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Crossing from Israel to Jordan: Need advice and encouragement. And Advice.

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Nov 19th, 2013, 07:06 PM
  #1
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Crossing from Israel to Jordan: Need advice and encouragement. And Advice.

So I had this lovely idea that during our Xmas vacation trip to visit family in Israel, we'd take a little side trip to Jordan, esp wanted to see Petra, of course. However it is starting to feel that this is no little side trip -- that coming from Tel Aviv or even Jerusalem, it can be a very long drive with a potential traffic jam on the Allenby Bridge and the need for a car change or two. And then you're still far north of Petra, right?

Anyone want to offer words of advice and cheer me on -- I can find a way to do this?!?!? Right?? How?

Help and THANK YOU!
Pediatrician12 is offline  
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Nov 20th, 2013, 01:17 AM
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Do you need a car in Petra? I took the 444 bus from Jerusalem to Eilat, and crossed the border there. No advance visa needed, no lines at the border, easy crossing. Then I used a cab to get to Petra. There are hotels right near the gates of the park, and cabs are not too expensive.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 01:21 AM
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And yes, for encouragement, I would say Petra is WONDERFUL and well worth the visit. People were great. The park is amazing. I spent two full days and three nights, two in a Bedouin Camp, and one in a B&B. It was my favorite part of a week spent in Jordan.

I would plan a full day for hiking around the park. It is very large.
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Nov 25th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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If you follow beth c's recommendation, which is a good one, to take a bus from Jerusalem to Eilat and a taxi to Wadi Musa (the city near the entrance to Petra) this travel will take most of a day. I'm guessing 3 to 4 hours to the border, then once you cross, another 1.5 to two hours to Wadi Musa. The amount of time you spend at a crossing can be very unpredictable. We crossed at the other northernmost border crossing and there was little crowd, but we still spent about two hours or so for the whole process. These border crossings are strictly controlled. While relations between Israel and Jordan are touted as "peaceful" in guidebooks, the relationship nevertheless remains very fragile. To make this side trip to Jordan, you'll need three full days and two nights...two days for travel (there and return)and one entire day minimum at Petra. I do not recommend the border crossing near Jericho, as it is where the Palestinians cross and it can be very busy and chaotic due to the poor relations between Israel and Palestine. This crossing (Allenby Bridge) is the only border crossing Palestinians are permitted to use. And yes, if you do use it, you'll still be about 4 hours drive from Petra. You'll probably spend hours at this border crossing if you try to use it. Eilat and the other northernmost crossing near Beit She'an are where the Jordanians and tourist foreigners cross. If you have to return back to Israel, expect to be interrogated by the Israeli passport control. They can be intimidating, but if you keep your cool and be respectful and answer all their questions, you'll be fine. Border officials on the Jordanian side are not intimidating at all. That was our experience. Yours may be different. Also be aware of rules with the border crossing. I think you have to return by the same one you entered. Double check that.

Rental cars are not permitted across the border from either side, and, while I can't speak for Eilat, I know that the northernmost crossing is literally in the middle of no where and there are no car rental facilities nearby. While Jordan is somewhat developed for tourism, it doesn't have near the infrastructure as Israel does, so keep that in mind. Car rental is expensive there, I know because we rented one in Amman. Taxis are plentiful, though, and are not expensive. Petra is gorgeous and unforgettable. If that's the only thing you're interested in seeing in Jordan, I guess you have to decide if you want to spend 3 whole days of your vacation to see it. Another possibility: check in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem for coach tours to Petra. This might make the logistics easier for you.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Many visitors prefer the Eilat crossing, where when on the Jordan side you can take a taxi to Petra; return the same way.

Or arrange an actual tour out of JER or TLV to/from Petra.

We spent 3/days, visiting Petra, Amman and other areas (guide/vehicles provided, along with hotel, airport transfers, as we were flying Royal Jordanian to Cairo and RJ offered a layover package that was so reasonable, we couldn't turn it down.
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Nov 29th, 2013, 07:12 PM
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Wonderful advice. Thank you all so much!
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Jan 1st, 2014, 03:14 PM
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Please report back and let us know how it went. Hope you had a great trip. Would love to hear about it!
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 06:49 PM
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You can rent a car in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and drive to Eilat, via Massada/Dead Sea and spend the night in Eilat in order to break up your traveling time. The next day you drive to the border crossing and leave your car parked there until you come back from Jordan. Once you cross, negotiate a taxi fare, do not accept their first offer or ask other drivers for a cheaper fare.
I would ober-night in Petra, so you have time to visit both the ruins and also Wadi Rum. Your hotel can arrange for a taxi to take you to Wadi Rum, wait for you while you take a tour with the bedouins, then drop you off at the border where your car will be waiting for you.
Petra is amazing and well worth a trip as is Wadi Rum, Eilat, and Massada. In Jordan, I would definitely travel with another person for safety reasons and stay at least 2 days in Jordan or it will be too rushed.
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