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This tour was the worst we have ever experienced. Viator contracted with Fun-Time tours. We were told to be at the Sde Dov airport at 5:00 for a 6:40 flight. The airport wasnt even open at that time.
We spent 3 hours at the border crossing from Israel to Jordan. Was the group too large 60 people for the passport control people to handle in a timely manner? No explanation was given.
Then we spent another 2.5 hours waiting for our guide to buy tickets to Petra due to some rain showers in the area. The guide gave few instructions or explanations so most of us had no idea what to do.
By the time they herded us into crowded convoy vehicles, we had 10 minutes at the Treasury and 5 minutes at the temple. The convoy spent most of our time driving on the city streets to arrive at those places.
We met at a the Sandstone restaurant at 5:00 and we were back on the bus by 5:30. However, some people were called out to go to the office to settle their accounts. Couldnt they have done this while the rest of us were eating? The bus didnt leave Petra until 6:10 for the 2-hour drive back to the border. Our return flight was at 8:55. The guide never explained what we saw in Petra nor did he give us instructions for reentry into Israel.
We ran through the passport control, got on the shuttle which left 2 people behind. We dashed through airport security and got our boarding passes barely in time to catch the last flight out. Of course, it flew into TLV instead of Sde Dov.
The trip was poorly organized with very little instruction. The guide seemed to go through the motions and not really care. We paid a lot for our 15 minutes in Petra and would never recommend this tour to anyone.
This tour overall was excellent, but I would advise staying overnight. It would have been an advantage to allow for more exploration time. There were a few problems that are likely amenable to improvement:
1. This was advertised as a small tour with 15-20 people. It was a large tour with a full bus load, about 70-80 people.
2. The 2.5 hours spent at the border waiting for all the border crossing things to be completed seemed highly inefficient. There may be a better way to do this, but maybe not.
3. The return to the border and then to Tel Aviv from the Eilat airport was chaotic and disorganized. First, the return from Petra was delayed for one hour while 4-5 people worked out problems with their credit card payment for the tour. This made the bus return late and we missed our scheduled flight back to Tel Aviv. No one seemed to know what to do. There did not seem to be one person who assumed responsibility for getting us back to Tel Aviv according to plan.
If there is a more reliable local company, it would be wise for Viator to change from Ben Harim.
It is a shame for these preventable mishaps to have detracted from the beauty of the trip.
This is a great tour if you have only 1 day to see Petra. However, I highly recommend taking the 2 day tour and sleeping in the camp. For the tour, you need to be at the airport very early for check in. The airport is conveniently located very close to the beach areas. Be sure to bring walking shoes and sunscreen. Flt was on time and uneventful. There was a slight hold up at the Jordanian side of the border, but my impression is that it is normal. Our guide, Nezar, was extremely knowledgeable about Petra and Jordan and the surrounding areas. He was also efficient and organized in managing the group and keeping us on schedule. The first stop in Jordan was at a souvenir shop for a bathroom break. Then you head to Petra. By this time, the sun is straight up, so you need to be sure you have your sunscreen on. If you are not up for the walk down the canyon or back up the canyon, you can take a horse or carriage ride. The food at the restaurant was great and we made it back to the airport with ease.
Wonderful trip. Everything from booking, getting tickets at airport, tour guide in Jordan was excellent. The lunch was not something my husband or I would eat. That said, we would do the tour again. The only hitch we had was the person to meet us at the airport when we
Arrived at Eilat was very late so much we began to wonder if someone would show up. Obviously they did and it went without a problem
On both Israel side and Jordan. We paid in cash the border visa and the border crossing fee. 65.00 and 60.00 for a total of
135.00 American per person. Make sure you have exact change for your visa etc. do not show up thinking you will exchange dollars there. Take exact cash amount with you. Do not rely on a credit card it makes it difficult if not impossible. If you have exact amount it is
A simple process at border. You pay border crossing on Israel side before you board the bus. At the border you pay the visa amount to the Jordan side.
Petra is one of those places like the Taj Mahal and Hagia Sophia - no photograph can completely capture its beauty and majesty. The trip began with an early morning flight, from the conveniently located Sde Dov airport, to the beautiful city of Eilat. After a few hours on the border, going through the bureaucracy on both the Israeli and Jordanian sides of the border, we boarded the bus to Petra. An employee of the tour company, on the Jordanian side, provided some much needed comic relief during the wait. On the way back, the border crossing took all of about 10 minutes!
Petra is an incredible place. Petra covers a very large area and the scale of the structures is amazing. The scenery, along the way, is spectacular. I would take this tour again, but I would probably stay longer and Petra and spend some time in Eilat.
This was a great trip to see Petra, but it is a very, very long day. Everything on the trip was great except the customs going into Jordan took about 2 hours, which shortened the time in Petra, but we still had enough time. If I was doing this again I would travel to Eilat the day before and spend the night there. Then book the tour that is offered from there. It will make you live easier and the day shorter. Otherwise was very neat to see this place.
Beautiful location but spent half the trip doing security check from Israel to Jordan. Our tour group was quite large and we had to go one by one for every single process, paying, passport pics, checking in. I think we no joke spent 5hrs trying to cross the border then we sped through our tour, not having enough time to appreciate the site. At the end of the tour, the bus just left us at the airport with no guidance. Again because of security the whole tour group almost missed the flight back. The plane had to wait for everyone to go through security to leave. I would recommend just doing a day tour in Israel and planning a separate trip to Jordan so you don't waste time and money since its an expensive tour.