Diving sites In Aqaba
There are over thirty main diving sites in Aqaba, most of them suitable for all levels of competence. Aqaba is all fringing reef stretching for a distance of over 25kms right down to the Saudi Arabian border, there are no off-shore reefs. The reef starts literally at the waters edge and extends like the fingers of your hands into canyons leading to pinnacles and drop offs. At most sites, when you are only 100m from the shore you are already descending to 50m or more. When shore diving, the dive starts as soon as you enter the water and continues until the last few centimetres.
The beaches are all easily accessible and the transport used can drive right up to the waters edge. By road, the furthest reef (the “Saudi Border” reef) is about 25 minutes from the town of Aqaba.Diving sites In Aqaba
Underwater photographers will be pleased to hear that Nitrox is available in Aqaba.Diving In Aqaba
If you bring your own diving suit, then in the winter months a 5-6mm suit is OK, in summer a 3mm shorty is fine, but it is always better to be warmer when in the water, especially if you are good on air or an avid underwater photographer, scarcely moving from one pinnacle.
Diving goes on all the year round, with different species to be seen in the different seasons. In June /July there are whale sharks, in February one can often see Mantas. A northerly wind blows down Wadi Araba all the year, which in the summer is a cooling breeze, but in winter it can be a bit chilly. Diving sites In Aqaba
Why Diving in Aqaba :
The Gulf of Aqaba is a place known to be one of the most beautiful diving areas of the world due to the amazing combination of sea life, corals, water transparency and nice weather it offers year around.The sea in the Gulf of Aqaba is almost invariably calm with temperatures varying between 19/20 C in winter months to 26 C in summer.
You would be able to enjoy diving in the Gulf of Aqaba whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner since there are dive operators and qualified instructors available for every level. You would also easily find diving equipment rentals and everything you might need for diving. Diving sites In Aqaba
Great for photography and video viz 30-45m year round. Diving sites In Aqaba. Diving sites In Aqaba
Many dive centers to choose from offering a variety of unique experiences and options for the diver
Aqaba Red Sea diving without crowds. Diving sites In Aqaba
| Aquarium (6 – 40 metres / 20 – 130 feet)
This diving site is s known as the Aquarium because on the North East side of the central reef the dive guides used to take bread down and feed the fish (this is no longer allowed as it is against the Aqaba Marine Park rules).
It’s truly remarkable. You will find a complete sushi bar at 20 m depth. Hot tea and cookies are served as well. Of course, this description is a bit silly, but it gives you an idea how this table will look like once we have the descriptions in place for all diving sites.
| Ashrafs Grotto – Paradise (5 – 100 metres / 16 – 330 feet)
This site can only be accessed by boat as beach access was blocked by the development of Tala Bay. The mooring is in 18m on the grass area below a coral out cropping, travelling from here to the south you will reach the are known as Paradise for is multiple arrays of red soft corals.It is a deep dive starting at 20 meters. At a depth of 30 meters are some exciting caves.Turtles are spotted there with some eagle ray, Spanish dancers, octopi and sting rays…
| Power Station (6 – 40 metres / 20 – 130 feet)
Located 5 Kms south of Aqaba town. Swim over fringing reef which drops down to 5m with sand and patch reef, from where reef slopes down to 20m and drops away to 200m. Swim down over the wall edge to depth of 30m and swim south. The dive site does not boast an elegant name but it is an spectacular wall dive, conducted as a drift from north to south. Sharks and other large pelagic creatures are often spotted here.
| First Bay (6 – 30 metres / 20 – 100 feet)
From try dives to technical diving – this site provides for all – Diving south from the mooring you find a cabbage coral at 18m on the corner of the reef follow the wall back to the north and follow the contour of the reef. (For tec divers continue straight out to Death Valley starting at 50m and then south to Walter’s Wall and George’s Gulley which drops to 80m plus). The normal dive continues to the North where you will pass over a wide expanse of coral with black coral trees and come to a sandy gulley, follow this back up to 12m and work your way back across the reefs to the mooring.
| Cazar Reef (6 – 30 metres / 20 – 100 feet)
Next to the Marine Reserve and also the location of Club Murjan, the Alcazar’s beach club. Enter at south side of gully edging down to 18m, lots of Cornet fish and Fusiliers, a cabbage coral marks the corner of the reef. Swim northwards over some large black corals to a pinnacle at 17m covered in soft coral, Lots of Lunar Tail Grouper and nice Table Coral and cleaning stations. Head up to 10/12m and move southwards, often Barracuda are seen in the shallower water, plus Grey Morays and Lion Fish and cleaner Wrasse Stations, on sandy areas Moses Sole, Dragonets and Flounders.
| Eel Garden (15 – 27 metres / 50 – 90 feet)
Site of the famous ” pinnacle ” – Named after the myriads of garden eels resident in the sand and grass areas here. One of the largest populations in the Red Sea! This provides an excellent area for photography. There is a sandy slope down to 20m (covered in garden eels – you need to stay still for them to appear) where there is a fantastic display of black corals.The pinnacle is covered in an array of soft corals, a home for many different species of Morays, rare Harlequin Shrimp and Ghost Pipe Fish. Plus lots of Glass Fish protected by a Red Toothed Grouper and Lion Fish.
