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Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

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Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Hi, I'm travelling to Eilat and I was wondering if there is a way to go visit Petra without an official tour? Or would you recommend to do the tour?

Is there a time in a day where it's not crowded? Do you have to pay an entrance fee?

Thanks for your help =)

17 replies to this topic
Baltimore, Maryland
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1. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

This is really more a question for the Jordan forum but I'll answer it.

Yes. You absolutely can.

What country passport are you traveling on? You'll need to determine if you will qualify for visa on arrival. Also, keep an eye on the situation, as they change rapidly. In 2 years, they went from Visa on Arrival to No visa on arrival, to "Visa on arrival, you pay, if you stay 2 nights, we refund" to "visa on arrival, if you don't stay 2 nights, you pay on exit." You can also look into buying the Jordan pass but you'd have to check the economics of it.

There are several options to get there. When I did this, I crossed over the night before, took a taxi from the border to Aqaba, spent the night there, and then took a taxi from Aqaba to Petra. The reason? The prices from the border are fixed, but prices from inside the city are up for negotiation.

There is also a bus from Aqaba to Wadi Musa (the town next to Petra) you could look at. You could also consider renting a car, though I can't say I'd recommend this.

Admission to Petra is 50 Jordanian Dinar if you spend the night in Jordan, or 90JD if you are just day tripping. There's also some complicated thing where if you visit Petra the 1st day, you pay the 90, but then come back and get a refund the next day, too complicated for me, hence why I chose to spend the night in Aqaba the night before.

Now as to the recommendation, that comes down to one question, Are you a comfortable solo traveler? If you are, you can have an amazing time in Petra. I was able to see the Siq (the path), the Treasury, the Tombs, some of the Roman stuff, and hike up to the Monastery all in one day whereas most tours don't get to see the Monastery.

On the down side, I had people constantly offering me donkey rides, or trying to sell me stuff. You have to be firm with these people, I don't know where you are from, I am from the USA, by USA standards, I had to be rude to some of the merchants to get them to leave me alone, but apparently that's just business as usual there and not rude. They won't hurt you, but they are, let's say, persistent.

So it comes down to how comfortable you feel. If I had to chose between going on my own or going on a tour, I would absolutely go on my own again, but I would learn some basic Arabic expressions like "No" "Not Interested" and "Please leave me alone"

Also, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the word "maybe." If you do not want something, say "no." Do not use grey words like "Maybe later" or "I'll think about it." I learned they do not have the same meaning there they do in the USA. They will take the expression literally.

As for crowded, Petra is a large park with a lot of walking. If you want to see as much as you can, thus maximizing the perks of going alone, you'll need to devote the whole day to it.

Edited: 11:46 am, January 11, 2017
North Liberty, Iowa
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2. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

"No thank you" in Arabic is pronounced "La shukrun" and is the best phrase you can remember when you're in an Arabic speaking country with touts. La = no, shukrun = thank you, so it's easy to change the phrase as you need.

I'm headed that way in April and absolutely plan to go on my own. I plan to download a bunch of walking guides and/or history stuff ahead of time and have those available to me in some format since the history is a major part of the attraction.

Thousand Oaks...
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3. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

In addition to the above information, you can order a rental vehicle ahead of time to be waiting for you on the Jordanian side. Driving to Petra is fairly straightforward.

With that said, I think taking a taxi would be best.

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19,923 posts
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4. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

As mentioned, with advanced planning you certainly can do this on your own. However, if you do not stay for 2 nights in Jordan you will need to pay the high visa fee (which is partially waived if you go through a local Tour Operator in Eilat for a one day stay). Crossing the border from Eilat to Aqaba gives preference to those traveling via a tour operator, so you may need to wait to cross if you get to the border between 7:30-9. There be me a slight advantage in cost for doing on your own. But this will be outweighed by the fact that you need to plan all aspects of your trip. Do the research on your own and if something falls through, deal with it on your own. On the other hand it gives you the freedom of spending as much time as you like at the sites you will visit.



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5. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Thank you for your reply. I am a comfortable solo traveler and I'm from Luxembourg so Europe passeport. I'll checked on the embassy page and they said you can get a visa on arrival.

Oh yeah about those sellers, I learned that the hard way in Egypt XD. But yes I know that you have to be rude to get rid of them.

I will most definitely avoid a tour then because I like to do as much as possible in a day =).

Thank you so much for your answer it was really helpful =)

1 post
6. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Is it possible to get Petra from Jerusalem(Jerusalem to Eilat, cross the border to Aqaba, and then head to Petra) by public transportation or taxi in one day? that would leave me 2 full days to explore Petra next. Thanks so much!!

Level Contributor
20,797 posts
121 reviews
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7. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Yes - you take the bus to Eilat a taxi to the border and then once in Jordan I believe your best bet is a taxi to Petra - but for the Jordanian side ask on the Jordan forum.

Boise, Idaho
1 post
8. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?


Can you tell me how much for the Taxis.

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19,915 posts
9. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Ellen, welcome to TripAdvisor.

How much for which taxis? From Eilat to the border should be around 40 shekels. If you mean a taxi from Aqaba to Petra you should ask on the Jordan forum.

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10. Re: Can I avoid a tour and do Eilat to Petra by myself?

Hello there, i noticed this response about arranging a car once you get to Jordanian side.

1. is there a link or info as to how to go about arranging this?

2. why would you not recommend just arranging car instead of taking a taxi?

thanks in advance!

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