Are there any private tour companies you recommend in Jordan?
September 30, 2012 10:25 PM   Subscribe

Are there any private tour companies you recommend in Jordan? I'm Going from Aqaba -> Wadi Rum -> Petra -> Amman in a single day, morning to night. My plan is to enter Jordan in the morning at the Aqaba border crossing, then traveling to Amman in the course of a single day, seeing Petra and Wadi Rum on the way. I'll have a plane to catch out of Amman airport in the wee hours of the night, so I don't want to rely on Jordanian public transportation, I want privately hired transport to take my wife and I there.

The one I've found so far is Memphis Tours, which is offering to do the above for $450 per person, for a 2 person private tour. Not sure if that's overpriced or not, or whether it's generally kosher to haggle the price down with tour operators.
posted by Televangelist to Travel & Transportation around Jordan (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I was in Jordan 2 years ago. It is only about 4-5 hours drive from Aqaba to Amman. A safe and cheap bet is to hire a taxi for the day. Advance booking is not necessary at all.

The tour agency is quoting an outrageous amount which includes constant guiding and assumes you will bargain hard. In my experience, much of the bargain-culture world inflates prices for visitors by 25-200%, but I found that in Egypt and Jordan it was often 1000% or more.
posted by maya at 10:41 PM on September 30, 2012

Just looked up my notes. I went by bus from Aqaba to Petra and returned by private taxi. Another traveler and I paid 20JD total for the one way taxi back. The exchange rate is very stable- that is still about $28 for the 130km ride. It is closer to 370km from Aqaba to Amman, plus consider waiting time. You may be asked for pay for the return trip but keep in mind that the driver will not return to Aqaba without finding a fare. Make sure it is clear up front that the amount agreed on is for both passengers and not one!!
posted by maya at 10:53 PM on September 30, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the thoughts, guys. :) Will definitely try to haggle it down.

The things I worry about with just hiring a taxi for the day are:

-Wadi Rum. The tour guide was talking a 90 minute tour of Wadi Rum in a 4x4 jeep, which sounded good. If I'm handling my own affairs, not sure how I would interface between the driver and a jeep tour ("Hey, just hang out here for 90 minutes, will ya?")

-Luggage. We're going to have suitcases since we came through Israel and we're flying out of Amman, which makes me a bit uneasy about the whole "tell the taxi driver to hang out for 90 minutes while we go explore wadi rum" thing.

But maybe I'm not looking at it from the right angle. :)
posted by Televangelist at 12:03 AM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: Also, I suppose I could simply rent and drive my own car... from you all's experience, are there reasonable parking lots in Wadi Rum and Petra, where I could leave a rental car for hours and not worry about it?
posted by Televangelist at 12:10 AM on October 1, 2012

Went in April, paid about 120 JD (maybe a bit more?) for a car and driver from Aqaba to Amman via Petra (in a day). There was plenty of parking around Petra and at Wadi Rum Visitors Centre. You can pick up tours at the Visitors Centre (or look around online and book ahead), and you can hire guides at Petra if you want one. We had one driver that we knew through local contacts, but the hotel in Aqaba was also able to arrange.

Do enquire about the condition of the vehicle, we had two flat tyres. Make sure there are seatbelts for all seats, we saw several nasty accidents.

Don't know what passport you are travelling on, but others I spoke to (on Australian passports) had taken a few hours to get through the border crossing between Israel and Jordan, having every single item in their luggage taken out and inspected. Not sure how typical this is, but it may make it an even longer day.
posted by AnnaRat at 3:08 AM on October 1, 2012

Does anyone else think that it's just silly to go to two major attractions along the way? I like traveling slow (spent 3 days at Petra alone), but between crossing borders, the taxi across the country and getting tickets I don't see where there would be time to see both Wadi Rum and Petra. My suggestion is to only go to Petra. That will make hiring a taxi for the day much more simple and cheaper.

I can't recommend a private tour company, but agree with posters above who suggest a private taxi. Often hotels will arrange the connection if you don't want to find a taxi on the street. Will you be staying at a hotel at all in Jordan?

There is adequate parking lots at Petra, but from there you're walking quite a ways to see any of the sights and you'll need a minimum of 3 hours there just to get to the site, see a very small bit of it and get back to the parking lot.

Wadi Rum is a desert so there's not a parking lot. I recall driving by gates, possibly, but it seems that everyone goes there with pre-arranged transport. I took an overnight tour arranged by my hostel. We had a 4x4 and still had to get out and push when it got stuck in sand so a normal taxi or driving yourself isn't a great idea. It was pretty, but with only a day Petra is much more worth your time.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:05 AM on October 1, 2012

I drove that route in a rented Peugeot. The roads are decent in Jordan and they don't drive like lunatics (unlike in say Egypt) so renting a car and driving yourself is quite practical. Don't speed, because speed traps are everywhere, and watch out for speed bumps on the freeway (seriously, but there are warning signs).

We spent a few days covering that much ground though, and also took in the amazing Roman ruins in Jerash and Umm Qais.
posted by w0mbat at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: We like to do fast itineraries. :) Did all of the interesting parts of Hong Kong in 48 hours, Manila in 24 hours, etc...

Bunglegirl, I'm curious what you mean by "a minimum of 3 hours at Petra just to get ot the site, see a very small bit of it and get back to the parking lot" -- from what I'm seeing online, the walk to the site through the Siq is only 2km?
posted by Televangelist at 11:03 AM on October 4, 2012

Response by poster: Ahh, looking now it seems like you're assuming one definitely goes to the Monastery? I think we might skip that.
posted by Televangelist at 11:16 AM on October 4, 2012

« Older RV rental recommendations in Las Vegas?   |   Help me tell daughter Santa Claus truth Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.