tour of Petra

Mar 14th, 2009, 03:56 AM
  #1  
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tour of Petra

We want to take a one day tour of Petra while we are visiting Eilat, Israel. We don't know if we have to take a tour from Israel, or can we just cross the border ourselves and pick up a guide on the Jordanian side for a lower price? Also, if we did it this way, how difficult is it to return into Israel without being on a tour?
tinydancer is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 06:08 AM
  #2  
 
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You can certainly visit Petra via Eilat.

Haven't done it, but you can arrange on the Israeli side (hotel or local tour operator) who will coordinate transfer from hotel, to border crossing (Visa required) and onward transport in Jordan to Petra and return.

Whether you can simply cross the border on own and be assured there's transport on the Jordan side, can't say. Nor, what price.
sandi is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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You can't take a rental car into Jordan from Israel. We arranged through Am. Ex in Jerusalem. We left our rental car on the Israeli side, took a bus into Jordan, and our guide met us there. Returning, the Israeli customs officials took us to the front of the line and escorted us through. There are excellent hotels in Petra. The drive is long. I had planned on going from Eilat, but we changed our mind midstream. By crossing the Allenby (?) Bridge, we also saw Mt. Nebo, Jerash and Sardot. We were in Jordan two days. Loved Petra. Incredibly beautiful. A British vocalist sang Ave Maria in one of the carved halls. The sound was perfect. In Jerash, Jordanian retired soldiers dressed in Scottish kilts played Ode to Joy in a Roman amphitheater. It still gives me goose bumps. Do enjoy your trip.
suoma is offline  
Mar 14th, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Suoma is right no rental cars allowed over the border and the drive is long. If you go with a tour company (Longwoods have an office in Israel) you will only have about 4-5 hours there, bearing in mind the walk down the Siq into Petra itself takes about an hour each way, so not much time to see much and it's vast.
There are many good hotels so if you want to really take it in without being rushed I would stay at least one night to have a full day.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 09:24 PM
  #5  
ALF
 
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You can make the Eilat border crossing yourself, and then you can talk to the many bus and taxi drivers about how much they would charge you to take you to Petra. If you go this route, get to the border as early as possible, because it rapidly becomes clogged, mostly with tour groups.

It may be a lot easier to take a tour, most importantly because they will ease your way through the border. It can be very time-consuming and tedious to do this, and the tour guides know what they are doing and who to talk to in order to make your way through as easily as possible. You should also think about if you want to go with a small or large group. We have done both and there are pros/cons: As noted above, it is a long drive, which may be more comfortable in a big air-conditioned bus. We got crammed into a tiny van which was not a lot of fun after the first hour. On the other hand, we felt that we had a superior experience with our van tour guide, a woman (a rarity in itself) who insisted on giving us a side-tour of Aquaba, and told us so much on the way, as well as on the walk down. A big tour bus will obviously not be as intimate, but there is nothing to stop you from leaving your group and heading down into the Wadi and Siq yourself.

It is true, as others mention, that it would be much better to do this trip as an overnight, but even just for the day it is so worth it to experience Petra. Even if you are a slow walker, you will have at least 2 hours in the bottom to wander about among the spectacular ruins.
ALF is offline  
Mar 29th, 2009, 04:02 PM
  #6  
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Thank you all, especially Alf. We wouldn't try to drive, but wanted some opinions about the tours from Israel vs. doing it alone. If you get this, and if you have any details about the tour company you used, Alf, I wouldn't mind having it too. Thanks again!
tinydancer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 08:52 AM
  #7  
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Tinydancer,
Darnit, I knew you would ask that! The bus tour we took was with Desert Ecotours (www.desertecotours.com), a big-time professional outfit, but probably on the expensive side. I have no recollection of the name of the small van tour operator that we used. I realize now, that we booked that tour through a recommendation from the front desk at our hotel, and they did the actual booking.
Al F.
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Apr 24th, 2009, 10:09 AM
  #8  
 
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tinydancer,

You really don't need a tour for Petra. Jordan is such a small country and Petra is Petra. It's very easy to explore on your own. You could cross the border into Jordan and take a bus to Petra.
momplaygroup is offline  
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