Jane Taylor/Sonia Halliday Photographs

The high, honey-colored cliffs of Little Petra (Siq al Barid in Arabic) enclose cool gorges (shown here) and natural courtyards (see photo of natural courtyard). Little Petra served as a stopover for caravans from the Levantine coast and from the mountains of southern Arabia—which probably conducted their principal business in the nearby Nabatean city of Petra. Temples, houses and water-catchment systems were hewn from Little Petra’s cliff walls in the first century A.D.