There are quite a few Petra tours from Aqaba, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. If you have booked your trip to Jordan and are arriving into Aqaba for just a few days or even a few weeks, taking an Aqaba to Petra tour can be the best way to maximize your time, and take the headache of planning your own trip, executing it with limited transportation options, and trying to decide how to tackle Petra.
There are a few options when trying to decide on one of the tours from Aqaba to Petra. There are day trips, overnight trips and multi-day trips.
Day Tours from Aqaba to Petra:
This is probably the most popular day trip from Aqaba and for good reason. Petra is the highlight for most visitors to Jordan and the Middle East and few leave before visiting this world wonder. There are quite a few options when it comes to booking a Petra tour from Aqaba. Have a careful read of each one and see what they do and do not include. For reference, Petra Entrance Fees cost JD50 (USD71) per person for a one day visit.
Get Your Guide: One Day from Aqaba to Petra
This tour includes pickup from your hotel in Aqaba and transport to Petra and back to your Aqaba hotel. It includes entrance fees into Petra as well as a lunchbox. It includes a Tour Guide, but it does not say on the tour whether the guide will accompany you all day on the bus or just in Petra.
This tour includes hotel pickup and transport to Petra and back to Aqaba at the end of the day. It includes a local guide in Petra for 1.5 to 2 hours and lunch. It also includes entrance to Petra. It is a private tour and available for 2-6 passengers.
This tour looks great for passengers arriving for the day into Aqaba Port. Your driver will pick you up for the two hour drive to Petra, possibly stopping along the way for bathroom breaks or to visit local shops. Lunch is included as is a 2 hour tour guide in the site. Check to ensure entrance to Petra is included as it is not mentioned in the itinerary and entrance to Petra is JD50 per person.
Tours by Locals: Private Guide One Day Petra Tour
With a tour like this, you know exactly who your guide is and can read reviews. Ensure you read what is included as I am not sure whether or not a single day entrance to Petra is included. The tour mentions a JD40 surcharge but this might just be for one day visitors to Petra who have to pay JD90 instead of JD50 to visit Petra if they are not spending the night in Jordan.
Multi Day Tours From Aqaba to Petra
If you have more time, including an overnight in Petra will make your visit much less rushed and give you an easier day overall! You will spend much less time sitting in a vehicle or on a bus and will have more time at the site.
3 Day tour from Aqaba with Viator – This private tour picks up in Aqaba and includes not only Petra, but Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. It includes an overnight in Wadi Rum and outside Petra in Wadi Musa as well as some meals and most entrance fees. You just need to worry about tips and some meals and drinks. It appears that this tour is mostly with a local driver, and you will have a tour guide inside Petra for about 2.5 hours.
Aqaba to Petra Private Tours Tipping Guide:
Tips are not included in any of these tours. It is suggested to tip if you were happy with your service. Most drivers and guides in Jordan are very polite and will not hassle you for tips (unlike some other countries). This is a guide for tipping for a private day tour from Aqaba:
Driver JD20 carload (USD28)
Local Guide in Petra JD15-20 (USD22-28)
Full Day Private Tour Guide JD25 carload (USD35)
Lunch 1 JD/person (USD1.50)
Horse in Petra JD3 (USD5) * You are REQUIRED to tip your horse handler, negotiate the tip before you get on the horse. If you choose to ride a donkey in Petra, there is no need to tip, negotiate the rate before you get on and pay the amount after the ride.
More Jordan Travel Resources
Because this is such a popular trip from Aqaba, I have a whole post about just getting from Aqaba to Petra. If you want to know all of the options on getting to Petra, have a read.
If you have just begun the planning on your trip, check out 101 Things to do in Jordan to give you some inspiration on the places you want to make sure you have time to see.
Rental Cars are very popular in Jordan, get a quote on renting a car before you arrive.
For your time in Petra, check out our guide to Petra and what to eat in Wadi Musa
5 Things to Bring with You to Jordan
I have always been a guide book person and physically having that book in your hand as you plan your day, in addition to blogs like this one, can help immensely. Pick up a Lonely Planet Guide to Jordan (or the kindle version) before your trip to Jordan.
Whether you want to keep the sun off your head or want to show a little modesty, a scarf goes a long way in Jordan any time of the year. You can bring one with you or pick up one when you arrive, but don’t leave your hotel in the morning without it! It can serve as a hat to keep the sun off your head and neck in the summer and can add some warmth in winder and can offer modesty to cover shoulders for women.
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Jordan has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.
If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 9 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another must for Jordan. You will find an assortment of 220V plugs, from European 2 pin, another style of 2 pin and UK Plugs. While European 2 pin is most common, it is best to carry one of these adapters with you. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
Kleenex or Wipes are another thing to put on your list. Jordan’s public washrooms (and even restraint or hotel lobby washrooms can often be unstocked. Unless you are good with a bidet sprayer, bring yourself some kleenex or wipes just in case! You will find that most washrooms in tourist sites and rest stops have an attendant that will give you toilet paper and paper towel for a small tip. Usually half a dinar is fine.
In Jordan, the plumbing is not set up to handle toilet paper. Every bathroom (even hotels) you should use the garbage can beside the toilet for your toilet paper and any sanitary products.
Motion Sickness Pills might be needed if you are prone to motion sickness and plan on traveling by bus or in the back of the car. There are many windy, hilly and bumpy roads in Jordan. Sea Bands might work for you if you are prone to motion sickness.
Travel Insurance for Jordan
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.