Snorkeling in Aqaba - A Guide to Diving in the Red Sea

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The crown of the Red Sea, Aqaba, is no less than a paradise for underwater fanatics. The serene and enchanting underwater life is what makes Aqaba a one-stop place to cater to your underwater adventure sports dreams. Life in the Red Sea is not limited to the beautiful corals and wildlife but also some sunken gems that ignite curiosity among the divers, which include historical tanks and massive aircraft carriers.
 
The sites in Aqaba possess more than 200 species of corals, 1000 plus varieties of fishes, as well as species of invertebrates. The Jordanian waters are bound to take you by surprise! What mesmerizes the divers the most in the Red Sea is the occasional encounter of clownfish at the reef, the anemones, Kinzinger wrasse, yellowtail surgeons and multiple species of butterflyfish, namely the Eritrean and the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish. Snowflake morays, lionfish and stonefish can also be observed on the reef flats. The Red Sea can take you by surprise with every dive, and if you’re lucky enough, you may get an opportunity to swim with green sea turtles in the seagrass beds. So, head to Aqaba and use our comprehensive guide for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and to dive into the enchanting Red Sea!

Best Time for Snorkeling in Aqaba

Although snorkeling is the kind of adventure sport that the locals of Aqaba tend to enjoy all year long, it might not be so suitable for tourists. The best time for wildlife snorkeling in the Red Sea of Aqaba is from January to May. The amazing light and subtly breezy weather are best suited to make the best of your deep-sea indulgence. These are also generally the most crowded months. Hence, if someone prefers a little cosy weather and fewer tourists, October and November would be the best time to visit Aqaba for snorkeling.

Must Visit Snorkeling Sites in Aqaba

1. Jordanian Air Force C-130

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This site is one of the most popular sites among snorkelers in Aqaba as it witnesses a whole giant aircraft settled on the sea bed. This sunken beauty was lowered into the sea in 2017, and it’s 25 metres long and crafty built, giving its wanderers a beguiling visit to the sea.

2. American M42 Duster Tank

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For any junkie history lover, the American M42 Duster Tank is the site for your deep dive! The tank has been settled in the sea since 1999 and bewitches its visitors with its slowly degenerating sturdy body. Since its cause of presence under the waters is unknown to date, it creates a sense of suspense among the underwater explorers.

3. Black Rock Dive Site

Black Rock Dive Site in Aqaba
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For someone looking for an easily accessible snorkelling site, Black Rock would be recommended as it is also beginner-friendly. This is the hotspot for lush black corals as well as an amazingly huge variety of water species such as Marine life - Emperor, Snapper, Crocodile Fish, Lyre Tail, small Triggerfish, Wrasse, Parrot Fish, Lionfish, Scorpion Fish, Box Fish, many Butterfly Fish and Sea Turtles. Its breathtaking underwater views make it a must-visit on our list of recommendations. 

4. King Abdullah Reef

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A gem for all the photography fanatics, King Abdullah Reef offers a majestic underwater spread of colourful corals.  This reef is vibrant, dense, and healthy, with a magnanimous variety of coverage and life of all shapes and sizes. Its depth is estimated to be approximately 40 metres, and is accessible by boat or shore. 

5. Japanese Gardens

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Proclaimed as one of the best dive sites in the world, the Japanese gardens are situated just south of the Shipwreck, making it an even bigger attraction than the former. One of its biggest USPs is that it is well-suited for snorkellers of all levels of experience. The huge reef bed flushed with a majestic variety of colours makes the view so picturesque you're bound to pull your camera out!

6. Moon Valley and Puffer Rock

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With a depth of a whopping 40 metres and accessibility only by boat, this particular site is famous for dropping off very steeply. Taking its name from a famous valley in the Wadi Rum, this snorkelling site in Aqaba is especially known for its magnificent visibility, which extends beyond 20 metres. It is loaded with incredible soft corals and experiences mild currents that offer a nice dive in the medium depth range of 10-25 meters, making it very suitable for snorkellers of all experience levels.

Best Diving Centres In Aqaba

1. Aqaba Leaders Dive Center: 5/5

Address: K. Hussein St., Aqaba 77110, Jordan
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Phone: +962 7 8888 5362
Approximate Cost: JOD 28.87 per adult
Duration: 2 hours

2. Hammerhead Dive Center: 4.9/5 

Address: King Hussein Street t، Aqaba 77110, Jordan
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Phone: +962 7 8661 4182
Approximate Cost: JOD 28.87 per adult
Duration: 2 hours
Snorkelling Packages: JOD 15.000

3. Sea Breeze Dive Club: 4.6/5 

Address: GXMV+XHR, Al-Hashemi St., Aqaba, Jordan
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Phone: +962 7 9117 8914
Approximate Cost: JOD 92.61 per adult
Duration: 6 hours

4. Aqaba Sharks Bay Divers: 4.8/5

Address: Al-Hammamat Al-Tunisiyah St. 12, Aqaba, Jordan
Hours: Monday – Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Phone: +962 7 9584 3724
Approximate Cost: JOD 54.18 per adult
Duration: 2 hours

5. Waves diving centre: 4.9/5

Address: Aqaba, Jordan
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Phone: +962 7 9728 2679
Approximate Cost: JOD 361.18
Duration: 3 days

Tips Snorkeling In Aqaba 

  • It is very important to get trained properly as it provides an opportunity to get comfortable with the snorkelling gear as well as to build the habit of breathing from the mouth as it is essential. Hence it is crucial to choose a place for training and snorkelling and make prior bookings to avoid any last-minute chaos.
  • Ensure to not consume anything at least 4 years prior to snorkelling.
  • Make sure to equip yourself with the right gear. Appropriate sizes, styles and prices are to be kept in mind while shopping for        snorkelling gears
  • Your mask should be of the right fit, sitting right over your eyes without creating uncomfortable pressure. There should be no twists in the straps of the mask and should sit flat above your ears.
  • As a beginner, there are many skills to practice before taking the big step and defogging your mask is one of them. Using baby shampoo as a defogging solution is a handy and quick solution. Don’t take this step lightly, ad visibility is a crucial key to an amazing snorkelling experience.
  • Being underwater can be nerve-wrenching, and it is important to maintain calm and to assist yourself in that; deep breathing is a must. Taking a couple of focused, composed breaths should be taken when encountering a tense or overwhelming situation.
  • If using sunscreen underwater, ensure to use a biodegradable one that does not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate which cause coral bleaching. 
  • Don’t touch the beautiful corals! Yes, as fascinating as it may seem, it is not advisable to make physical contact with the corals as well as interfere with marine life. Some sea creatures are poisonous and may react defensively, causing injuries to you.
Aqaba’s beautiful snorkelling sites are exactly what an underwater enthusiast dreams of and with the widespread soft corals and sunken beauties, there’s more than one reason to give Jordanian waters a try to unleash the diver in you!

This post was published by Muskan Jaggi

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