Petra has been a bucket list item of mine since forever – so there was no way we weren’t going to visit it, especially since we were in Jerusalem and they’re neighbours.
So the only thing to figure out was how to get there. I looked at a lot of the tours to Petra from Israel. There are ones that leave from Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem, and from Eilat – all roads lead to Petra it seems, but they’re expensive!
The most popular companies were selling 2 days, 1 night – with 1 day of exploring Petra for $384USD per person plus $45USD border tax, so $429USD. There were two problems with this – the first was that 1 day at Petra just wasn’t going to cut it. When you’ve traveled this far, spending only one day in the lost city seems an utter waste – you didn’t even get to see Petra by Night, which I had read about and looked amazing. The second was that $429USD is $557.98CAD – so that would have been $1,115.96CAD – over a grand for 2 days for both of us! Ouchie. It had to be possible to do for cheaper.
And so the research began. And whatdyaknow – we managed to get ourselves from Jerusalem to Petra, spend 3 nights in Petra (2 full days of exploring) for a whopping $281USD per person. That’s $296USD less than the price of the tour (for 2 people), and we were staying in a nicer hotel for 2 more nights than the tour offered (the tour was sleeping in a camp), as well as getting 2 full days in Petra plus the Petra by Night experience.
So, Here it is – Our DIY Petra Tour from Jerusalem
This is for 2 people.
- Bus from Jerusalem to Eilat: 140NIS
- Taxi to Eilat/Aqaba Border: 35NIS
- Exit fee for Israel: 207NIS
Entrance fee for Jordan: 120JD(this entire fee is refunded when you exit Jordan if you stay in the country for 2 nights, so I’m not counting it)
- Taxi from Aqaba Border to Petra:47JD
- 3 Nights in a 3* hotel in Petra with Breakfast: $208.05CAD
- Entrance fee for Petra Site for 2 days: 110JD
- Petra by Night: 36JD
- Taxi from Petra back to Aqaba: 45JD
- Exit tax for Jordan: 10JD
Notes & Caveats:
- If you want to compare apples to apples and stay only 1 night in Petra, and spend only 1 day exploring Petra, the price will drop by over $100USD. If on top of that you’re up for sleeping in a camp or hostel instead of a 3 star hotel, it goes down by another $50USD on top of that. So instead of saving almost $300USD, you’d be saving $450USD, or in other words, instead of the prepackaged tour which costs $429USD per person, it would cost roughly $205USD per person.
- Many tours stop through Wadi Rum (the desert) as well. You can absolutely do this – it’s quite easy to get a taxi to drive you around the desert or arrange a few hours of 4×4 exploring once you get to Petra.
- This isn’t including food for lunch & dinner, which the tour does include, but we found grocery stores in Petra and were able to make sandwiches as well as snacks, and spent 14JD for the 3 days, which is about $20USD
- Getting to Petra from Jerusalem, is quite easy, despite having numerous steps. This backpacker report explains it very clearly and is exactly what we did – complete with avoiding the “taxi mafia” at the Jordanian border by getting a cab first to Aqaba and from there on to Wadi Musa (Petra)