I was going to write a summary of our (Finne's and my) trip to Petra,
but Manuel covered everything nicely. Take special note of the higher
admission prices, as they were raised recently and probably differ
from what's in any guidebook you might have.
The only thing I have to add is that, as Petra is currently seeing
lower than usual amounts of tourism (even for the season), the
service-oriented economy is a bit hard up, and they'll often start out
quoting extremely high prices for everything. The flip side of that is
that you have significant bargaining power, and can usually argue your
way down to about half, but it may be daunting for those new to the
experience. (Expect some to get downright angry with you,
and—sorry—you're in a better position if you're male.)
Oh, and for those who'd prefer a more traditional hotel experience
with air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms, I can't recommend
enough. They have two hotels, with the more
expensive al-Anbat 1 (where we stayed) charging around €60/night
(breakfast and dinner included) for two people in a double room. It's
on the outskirts of the tiny town, up the mountain, but you get a
great view in return and a taxi into town can be had for 2-3 dinars.
As a bonus, the hotel's currently rather empty, so the service is
incredible. (If you see Khaled at the desk, tell him I'll send him
those MySQL resources soon.) They also got us a car back to the Aqaba
border for 40 JOD (~€40).
I, too, am happy to share my experiences, so just grab me if you see me around.
On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM, Manuel Schneider
some comments about trips to Jordan / Petra as Danny and me have been
there prior to the conference.
We rented a car in Haifa and drove down to Eilat, passing Be'er Sheva
via the route 40 - all through the middle of Negev. This trip is about
400 km and takes approx. 6 hours (we stopped a few times to take pictures).
== Border Crossing ==
The border brossing is open on workdays from 6:30 - 22:00, on Friday and
Saturday 8:00 - 20:00.
You can't take a rental car with you. There is a big parking space at
the border crossing. The place is easy to find, from both routes (40 or
90) you will pass it on your way shortly before of Eilat. If you have an
accommodation in Eilat or come by bus you might take a cab to the border
The regulations say that it is not allowed to bring drinking water and
food into Jordan. This is practically not checked and enforced. We
brought our water and food with us, no problem.
=== Leaving Israel ===
1. booth: The outgoing border tax is 101 NIS, they accept also EUR and
USD. You get a bar code in return.
2. booth: Show your passport and barcode, you receive a stamp that you
3. gate: show both again, they scan the barcode and open the gate for
you to leave the border terminal.
Walk over to the Jordan border terminal.
=== Entering Jordan ===
1. booth: Leave your passport, you receive three stamps. The passport
will forwarded to the second booth.
2. booth: They check the passport, you need to undergo a biometrical
check (look into a fancy "webcam").
3. security check: your luggage will be x-rayed
4. border check: they check your passport and let you finally go.
The border crossing is - as in Eilat - outside of the city.
== Getting to Wadi Musa / Petra ==
There are cabs waiting at the border. They will take you directly to
Petra if you like. As it is off-season now the prices are lower but as
you are out in the nowhere it is hard to negotiate.
We paid 60 JOD (which is ~60 EUR) for the ride per cab which we could
divide by three persons. The cab drivers accept also USD and EUR.
We were lucky that we were transfered during out trip to another cab
driver half way, so we met Odeh (+962 79 5576537). Odeh can pick you up
wherever you like, also offers tours and knows practically everyone
around Petra as he lives in Wadi Musa. He arranged a great accommodation
for us, incl. pick-up and transfer service while he brought us to Wadi
Musa. Ask him for whatever you need, a hotel room or sleeping with a
bedouin under the billion stars...
== Visiting Petra ==
The entrance fee is 90 JOD and they only accept JOD. If you have an
accommodation check-in before and bring a receipt with you - then the
entrance is only 50 JOD. There are special prices for day tourists
because they are not happy about the tours organised from Israeli side
which bring in people for a few hours only, they bring with them all the
food and water and basically don't leave any money.
