With Israel’s spanking new Ramon Eilat airport just about open, and with a ton of great low-cost flights scheduled to fly in, the question for many of you will be just how the heck do I get to Petra / Wadi Rum from here?
With Eilat just 18 km south of the airport, the Ramon airport is remarkably close to the fun and sun at the Red Sea, and yep, from there it’s a quick hop over the border to Jordan (if a Petra day tour is on your bucket list, this budget-friendly tour is a great option – and also takes care of all the logistics for you).
To get to Eilat, simply hop on one of the FREE shuttle buses which are expected to leave the airport every 15 minutes (there is another shuttle service at the airport, but since they charge you for the ride, I’m not sure it’s worth it).
If you would prefer not to wait for a shuttle bus, there will, of course, be a taxi rank at the airport. However you decide to get to Eilat from the Ramon airport, the journey shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes given that the road into Eilat (Highway 90) has recently been widened into four lanes.
Once in Eilat you might consider spending the night before crossing the Arava border, depending on your schedule and your time of arrival – the border opens Sun–Thurs 06:30 – 20:00 and Fri – Sat 08:00 – 20:00, and is also closed on the Islamic New Year and Yom Kippur.
In regards to getting a visa at the border, this is a bit hit and miss, since official word is that you CANNOT get a visa at the border, while some tourists have apparently had success with getting a visa – see our guide to getting to Jordan on your own for more info. Bear in mind purchasing the Jordan Pass will prove cost effective if you are staying in Jordan for at least 3 nights.
Once you’re through border control, you can grab a taxi to Aqaba on the Jordanian side – they’ll probably try to push for upwards of 15JD, you should be able to get it slightly cheaper than that. Once in Aqaba, it’s basically down to you how you want to continue onwards – with a private driver, a taxi, renting a car, or public transportation.
Note that the only way to reach Petra from Aqaba by public transport is via the local bus (the previously running Jett service has now stopped) which departs from the bus station in Aqaba – the one issue with that is that it doesn’t have a set schedule. A taxi might be your best bet – it will cost you around 50JD (negotiate!) – and your Petra hotel should be able to help you by arranging this.