DIVE SITES PART # 2
Part #2 of our guide to Aqaba's dive sites. To see Part #1 click here
Max Depth 6m | Beginner | Wreck
This M42 anti-aircraft vehicle is another artificial reef project. It was sunk in 1999 by the Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society. The wreck is known as 'The Tank' and its shallow depth makes it a fantastic site for novices and even snorkellers. It's also easy to access at only 20m from the shore. The largely intact structure makes it a visual treat, and attracts plenty of reef fish. Several moray eels have also made homes in the wreckage.
Max Depth 30m | Beginner to Intermediate | Pinnacle
There is a profusion of garden eels in the seagrass at this site which is easily approached from shore. Scorpion fish and lionfish are often seen in the grass and eels cover the sandy slope where rare black corals grow in abundance. A pinnacle at 7m provides the greatest interest, with its resident giant moray who is well served at this cleaning station by banded boxer shrimp. Anthias and other reef fish make this a beautiful scene.
Max Depth 40m | Intermediate to Advanced | Reef
Yellowstone is a sloping coral reef with sand patches cut through at depth. The reef runs to roughly 40m deep and other than the coral pinnacle which looks yellow from the surface, giving this site its name, there are two other large pinnacles to explore. There is an array of black coral on this reef with a group of lunar tailed grouper, batfish, jacks and tuna to swim with. This site is accessed by boat and is one of the deeper recreational dives in Aqaba.
Max Depth 50m | Beginner to Advanced | Reef
Blue coral has three main strands of reef running from the shore to a depth of more than 50m. All of the three fingers are covered with predominately blue coral which gives the site its name. Many unusual species of nudibranch can be seen among the vivid corals along with larger species such as lionfish and grouper. The site is only accessed by boat now and is too extensive to cover in one dive.
Max Depth 24m | Beginner to Intermediate | Reef
A must for underwater photographers, Kiwi Reef is one of those sites where you need to slow down, take your time and let the action unfold in front of you. The site is made up of lots of small pinnacles at around 20m which are reached via a short swim over seagrass beds. Pick your spot and take in the many varieties of moray eels – including yellow-mouthed and peppered – and enjoy the schooling damsel fish and large emperor fish circling the pinnacles. It's a great place for macro fans too, as nudibranchs and Christmas tree worms abound.
Max Depth 35m | Beginner to Advanced | Reef
Moon Valley is the place to dive if you want to see bigger fish such as sharks, unicorn fish and Napoleon wrasse. Named after one of the valleys in the Wadi Rum, this dive is an underwater valley, so it drops off steeply. It is a good dive to stay in the ten to 25m range where the coral cover is heavy. Heading left or right to shallower depths you will find yourself surrounded by shoals of sardines and fusiliers.
Max Depth 40m | Intermediate to Advanced | Reef
This dive is best completed as a drift dive from a boat to preserve the coral. There is an abundance of soft red coral which sway as they catch the running currents and there are some small pinnacles at 18m. The coral gets denser as you go deeper to the wall which starts at 30m. Shoals of glass fish swarm the reef with sightings of stingrays, eagle rays, octopus, moray eels and unicorn fish. The copious fish and radiant reefs give this site its name.
Max Depth 40m | Beginner to Advanced | Coral Wall
Fish gather is large numbers at this site, the coral is colourful and healthy giving divers the feeling of being in a natural aquarium. There is a coral wall that drops to 30m where barracuda, unicorn fish and ribbon tailed stingrays can be seen on the deeper parts of the coral wall. Shallower, it is common to see puffer fish, cornet fish and clown fish swimming in and out of the masses of soft red coral.
Max Depth 60m | Beginner to Advanced | Reef
This is the last dive site in the confines of the marine park. You can access the Coral Garden from a jetty at the Royal Diving Club. Underwater the coral heads are well spaced out, with sandy and sea grass patches in between. To the north the coral extends to more than 60m deep. Turtles are often spotted swimming between the reef heads with eels hiding in the coral and torpedo rays elegantly gliding over some of the different coral species you can see at this site.
Max Depth 50m | Intermediate to Advanced | Coral Wall
Many people consider this one of the best dive site in Aqaba. You can swim out six metres from the shore to a sharp drop off, not far from the Saudi Arabia border, to find a coral wall descending below you. You can see a large area of cabbage coral before you descend to the pinnacle located at 12m. This coral wall is inhabited by hawksbill turtles, hunting jacks and humphead wrasse. A great dive to see a variety of vivid coral and larger marine life.