Hello everybody. It was great to read your reviews. I wonder if you could give me some advice, just to sum up what I think I've understood and what I haven't.
I'll be flying into Eilat airport, and my plan is to reach Petra from there. I understood that I need to get a taxi to the border, cross the border, then get another taxi.
1) Is it quite safe to be doing this as a single female traveller?
2) Is crossing the border fairly easy or can one get withheld for ages?
3) After crossing the border into Jordan is my only option reaching Aqaba and then Petra, or can I go straight to Petra from the border?
4) How long do you estimate this whole transfer could take (Eilat airport - Wadi Musa)?
Thanks a lot for any advice!
If you go to Petra from Eilat, don’t buy expensive tours. You can save money by doing it yourself. One day tour from a hotel cost $150 per person. You can easily take a taxi at the border or order it beforehand for the same price. The driver will wait for you for 4-5 hours and will take you back to the border. That is what we did:
• arranged for a car through the internet – $140;
• took a taxi from hotel to the border – 10-15 min, 25-30 shekel. Better to be there by 7a.m, when it opens;
• it took us 30-40 min to pass the border (to pay all fees and get visas);
• 2 hour drive from the border to Petra with 1 stop;
• spent 5 hours in Petra. One way walking trip to the Monastery takes 2 hours. It was easier then we expected. The booklet says there are 800 steps, but they are steep only in a one section of the road, all the rest they interlace with a low grade. You can do it!
• At 3 p.m. we were back at the visitors center;
• Our driver took us to Aqaba to a nice restaurant “Ali-Baba” for dinner;
• Approximately at 6 p.m. we crossed the border back to Eilat.
It was a nice trip! We recommend our driver Sameh Baqain:
Phone: +962 (3) 201 3735, cell +962 (78) 512 6702
Wear long linen pants, long-sleeves light cotton shirts, hats with wide brims and sunglasses and you’ll be fine. We had 3 liters of water during this trip and 2 oranges. You won’t be hungry on a heat.
And…don’t forget to install the batteries in your camera !!!
From Wadi Musa Town, it is a short downhill walk to Petra Gate, but the way back is a rather tiring uphill walk (about 3km).
The taxi drivers overcharge tourists terribly, anything from 1 JD to 4 JD! I don’t think one should pay more than 1 JD. Most of the drivers wanted 2 JD.
My wife and I hired a taxi from Amman to Jerash for the day - the driver took us to other sites in the north and patiently wiated more than three hrs at Jerash. The following day, another one took us to Petra - paid approx 50 JD and had a great driver who was very knowledgable about sites/history of area and wanted to make sure we saw anything of interest. Spent two full days in Petra, then hired a taxi to take us to Wadi Rum and on to Aqaba. The driver drove us to Wadi Rum and waited for six hours while we did a 5 hr camel trek - then drove us to Aqaba - all for 80 JD (this was in 2005). We later took the bus back to Amman and hired another cab to take us on a short trip to Dead Sea and back to the airport at day's end.
The moral of the story: you can easily find transport by cab that will allow you to dictate your route and when/where you stop - the driver will likely be as knowledgable and eager to show you the sites as each of ours was. There is more to see than you may think so please read up on Jordan sites and don't be afraid to have a driver take you to any of the castles, etc... I wish we'd done more...
I can only speak from experience from the Eilat/Aqaba border crossing to Petra - I've hired a taxi driver both times I've done this trip to Petra. It's fairly easy and we found the price to be reasonable and if you're lucky, you'll get a great cab driver like we did on our most recent visit - and that makes the ride even more enjoyable. (note: I tried the public bus - we waited over an hour for it to fill up)
Most recent visit to Jordan:
As with the first visit, we crossed the Eilat (Israel) - Aqaba (Jordan) border. I knew from previous experience that there would be a few drivers waiting around at the Jordanian Customs/Immigration area.
We hooked up with a really nice driver - actually, he was something like an engineer or some type of a professional in Amman (or so his story goes), but with the Jordanian economy being what it is these days (not so good), he decided to try his luck in Aqaba where tourism generates a fairly steady revenue stream.
He and I spent the two hour drive from Aqaba to Jordan discussing religion and politics - two subjects that are supposed to be "verboten" ! My husband remained silent in the back seat the whole time, probably praying we wouldn't go flying off the road each time the driver and I reached a "hot" topic. It was all civilized and good natured. When our driver dropped us off in Petra, we arranged for him to meet us again the next day to take us back to the Aqaba border crossing.
He, like the driver I'd had before him in a previous trip, was accomodating and gracious - never minding the multiple stops for photo shoots and even suggesting to stop to catch several vistas en route. The drive to Petra is stunning, running along the Kings Highway, rugged mountain backdrop, wadis in the distance...pure Lawrence of Arabia!
Cost was $40 USD each way. That's pretty reasonable in my book.
I had to get a picture of him before we left. I wish I remembered his name...and I wonder what he's doing these days...
I hired a Taxi from the Amman Airport (curbside in front of Arrivals) and paid 61 JD - (the posted rate) for 1 way to Petra. Definitely not the budget way to go but the driver was courteous, safe, and convenient. It is approx. a 2.5 hour drive from the airport.
He also gave me his card so I could call him for a ride back to the airport. Which worked out very well!
Jordan looks like West Texas meets Southern New Mexico.......
Much more affordable than a camel, they could be compared to a car for us; every Bedouins can have his own donkey. If you can ride a regular horse at the entrance of the siq, once you have passed the Kazneh, the main beast for rent is either a camel or a donkey…They are used either by the Bedouin to carry their stuff or simply by the tourists to climb to these parts of Petra that are not so easily accessible otherwise.
The main reason I can see to rent one is to go to the Monastery if you are not able to walk by yourself or if you are too late and the sun is too hot…
It was not that easy for us to get to Petra from Karak................
We got a bus to Tafila from Karak,
Then from Tafila to Shobuk got a taxi,
The driver was great fun & even let us stop to take photos at Thana. ( which I have since not been able to find on a map! )
The taxi itself was a work of art, he must have spent so much time decorating it, there was even carpet in the ashtray!
THEN from Shobuk we got a bus to Petra itself.......Phew! (~_~)
From the airport we took a taxi to Petra, 3 hours with stop for tea and rest. If you go by day remember to have something to cover your shoulders and head, if you don?t be sure the sun will burn your skin like fire burns chicken skin at BBQ. The taxi driver will stop in his traditional bars with bazaars and everything, so if you forgot to buy something, you have the opportunity now.
2 teas, 1 coffe, 3 little honey and dry fruits pies = 6,10 J.D.
We had the taxi in the pack with the hotel so I can not tell you how much it will cost if you go by yourself.