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Day trip to Petra

Perth, West...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
Day trip to Petra

Has anyone done the day trip to Petra from Dahab? I will be in Dahab around 10th October for 4 days. I really just want to know approx cost, travelling time, how long are you at Petra for, etc. Just want to know if it is worth going.

Also, can you get a Jordan visa at the border, or should this be done before leaving Australia?

Any help is very much appreciated.


1. Re: Day trip to Petra

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Nuweiba, Egypt
Level Contributor
2,176 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: Day trip to Petra

Numerous tour operators do the one day trip from Sharm, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba using the special charter boats that leave Taba Heights Marina at 7.30 a.m. and return the same evening. Have a look at the Longwood website ... www.longwoodholidays.co.uk/sharm/tours.htm

You will not need a visa for this trip - but you may need a visa if you are going back to the Egyptian mainland after you finish in Dahab.

Level Contributor
46 posts
57 reviews
3. Re: Day trip to Petra

Hi Sulu,

We were in Dahab back in April (family of 4 - our kids were 12 and 14 at that time) and did a day trip to Petra. We were staying at le Meridien. It was definitely worthwhile and we really enjoyed it, but it is certainly a grueling trip for 1 day (4:45AM pick-up at the hotel; 10:30PM arrival back at the hotel). You can only imagine what it is like waknig teenagers up at that hour....

The company we booked our Petra trip through was Embah Safari. We also used them for a daytrip my wife took to tour St. Catherine's monastery and a sunset climb of Mt. Sinai. We were very happy with them.


I booked this trip in advance since I didn't want to have to run around to arrange it while we were on holiday and since it involved a multi-step trip into Jordan. I am sure I could have done it cheaper if we had waited and shopped around/negotiated with other outfits (or perhaps even booked it through the hotel), but Embah had been recommended to me by a few different people and they seemed pretty organized.

The logistics = a rep from Embah came and met us at le Meridien 2 nights before the trip to give us a briefing on the trip and to collect the balance due. They provided some printed materials on the logistics for the day and also talked us through the schedule and answered our questions. They also did this the night before my wife’s trip to St. Catherine’s/Mt. Sinai. The reps were both very friendly and helpful.

The logistics: trips to Petra appear to be a fairly big “package” operation that are booked by many different operators in Sharm el Sheik and Dahab. These trips appear to be run only on certain days of the week.

A small taxi picked us up at the Meridien at 4:45AM. We then met a large coach bus at a rest stop outside of town for the trip north to the ferry (the coach was coming from Sharm…..meaning they had been picked up VERY early). The trip from Dahab to the ferry marina in Taba, Egypt is about 1 hour. This ferry appears to exist solely for Petra tourist trips = very nice and well run with only holiday tourists on board (mostly Russians and Europeans). Several other buses and other vehicles dropped off passengers as well. The ferry ride to Jordan is a little over 1 hour; arrival is at a new, rather posh looking marina and hotel area. You pass through immigration on the Egyptian side before boarding the ferry where they stamp your passport; on the Jordan side the immigration folks come right onto the ferry and you receive your passport stamp before you even get off the boat. The reverse is true on the return trip. No visa was required in advance.

After leaving the ferry in Jordan, all of the folks from the ferry are divided up into their buses to Petra based on language = German-speaking bus, Russian-speaking bus; English-speaking bus, etc. The buses on both sides (Egypt/Jordan) are nice, with on board bathrooms, comfortable seats and air conditioning. There are no drinks or snacks on board the bus, although you stop at “tourist-trap” rest areas along the way where you can buy refreshments, local souvenirs and take a bathroom break. The trip from the ferry to Petra (including 1 rest stop) is about 2 hours. There is extra time built into each step in the process, which is why the day takes so long (for example, the ferry departure was not until 7:30AM or so, but we had to be there early enough to pass though immigration, etc.). Departure from the Jordan marina on the buses to Petra was probably a little after 9AM.

We arrived at Petra close to 11:30AM. During the bus trip our English-speaking guide gave us various useful information about Jordan and Petra over the intercom. Upon arrival, there was a 15-20 minute delay while he picked up our tickets, and then it was on to Petra. The walk into Petra itself is about a mile/2 km or so…depending on how far you go into Petra, you end up walking 5km. Sturdy walking shoes are a good idea, since you are walking on dusty dirt trails and sometimes over loose stones. The guide leads the group to various spots where he provides background on Petra; after a certain point he turns you loose and tells you what time the bus will be leaving and how long it will take you to walk back to the parking lot; you are on your own to get back on time. I think we had 3-4 hours at the site = not enough to see everything, but certainly enough to see the main highlights. We are not normally big “tour” travelers and much prefer small groups or individual tours, but for one day it was useful to have everything packaged together so nicely without having to think about logistics, immigration, etc.

