Getting Around

How to Get from Aqaba to Petra:
A Complete Guide

From the glittering waters of the Red Sea to the breathtaking structures of the Rose City, there is so much to see in southern Jordan – if you’re visiting this country and region, you simply have to explore!

As you plan your Jordan itinerary, you might have questions about how to get from one part of the country to another. I’ve been working on a series of guides on getting around, and this one is here to help you figure out the basics of travel from Aqaba to Petra.

Aqaba to Petra Hero

If you’re curious about how far it is between them, your travel options, and what I consider the best way to travel from Aqaba to Petra, read on. This quick guide will give you all the info you need to finalize this part of your Jordan itinerary.

How Far is it from Aqaba to Petra?

Petra and Aqaba are located in the southern portion of Jordan. Aqaba, the country’s only port city, serves as a great base to move around, mainly because it’s close to major attractions like Wadi Rum, and, yes, Petra. 

There are 78 miles (125 km) between Petra and Aqaba. Both cities are connected by Kings Highway and Desert Highway (also known as Highway 15). It takes about two hours to cover the distance from Aqaba to Petra. The good news is that traffic jams are unusual in Aqaba as the city is smaller. 

Aqaba to Petra Bus Options

Aqaba to Petra - JETT Bus from Aqaba to Petra
Photo courtesy of misha yakin via Flickr

Let’s start with the first alternative that you as a traveler have to get from Aqaba to Petra. Jordan isn’t exactly known for its efficient transportation system. However, the country operates an excellent tourist-friendly company called JETT. This company has a bus network across the whole country and runs regular services between the most popular destinations. 

They run one daily service from Aqaba to Petra that leaves at 8:00 am. The only return trip available departs from Petra at 5 pm. Each ticket costs 15 JD. The buses are very comfortable, with English-speaking guides, and comfortable seats – and follow a schedule.  

You can also take one of the public buses to get from Aqaba to Petra. However, they’re a bit more complicated for travelers. Public buses in Jordan don’t follow a schedule and depart once they’ve reached full capacity. Also, there’s very little chance the staff speaks English, so you’ll have a hard time making yourself understood should any inconvenience arise. 

Aqaba to Petra Taxi Options 

Amman to Dead Sea - Jordan Taxi Sign

Another way to get from Aqaba to Petra is by arranging a taxi. You can hail a taxi from the street or ask your hotel to book one. A one-way trip to Petra costs 75 to 100 JD. Now, hear me out on this: make sure you set the price before starting the journey. Also, you can arrange for a taxi to wait for you outside Petra once you’ve finished exploring the site. 

Budget-friendly tip: most taxis take up to 4 passengers, so you can ask fellow travelers to join and split the bill. 

Private Driver from Aqaba to Petra

Hiring private drivers is another popular way to get from Aqaba to the archaeological city. On average, a private transfer costs around 80 JD one way. Prices can vary depending on the vehicle you choose and the number of people. 

As with taxis, you can book a one-way trip or a round trip. The best part of hiring a private driver is that you can communicate in English and you know what to expect. Also, divers are local people who can recommend cool places to visit along the way. 

Car Rental for Visiting Petra

Aqaba to Petra - City of Petra

Last but not least, you can rent a car to get from Aqaba to Petra. You’ll find a good deal of car rental companies in Aqaba and they offer new car models for around 30 JD per day. 

Driving may scare off some travelers, but the truth is that the route between Aqaba and Petra is not a difficult one. There’s not a lot of traffic and the ride is fairly short. Renting a car also gives you the chance to manage your own schedule.

I’ve got a whole list of tips for driving in Jordan to help you get ready if this is the way you want to get around Jordan.

The Best Way from Aqaba to Petra

Ahh, the defining moment. The truth is that the best way to get from Aqaba to Petra is the one that fulfills your needs. But, for the sake of narrowing it down to two options, I’d say renting a car or hiring a private driver are the ways to go.

Renting a car is perfect for those who’re on a budget. It’s cheap, it’s comfortable, it gives you the freedom to organize your trip as you see fit, and, not a minor detail, the Aqaba to Petra drive is not a difficult one! 

If you’re traveling with your kids or older people, a private transfer offers much more comfort. All you have to do is get comfortable in your seat and enjoy the ride.  

Have any questions about how to travel from Aqaba to Petra? Let me know in the comment below!

JT Headshot New

I fell in love with Jordan after my first visit in 2016; now I love returning to explore more – and writing guides to help you do the same.


  • Deborah Baker

    Hi Valerie,
    Can you actually provide me with some connections or companies that have private drivers? I want to take a trip from Aqaba Part to Petra. (and would need transportation back) Is there a way to hire a driver/car for the whole day so they could also drive us around Wadi Rum? Do you suggest that we get the Jordan Pass instead of just paying for the Petra entrance fee? I also would like to hire a guide and a golf cart (not a great walker) in Petra. Do they allow golf carts past the Siq and beyond the Treasury? Are there any flat walks inside or is it all climbing? Would hiring a donkey or camel be my only choices?
    Any and all information you could provide would be a wonderful help.
    Thank you in advance,
    Deb Baker

    • JT Headshot New


      Deb, hi, here are some answers for you!
      – Try checking Experience Jordan; that’s who I always book through.
      – Your driver to Wadi Rum will not have the right car to actually go out into the Protected Area; you’ll need to book a separate tour for that.
      – I’ve never purchased the Jordan Pass, but if you are planning to visit lots of the included attractions, it makes sense.
      – I do not believe golf carts are allowed inside the Treasury, and all of the trails are uneven, so a donkey or camel would be your only choice for certain trails.

  • Helena McGlade

    Hi Valerie, many thanks for all the great articles about Jordan. We will be arriving in Aqaba by cruise ship on 5th Nov 2023 and I was wondering if you had a list of private drivers as we want to hire one to go to Petra for the day. We would like to secure one in advance. Any advice re hiring a driver would be appreciated. Many thanks. Helenai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *