In my ongoing world borders series, I cover the real life borders I cross on my crazy journeys. I mentioned before how to get from Jordan to Israel at Sheik Hussein and how to get from Israel to Palestine (to Bethlehem) this time, I go the other way as I detail How to Get From Israel to Jordan (Yitzhak Rabin/ Wadi Araba Border Crossing). This is quite an important one, and I get asked regularly about it – mainly because of visa/passport issues. This post will provide information to ensure you don’t get any stamps and pass the border easily, which even a few fellow travel bloggers once worried about.
Getting from Tel Aviv to Eilat
OK so when we did the Yitshak Rabin crossing, the night before we were based in Tel Aviv (not a great city I may add – one of the few that I didn’t really like much from my travels).
We headed to the main bus station in Tel Aviv and got an early bus heading for Eilat. The bus cost 78 Shekels and left at 7.30 am.
The bus made a stop half way for food (grabbed a quick falafel) and then down towards Eilat.
The important thing if you are going this way is to note that you DO NOT go all the way to Eilat. You need to get out early, and quite frankly, you need to get out by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. It’s a walk of about 1-2 kilometres from here down to the border.
Navigation is simple – follow the signs to Yitshak Rabin border. If you don’t fancy walking it in the heat, you can also get a taxi. We were happy to walk it. There are almost no people about and the walk is kind of in desert vegetation with roads through it.
Leaving Israel at Yitshak Rabin
OK so the MOST important thing for you to remember here is never get a stamp on your passport, whether an exit or an entry stamp for either Israel, Jordan, Egypt etc.
So make sure to tell the guard this as they get ready to do your exit stamp. They will simply put it on the same piece of card that you used to arrive in Israel (which if you read my post, we arrived overland from Jordan and got our stamps on a separate sheet of card). The guards will gladly do it as they know the score.
Then you also need to pay your departure fee (in Israeli shekels), it was 90 shekels when we were there (September 2013). You get a receipt for this.
Walking Across the Border
After you have your Israeli exit stamps and paid your tax, one of the guards will check it and let you go. There is also a quick bag check. The walk to the Jordan point takes about 2 minutes, as you can see, it’s pretty close!
Arrival in Jordan at Aqaba
On arrival in Jordan at the border point make sure you again ask for the stamps to be placed on a separate sheet. Again, the border guards are fully aware of the situation and will be happy to oblige. You get stamped into Jordan without a charge and there may be a quick bag search (we didn’t get our bags checked though).
After that you can either walk into Aqaba, which in the heat for a few kilometres is probably not worth it, so get a taxi for about 10 Dinars straight into town. Aqaba didn’t seem to be too busy, so we just turned up at the Alshula Hotel and got a balcony room no problem.
Where do you go from here?
OK so on arrival in Aqaba there are a load of cool things to do – Jordan is great, and you are also almost on a “5 country border” here. Just south is Saudi Arabia, across the water is Egypt and Israel and just to the west is the West Bank, Palestine. Plus you’re in Jordan, so that’s 5! You can also hop on one of the red sea cruises exploring the River Nile, tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Petra, spend a night or two camping in the Wadi Rum desert or just enjoy the sights of Aqaba.
On a final note – happy border crossing and remember don’t get stamped 😉
Here are my videos from the Yitshak Rabin border crossing: