Flights & getting there
Public transport to and from Wadi Musa is less frequent than may be expected, given that it’s the top tourist attraction in Jordan. The best place to find information about minibuses and other transport is to ask at any of the hotels or one of the restaurants around the Shaheed roundabout.
A daily JETT bus connects Amman with Petra, largely designed for those wanting to visit on a day trip. The service leaves at 6.30am from the JETT office, near Abdali Bus Station (JD10 each way, four hours) and drops off passengers at the JETT bus stop, just up the Al Beidha Rd, a two-minute walk from the Petra Visitor Centre in Wadi Musa. The return bus leaves at 5pm in summer, 4pm in winter.
Petra and Wadi Musa are well signposted along the main highways. The road from Petra to Little Petra extends to the Wadi Musa to Shobak road, offering a scenic alternative route out of town. A spectacular road winds into Wadi Araba for direct access to the Dead Sea Highway that has just been rebuilt after flood damage. The road to Tayyibeh is also particularly scenic.
Minibuses leave from the bus station in central Wadi Musa. Most minibuses won’t leave unless they’re at least half full, so a wait is almost inevitable. If there are insufficient passengers, they may not leave at all. It's possible the driver may suggest payment for the empty seats. This is not a scam: it’s just an attempt by the driver to cover the cost of the journey. As such, passengers should establish the fare before departing. There are far fewer services on Fridays. Passengers may well be charged extra for luggage (around JD3), especially if it takes up a seat that could be used for a paying customer.
The following services run when full from Wadi Musa Bus Station:
Amman (JD5 to JD6, four hours) Regular minibuses travel daily between Amman’s South Bus Station (Wihdat) and Wadi Musa via the Desert Highway. These buses leave Amman and Wadi Musa when full every hour or so between around 6am and noon. From Amman there are services until around 4pm; from Wadi Musa there may be an additional journey or two depending on demand. Schedules change frequently but hotels in Wadi Musa can give up-to-date advice.
Ma’an (JD0.500, 45 minutes) Minibuses leave fairly frequently throughout the day (more often in the morning), stopping briefly at the university, about 10km from Ma’an. From Ma’an there are connections to Amman, Aqaba and the Wadi Rum junction.
Aqaba (JD5, 2½ hours) These leave at about 6am, 8.30am and possibly at 3pm – timings can be checked through a hotel the day before.
Wadi Rum (JD7, two hours) There is a daily minibus around 6am. It's necessary to reserve a seat the day before – hotels normally contact the driver on guests' behalf. If the service isn’t operating, an alternative is to take the minibus to Aqaba, get off at the Ar Rashidiyyah junction and catch another minibus (hitching is not recommended though possible) the remainder of the journey to Rum. Cleopetra Hotel, among other hotels, organises competent overnight tours to Wadi Rum as an alternative to the patchy public transport.
Karak (JD7, two hours) A minibus sometimes leaves at around 7am and sometimes at noon, but demand is low so it doesn’t leave every day and there is no service on Fridays. Alternatively, travel is possible via Ma’an.
Private (yellow) taxis are easy to find in Wadi Musa. One-way taxi fares cost JD45 to Wadi Rum (one hour) or JD80 return with a one-hour wait. A few 4WD taxis are available for much the same cost, but they are not of much benefit as Wadi Rum visitors still have to join a 4WD tour from the Wadi Rum Visitor Centre to explore the protected area.
The one-way fare to Aqaba (1½ hours) is JD45; to Shobak (40 minutes) it is JD30 or JD60 return including a one-hour wait; and to Karak (1½ hours) it's JD75 or JD150 return including a one-hour wait. To travel to Madaba or Amman via the scenic King’s Highway, with stops at Shobak, Dana and Karak, the fare is JD120 to JD150. Nonstop to the airport, Madaba and Amman along the dull and badly surfaced Desert Highway, the fares are JD70, JD75 and JD100, respectively.