t stick around long, we weren’t looking to buy anything, but I’m still glad we made the trip over.

You walk back the way you came in, but this time, we noticed more stairs. I made the mistake of wearing a knee-length skirt (because my ankles had developed a rash the previous day hiking in Petra and I wanted to let them breathe by wearing some sandals). The final stairs we climbed nearly did me in, but I successfully made it and took one final look at Little Petra.

I understand why we didn’t prioritize this site on our last visit, but if you’ve got the time, it’s definitely worth the drive.

The rest of the day was gloriously spent relaxing. We opted out of the Turkish baths (we were treating ourselves to a spa day at the Dead Sea Kempinski shortly) and just lounged around in the hotel room. We were once again underwhelmed by our dining options in Wadi Musa, but we made our way to Petra by Night approximately 30 minutes before it started.

I’m still not sure if our timing was perfect or a mistake. Last time we experienced Petra by Night, it was Christmas Eve 2017 and we were there with friends. A maximum of 100 people joined us and the experience felt intimate. This time, at least 500 people arrived before us, and, likely another 500 after us.

Some noticeable differences: There were A LOT more candles lit – this was nice because fewer people had to take out their phones to see. But by the time we got to the Treasury, the buzz of a thousand voices made the “show” difficult to hear.

Last time around, we got this slightly odd, but beautiful tale, this time it was abbreviated and the music was shortened as well (I think). But the light show on the Treasury was as spectacular as ever.

I’m not sure I’d still recommend Petra by Night, but I also know how hard it is to feel like you missed out on something. I hope my sister found something to enjoy, as her first time in Petra was wildly different than our first time.

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