Petra to Wadi Rum: Route Options, Explained!

Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by travelingwithsunscreen

In many ways, traveling around Jordan is easy. The distances are relatively short, the roads are paved, and there is cell phone signal in most part of the country. (If you don’t have cell service abroad, find out how to get it!) In other ways, though, it can be challenging. There aren’t trains, and it can be difficult to find information about buses. But don’t despair! There are many ways to get from Petra to Wadi Rum. Read our travel tips below to learn about your options!

About the Journey

The distance from Petra to Wadi Rum is about 100 km, and the trip should take a little under two hours, depending on your form of transit. The journey is through the desert, primarily along the King’s Highway and Desert Highway. The King’s Highway has some maintenance problems, while the Desert Highway is well-maintained and modern.

Petra to Wadi Rum by Taxi

The driving distance from Petra to Wadi Rum is only about one hour and 40 minutes, a reasonable time for a taxi ride in Jordan. Your hotel at Petra should be able to arrange a taxi from Petra to Wadi Rum for you. The cost should be 40-50 JD ($55-70 USD). We’d advise against taking one of the “taxis” that yell to you from the streets of Wadi Musa that they’d like to drive you to Wadi Rum; there is no way of knowing if they are properly licensed cabs.

If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to communicate in advance with your camp at Wadi Rum about where you should be dropped off. Some of the desert camps in Wadi Rum are not easily accessible by ordinary car, and require four wheel drive. In this case, they may arrange to meet you at the Wadi Rum Visitor Center or at a nearby gas station. Be sure you have the WhatsApp number or phone number to communicate with your camp at Wadi Rum in case you need to let them know about any delay in your journey!

Driving conditions in Wadi Rum desert
Not every car can traverse this terrain!

Petra to Wadi Rum by Private Car Service

You can also take a private car service from Petra to Wadi Rum. This would likely be part of full Jordan itinerary with the same driver (for example: Amman to Dead Sea to Petra to Wadi Rum to Aqaba). Unlike in some other countries, your driver is not assigned to you all day to drive you wherever you wish. Rather, your driver is contracted to drive you on the specific routes of your itinerary. They will likely return home each night and drive other clients while you are not in transit.

A full Jordan itinerary might cost you around 450 to 500 JD ($635 to $700 USD), although it could of course be more or less depending on the length of your itinerary and the number of stops. This will be more expensive than taking taxis from place to place, but comes with the bonus of a clean, reliable car and a knowledgeable driver. Your driver will feel more like an unofficial guide. It can be easier to arrange this private transfer all at once, with one company, rather than coordinating with different taxi drivers for each leg of your journey. We had an awesome experience driving with Joyful Roads Car Service!

As with taxis, make sure you coordinate with your camp in Wadi Rum about were you should be dropped off.

Petra to Wadi Rum by Rental Car

Jordan is relatively easy as a self-drive location, and you can certainly rent your own car and drive yourself! If you are doing this, it is easiest to pick your car up in Amman and drop it off either in Amman or Aqaba. Although this sounds like the least expensive option, this may not always be the case. In many cases, it may actually be cheaper to travel by taxi or even by private driver; it was when we visited! Be sure to compare prices.

The section of King’s Highway from Petra to Wadi Rum is somewhat damaged, and is sometimes closed. Additionally, you might lose cell signal on certain parts of your journey. If you’re self-driving, we highly recommend you download the map area between Petra and Wadi Rum in advance, so that you can find alternate routes if you encounter unexpected road closures.

If you do decide to rent a car in Jordan, be sure to read up on local road laws and insurance requirements. And, as with the other options, be sure to communicate with your camp in Wadi Rum in advance about where you should meet them, in case your car cannot make it to the camp itself. (If that’s the case, they’ll have a parking area for you!)

Camel in Wadi Rum
Get ready to meet your new best friend!

What about Uber or Careem from Petra?

It can’t be done! Uber and Careem, which are both convenient options in Amman, do not exist at Petra or Wadi Rum.

Petra to Wadi Rum by Bus

There is a tourist bus that runs from Petra to Wadi Rum most days, as long as there are enough tourists to fill it. It leaves around 6 AM and takes about three hours to arrive. It costs 10 JD per person ($14 USD). This bus picks up from most hotels in Wadi Musa, so you’ll have to ask your hotel to arrange it for you if you’re interested in this option.

You can also ride the JETT bus from Petra to Wadi Rum. The bus station in Petra is right in front of the Petra Visitors Center, and the bus will drop you off at the Wadi Rum Visitor Center. It leaves at 5 PM daily and costs 15 JD per person ($21 USD). Book your ticket online here.

As with the other transit options, be sure to let your Wadi Rum camp know that you will be taking the bus. They will advise you where to get off, and will be able to pick you up from there. For example, the tourist bus could leave you at the Visitor Center, or at Rum Village, depending on the location of your camp or hotel.

Is it possible on foot?

Yes! It is possible! You can hike to Petra to Wadi Rum over five days as part of the Jordan Trail. We are not experts, and we did not do this, so we advise you check out the official website here.

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