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.
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.
This Eastern side of the Gulf of Aqaba is teeming with marine life thanks to the cool, rich up-welling waters from the depths. The coral is healthy and vast, and slowly improving each year since the opening of the Marine Park.
Not a lot in the way of ‘big fish’, occasionally we get Eagle Rays, Sting rays, Hawksbill turtles, and in the late spring 1 or 2 whale sharks following the plankton bloom. Aqaba is best for it’s fantastic macro – shrimps, nudibranchs, pipefish, frogfish etc – A photographer’s paradise.
As the gulf is so narrow and so deep there are no ‘off-shore’ reefs. All the sites accessible from the boat are also possible form the shore, with a few exceptions due to recent development in the area.
Most dive centers in Aqaba offer shore based diving, and boat diving on request. But there are a few that do only boat diving. As all dive sites are in the Marine Park you will always dive with a registered Marine Park Guide.