One of the most popular attractions in Jordan, the eastern shore of the Dead Sea is easy to get to whether you're coming from Amman to the north, the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba to the south, Petra, or the desert wilderness of Wadi Rum.

Jordan is a relatively small country connected by well-maintained highways; regardless of your starting point, going by road with a private driver is most practical. Taxis and rideshares will get you there from Amman, Aqaba, or Wadi Musa (gateway town to Petra), and buses are available (though less convenient) from multiple points. 

From Amman

Duration: 1-3 hours

The approximate distance from Amman to the Dead Sea is 40 miles (65 km). The best mode of transportation is a car—preferably with a private driver, though renting a car or taking a taxi are also options. The drive is easy and can be done as a quick hop from the city or a longer drive with scenic stops.

From Amman, you'll head southwest until you reach Route 65, also known as the Dead Sea Highway. This ride takes roughly an hour, varying a bit depending on your final destination. Amman Beach is the closest point, a popular public beach with an entrance fee, but there are plenty of other places to choose from. Seaside resorts with private beaches can be found all along the coast.

While in the area, you can also explore Wadi Mujib and its many outdoor activities. This nature reserve lies east of the Dead Sea and is known for its beautiful trails and canyons. Make sure to stop at the Visitor Center before heading out for a hike. 

A public minibus is a cheap but time-consuming way of getting there. The route isn't direct, and they can be crowded and unreliable. For a little more, you can take a shuttle or tourist bus. Some of the hotel chains in Amman operate buses to their resort locations.

Learn more about traveling from Amman to the Dead Sea

From Aqaba

Duration: 3 hours by private transfer, 6-8 hours by bus

The Dead Sea coastline stretches for about 31 miles (50 km), but from Aqaba to the northernmost point is a 170-mile (273 km) trip. It's three hours by car and you'll take Route 65 the whole way, typically with a private transfer or taxi. 

Taking a bus is the least preferred choice and can take double the amount of time. There is no direct public transport (minibus) so you'll have to take a JETT tourist bus all the way to Amman first. From Amman, it'll be a combination of minibus and taxi ride the remainder of the way to Amman Beach.

Many of the luxury resorts on the coast have clean, private beaches and sell day passes for non-guests. Amman Beach is a decent public option, though you can expect it to be crowded and there is an entrance fee. If driving, consider taking a detour to other attractions along the route, including the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Wadi Mujib or Karak Castle.

Learn more about traveling from Aqaba to the Dead Sea

From Petra

Duration: 3 hours by private transfer; 6-8 hours by bus

The distance between Petra and the Dead Sea is roughly 125 miles (200 km). Using Wadi Musa as the starting point and Amman Beach as the general destination makes for a three-hour drive, and a private transfer is recommended.

No public transport runs directly between the two locations—you would have to make the trip to Amman first and transfer there. It is possible to go by public minibus, but Jordan's national company, JETT, operates a direct route. These tourist buses run daily, with several different times to choose from, and offer a nicer ride. Once you're in Amman, a taxi or minibus can take you the additional hour to Amman Beach or beyond. 

Learn more about traveling from Petra to the Dead Sea

From Wadi Rum

Duration: 4 hours by private transfer, 6-8 hours by bus

Using Wadi Rum Village as a starting point, it's 192 miles (310 km) to Amman Beach at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Travel by car with a private driver is your best option. The most direct route takes about four hours. You can also hire a taxi instead of arranging private transport in advance, and it's possible to hire the driver for the day to give you more time to explore.

Buses are available but the process will be quite time-consuming. You'll first have to catch a ride (minibus or taxi) to a larger town like Wadi Musa (Petra), Aqaba or Amman. From these places, you'll have more options for tourist buses, minibusses or shuttles to continue on your journey.

Learn more about traveling from Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea

Updated Sep 18, 2019