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Taxi-Amman to Petra to Elat. Weather. VAT in Israel hotels. Crossing taxes?

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I have some questions on hiring taxis to and from Petra and for information on what to expect for general weather in late December in Petra, and VAT in Israeli hotels, and border crossing taxes. And, if you have any recommendations on any topic you'd like on visiting Petra that fits the amount of time we have in Petra, please make them. We'll be there for two nights.

We will arrive at the Queen Alia airport in Amman, from Cairo,, Egypt on December 19. We plan to hire a taxi from there to the Crowne Plaza in Petra and will spend that night and the next there. When we leave from Petra, we go to Elat, Israel. We are not planning on any touring in Petra the day of our departure. We plan to hire a taxi from the Crown Plaza, Petra, to take us to Elat.

1) Has anyone had any experience hiring a taxi from Amman to Petra? If you have recommendations, please make them.
2) Has anyone had any experience hiriing a taxi from Petra, Jordon to Elat Israel? Recomendations?
3) Any idea on how long it may take us to clear customs in Jordan after arriving from Egypt?
4) I had no idea there could be snow in this area, so it seems, in the winter. Any thoughts on what may be generally expected for December and recommended clothing? [I mean, I live in Colorado, and have had those snow storms that stop traffic. I'd not thought of this as a problem in Jordon!]
5) Our hotel reservation in Elat, Israel, says that guests without a tourist VISA stamp will pay a 15% VAT. We are US citizens. We think we do not have to have a VISA for our short stay of 2 weeks in Israel. I called the consulate in Los Angeles and they said they'd never heard of tourists not having to pay VAT with a tourist VISA. Does anyone have any experience with this? Do you know how we go about getting a tourist VISA stamp crossing by land from Jordan to Israel?
6) One guide book we have suggests there is a very heavy exit tax imposed by Jordon when crossing by land from Jordon to Israel, and a very heavy entry tax imposed by Israel when coming across from Jordon by land. There is no definition of what that means and how it is assessed. Anyone have any comments on this?

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