The Best Day Trips from Aqaba Jordan

When planning on visiting Aqaba, there is more than the Red Sea beach resorts that low-cost airlines are flying many European travellers to. There are plenty of day trips from Aqaba to hit some of the highlights of Jordan. While a 2 or 3-day itinerary might be easier, if you are tied to day trips from Aqaba, do not despair, this list will have something for you for one day, two day or three day trips from Aqaba to explore some of what Jordan can offer!

The Best Day Trips from Aqaba

Some of these trips revolve around staying local, but the big ones are Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. All of these can be done independently, or on a day tour, I have provided information on how to do it yourself as well as some tour suggestions if you want to take the hassle out of your day and get some inside knowledge that you can only get from hiring a local tour guide.

Jordan Petra Siq Entrance to Treasury

1. Aqaba day trip 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 a couple ways to do a day trip from Aqaba to Petra. You can rent a car, take a bus, take a taxi or take a tour. Keep reading below, but if you are specifically looking for an Aqaba Petra tour, then click the link and I have a post specific to tours.


Aqaba to Petra by Rental Car

It is quite easy to rent a car in Aqaba and drive to Petra for the day. It takes about 2 hours to drive to Petra and there is free parking across the street from the visitors center (close to the Petra Moon hotel).

Petra opens at 6am so you can get an early start if you pick up your rental car the night before. Expect to pay 25-35 JD for a car for one day (24 hours).



Aqaba to Petra Day Tour

If you do not want to worry about getting a car and driving, there are day tours from Aqaba to Petra. Before booking, check to see what the tours include. Some include your entrance fees and some do not. Petra Entrance Fees cost JD50 per person.


Check out these Day Tours from Aqaba to Petra:

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.


Viator: Private One Day from Aqaba to 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.


Viator: Shore Excursion for Cruise Ship Passengers Aqaba to Petra

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.


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.


Because this is such a popular day trip from Aqaba, I have a whole post about just getting from Aqaba to Petra. After you finish this guide, go have a read of it here.


bus aqaba petra | buses from aqaba to petra with prices
This poster is outside the JETT Bus Station (Next to the Movenpick Hotel in Aqaba). While none of this information is online and it is likely subject to change if you plan on taking the bus from Aqaba to Petra you should check at the bus station a day in advance.


Jordan - Wadi Rum - Rock Bridge

2. Aqaba Day Trip to Wadi Rum

A day trip from Aqaba to Wadi Rum is the second most popular day trip. The Jordan desert of Wadi Rum is an otherworldly landscape that needs to be seen to be believed. as described by T. E. Lawrence, it is “vast, echoic and godlike.” See the stunning landscape from the back of a 4×4 vehicle, sip sweet Bedouin tea by the fire, climb sand dunes for epic views and watch the sunset from the back of a camel. There is plenty to do on a day trip from Aqaba to Wadi Rum and it can be done by renting a car or taking a private tour.

READ MORE: How to Get from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

Aqaba to Wadi Rum by Rental Car

It is quite easy to rent a car in Aqaba and drive to Wadi Rum for the day. It takes about 1 hour to drive to the Visitors Center and there is free parking on arrival. The cost to visit Wadi Rum protected area is JD5 and payable on arrival. If you have a Jordan Pass, the cost to enter Wadi Rum is included in your pass.

When you arrive you can book at 4×4 Jeep Tour inside the visitors center. There is almost always driver’s waiting in the parking lot for guests who have not made advance reservations.

Unless you have arranged a Jeep tour with lunch, pack yourself a lunch or buy something before turning off the highway towards Rum. There is very little in Rum Village or the Visitors Center.



Aqaba to Wadi Rum Day Tour

If you do not want to worry about getting a car and driving, there are day tours from Aqaba to Wadi Rum. A local operator can take care of the logistics of picking you up from your hotel, arranging lunch and a jeep tour and bringing you back to you your Aqaba hotel at the end of the day. With a day tour, you do not need to worry about arranging a tour with a local Bedouin, just relax and enjoy and everything will be taken care of for you.

