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Aqaba

4,438 bytes added, 07:48, 5 January 2013
updated listing Aqaba Heritage Museum
The [[Israel]]i border at Arava (for [[Eilat]]) is only a short hop away. The [[Saudi Arabia]]n checkpoint is also visible on a clear day, but visitors without a visa can only look.
 
If you are planning to come to Aqaba directly from northern Israel (e.g. from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva, etc.) by catching an Egged bus to Eilat, you should ask the driver to let you off at the "Eil'''o'''t stop to Jordan", which is the last stop before the Egged station in Eilat, and then walk the <1km to the border checkpoint. The stop is located exactly after the interchange(circle) of road 90(Jerusalem-Eilat) and road 109 (from Interchange to the boarders).
===By air===
Minibus rental with driver from [[Petra]] costs 45 JD and it takes about 2 hours to get from Petra to Aqaba.
If you are coming from Eilat, Israel, you will cross through the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal. This is open Sunday-Thursday from 6:30 to 20:00 (8 p.m.) and Friday-Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00, except for Yom Kippur and the Moslem New Year. Taxi from Eilat center to the Border is 30 NIS (March 2012). The fee to exit is 101 103 NIS(March 2012), you can pay with credit card. For citizens of most countries (including U.S.), you can get a two-week Jordanian visa at the border, but some countries' citizens are subject to other requirements, so check in advance. If you leave Aqaba through this border, you also have to pay an exit tax of 8 10 JOD(December 2012).
Taxis at the border belong to one company, which has a monopoly, and is therefore much more expensive than a typical Jordanian taxi. The price from : 10 JOD (March 2012) for a 15-minute ride to the border to Aqaba bus station is 6 JOD and the trip takes around 15 minutes. Going the other way from Aqaba city center to the border can be done for 4-5 JOD. If you are on a budget, you will probably want to take the border taxi into town and switch to another taxi to continue on, especially if your hotel is in the South Beach resort area. Official taxi rate from Aqaba to Petra is 50JD. However heading to the King Talal street local bus station with buses to Petra you will be sided by taxi drivers starting negotiations directly from 35JD. We manage to pay 27JD(December 2012) to the visitor centre of Petra. ====Border Taxi Mafia==== There is a problematic man running the taxi service, which has been likened to the "Mafia", just outside the customs gate. As soon as you see him, he will let you know that '''sharing a taxi is not allowed''' (three men were forced to take three separate taxis in Dec 2011). If you want to share a taxi, you must form your group ''before'' exiting the customs area and insist that you are all part of the same group. Also, if he sees you call your hotel or any other car to come and pick you up, they may be stopped and forced to go back to Aqaba. The man has said, "we will close their hotel" and "we will take their driving license". To try and avoid this, call your hotel or private car while still in the customs area, ''before'' being seen by the taxi man. For those trying to walk the 500 meters to the main road, the taxi mafia has connections with the military personnel and may have you brought back. It is possible to bargain them down, but you will need to be persistent and enlist the help of the border police to mediate. Don't try and set the price too low. 5 JD to the airport is about as low as they'll go - 10 JD to Aqaba itself is most likely. Stay polite, but be firm and explain to the border police that it is not a good first impression for tourists to have and that you will write to the Ministry of Tourism. This threat normally sees the 'Taxi Mafia' back down, but there are no guarantees. The situation has improved as there is a huge sign stating the taxi fares for all important destinations which makes the annoying haggling obsolete. A ride downtown Aquaba will be charged with 10 JD or 15 Euros now. [Jan 2013]
==Get around==
* <see name="Ayla" alt="" address="" directions="next to the Mövenpick resort" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="free" lat="" long="" tags="">The old city that was established when Islam came to the area in 622 AD.</see>
* <see name="The oldest purpose-built Christian church in history" alt="" address="" directions="across the street from the JETT bus station, which is just west of the Mövenpick hotel." phone="" emailurl="" faxhours="" urlprice="" hourslat="" pricelong="" latemail="" longfax="" tags="">A posted sign gives a little bit of information on the church.</see> 
==Do==
*<do name="Ahlan Aqaba Scuba Diving CentreHeritage Museum" alt="" address="PO Box 1882, Hotel AreaGrand Arab Revolution Square" directions="The road behind the movenpick" phone="+962 3 2062242" url="www.diveinaqaba.com" hours="0800 8:00- 210014:00" price="free admission" lat="" long="">We offer This unique museum is surely one of the most amazing and adventurous diving trips Aqaba's main attractions as it displays a large variety of heritage items as well as real size models of traditional life in the Red Sea area. We are highly committed to the conservation one of our local reefJordan's most important cities. We perform weekly surveys It also contains a collection of rare historic images from the rubbish on particular dive sites for beginning of the PADI Dive Against Debris project (http://www.projectaware.org/project/dive-against-debris)past century until today. We offer snorkeling, try dives, funs dives for certified divers, shore and boat dives and beginners courses through to Divemasters. We offer a number of specialties, including Digital Underwater Photography (which only 4% of Instructors can teach!). Our team are friendly and very adept to making new divers feel comfortable in the water. So please come and share with us the beautiful coral and sealife the Red Sea has to offer!</do>
===Spa===
* <listing name="Zara Spa" alt="" directions="" address="Mövenpick Resort &amp; Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, South Beach Road - Tala Bay Area, P.O. Box 2425" phone="+962 3 209 0300" email="[email protected]" fax="+962 3 209 0301" url=" http://www.moevenpick-hotels.com/en/pub/your_hotels/worldmap/tala_bay_aqaba/sports__leisure/zaraspa.cfm" hours="9.00 am – 9.00 pm" price="">As well as a sauna, steam room and a hydro pool with skylight, Zara Spa Tala Bay offers the latest in spa facilities. Included is an "ice fountain" designed to stimulate circulation and tighten the skin. A variety of fragrances and coloured lighting effects are available for showers and also supposedly designed to increase blood circulation. A hair salon, a nail studio and a shop with a variety of beauty care products are also on premises.</listing>
===Scuba diving===
 
