Aqaba Dive Sites
Explore the underwater world along the Jordanian coastline between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and discover the top Aqaba diving sites. Spanning 17 miles, Aqaba diving sites are all located within the Red Sea Marine Park, which preserves these artificial reefs, supporting a wide range of marine life. More than 20 Aqaba dive sites to choose from, when planning a Jordan scuba diving trip, choosing between these incredible diving sites can be challenging, especially if you’re pressed for time. From rainbow coral reefs where you can see plankton, whale sharks, and manta rays, to sunken aircraft and military vehicles just waiting to be explored, take a look at each Aqaba diving site below. Find out what to expect at each location and plan a memorable and thrilling Jordan scuba diving experience.
Accessible only by boat; dive: Maximum wall depth: 50 meters/130 feet
At the Power Station dive site, there is a lively coral plateau that slopes down from a depth of 12 to 20 m to a depth of more than 100 m. Large hump-head wrasse and moray eels are often seen here. Nearer to the power station than the famous wall dive, we find a gentle coral slope that goes from 5m down to 50m and is dotted with coral pinnacles that are full of small fry. This gives all kinds of predators a place to eat and gives divers great chances to take digital photos. The dive site is called "The Power Station" because of a small oil-fired power plant on the coast road to the north of the dive site. Here is where the one-hundred-and-two-hundred-meter contour lines on the chart meet the coast. At Aqaba Blue Hole to the north and Dorit's Deep to the south, there is good technical diving up to 100m.
FIRST BAY, NORTH
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: Max. 30 meters/100 feet
This is the first dive site in the Marine Park, and it's a great dive from 6m down to 30m. Between 2 and 5 meters deep, there is a reef along the edge of the site. At 9 meters deep, there is a wide sandy plain with coral clusters here and there. West of the mooring, at 15m, there is a pinnacle that looks like a banana. This is a good place to start if you want to dive deeper into this site. It is right across from the entrance to the site through the fringing reef.
First Bay South
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: Max. 30 meters/100 feet
From the beach, it's easy to get to this place. There are a lot of black coral trees at the site, and coronet fish often hunt small glassfish there. There are also a lot of bright parrotfish at the site. There is good technical diving up to 75m and deeper in Death Valley, which got its name from the strong downcurrents that can be found there. It's a great dive if you go with a technical guide with a lot of experience. There are a lot of white whip corals up to 3 meters tall.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: Max: 35 meters/115 feet
The Eel Garden has a lot of surprises and is easy to get to from the shore. There are garden eels here, of course, but there are also a lot of other interesting animals. There are several coral heads with yellow-mouthed morays and anemones if you cross the sand and go left from the shore. Many young fish and eels hide in seagrass beds, but keep an eye out for the many scorpion fish and lionfish that can also be found there. But the pinnacle, which is only 7 meters high, is the most interesting part. This is a photographer's dream come true. The pinnacle is a busy cleaning station that is surrounded by goldfish (Anthias) and black corals. It is run by a family of giant moray eels and staffed by a team of banded boxer shrimp. Here, you can see a lot of different animals, like frogfish, if you look closely. If you dive here at night, you might see the toadfish that live there and the red swimming crabs that hide during the day in the pinnacle's cracks.
KING ABDULLAH REEF NORTH
Accessible by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: Max. 40 meters/130 feet
This dive is one of the longest and most popular ones. There are a lot of beautiful fanfish and pennant fish in the reef. Also common are torpedo rays and hawksbill turtles. The site is great for underwater photography because there are so many corals.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: Max: 45 meters/150 feet
This site is very easy to get to and is perfect for snorkelers and people who are new to the area. Just below the surface, there is a coral garden that goes out for about 30 meters before dropping off steeply. There are a lot of fish in the reef, and if you're lucky, you might see one of the turtles that like to hang out there. The area under the new jetty at Club Berenice, where schools of small fish gather, is a new highlight of this dive. These small fish are food for many predators, like lionfish and barracuda. If you look closely, you will see several frogfish sitting on the legs of the pier. There are many gray morays and the occasional seahorse in the seagrass area to the south, which is worth a visit.
RAINBOW REEF (Cable Area)
Accessibility: Boat Dive or Shore Dive: Reef Depth: max. 18 meters/60 feet
The reef got its name because it looks like a rainbow. The depth starts at 6 m and goes up to 18 m. You can see big Spanish dancers, lobsters, feathered starfish, moray eels, and lionfish when you dive there at night. Here you can see the cable that lets Egypt and Jordan talk to each other. You can also dive from shore and follow this reef to the Cedar Pride Wreck. In 1996, power lines were run to Egypt. There are four cables that go out over the seabed. The two cables that go north go through a deep canyon. On either side of this reef, support has been added to keep it from falling on the cables. North and south of the reef, there are big steel nets that coral is now growing through. Large metal tubes go across the canyon to keep it from falling apart. Soft corals and sponges live here now. You might also see an octopus or a spotted eagle ray here.
