How to Get From Aqaba to Petra in 2024

Many travelers arrive in Aqaba thanks to the ever-increasing number of low-cost flights into Jordan’s Red Sea region. There are various ways to get from the gulf of Aqaba to Petra including by bus, by taxi, by rental car, or on a day tour. By the time you finish reading this post, you will be familiar with all of the ways to get from Aqaba Jordan to Petra, Jordan’s most famous tourist site.

Thanks to Aqaba’s proximity to Petra (just a 2 hour drive away) it is possible to leave the resort town and see one of the World’s Wonders in just a day trip if you are based in Aqaba. However, I highly suggest you spend at least one night in Petra to give yourself time to really see this new Wonder of the World!

Jordan - Petra Monastery
Petra, One of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Photo by Lindsay Nieminen

Where to Stay when you Get to Petra From Aqaba

Before you even worry about transportation between Aqaba and Petra you are going to want to make sure you have some accommodation booked. There are hundreds of hotels in Petra, most are small, 3 star style accommodations. There are also lots of five-star hotels as well as plenty of budget accommodations. However, in the busy season, ALL hotel rooms can actually sell out!

LUXURY Movenpick, Petra Bubble Luxotel, Petra Marriott, Petra Moon

MIDRANGE Edom Hotel, La Maison, Petra Palace

CAMPING Petra Bubble Luxotel, Seven Wonders Camp

BUDGET Seven Wonders Hotel, Nabati Hostel, Silk Road Hotel

CLOSEST TO SITE ENTRANCE: Movenpick

How to Get from Aqaba to Petra

Bus From Aqaba to Petra

JETT Bus offers daily service by bus from Aqaba to the red rose city of Petra. The Aqaba Petra bus schedule currently shows 2 one way trips per day as well as a round-trip option. This is the fastest way to get to Petra via bus and the ideal way for solo travellers to get to Petra. The morning bus leaves Aqaba at 8:00am and that same bus leaves Petra at 16:00 (4:00). Each one way journey is JD6 for adults and also JD6 for children (lap children typically go free of charge). However, in the photo below, it has totally different prices. Just be aware when you book that the ticket price may be different than what is specified here.

There is now an easy online way to buy tickets. It used to be cumbersome to navigate the JETT website, but it is now easy to buy tickets online in advance.

I suggest purchasing round-trip bus tickets if you do plan to take the bus back on the same day, as it can fill up with one-way passengers heading south on the desrt highway.

One thing to note about taking the JETT bus service is that it drops you at the Petra Visitor’s Centre parking lot. If you have just bought a one-way fare and you have luggage, you will need to take it to your hotel room before you go to the site. It is a good idea to book a hotel near the site entrance for easy access to Petra.

Here is some info on getting from Wadi Musa to Petra if your hotel is uptown. It also provides info on how local taxis and drivers work in the area.

There are also local coaster buses that will take you from Aqaba to Petra. This is Jordan’s public transportation network. They may make stops along the desert highway. They will drop you in Wadi Musa bus station which is a 15-minute walk downhill to the site. This is the best deal if budget is the most important consideration for your journey.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE SCHEDULE AND BOOK YOUR BUS ONLINE!

Jett Schedule Aqaba to Petra in 2022
This JETT poster was in a hotel in Aqaba in May 2022 showing a range of JETT trips. The on to Petra leaves at 8:00 and arrives at 10:00 with a return journey at 5:00 pm arriving back in Aqaba at 7:00 pm. One way fare is JD12 with round trip fare being JD18.

Aqaba to Petra Tour

An Aqaba Petra Tour is another way to get from Aqaba to Petra where someone else does all the planning and you can sit back and relax and enjoy your day. Day tours from Aqaba to Petra are common, especially with cruise ship passengers looking for an excellent experience, but also for solo travellers, couples, and those who are looking to see Jordan’s best sights (like the Royal Tombs) with a professional tour guide.

