Before traveling to Israel and Jordan in April, I knew I would be crossing the Israel-Jordan border at Wadi Araba (called the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal on the Israeli side). When I went about trying to find up-to-date information on the Wadi Araba border crossing, however, I found it was not only scarce, but contradictory. So now that I’m back, I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to everything you can expect when crossing from Israel into Jordan in the south!
WHY CROSS THE ISRAEL-JORDAN BORDER AT WADI ARABA?
Yitzhak Rabin/Wadi Araba is the southernmost border crossing between the two counties. While the King Hussein Bridge/Allenby Bridge crossing is closer to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the jumping off points for most tourists coming from Israel, it’s farther from Jordan’s main sights of Petra and Wadi Rum. Lines at the King Hussein/Allenby crossing are also notoriously longer, and if you’re not taking an organized tour, you’ll be subject to the wait.
GETTING TO THE YITZHAK RABIN/WADI ARABA BORDER CROSSING
If you’re coming from Tel Aviv, the easiest and most expedient way to get down to the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal is to fly to Eilat. The city has a beautiful new airport, Ramon International, and flights are quick and cheap. Both Israir and Arkia fly the route several times a day. And the best part: You can fly out of Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv, which is very close to the city center and requires a fraction of the hassle of getting through Ben Gurion Airport.
If you’re coming from Jordan, you’ll be heading to Wadi Araba from the seaside city of Aqaba, home to King Hussein International Airport. But if you’re coming directly from Petra or Wadi Rum, all you’ll need is a bus or taxi to reach Aqaba within a couple of hours.
CROSSING THE ISRAEL-JORDAN BORDER AT WADI ARABA
These steps were accurate as of April, 2019 and apply to holders of U.S. passports who are not taking an organized tour. I can’t speak to the process or requirements at other border crossings, but below are the step-by-step details of my experience at Wadi Araba!
FROM ISRAEL TO JORDAN
- Pay the Israeli exit fee – The fee was ILS 207 for two people together or ILS 109 per person. Israel takes credit cards, but note that they will charge the fee as a cash advance rather than a credit card transaction. Your credit card may charge you a fee and potentially interest as well! You’ll need your fee slip again, so hang onto it.
- Visit passport control – Israel doesn’t stamp passports, but you’ll have to present them for inspection.
- Present your fee slip – An agent will stamp your slip.
- Walk across the border!
- Jordan security scan – Agents inspected my camera and asked if I was carrying a drone but were very nice about it.
- Fill out a visa form – U.S. passport holders don’t need to have a visa in advance.
- Get the visa form stamped
- Take the stamped visa form for inspection – An agent will need to see the form, but you won’t have to pay an entrance fee.
- Passport check – Agents will check your passport right before you exit the area.
Taxis will be waiting outside of Wadi Araba in case you need one. They don’t take cash, but our driver was happy to stop at an ATM in Aqaba.
FROM JORDAN TO ISRAEL
- Security scan
- Pay the Jordanian exit fee – If you stay less than three nights in Jordan, you’ll have to pay an exit fee. We stayed for two nights at paid JOD 10 per person. If you only stay one night, expect to pay more! Note that the Jordan side does not accept credit cards.
- Present your fee slip, passport and visa – An agent will stamp your slip and passport with an exit stamp. They’ll also take your visa paper.
- Walk across the border!
- Show your passport on the Israeli side
- Israeli security scan – An agent will give you a yellow piece of paper.
- Israeli passport control
- Present yellow paper – An agent at security will take this paper from you.
And that’s it!
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN CROSSING THE BORDER
- When traveling from Jordan to Israel, make sure you have enough cash to cover the exit fee
- If you use a credit card on the Israeli side for your exit fee, check your statement soon after to see if the charge appears as a cash advance
- If you’re traveling with a drone, make sure to check out the local laws and regulations before you try to enter a country
CHECK OUT THESE POSTS FOR MORE ON JORDAN:
Hope this answers all your questions about crossing the Israel-Jordan border at Wadi Araba! Have you been to Jordan? How did you get there? Let me know in the comments! >>
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