WRECK CEDAR PRIDE
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Maximum wreck depth: 26 meters (90 feet)
One of the most popular and well-known places to dive in Jordan is the Cedar Pride wreck. The ship, which used to be a Lebanese freighter, suffered a lot of damage in a fire in 1982. After King Abdullah asked for it, the ship was sunk on purpose about 150 meters off the coast to create an artificial reef for divers. The wreckage, which is lying on its port side between two reefs at a maximum depth of 26 m, has been taken over by both hard and soft corals. The Cedar Pride is marked by a surface buoy and can be accessed from either a boat or the shore. The highest point on the starboard side is 10 m, making it a great place for both new and experienced divers. The wreck is 78 meters long and mostly in one piece. The best diving is on the side that faces the water, where you can see the deck and superstructure. The crow's nest, which is covered with many different colored soft corals and stands out against the clear blue water, is the most interesting part. As you move closer to the hull, you pass ventilation shafts that look like mushrooms and the main mast. Here, where the water is deeper, there are fewer soft corals and more hard corals and schools of fish, including the occasional barracuda. You can find anemones, table corals, pipefish, and clusters of Acropora as you swim back along the upper starboard side. This is a great place to dive at night. Lots of animals, like urchins, shrimp, Spanish dancers, and soft coral crabs, live on the deck. For an experienced wreck diver and photographer, the light zone has a lot of places to go deeper.
Accessibility: Dive from a boat or the shore: Maximum Wreck Depth: 90 feet (27 meters)
After Alcatel had finished installing the electricity wires to Egypt, this wreck was destroyed. She is located close to the Cedar Pride, and when she went down, she struck the corner of an old fishing boat that had been sunk and had been there for many years. It is home to a wide diversity of marine species, including frogfish, coral shrimp, and blue-spotted stingrays. Particularly if boat diving, this can be paired with a dive to the Cedar Pride. Additionally available here is a fantastic deep technical dive down a gulley that descends from 40 meters to at least 75 meters; this location is known as Kleta's Wall (named after a German divemaster who explored it in 1996). There are lots of enormous gorgonian fan corals in this area, as well as some amazing gullies to explore. Here, pelagics, including big tuna fish and other species, are frequently seen at depth.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max. 30 meters/100 feet
Right next to the shipwreck, to the south. This is one of the best places in the world to dive and snorkel, and the conditions are great.
The reef starts in shallow water and then gently slopes down to a beautiful, colorful reef bed where very large schools of Anthias (goldfish) play with the golden sun rays while eating plankton around the pinnacles. There are also a lot of lyre-tailed groupers, royal angelfish, moray eels, and big clam shells. In 2013, many corals from the Saudi border were moved here to keep them from being destroyed by the building of a new port facility there. There will be a lot of signs. They are now starting to grow again and join this great reef. On this reef, there are two places for boats to tie up: one near the shore and one farther out.
Accessibility: Dive: Boat: Technical dive on a wreck
Depth: 36–57 meters/120–170 feet
In 2004, a group of technical divers found this wreck. She is on her starboard side in 50 to 55 meters of water near a dive site called the Japanese Gardens. The wreck is 57 meters deep at its deepest point and 36 meters deep at its highest point. She was bought by the Aqaba port authority in 1974, and ships coming to Aqaba used her to unload their cargo. Because of an accident, the crane's jib fell and broke the hold. This was fixed with a concrete plug. Since the plug kept leaking, it was thought to be too expensive to fix, so it was thrown away in late 1999. On the bow, you can see that her number is C486B. Fusiliers now patrol this wreck in the Red Sea, which is still in good shape and has a lot of soft corals growing on it. If your camera can go that deep, the A-frame of the crane is a great place to take pictures. On the bow, there are schools of glassfish that are being hunted by many big lionfish.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max. 18 meters/50 feet It was given this name because, at 16m depth, there is a big Gorgonia fan coral. The deepest point of the site is 18 meters, which is great for divers who just got their certification. It can be reached from the shore through a passage that is 3m wide and 4m deep. After a diver goes through this beautiful passage, where rare and shy creatures hide in caves, he or she comes to a huge cabbage coral. This dive provides examples of a fantastic array of the different varieties of coral in the Red Sea. The site has three large pinnacles that rise from the bottom of the water to near the surface. Soft and hard corals live on these pinnacles, making them a safe and rich home for many different kinds of beautiful invertebrates and fish. The boulder, fan, and table corals finish off the tour of corals.
GORGONE II can be reached by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max – 21 meters / 63 feet
This site is very similar in the richness of its corals to Gorgon One. The site is named after a type of coral called Gorgonia fan-coral that used to be at a depth of 22m but is no longer there. Moray Eels, Lionfish, Blue Tangs, and other surgeonfish can be seen here. Several groups of coral grow together to make a small maze. This gives the diver something to do during their safety stop.
THE TANK AND SEVEN SISTERS
Accessibility: Dive: reef or wreck, max depth of 12 meters (40 feet) from boat or shore
Easy entry over the grass to where the reef starts at 2–3 m. In the shallows, there are a lot of interesting invertebrates. Swim through the pinnacles and then turn back toward the shore to another set of pinnacles called "the Fairy Ring." Continue south at 8 meters, where the coral turns into grass and sand until you reach 6 meters and see "The Tank," an M40 anti-aircraft tracked vehicle that was sunk in September 1999 to make an artificial reef. From the new canyon entrance, you can also go straight to the tank.
