Getting from Eilat to Aqaba is a journey of just a few kilometers between the two resort cities which sit at the ‘head of the Red Sea’. But it requires crossing from Israel into Jordan. The process of traveling from Eilat to Aqaba is three-fold, with the need to travel from Eilat city center to the Arava Border Crossing, cross the border itself, and continue with another mode of transport from the Jordanian side to the city of Aqaba. There are shuttles available from hotels in Eilat to hotels in Aqaba which simplify and in many cases work out cheaper than traveling independently between the two cities. This article will spell out the options for getting from Eilat to Aqaba.
The Independent Route
The independent route from Eilat to Aqaba means the following:
- 1. Take a taxi from the city of Eilat to the Arava Border. The journey is 5-10 minutes from Eilat city center (10-15 minutes from the hotels south of the center) and the taxi would cost around 30-40 NIS (approx $10)
- 2. Enter the border crossing and leave the Israeli side, enter the Jordanian side, paying all fees directly to the authorities. (Note: as of January 2016 in most cases, the crossing can only be made with pre-arranged visa. This is not the case if you travel to Jordan with an organized tour or take a pre-booked shuttle as the operator is able to handle the visa preparation and the customer should just pay the visa fee at the border)
- 3. Take a taxi from the Jordanian border terminal to Aqaba city center. The journey is 5-10 minutes (20 minutes to Tala Bay) and the cost is 11 JD which is approx $15.50. Note that the taxi drivers at the Jordanian terminal have a reputation for overcharging, so insist on the fixed fare
Total cost of traveling independently is $25.50 plus border crossing fees and visa fees. This is if it’s possible for you to get a visa at the border.
Tours from Eilat to Aqaba
While no tours visit just these cities specifically, most tours to Petra visit Aqaba at the end of the tour. This is true whether it is a one day, two day, or three day trip. The gives you a short time to explore the city. It also gives you the option to remain in Aqaba rather than returning to Eilat with the group.