Better Ways: How to Get from Petra to Wadi Rum? (2023 UPDATE)
Jordan has an enormous amount to offer tourists but, without a doubt, it’s Petra that the majority of people come to see. This is not surprising - it’s an extraordinary spot, a true national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot.
But there’s another hidden gem in Jordan that more and more visitors are flocking to. It’s the Wadi Rum valley, a natural treasure, also called "The Valley of the Moon", that looks like an alien world; no wonder several Star Wars movies were filmed there.
The Wadi Rum reserve is south of Petra, close to the border with Saudi Arabia; The travel distance is 105km (68 miles) and it takes about two hours. Today, we’re looking at how to travel between Petra and Wadi Rum, and the good news is that whether you’re splurging or on a budget, it’s really quite easy. Here are the best ways, updated and tested by our field teams.
1. Taxi from Petra to Wadi Rum
The city of Wadi Musa sits just outside the Petra Archeology Park and It’s easy to flag down a taxi on the main streets. All you need to do is negotiate the price before you set off. This should be somewhere between 35-40 JOD (after you’ve haggled) and since Petra welcomes many independent visitors, it’s also possible to split the cost with other solo travellers.
One thing you should bear in mind, however, is to ask beforehand about the method of payment - some drivers will insist on cash so make sure you are in agreement before you leave town.
Cons: Payment issues, Price
2. Jordan Car Rental
Renting a car in Jordan is quite simple and relatively inexpensive. It gives you tremendous flexibility, you can stop where you choose along the route, and - let’s face it - aren’t road trips great fun?
Just note that you’ll need to rent the car either in Amman (the capital) or Aqaba (on the Red Sea, close to the border crossing with Israel) because Wadi Musa, where Petra is located, is really not much more than a small desert town.
Pros: Flexibility, faster travel time
Cons: Not available in Wadi Musa, and require rental and return in other cities
Amman's streets. Here you could find car rental agencies
3. Organised tours in Petra and Wadi Rum
Many would argue that Petra and Wadi Rum tours are the best way to combine these two attractions and, without a doubt, it’s the most convenient and hassle-free way to go. If you book a tour of Petra and Wadi Rum, you’ll be transported in a comfortable air-con bus, enjoy the services of a knowledgeable local guide and have accommodation set up for you in advance.
This means that you don’t have to think about anything - cash for cab drivers, getting lost in your rental car, buses that are uncomfortable or stop endlessly to pick other passengers up along the way…it’s not an issue. Everything is arranged for you and that’s that.
Pros: Worry-Free vacation, comfort, expert guides and
Cons: Some could be pricey. Here are some budget-smart Israel and Jordan tours
100% fun, zero hustle. Jeep Safari in Wadi Rum
4. Petra to Wadi Rum by Standard Bus
The most budget-friendly option is to take a bus. The local minibus departs daily from Wadi Musa Bus Station at 06:00. Not surprisingly, it will take you much longer than if you’re driving, so factor in about two and a half to three hours on the road, but it’s definitely an interesting experience and a chance to meet the locals.
Cons: Longer travel time
Standard Buses are cheap, but take longer to arrive
6. Petra to Wadi Rum by JETT Bus
Alternatively, you can take the JETT bus from Petra to Wadi Rum, which leaves every day at 05:00 from the front of the Visitors Centre. It’s comfortable, has air-con, there are bathrooms on board and the journey time is around 90 minutes. It costs 15 JOD and it’s advisable to book a ticket in advance.
Pros: Shorter travel time
Cons: Not cheap and not always available if you didn't book ahead
JETT Bus (image: official JETT website)
7. Private Transfer from Petra to Wadi Rum
Taking a private transfer is the most expensive but definitely the most convenient option. Once booked and paid for, all you have to do is wait for the driver to arrive at your hotel. Then sit back and enjoy the ride. You can organise these with the reception at your hotel or book them online easily.
Transfer Van in Jordan
How do I enter Wadi Rum?
Once you've arrived, stop at the Visitor’s Centre and show your Jordan Pass, which gives you free admission. Otherwise, the cost of entry is 5 JOD. Then it’s up to you what you want to see in this spectacular desert.
And you really are spoilt for choice, trust us. From hiking in spectacular canyons, visiting the Lawrence Springs and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, gazing at dunes, camel riding, taking a trip in a hot air balloon, rock climbing, star gazing, hiring a jeep or simply enjoying a sunset, there’s no shortage of things to keep you occupied for at least a couple of days.
The Martian landscape of Wadi Rum
Is it possible to see Petra and Wadi Rum in one day?
Technically yes, but everyone who ever visited Jordan will advise against it. The fact is that both of these places deserve your time and attention and trying to cram them into one day will probably leave you exhausted and frustrated. It’s better to allow a minimum of two days if you really want to enjoy yourselves.
Plan a trip to Petra and Wadi Rum from Israel
Tourists who visit Israel and enjoy the wonders of Jerusalem and the colours of Tel Aviv tend to include Jordan in their vacation as well.
An organised Petra and Wadi Rum tour from Eilat or a Tel Aviv to Petra 2-Day tour could give you time to really see and experience the beauty of these two places, with a guide to make sure you get the most out of your experience. The guide will deal with all the formalities and every possible issue, so you can focus on your fun and adventure.
If you’d like any further information about the tours we offer to Jordan, feel free to contact us and take a look at our blog, which is full of useful information if you’re planning a trip either to Petra, Wadi Rum or Israel.