The ancient city of Petra is approximately 143 miles (230 km) from Amman, Jordan's capital. Heading south, you'll take the Desert Highway to reach Wadi Musa, the gateway town to Petra. There are several ways to access the park, but the Visitor Center is the main point of entry, and provides tickets, maps, and information. If you book a private transfer, the ride will take about three hours. Taxis are another viable option, and they are easy to find anywhere in Amman.
Traveling by bus is a budget option, but it will take more time than a car or taxi. The private company JETT offers air-conditioned tourist buses that run on fixed schedules with direct routes from Amman to Petra.
The park covers nearly 2,500 acres, and while it is possible to see a lot in a day, consider taking two or three. From Bedouin-style camps in the desert to luxury hotels, there are a variety of accommodations nearby to choose from—check out this article for our top lodging picks.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 3-4 hours, more with stops
Outside of the capital, traffic will be minimal and restaurants and souvenir stores dot the Desert Highway. There are many opportunities to stop for a cup of tea and a snack, along with lots of surprisingly good souvenir shopping.
Another option is the slow-winding Route 65, which takes significantly longer but allows for easy detours to the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib, and Dana Biosphere Reserve. If you take this route, you might consider breaking up the drive over multiple days, spending the night at the Dead Sea or the luxurious Ma'in Hot Springs. Once you get to Wadi Musa, your driver can drop you off at the Visitor Center, a good spot for getting your bearings and planning your visit to Petra.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Because Amman is a big city, hailing a taxi to get you to Wadi Musa will not be difficult. Yellow cabs are everywhere and are a trusted source for functioning meters and licensed drivers. Your hotel can also arrange a ride for you before your departure. Uber and other ride-sharing apps also work in Amman, so consider checking for local drivers.
Duration: 4-5 hours
In Amman, you'll have your choice of JETT bus stations around the city. The main hub is the Abdali station downtown. Be sure to check JETT's website ahead of time if you want to purchase tickets online, get information, or confirm any details for your trip. This is a frequently-traveled route for tourists, so there will be several runs a day. Tourists buses cost more, but the amenities they provide onboard can come in handy for longer trips. The bus station in Wadi Musa is a short distance from the main entrance to the park.