Petra from Israel
How to visit Petra from Israel?
The best way to cross the border from Israel to Jordan, in order to visit Petra from Israel, is to visit Petra from Eilat (the southern resort city of Israel).
Some companies will offer you tours to Petra from Tel-Aviv or from Jerusalem. However, their tours will just include a very long 4.5-5 hours drive by bus from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem to Eilat. You will pay a lot of money for just sitting in a bus all day (about 15 hours) and have just 2 hours guided tour in Petra. This is really not recommended! It’s much better to stay overnight in Eilat or in Aqaba, and start the tour fresh on the next morning. Another option is to arrive to Eilat by flight.
Which Petra tour operator to choose?
There are 6 main tour operators that operate tours to Petra from Eilat, including us. There are also literally hundreds of agencies that just resell tours to another tour operator for a commission.
Two of these tour operators are very reputable companies that operate really good tours, and they also have excellent reviews. However, their tours are very expensive, and you won’t be able to find the prices of their tours on their websites or book your tour online on their website. Actually, the reason why they have many good reviews is that most of their tours are private. You need to be a good company, in order to make good private tours. But, in order to operate good group tours, you need to be a really excellent company. You can easily find these two tour operators by searching the reviews, or continue reading this article to find a better alternative.
There is one tour operator that do “FUN” tours. I won’t mention their full name. This company has more than 60% very negative reviews. So, I’m sure that you won’t want to travel with them, even if you plan a very economic tour. The bad news is that many agencies send their clients to this tour operator, because that they offer a very big commision to agencies, and unfortunately most agencies care just of their commisions and not to the quality. So, if you wish to avoid this tour operator, then you need to find a reliable tour operator that actually operate tours to Petra, not an agency. I really have know idea how a company can not care of their clients. Maybe it’s because that they get almost all of their clients from agents.
There is one small tour operator that have a good service in Israel. But, they use in Jordan the same agency as the infamous “FUN” company. So, I’m not really sure about the quality of their tours. Anyway, they get all their clients just from several agents who resell their tours for a commission.
There is another big tour operator that you can find in some “TOURIST” websites. They used to be an agency that resell tours to other tour operators, including the above infamous “FUN” company. Only very recently they started to operate tours by themselves, so they are a very young company and their knowledge in operating tours is probably limited. I must say that their current tours are much better than the tours that the “FUN” company used to operate for them. So, you can take your chances with an unexperienced company that offers tours in very big groups (usually 40-60 people in a bus), pick-up from only 4 locations in Eilat and doesn’t even offer lunch, or book a tour with another reputable tour operator for the same price, but be in a small group and also get lunch.
Mantis Tours & Travel
Then there are us – Mantis Tours & Travel – a boutique tour operator with about 10 years of experience in operating tours to Petra. According to the reviews of our clients, our tours are “outstanding above and beyond”. Well, this is because that we aim high. I can honestly say that our group tours to Petra are much better operated and executed than the private Petra tours of our most reputable competitors. In our private tours to Petra we offer even higher level of service, as much that it can even possible. Yet, although that we offer the best Petra tours in small groups, we charge same rates as the cheap tour operators, only because that we don’t need to pay salaries to a big and inefficient staff, and we also don’t have to pay commissions to agents. You can read more about our services in the following article: Why booking with Mantis Tours.
There are also some small unofficial tour operators that join their clients to a big pool bus. However, you won’t be able to find reviews about most of these tour operators, and you won’t know what you will actually get.
Regarding the other hundreds of agencies, they are not tour operators. These agencies are just resellers of other tour operators. There are some agencies who care about their clients, and send their clients to a reputable tour operator. However, most of the agencies just send their clients to the tour operator that gives them the biggest commission, which unfortunatelly is the infamous “FUN” company. If you book a tour with an agent, then you won’t be able to know in which tour you will end up. The price of the tour isn’t an indication, because that some agents take a small commission, while other agents take a really big commission. But, they may send you to the same tour operator.
You can also book your Petra tour at the hotel in Israel where you stay. However, the receptionists at the hotels (no matter if it’s a hostel or a 5-star hotel) will definelty send you to the cheapest tour operator for a commission, except for few hotels that will give you the details of the tour operator and will allow you to check it out and book the tour by yourself without any commission.
So, for a conclusion, it’s better for you to do some homework before you book a Petra tour. Yet, since you already got to our website, you can be sure that you are in good hands.
Have a great trip! 🙂