| King Abdullah Reef (6 – 40 metres / 20 – 130 feet)
Approx 5 mins drive from the Club in an area known as the Tourist Camp. Enter the site through a maze of fringing reef with fantastic displays of Fire coral. Drop down to 5m and follow slope down to 12m to a large pinnacle full of a variety of marine life. Head across the sand to a large circular reef with a Gorgonia Fan coral in centre. Continue down to 24m where shoaling Pennant Fish have a “permanent” home. Ascend slowly in a circle and watch territorial displays Parrot Fish till you reach 10m.
| Black Rock (0 – 45 metres / 0 – 150 feet)
The northern side of Wreck Bay, adjacent to the former Tourist Camp. Entry at a gravel and shingle point, swim out and pick up the reef on the right and swim down to the planned depth, usually around 25m. Heading north there are immense coral slopes and valleys with large black coral “bushes”. Fish life emperor, snapper, crocodile fish, lyre tail, small trigger fish, wrasse, parrot fish, lion fish and scorpion fish, box fish, many butterfly fish and regularly visited by turtles.
| Cedar Pride “Ship Wreck” (9 – 27 metres / 30 – 90 feet)
A Lebanese freighter scuttled in 1983 which now hosts a wide variety of hard and soft corals. She is intact and lies across two reefs on her port side. Divers can swim under her at 27m. She can take several dives to fully appreciate and is an excellent night dive. It is also the site for beautiful sea horses.Follow Rainbow Reef down to the wreck, explore from bow to stern, working your way to the top of the superstructure. The mast is covered in large red soft coral, large snappers and cruising Yellow Bar Bream.
| Cable Reef “Cable Canyon” (10 – 30 metres / 30 – 100 feet)
Created in 1996 when electrical cables were laid to Egypt. There are four cables running out over the seabed, the two cables to the North run through a deep canyon. Here the reef has been shored up on either side to prevent it collapsing on the cables. Large steel netting covers the reef to the North and South, coral is now growing through this. Large metal tubes straddle the canyon preventing collapse. These are now a habitat for soft corals and sponges, you might also spot an octopus or Spotted Eagle Ray here.
| Rainbow Reef (3 – 18 metres / 10 – 60 feet)
Named because the reef is shaped like a rainbow. It starts at around 6m and drops down to 18m on the top of the reef. A deeper gulley runs down the North side of the reef forming a nice wall along the side of the reef. The is a telecommunications cable that runs over to Egypt running down this gulley. This reef makes a particularly good night dive where you will find Spanish Dancer’s and lots of lobsters. Moray eels are out and about as are the lion fish. The reef is covered with a fantastic display of feather stars all colours of the rainbow.
| Tarmac Five (18 – 27 metres / 60 – 90 feet)
This wreck is located quite close to Cedar Pride and consists of the wreck of a boat which while sinking ended up lying on the remains of another old wreck from the 1970s.Before Cedar Pride this was the wreck of choice and actually the only wreck in the area.While the wreck itself isn’t very great the dive can be interesting as this wreckage is home to lots of fish life and marine growth,you can see anything from rays to frogfish and more
| Kleta’s Wall (45 – 70 metres / 150 – 235 feet)
This site is named after Henry Kleta, a German instructor who first explored the area. Deep of the wreck of the Cedar Pride lies an inviting deep gulley leading to a series of fantastic deep canyons and walls with many gorgonian fan corals, recently the Dive Aqaba tec team found a tunnel leading all the way through the deep reef here. If you work your dive to the south you will ascend past an old water tank, so we have a “hydro box” as well as Stoney Cove!
| Japanese Gardens (6 – 30 metres / 20 – 100 feet)
Also in Wreck Bay but to the southern end. The site is a combination of shallow depths and heavy presence of barracudas, sergeant majors and fusiliers make this Japanese Garden-like diving site the perfect diving destination for divers of all experience levels. Keep at a 20m depth and swim along edge of reef over bushes of black coral. If sharks are to be seen (White Tip Reef sharks) this is where you will see them in the deep blue of the Gulf to your right. At 23m at the head of a gully there is a large Gorgonia Fan coral. From here start working your way into the shallows, keeping an eye out for resident turtles.
| Taiyong Wreck (35 – 57 metres / 115 – 190 feet)
This wreck was discovered by the Dive Aqaba Tec Team in 2004. She lies on her starboard side in 50 metres of water off the dive site known as the Japanese Gardens, the maximum depth on the wreck is 57m and the top of the wreck is 35m. An accident led to the jib of the crane dropping and damaging the hold, this was them repaired with a concrete plug. The plug kept leaking so it was deemed uneconomical to repair and scuttled in late 1999. The A frame of the crane is fantastic for photography – if your camera can go that deep!
| Gorgone One (6 – 15 metres / 20 – 50 feet)
Rated as one of the best for diving, snorkeling recommended Site is named after a large (gorgonian) sea fan coral! This site is an excellent shallow dive in an area covered in coral. There are 3 pinnacles, each with its own ecosystem. The central pinnacle boasting a busy cleaning station. Hawksbill turtles frequent the area. Around the northern pinnacle are a shoal of big eye emperors and a large shoal of sergeant major fish. The mooring is to the south in a sandy patch at 15m.
