Your Guide to Diving the Red Sea: Breathtaking Dive Sites in Aqaba

Planning a diving holiday to Jordan in the Middle East may not be something you have ever thought of. Yet, this breathtakingly beautiful stretch of coastline in the Red Sea makes for the most interesting dives and is a great cost-effective alternative to diving the Red Sea in Egypt. In fact, the dive sites found here are considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the world. 

We have put together a list of the top seven dive sites in Aqaba to help you plan a trip for diving the Red Sea in Jordan.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |


Aqaba is the only town in Jordan that sits on the shores of the Red Sea, along with its neighbour: Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Here, tropical waters bathe some of the most spectacular and pristine coral reefs found anywhere else in the world.

The maximum diving depth that can be reached here is 1,600 metres, but the most interesting of all these coral reefs are located near the coast, at a depth of 40 metres. Most of them can quite easily be navigated directly from the land, which means that they not only can be explored by divers but also by those looking to snorkel. 

How did the Red Sea form?

Despite its name, the Red Sea flaunts incredible blue waters. It has been aptly named the Red Sea as a result of the seasonal blooms of red-coloured algae that appear near the surface at certain times of the year. 

The sea was formed 40 million years ago when the Arabian Peninsula split from Africa. As it is surrounded by desert on three of its sides, it is one of the only seas to be enclosed by land. 

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Yuliya Kosolapova

As a result, the influx of water from the Indian Ocean is minimal, resulting in low tides and waters that have a high salt content. To put this in perspective, the salt content found here is at 41.5 percent, making it the saltiest sea in the world. It is also one of the windiest of all seas, experiencing only 50 days a year of calm waters. 

What it lacks for in calm seas, it makes up for in incredible and intricate coral reefs, kaleidoscopic marine life, and clear water visibility that allows you to see and appreciate these marvellous creatures. 

Dive sites not to miss

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

The stretch of the Red Sea coast in Jordan falls within the Aqaba Marine Park and forms part of the larger Red Sea Marine Peace Park. So, when you begin planning diving the Red Sea, you are not spoilt for choice. 

With only 26 kilometres or so of coastline, the variety and diversity of dive sites available here will completely surprise you. There are over 25 to choose from! Most of the sites listed below are close to shore, making them readily accessible even to those looking at having a relaxing snorkel.

And the best part, it is less crowded than the other dive sites in the Red Sea resorts of neighbouring Egypt and Israel. 

1. Cedar Pride Wreck

The Cedar Pride Wreck is a favourite amongst divers who frequent the region. And the best part about it, it can be reached from the shore. 

This old Lebanese container ship was intentionally sunk in 1985 as a means of creating an artificial reef that now boasts a colourful variety of coral. It is located at a depth of 25 metres and lies on two reefs, which allows divers to swim underneath it. The visibility is excellent here down to 20 metres, which makes for an excellent snorkelling spot in addition to diving. Giant Napoleon Wrasse unique to the region as well as graceful turtles frequent this area.

Experience level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced divers.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

2. Japanese Garden

Diving enthusiasts, you will just love the Japanese Garden. It is known for its large, picturesque coral heads.

The site can be reached through the same beach that the Cedar Pride Wreck is located at. The site rests in shallow waters making it a really nice and easy dive site. You will love all the dragonfish that can be seen here. Other marine life like lionfish, hawksbill turtles, angelfish, schools of snapper, butterflyfish, eagle rays, stonefish and fire corals can be seen here. 

Experience level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced divers.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

3. Black Rock

The dive site called Black Rock is amazing for those drivers that are just beginning. You will be able to effortlessly learn how to dive while marvelling at the slopes of a majestic reef. You can find a fabulous underwater garden of fire corals, and if you are lucky, you may just get to swim with friendly dolphins or even spot a fair share of octopuses. 

For intermediate divers, descend further down to 27 metres to experience a forest of black coral. It is quite a rare sight. Turtles can also be seen hiding out in gardens of lettuce corals here.

Experience level: Beginner and intermediate divers.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

4. Big Bay

If you are looking for a dive site that offers multiple dive opportunities then Big Bay is perfect for you. There are four sites here in which you can explore: Blue Coral, Kalli’s Place, Moon Valley, and Paradise.

Each one offers something a little bit different from the next. What makes these sites even more special is that you can see lacy blue and beautiful black coral. And if you are feeling up to it after a day of exploring, take part in the ‘long swim’ a one-kilometre long swim to the Royal Diving Club.

Experience level: Intermediate divers.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

5. The Power Station

The Power Station dive site is where all the big boys come out and play. Large predators like hammerhead sharks frequent here as well as other large pelagic creatures. You can also see napoleon fish and various types of eels. 

This dive site is more suited for experienced divers, as you drift from north to south along a beautiful sheer wall. Routine decompression stops are often required, however, it gives you an opportunity to take in all the beautiful landscapes that surround you. 

Experience level: Advanced divers.

6. The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters site offers a more laidback picturesque dive. The site is only 30 metres from the shore and sits in shallow waters. In fact, this site makes for an incredible snorkelling experience for non-divers.

You will be amazed by the corals and sponges that are prospering here. The tiny invertebrates that have captured the entire reef and the shoals of fusiliers will offer you incredible underwater photography opportunities. 

Experience level: Beginner and intermediate divers.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Reiseuhu

7. Blue Coral

If you love deep dives then Blue Coral is the most famous site for diving the Red Sea in Jordan.

As the name suggests, you can expect to find incredible blue Acropora corals. Moreso, there are three massive coral shelves that you can explore, some of which have peaks rising above the sandy seabed that rests below.

In the shallow waters of this site, snorkellers can expect to experience turtles, moray eels, reef fish and rays all gliding past you. You can also marvel at the colourful schools of larger fish that feed on reefs as well as some very impressive hard and soft corals.

Advanced divers, you will also be impressed to learn that you can dive this site at night. You’ll be even more impressed to know that a variety of depths and reliefs will offer you vivid impressions. 

Experience level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced divers.

Best time to visit

The best time to go diving in Jordan’s Red Sea is during the months of late-January through to mid-May when the sea temperatures are still warm. 

October through to November is the second most popular time to visit. During this time, however, be prepared for the odd overcast or rainy day which could make for a disappointing dive for water visibility.

Diving the Red Sea, Jordan

Red Sea Jordan | Image by Chantelle Flores |

On average you can experience 35-40-metre water visibility. During the months of spring, however, the visibility is known to drop to 10 metres, when plankton is known to frequent the waters.

Whatever your reason for visiting Jordan is, diving the Red Sea will be one of your favourite experiences, if not your most memorable one.

Also read:

Indonesia’s best dive sites

Thailand’s top seven dive sites 

Where to experience the best diving in Mauritius

Custom made holiday packages

With so many unique travel choices and such an easy booking process, the only stress you have is deciding on when to take that trip. If you’d rather have a package created for you, we have a dedicated team of experts ready to help you build the perfect holiday package.

Have you ever visited Aqaba and gone scuba diving? Which dive sites did you like the most?

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All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.

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