Petra, the ancient city in Jordan, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. The main entrance to Petra is located in the town of Wadi Musa. However, a lesser-known back entrance offers a unique and less crowded way to explore this incredible archaeological site. In my 2 days in Petra itinerary, you will find a full guide on how to best spend 2 days in Petra, where I would advise you to enter the city on day 1 from the main entrance, while saving the back entrance, referred to as the back door hike, for the second day. This article explains everything you need to know about how to visit Petra via the back door route!
Where to stay when visiting Petra: Nomads Hotel (€75), Rocky Mountain hotel (€42), Petra Corner Hotel (€115). Check out an overview of the best hotels in Petra here.
Note: to visit Petra from the back door / back entrance, you need to have a valid Petra ticket. Therefore, I would advise you to hike from the back entrance on your second day exploring Petra.
Visiting Petra via the Back Door Route has multiple benefits!
I would advise you to order a cab from your accommodation to the back entrance entry point. This will save you a lot of hassle of having to find the exact drop-off point (not that clear), but it also allows you to walk back through Petra and exit at the main entrance instead of having to walk back. We paid around 15 euros for the one-way taxi. Not too cheap, but in our opinion fully worth it!
The back entrance is located between the villages Al-Beidha and Uum Sayhoun (near the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp). This is approximately 10 kilometres from Wadi Musa. From the drop-off point, you will have to walk a short bit on plain sand before arriving at an entry gate and later on a coffee stand from where the signs start. This road is quite easy to follow, as you solely have to follow the big road here. There are some options to bring you already a little bit further to the main trail with a 4×4, but I would advise against that. The part from the main road wasn’t too long (max 30 minutes) and this saves you some money. Double-check the drop-off point with the cab driver beforehand.
It is also possible to start your hike from Little Petra, but the first part of the hike is to be found the most challenging and less clearly marked. So, If your main goal is to see the Monastery while exploring a different route and surrounding views, you can best start from the main entrance.
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The trail to the Monastery is about 5.5 km and takes approximately 1,5 to 2 hours. Generally speaking, the trail is quite easy to hike. There is a bit of ascending and descending, but these parts can be more seen as hills and at most of the places there are stairs to make it a bit easier for you. The trail switches between sandy grounds, rocky areas and stairs.
I would not advise taking a guide, as we thought the hike was quite straightforward. We had way more trouble finding one of the Treasury viewpoints the day before! It is always advisable to download maps.me to have a clear view of the route and to make you feel more comfortable. All viewpoints in the area are also added on maps. me! The route can be found below. If you want to find the starting point, you can use the coordinates: 30.356802, and 35.45289.
It is a magical moment when you see the Monastery popping up in front of you. It is quite nice to arrive from a different direction than the main public, as this straight away gives you some photo opportunities and the chance to admire this majestic historic sight from a different point of view. After we visited the Monastery, we hiked back to the main entrance to see all the sights in Petra one more time, this time from a different point of view.