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Practicalities

Location

Aqaba, the southernmost city in Jordan, lies at the tip of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is strategically located at the crossroads of the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, and borders Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Aqaba lies approximately 330km south of Amman and covers an area of 375 square kilometers.

Getting to Aqaba

Aqaba can be reached by sea, air or land. You can get there by either taking a cruise ship through the warm waters of the Red Sea from Egypt; by flying in from various locations; or if you prefer exploring by car, you can drive there from within Jordan or from Saudi Arabia, Israel or Iraq.

By Sea:

  • A regular ferry route to Taba is available on daily basis and operated by Sindbad for Marine Transportation & Water Sport from the Royal Yacht Club. A one way trip to Taba takes 45 minutes.
  • If tourists are interested in going to Sharm Al Sheik they can take the Aqaba-Nuweibah Ferry or the High Speed Catamaran (HSC) and then hire a taxi to take them to Sharm Al sheik.
  • A new shuttle started operating from Tala Bay Marina to Taba Heights Marina on ugust 3rd, 2008. A one way trip to Taba takes 25 minutes.

By Land:

There are frequent regular tourist and non-tourist buses that can take you from Amman directly to Aqaba (the central bus station) and back, with no stops on the way. If you are interested in exploring the area further, there are regular bus routes from Amman to several other destinations.
These tourist buses are punctual, spacious and installed with amenities such as air conditioning and bathrooms.

By Air

King Hussein International Airport lies to the north of the city, and is a 20-minutes drive away from the center. Royal Jordanian offers regular flights from Amman to Aqaba and the flying time is about 45 minutes.
Jordan Aviation also offers regular flights to Aqaba from Amman, Dubai and Alexandria (Egypt), as well as chartered flights from Europe.

Aqaba Fact Sheet

Full name: Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority

Area: 375 KM2

Population: 103,000 people

Administrator: The Chief Commissioner

Dialing Code: +962-3

Border Points: Terrestrial, sea and air passages.

Climate:

Aqaba’s climate is characterized by very hot summers and warm winters. Rainfall is <50mm per year.

Road Networks:

An 8,000 – kilometer modern highway system connects Aqaba to surrounding countries and Europe. The Desert Highway is the principal transportation route between Aqaba and Amman, with connecting roads leading east and west. The Dead Sea Highway provides access to the resorts and mineral processing centers on the Dead Sea.

Time and Measures:

Winter time: October-March GMT+2;

Summer time: April-September GMT+3;

Metric system is used. Gram, meter, and liter are the basic units.

Currency and credit cards:

The currency used is Jordanian Dinar (JD).

  • One JD is 1000 Fils and is equivalent to 1.4 US dollars.
  • Coins and paper denominations are both used.
  • The coin denominations are: 5 fils, 10 fils, 25 fils, 50 fils, 100 fils, 250 fils and 500 fils.
  • The Paper denominations are: JD 1, JD 5, JD 10, JD 20 JD 50.
  • The daily exchange rate is published in the local newspapers.
  • Money can be exchanged in banks, hotels and currency exchange offices.
  • Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, car rental companies, shops and restaurants. Major cards accepted are: MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
  • Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, which is essential for shopping in the local souks.
  • Traveler checks are only accepted in banks and the currency exchangers.

How to Get To Petra

The best time to see Petra is in the early morning or late afternoon, so plan for an early start or arrive the evening before and stay in one of the comfortable hotels near the site.

By bus:

JETT (Tel. (06) 5664146), operates a modern fleet of air-conditioned coaches from Amman to Wadi Musa (Petra). Departure is from Abdali Station in Amman. The bus leaves at 6:30 daily to Petra and 4:00 pm to Amman from Petra.

By car:

Petra is a 3-hour drive from Amman on the modern Desert Highway, or 5 hours on the more scenic Kings' Highway. Leave Amman from the 7th Circle and follow the brown signs, which are designed for tourists.  

By taxi:

You can hire a taxi in Amman to take you to Wadi Musa (Petra). The fare should be approximately 50 Jordanian Dinars; however, be sure to agree on the price with the driver before setting off.  

Other Destinations:

Combine your visit to Petra with a trip to Dana, a bird's nest-like mountain village in the fascinating nature reserve (on the way to Petra, best seen the day before or following your visit to Petra), or take in the unspoiled desert vastness of Wadi Rum - only an hour's drive south of Petra.

Entrance Fees

Entry Ticket (JD)

ServicesTicket (JD)

Total AdmissionRate (JD)

1 Day

21

29

50

One day visitor to Jordan

21

69

90

2 Days

26

29

55

3 Days

31

29

60

  • Open 06:00 am - close 16:00 (winter time)
  • Open 06:00 am – close 18:00 (summer time) 
  • Jordanians, resident card holders and students with valid Jordanian University ID - 1JD per entry 
  • All children under 15 - Free

How to Get To Wadi Rum

 Wadi Rum lies in the south western corner of Jordan 58 kilometers north of the coastal town of Aqaba. It can be reached easily by main roads from Amman (3.5hrs), Aqaba (45 minutes) and Petra (1.5hrs). Car-hire and bus tours can be arranged through hotels and travel agents and taxis can be negotiated from Aqaba and Petra. Daily internal air-flights operate between Amman and Aqaba. Public transport is very limited and information has to be researched. (Include Map)

Fees and charges

  •  A standard fee is charged to all visitors entering the visitor centre and protected area. This fee is used to help local Bedouin communities and pay for the protection of Wadi Rum.
  • At present the fees are as follows:
  • 1 Jordanian Dinar ($1.4) per person for Jordanians and residents.
  •  Children under 12 years are free.
  • But these fees are subject to be raised during 2007.
  • Other services, such as jeep and camel tours, are charged separately according to the official rate

Safety in the desert

  • Wadi Rum is not an inherently dangerous place but travelers in the desert should take a few simple precautions to reduce risks and make their visit more enjoyable. Always bring a hat, sun cream and drinking water to enable you to cope with the sun and heat. Strong shoes are recommended for walking over sand and rock. If you are camping overnight, a flash light will be useful and a trowel or small shovel to bury organic waste. A light weight sleeping bag is also advisable, as it can get cold in the desert at night, although most tour operators and local Bedouins provide mattresses, blankets and pillows as part of the deal. Check before you arrive.
  • Some poisonous species of snakes and scorpions can be found in the protected area. If you are bitten by a snake or scorpion, try and note its color and markings, tie a tourniquet above the bite, immobilize the affected area, and obtain medical help as soon as possible. It should be stressed, however, that bites from snakes or scorpions are extremely rare; the vast majority of visitors never see them.
  • If you are planning to trek or climb and spend several days in the protected area, you must register your trip at the visitor centre before you start - and you should follow the best practice and safety guidelines recommended by the Protected Area Authority. These are available as a leaflet from the visitor centre or through the library link in this website. In the event of an emergency, you should first contact the tourism police at the visitor centre.