Diving in Aqaba – What Jordan has to offer

27.10.2018 by ricardo

Off the coast of Aqaba, Jordan’s diving area stretches over 15 kilometres. This sounds like little, but has a lot to offer. Read more about diving in Aqaba and what Jordan has to offer.

Diving in Aqaba – Small but nice

Aqaba itself is a living city. Not far from the historic fortress and around the old centre there are small guesthouses and international hotels. Jordan’s actual holiday region on the Red Sea is located south of the modern port.

Where the long beaches begin, there is also the diving area: About 25 diving spots are spread over about 15 kilometres. From the north of the Gulf of Aqaba to Tala Bay. There are no upstream reefs and therefore no currents. Relaxed diving in Aqaba is therefore guaranteed. 🙂 Which does not mean that boredom could arise. The wreck of the “Cedar Pride”, the steep wall at the spot “Power Station” and the kilometer-long coral gardens ensure that.

Ideal for shore dives

In front of the sandy beach the bottom almost always drops gently and becomes either sea grass or a deep coral landscape. This is ideal for those who like to dive from land, but also for snorkelers.

There are about 20 bases for diving in Aqaba. Some are in the city, others are spread out along the coast. Most of them are local dive centers, hidden in the city. But they all have one thing in common: they go to the same dive sites. Many offer shore dives. The German diving schools “Sinai Divers” and “Extra Divers” work with diving ships and rubber dinghies.

The wreck of the Cedar Pride

From Tala Bay the boat trip to the wreck of the “Cedar Pride” takes about 50 minutes. The ex-freighter is Jordan’s top spot. The underwater world in the diving area is protected. Therefore we moor at a mooring buoy for the wreck dive. The “Cedar Pride” has been here for about 32 years and quickly became world famous. It was sunk by today’s Jordanian King Abdullah, who is an enthusiastic sports diver, as a diving destination. Tilted to port and with depths from 13 to over 30 meters, it is suitable for beginners as well as for old hands. Experienced divers can enter the engine room and dive into the bridge house. The most beautiful spot, however, is the crow’s nest on the ship’s mast, where bright red soft corals proliferate.

The “Cable Reef” and a tank

Something extraordinary is the Cable Reef. There, cables laid from Egypt through the Gulf of Aqaba are led out of the water again. For whatever reason, this spot seems to be a popular place for rays. With a little luck you will not only meet a blue spotted ray, but also big spring tail stingrays. No less unusual is the dive site “Seven Sisters”. At a depth of about 10 meters there is a tank, which is also a great destination for snorkelers.

Wonderful variety

Also the precinct of the vertically swimming snipe-knife-fish is in shore-proximity. Small white moray eels meander through the somewhat deeper coral zone. Around the coral-blocks glass and hatchet-belly-fish as well as the unmissable, orange flag-perches cavort. In fissures sit full-grown net morays.

As everywhere in the Red Sea, the lionfish are also visible in front of Aqaba. Eagle rays and large Napoleons are not so common, but the prospects for encounters with turtles are not bad. Divers with a trained eye can spot frogfish and occasionally snake eels sneak across the seabed. Nobody has to fear boredom in Aqaba. This also applies to night dives from the shore. You can also see yellowmouth morays and devilfish (“Red Sea Walkman”).

There are also big fish

Larger calibers can also be seen. For example one or two dogtooth tunas, barracudas and stingrays. Big fish encounters are rather rare, but also not completely excluded. One may not presuppose such animals before Aqaba. Encounters are pure luck. There are no far offshore reefs where such a thing is probable. But there is an intact fringing reef landscape, which is protected as a nature reserve and a real piece of the Red Sea.