Currency = all the places we spent cash at during this trip (rest stops in Jordan, vendors at Petra, snack bar on the ferry, drinks at the Marriott, etc.) accepted various currencies = Egyptian pounds, Euros, US$ or Jordanian Dinars. We did not bring any Jordanian currency with us, and it was no problem.

The return trip also included a stop for lunch at a Marriott hotel close to Petra….this stop was not until about 4:00PM for about 1 hour. There was also a rest stop mid-way back to the ferry. After the bus-ferry-bus-taxi trip in reverse, we arrived back at le Meridien very tired but really happy we made the trip.

One thing Embah told us that turned out not to be true = they said we would need to pay an entry fee of US$8 person when we re-entered Egypt, since our single entry tourist visas would apparently be voided once we crossed into Jordan (not sure why this must be in US currency). We never had to pay this.

Cost for the trip was 200 Euros per person, with a 20% deposit due in advance. This paid for all the taxi-bus-ferry transfers, entrance to Petra and for lunch at the Marriott (for some reason you still have to pay for your drinks at the Marriott). My wife’s full day trip to St. Catherine’s and Mt. Sinai hike was 40 Euros.

Sorry for the long reply – I figured more detail is better than less. Let me know if you have any other questions about the trip or Dahab in general.


Level Contributor
150 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Day trip to Petra

Hi Chris

We're going to Dahab next year with 2 children who will be 11 & 8. Do you think this trip is suitable for kids of that age?

Also, was it very hot at Petra?

Thanks for advice (very good post, by the way)


Level Contributor
6 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Day trip to Petra

Hi. Just wondering if you did the trip and was it worth it? We are looking at doing the same thing next year and are trying to decide what to do!

Perth, West...
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Day trip to Petra


Sorry it has taken this long to reply.

I couldn't do the tour to Petra as the tour group I was with would not allow it. I was on a tour of Egypt only and if I did leave Egypt and go into Jordan, I wouldn't be able to rejoin my tour group. I was told by others on my tour who had visited Jordan that Petra is amazing.

Thanks and enjoy your trip.

Level Contributor
46 posts
57 reviews
7. Re: Day trip to Petra


Sorry - only saw your message just now.

We did the trip to Petra with our kids ages 12 and 14. We found the trip very worthwhile and I would think your kids would enjoy it as well, even at a slightly younger age. The main point to consider is the length of the day. If your kids can cope with long bus rides and a long day....should be fine. The trip was broken up into sveral distinct sections (initial bus ride, ferry ride, bus ride through Jordan, etc.), so no one section was more than 2.5 hours or so.

We were there in the beginning of April - it was warm (maybe 24-26C), but bearable. The buses were comfortably air conditioned and the ferry ride temp was cool and breezy, especially n the dark on the way back.

Hope this helps.


San Diego...
Level Contributor
59 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: Day trip to Petra


Petra was definitely one ot the favorite places I have been to historically speaking. It tops Machu Pichu for me and maybe Pompeii. We were there about a week ago. If you do it independently it is quite affordable to see beauty of this magnitude. What you have is a mix of sheer natural beauty as well as geniune craftsmanship. From Dahab take a collective "bus" or rent a cab $8-$10ea or $40- $50 respectively to Taba. Cross into Israel and take a cab at the border to the other border with Jordan (Insist on using the meter!! $16 about fifteen minutes) Pay exit tax at Israel border $25 +- and then upon entering Jordan you can get a taxi to Petra directly for $40US If you dont have time to stay the nite the same cab will wait for you to take you back for as little as an additional $25 (for the whole cab). It is feasible to do the five or so mile walk in three to four hours. We walked down to the restraunts at the end and took donkeys back ($15 for two). I can not understate how much we enjoyed Petra. The route I described can be done in 3.5-4 hrs drive ea way plus border crossing, which is fairly painless and safe. The prices I quoted were negotiated down from the "sucker price". The weather was nice. I would have to say that we enjoyed Petra much more than we did Giza. Sure there are some touts, beggars and peddalers of junk (actually right at the major sites) but nothing like in Egypt. Let me know if you have any questions jackyl01@hotmail.com

If you can stay it makes for a great sunrise or set in Wadi Musa. I reccomend the Hotel Elgeen.

Have Fun!

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
58 posts
9. Re: Day trip to Petra


I saw that King Safari (full disclosure....I know nothing about this vendor..I jsut saw them mentioned in someone's note), that would do an overnight trip to Petra. It was similar to what you described but you actually spent the night and then had the next day to see as you wanted...I wondered if you think there is enough to see/do for two days.

Kind regards.

10. Re: Day trip to Petra

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