| Gorgone Two (3 – 21 metres / 10 – 65 feet)
Rated excellent for diving, snorkeling possible Dive site is also named by two Gorgonian fan corals, which is 20m and 29m depth. Site is located south of the Gorgonia I. – just left site of the parking area in the Marine Park. This dive site has varieties of pinnacles and reefs with a different shapes and depth. Very interesting pinnacles are in the shallow water, Fire corals at the beginning of the dive, table corals, cabbage and stony or raspberry corals.
| Seven Sisters (6 – 12 metres / 20 – 40 feet)
Here 7 pinnacles of coral vie for your attention over a solid coral reef. Luckily the depth is only 8-9m so you can enjoy the wonders each has to offer. Big Eye Emperor and shoals of Fusiliers live around these pinnacles. This area is full of marine life and worthy of a dive on its own, shallow with lots of bottom time. Superb for the photographer. This dive can be made as a shore dive from Beach No 4 jetty or as a boat dive from the mooring at Oliver’s Canyon.
| New Canyon “Tank” (3 – 10 metres / 10 – 20 feet)
Magnificent species of scorpion fish, stonefish, frogfish, octopus and large eel find shelter in this site. More popularly known as ” The Tank ” This American M42 Duster with a self propelled Anti-aircraft canon was originally in employ of the Jordanian Army it was scuttled as an artificial reef on September 1st 1999 by the Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society and has since accumulated a lot of marine life.
| Ras Al Yamanya (6 – 30 metres / 20 – 100 feet)
This is a perfect site for inexperienced divers taking their first course as it offers a lovely diversity of fish and eel without the risk of damaging coral reefs. This site drops quickly from standing depth to 5 meters to over 30 meters, where the corals begin. A boat will take you to this paradise, as the currents are strong and the coral zone extends far to the south. It is an ideal setting for photography lovers as it contains many fish frog and eel.
| Yellowstone reef (30 – 90 metres / 100 – 300 feet)
Named after Yellowstone Park in the USA because of the large pinnacle of yellow corals visible from the surface and the nearby inland yellow rock. In a battle of vivid colors, this site also holds a variety of radiant red and black corals in addition to lunar tailed groupers. Site can only be accessed using a boat. Across this reef it is one of the few places to see groups of Bat fish and at 27m there is a massive Black coral bush, which marks the turn around point. Move up the reef to a depth of 12-15m.
| Kiwi Reef (9 – 18 metres / 30 – 60 feet)
Kiwi Reef is named after ” Bevan Airey ” a diver from New Zealand who discovered this amazing place while on an exploratory dive with Rod. At the bottom of a grass slope there are numerous small pinnacles which form a breeding ground for juvenile fish. Each has it’s own little eco system. Here you will find many moray eels, lionfish, burr fish, shoals of damsel fish and several large Emperor fish. Each time we dive there something new is discovered. This is a favourite dive with underwater photographers.
| Blue Coral (9 – 36 metres / 30 – 120 feet)
This site has not been dived for a few years as beach access was blocked by the development of Tala Bay. Dive Aqaba helped the Marine Park relocate the site and place a Manta mooring here, so it is now accessible by boat. The site was named after the bright blue acropora corals which can be found there. It consists of three large fingers of coral running out to sea from 10m down to 50m. The mooring is at the head of the middle finger of coral. There is a lot to explore here. Don’t expect to cover the whole site in one dive. Recently crocodile fish and frogfish have both been spotted here. It is also a good site for nudibranchs.
| Moon Valley (12 – 100 metres / 40 – 330 feet)
Named after a valley in Wadi Rum this site drops of steeply but offers a nice dive in the medium depth range 10-25m. Large pelagics can be spotted here, the occasional shark. Lots of unicorn fish and some large Napoleon wrasses. The are a lot of soft corals in the area making it great for arty photos. You can explore left or right from the main valley working your way up to the shallows were you will be surrounded by large shoals of sardines and fusiliers.
| Coral Garden (12 – 40 metres / 40 – 130 feet)
This site is best appreciated using Enriched Air Nitrox to extend the bottom time in this depth range. It is situated south of the Royal Diving Club and can be accessed by their jetty (a long swim out!). Take extra care as currents can be strong here and the patch corals extend a long way south. This is a great site for photography as the coral heads are spaced apart. There are many large moray eels here and frog fish can often be spotted.
| Saudi Arabia Border (9 – 36 metres / 30 – 120 feet)
Near Saudi border there are 2 dive sites separated by a deep canyon , the one on the right side is one of the most popular dive sites. A drop off reef with a very long wall extends to 850.m from shore line point descending to approx. 45.m at the end. Angel fish,octopus , hump head napoleon wrasses are commons, huge size of cabbage corals (all sort of species ) . When divers returning back to the shore at the end of the dive meanwhile conducting safety stops they enjoy the view of large soft corals , sea cucumbers in shallow water at the top of the slope.
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