While most attention in the diving world is given to places like Australia and Belize, there’s another region that deserves equal recognition: The Aqaba gulf.
Some days it’s fun to come face-to-face with different sea life, while other times we prefer to cruise over historic wreckage or swim through unique biodiversity. What makes a great diving spot? The option to do it all! Each dive site in Aqaba has its own ranking of difficulty so check in advance to see if you have the necessary diving skills.
If you have a group of mixed-experienced levels, the Yellowstone Reef could be the perfect place to go exploring. With an abundance of coral to be explored, divers can enjoy the day situated at depths as shallow as 12m and as deep as 40m. As the name suggests, a large yellow rock can be identified from the surface, with strings of yellow coral spotted throughout the reef. Believe it or not, black coral is also in great abundance, with a small forest of it at the greater depths (around 30m – 40m). Because of its deeper waters, the chance to encounter larger marine life – like stingrays – is possible here.
If you grew up watching “Finding Nemo” you’ll know a thing or two about dropoffs. The majority of shoreline along the South Beach of Aqaba maintains this pattern so be sure to check it out! The vegetation and sea life are incredible! The electric oranges from the large population of clownfish mix well with the vibrance of fire coral and sea butterflies. This easily accessible dive site is safe for all divers, with a minimal current and a fairly shallow dive required to get up close and personal with the life on the floor of the Sea.
If you’ve trekked out to explore Seven Sisters, you’ll be just a few strokes away from seeing the infamous Tank. The ecological system was needing more habitat to promote a healthy population of marine flora and sea life. What was the solution? To drop a massive tank into the water! After being underwater for over 20 years now, the Tank has fulfilled its purpose. It is now the home of countless coral and provides shelters for a wide variety of fish. Because it’s only 6m deep, even those equipped with just a mask and snorkel can enjoy this sunken wonder!
As the name suggests, expect to see color (a lot of colors). Home to an exciting assortment of vibrant coral, the reef has become one of the most popular places to dive in the area! The popularity shouldn’t deter you from exploring it. The conditions are harder than normal and only confident divers with some experience – or those being supervised by a licensed instructor, should ever attempt diving here. If you feel comfortable, the area is notorious for attracting avid divers at night, when the vegetation has its own personal light show, including the glow from fluorescent bacteria.
If visiting the Tank piqued your interest, you’ll want to wander just a few more meters to see an actual airplane resting on the Sea’s floor, the C130 Hercules. This plane is extremely easy to spot, with a depth of only 16m, making it easily accessible for all levels of divers. Have a non-diving member on your trip? With a snorkel and mark, they’ll also get the opportunity to see the plane even if they just float on the surface! Visitors are asked to refrain from entering the cockpit to preserve the condition of the artifact. The flight deck however is extremely spacious and open to anyone. The C130 was intentionally placed in the Red Sea and attracts many enthusiastic divers from all regions of the world.
You don’t have to be a history major to appreciate this underwater museum – a helicopter submerged in the sea is bound to interest anyone! If you’re worried about hazardous materials seeping from these machines, don’t be. The team of experts commissioned to create this museum had strict environmental mandates to ensure all equipment was 100% free of chemicals and other toxins. This portion of the Sea was previously almost totally barren, making it the perfect location to create this underwater masterpiece.
If you haven’t yet qualified for diving (or somehow got roped into a vacation with a group of them) don’t worry! There’s still plenty to enjoy in these fascinating waters, including the Japanese Garden. All you’ll need is a snorkel and mask and you’ll be able to enjoy this underwater vegetation that
Want to know the best part about the dive sites mentioned? Aside from a few exceptions, each is close enough to shore that no boat is needed! If you’re more of a ‘drop and dive’ type of person, the option of boating to the location is also possible.
If we’ve convinced you that the Aqaba coast should be on your diving bucket list this year, you’ll need a place to stay. You’ll want to be in direct access to these infamous spots while enjoying a touch of luxury, which is why we think you’ll love this Aqaba dive center!