Check Out these Day Tours from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

Viator: One Day Aqaba to Wadi Rum

This 6 hour private tour hits all of the highlights of a visit to Wadi Rum including a 2 hour Jeep tour, enjoying sweet bedouin tea with locals and the option to add a camel ride before you bid farewell to this beautiful part of the world.

Viator: One Day 8 hours Aqaba to Wadi Rum

This 8 hour private tour offers a longer 4×4 ride including visiting some of the rock bridges. It also includes lunch at a Bedouin camp. It has great reviews and you are sure to enjoy the desert landscape as you spend an epic day visiting this UNESCO site in Jordan

Get Your Guide: Aqaba to Wadi Rum Tour

Travel by private vehicle to Wadi Rum where you will transfer to a 4×4 Jeep to experience the dramatic landscape of Wadi Rum. This is a quicker day and does not include lunch.


Aqaba to Wadi Rum 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 JD10 carload (USD15)

Local Bedouin Guide and Driver in Wadi Rum JD5 carload (USD7)

Lunch 1 JD/person (USD1.50)



READ MORE: How to Get from Aqaba to Wadi Rum



Jordan - Dead Sea

3. Aqaba Day Trip to Dead Sea

A visit to the lowest place on earth is on every Jordan bucketlist. With a day trip from Aqaba to the Dead Sea you can experience driving through much of Jordan’s landscape until you reach the famous lake in the Jordan valley. After floating and relaxing in the most mineral rich waters on Earth, drive back to Aqaba for overnight.


Aqaba to Dead Sea by Rental Car

It is quite easy to rent a car in Aqaba and drive to the Dead Sea for the day. It takes just over 3 hours along the Kings Highway to reach the Dead Sea resorts and day use areas. Most of the private beaches are in hotels that offer day passes. There are also private beach clubs. You do NOT have to pay to visit the Dead Sea, but the public beach does nto offer any changing or showering facilities, just a parking lot. Most visitors opt for a daypass at a beach club or hotel.



Aqaba to Dead Sea Day Tour

If the thought of over 3 hours driving each way is a little much, there are private tours to the Dead Sea from Aqaba. They will take care of the driving, offering stops along the way and will drop you off to enjoy the Dead Sea and resort amenities and then bring you back to Aqaba for the night.


Get Your Guide: One Day from Aqaba to Dead Sea and Wadi Mujib

This tour will take you to Wadi Mujib and then to the Dead Sea. It includes a buffet lunch as well as access to a 5* hotel pools and their private beach.


Viator: One Day PRIVATE TOUR from Aqaba to Dead Sea for Cruise Ship Passengers

This private tour is popular for cruise ship passengers and the pickup and drop off are right at the port. You will visit the Dead Sea in an air-conditioned vehicle  and return to the port before the ship departs. 


READ MORE: Options on getting from Aqaba to the Dead Sea whether car, bus, taxi or rental car

Jordan - Red Sea - Diving Snorkeling

4. Snorkeling in the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea

One of the benefits of basing your Jordan trip in Aqaba is proximity to the Red Sea. There are plenty of snorkeling opportunities in Aqaba, whether from shore or on a boat. If you visit Berenice Beach Club for the day, you can snorkel right from the beach. You also can book a snorkeling or diving excursion by boat.


There are other options for Day Trips from Aqaba that I will expand on soon!

Explore Aqaba City

to Faroun Island (Egypt)

Berenice Beach Club



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.

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 whether you are on a luxury trip or a backpacking adventure in Jordan . 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.

More Jordan Travel Resources

In order to help make your visit to Jordan as memorable as possible, I have created a number of resources from planning guides to local eats.

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.

Rental Cars are very popular in Jordan, get a quote on renting a car before you arrive.

If you are working on a self-drive itinerary or plan to see the country independently, there is a guide on getting around in Jordan.

If you are thinking of booking a tour, or wondering how much hassle a self drive itinerary can be, check out this post I have on the best Jordan tours to book.

For your time in Amman, check out top things to do in Amman and where to eat.

For your time in Petra, check out our guide to Petra and what to eat in Wadi Musa

Day Trips from Aqaba including Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea

Sharing is caring!