An oasis of peace and calm, Jordan is a rewarding scuba destination, offering world-class reef and wreck diving, right from the shoreline. In Aqaba, you don't have to travel all day by boat to get to the best sites; simply swim out from shore to experience healthy and abundant reef formations, and stunning Red Sea marine life.
Aqaba is Jordan's only coastal city; located on the northeastern tip of the Red Sea. It is famous for abundant sea life, and as a popular diving and tourism resort. It has the beauty of Egypt; but without the crowds - allowing divers to have the sites to themselves, to explore at leisure and at their own pace. Unless you are diving one of the favorite sites, you rarely see another group of divers underwater - what a treat!
The larger dive centers offer boat diving, as well as shore diving; however, all northerly sites are accessible from shore. Due to new hotel developments in the south of Aqaba, some of the southern sites only have direct access by boat. Check that your chosen dive center can offer these boat trips if you would like to visit this area. There are around 25 mapped sites along the coastline to dive - plenty of variation for an extended diving vacation. This area is protected as part of the Aqaba Marine Park - please respect the reef, and listen to the information given in dive briefings.
The best times to visit Aqaba, based on the climate, are September-October or April-May. During these months, the air temperature is pleasant hovering around 35 Celsius, and water temperatures average 23-26 Celsius. In June-August, the air temperature reaches up to 50 Celsius, so you definitely need to be underwater as much as possible! February-March brings the chance of strong winds, sand storms, plankton blooms, and large waves - a recommended time to avoid.
On non-diving days, there are plenty of activities to keep you amused. Petra is the ancient rose city, carved out of the mountains, now voted one of the new seven wonders of the ancient world. In the valley of Wadi Rum, visitors can take a jeep, horse, or camel tour through the desert; don't miss the exciting option of camping under the stars at a Bedouin camp. Not recommended for diving, but for floating around on the surface; the Dead Sea offers an alternative day relaxing at the spas.
With over 25 dive sites that range from pretty shallow reefs to deeper wrecks, Aqaba, in Jordan, is a great choice for Red Sea diving vacations. All of the dive sites run parallel to the coastline, allowing easy shore diving access. Boat diving is not necessary, but adds an element of comfort for those who prefer it. A 3mm wetsuit is suitable when the water temperature reaches 28 Celsius in the summer months; a 5mm wetsuit is adequate thermal protection for the rest of the year. Good dive centers, such as Seastar Water Sports, will try to visit as many of the sites as possible with guests. Here are some of the top recommended sites:
The wreck of Cedar Pride is a perfect dive from either shore or boat. Purposely sunk by King Abdullah in 1985, this 80m Lebanese cargo ship has good coral growth and some interesting swim-throughs. The top of the wreck is at 9m, and the maximum depth is 26m, allowing all levels of diver to enjoy this stunning site. Head back across the reef to see feathertail stingrays, Napoleon wrasse, and pyjama slug nudibranchs.
Power Station is the most northerly site and can only be dived when the sea is calm. A breathtaking wall drops off, from 12m down to the deep; this is an advanced recreational level dive that can reach 40m. It is also suitable for technical and rebreather divers to enjoy the hidden depths. Look out for giant morays, black coral, large elephant ear sponges, and frogfish.
Japanese Gardens is a gorgeous dive for photographers and reef fish enthusiasts. Depth ranges from 5m-40m; allowing divers to choose their preferred level based on certification and experience. Anthias and damselfish add color to the shallow reef top pinnacles; hawksbill turtles and eagle rays can be seen at the black coral alley at 30m. Be careful of the stonefish and fire corals at 6m.
Seven Sisters and the Tank is a picturesque series of pinnacles, next to an American M42 tank; this site is suitable for Open Water divers and above. The tank was scuttled by the Jordan Royal Ecological Diving Society in 1999, and is well covered in soft corals and marine life. Divers can expect to see moray eels, flat worms, and nudibranchs around the wreck. The tank sits in 6m of water, but divers can go deeper to 24m, to explore the seven pinnacles and outlying reef. Seahorses, pipefish, shrimps, and torpedo rays are stunning photography subjects that can be found in the seagrass.
Jordan has 13 dive operators that are all based around the port city of Aqaba. They range from PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centers to PADI Dive Resorts, and cover all of the requirements that a visiting diver would need. Some centers offer shore diving, whilst others have the option of boat diving too. Technical and rebreather diving is popular in this area, due to the range of deeper dive sites on offer.
Seastar Water Sports is a highly recommend PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, based 10km south of Aqaba. Since 1991, the friendly team at Seastar has safely trained thousands of fun divers and professionals. They offer guided boat diving, shore diving, and the full range of PADI certification courses. The comfortable custom dive boat has a large interior salon area, 4 cabins, shower/toilet, sun deck, and a spacious dive deck. It is suitable for up to 20 divers and snorkelers, or 10 technical divers. In 2013, they became a PADI TecRec facility, offering certification courses up to Trimix Diver.
Dive Aqaba is also a PADI 5 Star IDC Center. They are centrally located in Aqaba, near all the major hotels. Dive Aqaba has over 30 years experience of educational excellence in recreational and technical diving and is well renowned for high safety standards. Their custom dive boat runs daily guided diving and snorkel trips. A PADI TecRec Center, Dive Aqaba has an on site Technical Instructor Trainer for all Tec and rebreather courses. The Dive Aqaba Tec Team discovered the wreck of the Taiyong in 2004.
Sinai Divers are a well-known Red Sea dive company, and have a PADI 5 Star IDC Center based at Mövenpick Resort in Aqaba. With a team of international instructors they offer PADI, SSI, BSAC, and Barakuda courses from beginner to professional levels.
The Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA), in Amman, is the main entry point for visitors to Jordan. Over 20 international air carriers fly into this airport, including Royal Jordanian airlines. Taxis, buses, and shuttle buses are available for transfers. The King Hussein International Airport (KHIA) also has international and national flight connections.
Fill in the Form Below.
Our hand picked regional partners will deliver no obligation quotes.