* <do name="Ahlan Aqaba Scuba Diving Center" alt="" address="Al Nahda St., Hotel area in the heart of the city" directions="The road behind the Movenpick Hotel" phone="+962 (3) 2062242" url="http://www.diveinaqaba.com" hours="24" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+962 (3) 206 2243">We offer one of the most amazing and adventurous diving trips in the Red Sea area. We are highly committed to the conservation of our local reef. We perform weekly surveys of the rubbish on particular dive sites for the PADI Dive Against Debris project (http://www.projectaware.org/project/dive-against-debris).
We offer snorkeling, try dives, funs dives for certified divers, shore and boat dives and beginners courses through to Divemasters. We offer a number of specialties, including Digital Underwater Photography (which only 4% of Instructors can teach!).
Our team are friendly and very adept to making new divers feel comfortable in the water. So please come and share with us the beautiful coral and sealife the Red Sea has to offer!</do>
* <do name="Intel.Arab Divers Village" alt="" address="South Beach Road" directions="South Of Aqaba" phone="+962 (3) 2031808" url="http://www.aqaba-divevillage.com" hours="24" price="35 JD for introduction dive, 40 JD for 2 dives" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]"></do>
In the center of the city one can find very good hummus, Falafel and Shwarma (lamb meat in pita bread) places in many local restaurants. Prices starts form 1.5 JD for a Showarma dish.
*<eat name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></eat>
 
==Drink==
* <sleep name="Amer hotel" alt="" address="Raghadan Street, Hayl al madina, Al Awsat" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="15 JD singles/25 JD doubles, Feb 2011" url="">clean, satellite tv, no breakfeast, no internet, fan/ac, bathroom, lot of noise (near mosquee, shops, restaurants, some strange phone calls)</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="The Bedouin Meditation Camp" alt="" address="Wadi Rum, Aqaba" directions="" phone="+962 795506417" url="http://www.bedouinmeditationcamp.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="5 JD shared single 9 JD Double 21 JD Family, includes breakfast. Camping available" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax=""> Located in Wadi Rum World Heritage Area. You sleep in the Red Desert but can see the White Desert 700 metres away. It is the perfect place to relax for a few days and enjoy the Sunset.</sleep>
===Mid-range===
It is also recommended that you ring the AB Maritime ferry office to confirm the departure time for that day. Delays of several hours are common and sometimes known in advance.
 
As of October 2012:
The cost for foreigners was US$80. This was for the slow ferry and appeared to be the same price for the slow or fast ferry (depending which is running on the day). We purchased tickets the day prior to travel, and the agent did not know the time of departure until 9pm that night (in our case 10am on the slow ferry). There was an hour wait before departure, and a further 45 minutes on the Nuweiba side. We were able to take our bags up to the passenger deck. The foreigners are separated from the locals, and allowed to skip the queue to hand in passports. Our boat was comfortable and clean. On arrival, we hopped on a bus to the exit. You must first head to the ATMs on the right of where you are dropped, where there is a room (on the right of the exchange) where you can purchase Visas for US$15. These should be then taken to the Visa building (where we were dropped), where a man will put these in the passports for you.
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