The ideal way to travel the 78 miles (125 km) between Petra and Aqaba is by car. The fastest route, via Kings Highway and Desert Highway, takes two hours.
It's possible to rent a car in Jordan and its major highways are safe and navigable. That said, most travelers choose to hire a local driver and possibly a guide as well. Public transportation is the cheapest option but be prepared for a longer, possibly crowded, ride.
You'll pass by Wadi Rum, so consider breaking up your trip with an overnight in this amazing ancient desert. If you are looking to work Petra and Aqaba into a more comprehensive Jordan itinerary this 7-day itinerary will give you some good ideas to get started.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2-3 hours
Having your own car gives you the most control over your trip—not to mention room for luggage, air-conditioning, and comfy seats. If you drive straight through, the ride takes about two hours.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Taxicabs can be found easily throughout Wadi Musa. Your best bets are directly outside Petra or at the bus station in town. Whether you're traveling solo or with a group, the taxi option gives you the feel of having your own car at a much lower price. You might also be able to negotiate a deal to incorporate other stops along the way. Ridesharing apps are gaining popularity in Jordan so it wouldn’t hurt to see what’s around before you hop in the yellow cab.
Duration: 3-4 hours
There is a direct minibus that runs from the Wadi Musa bus station to the station in Aqaba. It operates twice daily (morning and afternoon) but there are no set times. The ride could take three to four hours depending on the driver’s schedule and the number of passengers. Public transportation doesn't generally run on Fridays so consider that when making your plans. Space is a luxury on these buses so the lighter you pack, the better. It’s not the most convenient way to travel but it’s cost-effective and you’ll get to experience Jordan like a local. The Petra to Aqaba route is popular with travelers so it's recommended you book your ticket ahead of time to ensure a seat.