Accessibility: boat or shore; dive: Reef Depth: max. 40 meters/130 feet
Most of the time, the dive involves a route around the canyons and a tour of a number of table corals at different depths. There are many kinds of coral and fish at the site, like scorpionfish, frogfish, and stonefish, as well as the occasional octopus and a big eel. You can finish the dive with a safety stop at the famous "tank," the M42 American anti-aircraft tracked vehicle that was sunk by the Jordan Royal Ecological Society in 1999.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max. 30 meters/100 feet
The garden eels that stick out of the sand at the bottom of the canyon gave it its name. (There are also some nice stingrays here.) You can use the oil drum and the table coral to figure out where you are in the area. Under coral ledges, there are a lot of lionfish and some nice black coral bushes. At the bottom of one coral spur is a nice swim-through, but be careful with your fins.
SHOROUK WRECK Getting there: Dive Boat: Technical Dive on a Wreck
Depth: 38–60 maeters/125–200 feet
This wreck is deep off the Eel Canyon dive site, between 38 and 58 meters deep. The ship is on its port side, between two reefs that run from west to east (bow to the east). This means that it is easy to get to depths of over 60 meters under the wreck. She was scuttled by the Aqaba Marine Park on June 18, 2008. As she started to sink, she started to drift, and she could have easily ended up in more than 100 meters of water. They were able to push it back to a depth where divers could go just before she went under the waves, giving technical divers a new place to explore. The bridge and engine room are easy to get to. On the bow of the wreck is a buoy that leads to the shallowest point at 38m. Travel north for decompression and up to the famous M42 tank in 6m, or travel east to the Eel Canyon dive site to avoid long blue water decompression hangs.
Yellowstone Reef can be reached by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max. 90 meters/300 feet
The name of this place comes from a big coral rock that looks yellow from the surface. The site is just north of where the Tala Bay hotel complex is being built. With depths of more than 30m, this reef is a good place for deep divers to see bigger sea creatures like stingrays and Napoleon fish.
BLUE CORAL Can be reached: Dive-Boat: Reef Depth: max. 36 meters/120 feet
This place is called "Blue Corals" because there are so many of them here. The site has a nice mix of seagrass beds and sandy areas, and there are three main spurs of coral reefs that run to shore from 10 to 50 meters deep. This site is opposite the Tala Bay hotel and marina complex.
KIWI REEF can be reached by boat or from the shore. reef Depth: max – 18 meters / 60 feet
This dive site is named after the New Zealand diver who found it. The site is mostly made up of thick beds of sea grass that grow along a steep slope. At a depth of 12 to 20 m, the bottom is covered with small coral pinnacles that form small ecosystems all by themselves. Here you can see Moray Eels and Lionfish. A lot of people take underwater photos at this site. Here is also a great place for tec divers to go through Kiwi Arch, an underwater arch. After swimming west of the boat mooring, this area is between 48 and 75 meters deep.
MOON VALLEY and PUFFER ROCK are two places.
Accessibility: Dive - Boat: Reef Depth: max – 40 meters / 130 feet
Location: Latitude 29°24'16.4" North, Longitude 34°58'19.9" East
This site has a steep drop-off and is named after a well-known valley in Wadi Rum. At this site, you can often see a lot of Unicorn fish, some big Napoleon Wrasses, and big schools of sardines and fusiliers. The site has a lot of hard coral, but it also has a lot of nice soft coral. Puffer rock to the East is named after the abundance of small puffer fish in the grass there.
Accessibility: Dive - Boat: Reef Depth: max – 30 meters / 100 feet
Location: Latitude: 29°24'13.0" North, Longitude: 34°58'10.1" East
At more than 40 m, a gentle slope with patch corals leads to a pinnacle and cave at the edge of a wall. We find soft coral gardens at 10-15m as we move back up to the south. There are a lot of stingrays and Eagle Rays in this area. Here, you can do another good technical dive that starts at Ashraf's Grotto at 30m and goes down to 100m or more. Nice at 55-80m though shoals of barracuda are common.
You can get there by boat or from the shore. Reef Depth: max. 40 meters/130 feet
Location: Latitude 29°24'01.6" North, Longitude 34°57'59.5" East
With the new mooring in place, boat divers can now go to this site. This dive site is called the Aquarium because dive guides used to take bread down to the north-east side of the central reef and feed the fish. This is no longer allowed because it is against the rules of the Aqaba Marine Park. The fish still gather in great numbers here. Over the deeper reefs, you'll see barracudas, a lot of unicorn fish, and amazing displays of red soft corals that move with the currents between the reefs.
Lockheed L1011 Tristar
Location: 29°28.328’N 34°58.458’E
Accessibility: Boat Length: 54m Wingspan: 47m Exterior Height: 16.8m Depth: 15 - 28 meters Visibility: 20-30m Currents: Low
Attractions: Cockpit, Cabins, Galleys, Cargo Hold, Central Engine Vent.