As we were on our own we spent 7 hours in Petra, seeing almost
everything and spending the hot lunch time in a cave discussing
Wikimedia things and recovering.
A 1.5l bottle of water is available inside Petra for 1 JOD - if you ask
the right people. Some try to get 3 JOD.
We had a camel ride back from the place near the monastery (the far end
of the valley) to the treasury (that's the furthest they can go with the
camel) for 5 JOD per person. But only after long negotiations and we
walking away because we didn't want to pay 20 JOD each.
== Accommodation ==
We slept at a bedouin's camp which was nearby. Rebhe, the bedouin (+962
79 5663410), picked us up in the evening at the entrance to Petra and
prepared a great and delicious dinner for us - the table could hardly
bear all of the plates and stuff he brought.
The cost was 30 JOD per person, including the pick-up, dinner and breakfast.
As it was off-season we were the only guests there except of some of his
friends and we spent a very nice evening there. Just beware of the
Mosquitos! They are normally not supposed to be there (in the middle of
the desert) but we had a hard time sleeping there, outside under the stars.
== Getting back to Aqaba ==
Odeh picked us up the next day at the camp and brought us to the border
crossing. He was very kind and made a few stops for taking photos or
buying stamps for postcards etc.
The ride back was again 60 JOD in total, payable in JOD, USD and EUR
(probably also NIS, we didn't ask).
== Border Crossing back ==
=== Leaving Jordan ===
1. booth: pay 8 JOD (only JOD accepted!) and get a voucher
2. booth: show voucher and passport, get your stamp
3. gate: show your invalidated voucher and your stamped passport, leave
Walk over to the Israeli border crossing.
=== Entering Israel ===
1. security check (x-ray, metal detector...), receive a voucher
2. passport check / border control: the typical questioning. Receive a
stamp on your voucher.
3. customs: you have to show up there but they will normally just wave
you through if you have anything to declare
4. gate: leave the voucher, show the passport... leave towards Israel
== Way back from Eilat to Haifa ==
This time we took road 90 along the Jordan border, towards the Dead Sea.
There is a public beach at En Bokek which is for free and provides
pavillons for shade, showers and a cloak room. The beach is guarded.
The sand is very hot, bring sandals or similar.
The water is also very warm, you can hardly stay in there for more than
10 minutes. As it is so salty it you mustn't put your head under water.
Should you accidentally drink some of the water seek medical help from
the beach guards.
A recommended road is road 31 via Arad, Rahat till Lehavim, route 40, 41
and 4. In Tel Aviv change to 20 and 2. Route 4 continues in parallel,
but has more traffic and crosses all villages. On route 20 you have all
the Tel Aviv traffic, but it has many lanes so as long as you don't be
there in the rush hour it is no problem and much faster than route 4.
== Special Route 6 ==
Route 6 is a "Expressway" which is a toll route. Rental car companies
will be invoiced directly as the toll is collected by filming number
plates and calculation how long you stayed on the road. The rental car
companies therefore might charge you a one-time "handling fee" which is
49 NIS at budget.
== Summary ==
=== Costs ===
* Border crossing IL-JD: 101 NIS (USD, EUR accepted)
* Cab to Petra (the whole group): 60 JOD (USD, EUR accepted)
* Entrance to Petra (w/ accommodation): 50 JOD (only JOD accepted)
* Accommodation (incl. dinner / breakfast): 30 JOD (depends)
* Cab to Aqaba (the whole group): 60 JOD (USD, EUR accepted)
* Border crossing JD-IL: 8 JOD (only JOD accepted)
=== Phone Numbers ===
Cab driver Odeh Al Kaliefh: +962 79 5576537
Bedouin Cam Rebhe Hasnat: +962 79 5663410
=== Tips ===
Odeh can pick you up on different places, just call him in advance. For
instance, you might want to take a bus to Allenby Crossing up in the
north. It is much nearer, hence cheaper. Look at the bus schedule, check
the times, call Odeh and agree on a time. He will wait for you on Jordan
That's it. If you need to know something just ask Danny or me.
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