I visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra, in Jordan as part of a recent site inspection to Israel. Petra can be visited as a day trip from the city of Eilat, located on the Red Sea coast in southern Israel. Eilat is approx. a 5 hour drive from Tel Aviv or a 40 minute domestic flight. A new international airport is expected to open in Eilat toward the end of 2017 as well.
The border crossing into Jordan is approximately a 5-10 minute drive from most hotels in Eilat. For groups, travelers will be transferred to the border and be assisted with departure customs on the Israel side before walking across the border to the Jordanian side. Upon arrival, after passing through security, a Destination Partners representative meets the group in Jordan to assist with the visa and arrival process before escorting the group, on foot, to the customs exit where coaches can meet the group.
It is approximately a 2.5 hour drive to the site of Petra and the minimum time that should be allotted for the site visit is 3 hrs, but much more time could also easily be spent if the group was interested in doing any of the hikes to some of the sites off the main visitor route. It does make for a long day trip if the group plans to return to Eilat on the same day, so it is also possible to overnight in the city of Petra. There are good standard accommodations within a 5-10 minute drive of the site. Also something to consider is that there are cost savings possible if the group spends 2+ nights in Jordan, if that would be of interest given a program’s focus.
The Petra site, while very well visited and at times busy, is a vast archaeological site and does not disappoint. If time allows, it is possible to get off the main visitor path and get an in depth look at unique and less known archaeological remains. A great guide is essential to reveal the history of this remarkable place.