I have a whole post about Day Tours from Aqaba, and a post on Aqaba Petra tours. I have also listed a few popular ones to Petra are listed below:

Get Your Guide: One Day from Aqaba to Petra 

Viator: One Day from Aqaba to Petra on private transfer

Viator: Shore Excursion for Cruise Ship Passengers from Aqaba port

Tours by Locals: Private Guide One Day Petra Tour

Aqaba to Petra Taxi

There are a couple of ways to take a taxi from Aqaba to Petra. This depends on whether you are looking for a one-way fare or if you want to return Petra to Aqaba at the end of the day. A taxi from Aqaba to Petra is likely about 50JD one way and 90JD if you want the taxi to wait and take you back at the end of the Petra day trip.

Driving in Jordan near Petra.
The landscape near Petra. Do not worry, most of the driving is on a divided highway, this is the road past Little Petra.

Rental Car from Aqaba to Petra

Renting a car in Jordan is one of the most convenient ways to get around the country at your own pace. It also offers the best price if you travel in a group. There are several rental car agencies in Aqaba, both big and small. Expect to pay 25-30 JD for a typical rental car. Watch for one-way drop fees if you are not returning the rental car to Aqaba.

If you are driving, the distance from Aqaba to Petra can be covered in just under two hours. There is free parking outside the Petra visitors center, just slightly uphill from the site near the Petra Moon hotel.

Consider getting a local Jordan Sim Card so you have GPS, while there are signs on the highway to Petra, you might have trouble finding your hotel in the winding streets of Wadi Musa!

Click here to check rates for Rental Cars

Best Way to Get from Aqaba to Petra

The best way to get from Aqaba to Petra depends on your travel style, your budget and your itinerary. If you are on a shoestring budget, you can take a minibus to Petra for a very small fee. They do not operate on a set schedule.

If you are a solo traveller and want to visit on a comfortable air-conditioned coach, then JETT bus is likely the most economical. It can take you on to Amman the same evening, or back to Aqaba.

If you are a couple or a family then a rental car might be cheaper than the bus, or at least more convenient. You can leave Aqaba when you like and overnight in Petra before visiting Wadi Rum, Feynan or Amman.  Most of the driving is highway driving and self-driving is a great way to see the country. I also have a guide for independent travelers who want to see Jordan on their own. You can check it out here.

RELATED: Tips for Driving in Jordan

If you are not comfortable driving, then a one way or round trip taxi is an option if you are not able to take the JETT bus.

If you want someone else to take care of all of the logistics, then booking a guided tour with a local guide is the best way to see not just Petra but Jordan as a whole. The guides in Jordan are extremely knowledgeable and they provide so many insights that you cannot read from a guidebook (such as the best local restaurants that no guidebook ever tells you). There are several local companies that can arrange a private tour based on your desired itinerary or even provide transportation for you from Aqaba to Petra and back.

Overwhelmed with Planning a trip to Jordan?

Want to skip all of the planning and access my detailed Jordan Itinerary and Guide? I have been to Jordan several times and after being asked again and again for suggestions, not only did I build this website but I created an interactive PDF guide to help you plan the best trip to Jordan! It includes an interactive map, multiple itineraries for up to 10 days and as little as three days and plenty of practical information about renting a car and driving in Jordan. Get the guide by clicking the button below. 

Step into Jordan Guide and Itinerary Preview of Cover

More Useful Jordan Resources:

Hotels Near Unesco World Heritage Site of Petra:

Movenpick PetraMövenpick Resort Petra is the best 5-star hotel near Petra. It is also located on the other side of the street from Petra’s entrance, making it a perfectly convenient place to stay.

Petra Palace – The Petra Palace Hotel is located just a few minutes walk from the Petra Visitors Centre and the best three/four-star option near the site entrance.

Petra MoonLocated just above the parking lot for the Petra Visitors Centre, Petra Moon Hotel is one of the best hotels in Petra for travelers with a midrange budget who want to be close to the site.

Other Things to Do in the ancient city of Petra:

If you have just begun the planning, 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. If you are looking for other things to do in Petra, consider Petra by Night, Little Petra, enjoy a meal with locals, or Henna Fantasia (a new show featuring music, folklore, and dance). If you want to know where to eat check out the best Petra restaurants for the best local restaurant in Wadi Musa.

Other Useful Travel Guides:

Aqaba Petra Transportation Options