Dead Sea to Petra Drive: Quickest and Most Scenic Routes

Jordan is full of natural wonders and historical preserves; two of the most interesting sites in the country that tourists flock to are the Dead Sea and Petra.

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The Dead Sea is a famous ancient spa with 9% more salt than regular ocean water. This makes it unique because you cannot drown in it! Floating in the saline water for 10 to 15 minutes is said to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and removes skin impurities. It’s also a lot of fun testing out the theory that you simply can’t sink!

On the other hand, the ancient city of Petra is known for its unique sandstone architecture that dates back to 300 BC! Its majestic building facades carved into the rock faces make it one of the most fascinating places to visit in the world.

Therefore, if you’re planning a visit to Jordan, these two sites are likely non-negotiables in your itinerary; the issue is they are not exactly close to one another!

How Far is Petra from the Dead Sea

Petra is 198 kilometres from the Dead Sea, and it takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes to travel between the two sites using the most direct route. However, the time it takes to reach Petra highly depends on your mode of transportation and whether you’re stopping along the way at more points of interest along King’s Highway.

  • Option 1: Dead Sea to Petra direct, via Jordan River Highway/Kings Highway
  • Option 2 Dead Sea to Karak Castle, then take the Desert Highway (a less windy road) 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Option 3: Dead Sea to Karak Castle, then take the windy Kings Highway

With that sorted, let us tell you that currently, no public transport runs directly from the Dead Sea to Petra; you’ll have to go via Amman. But a direct trip is possible if you opt for a private transfer, a rental car, or a taxi.

Transport Options from the Dead Sea to Petra

If you’re planning a Jordan road trip from the Dead Sea to Petra, you have the following transport options:

Self-Drive to Petra from the Dead Sea

As there’s no option to go to Petra from the Dead Sea directly via public transport, one of the most convenient ways is to rent a car and self-drive. Several local and international car rental companies in the Dead Sea region offer fully insured, air-conditioned vehicles for 35 to 40 JD per day.

The perks of self-driving to Petra from the Dead Sea are that you are free to stop along the way to visit interesting spots, take pictures at scenic points, grab a bite, and take in the beauty of the King’s Highway – arguably the most interesting scenic drive in the country that you do not want to rush.

Private Transfer from the Dead Sea to Petra

It takes over 3 hours to reach Petra from the Dead Sea, and not everyone loves driving. Therefore, hiring a private driver should be the preferred option if you want to relax in a luxury car while going to Petra without worrying about losing your way or tiring yourself.

A private transfer costs around 150 to 200 JD, depending on your chosen vehicle. However, just like a rental car, you have the flexibility to make stopovers along the way. So, if you want to enjoy a scenic drive and budget is not an issue, we recommend going for a private transfer.

FTME Dead Sea to Petra - Tourists
Tourists travelling on camels in Petra, Jordan.

Dead Sea to Petra via Taxi

Another option for getting to Petra from the Dead Sea is via taxi. A taxi taking the most direct route one way takes at least 3 hours to get to Petra and costs less than a private transfer.

However, a taxi may be limited to a maximum of 4 passengers at a time, and you’ll add to your fare significantly if you stop at any of the interesting sites along the way.

Hiring a taxi is a good option if you’re travelling with a small group of friends on a budget and simply need to get there in the quickest and most direct manner possible, but it won’t provide you with much flexibility.

You’ll want to negotiate your rates in advance with the taxi driver.

Dead Sea to Petra Bus

As we mentioned, no public transport goes directly from the Dead Sea to Petra; therefore, if you travel by bus, you’ll have to go via Amman.

You can take a JETT or minibus from the Dead Sea to Amman, and from there, you can book another bus that takes you to Petra. And while it costs only 1 JD to travel via minibus, it may take you around 5 to 6 hours total to reach Petra.

The JETT bus, however, is convenient and has a fixed schedule. It might cost you around 8 JD to go from the Dead Sea to Amman and 24 JD to go from Amman to Petra (return).

NB at the time of last updating this guide, there was no daily JETT service from Dead Sea to Amman.

Joining a Tour Group from the Dead Sea to Petra

Another feasible option to visit Petra from the Dead Sea is by going with a tour group. Plenty of tour groups offer day trips to Petra from the Dead Sea, which cost around 200 to 250 JD, depending on the facilities included. For instance, if your tour includes lunch, it might cost a bit more than the one that doesn’t.

Alternatively, many tour groups include stopovers at famous nearby sites. You can easily find a group that takes you from Amman to Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. But the cost might increase depending on the number of stops and days.

Camels ready for Petra tours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the Dead Sea close to Petra?

The Dead Sea is 198 km from Petra, and it takes around 3 hours to get between the two popular attractions in Jordan.

Q. How much does a taxi cost from the Dead Sea to Petra?

The cost of a taxi from the Dead Sea to Petra depends on the number of people; therefore, you can expect to pay anything from 140 to 200 JD. Allow a little extra from the negotiated price to round up for a tip for your driver.

Q. How many days should we spend in Petra?

If you’re planning a trip solely to Petra, 2 to 3 days are more than enough to visit all the famous sites in the ancient city. These include royal tombs, monasteries, and other carved structures. The trip also includes spending a night camping in the desert, Bedouin style! However, if your trip includes a visit to Amman and Wadi Rum, it can take 5 to 6 days.

Q. How much do I have to walk in Petra?

The archaeological site of Petra is quite large. It covers almost 60 sq km; therefore, you can expect a lot of walking and climbing in the ancient city. For example, if you start walking from Petra Visitor Center, it will take almost 2 hours to reach the Monastery. There are horses, camels and donkeys working in Petra to assist less-able walkers, but it’s not well set up for those who are mobility impaired.

Q. How long does it take to get to Petra from the Dead Sea via bus?

Getting from the Dead Sea to Petra via bus can take at least 6 hours as there is no direct service, you will need to change buses in Amman.

Q. How Far is Petra from the Dead Sea?

If you take the most direct route, Petra is 198km away from the Dead Sea – around 123 miles.

Q. Which is the fastest way to get from the Dead Sea to Petra?

The fastest way to get from the Dead Sea to Petra is via taxi or private transfer. It takes a little over 3 hours 3 hours using private modes of transportation.

Where to Stay in Petra

Once you’ve completed your journey from the Dead Sea to Petra, you will find plentiful hotels near Petra in the township of Wadi Musa.

More Reading Planning Your Trip to Jordan

When you’re planning a family trip to Jordan, you may also be interested in:

Follow our Jordan transport series further

Jordan Guide Book

For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.

This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:

  • An interactive downloadable map
  • 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
  • Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
  • Tips from an expert
  • Accommodation recommendations

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Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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