Diving in Aqaba is pretty much a given if you have any experience whatsoever in this water sport: this is Jordan’s portal to the Red Sea, after all, and the only spot in the country where you can actually enjoy activities like this. And what enjoyment can be had! Aqaba’s Gulf is home to a vast variety of sea creatures that can definitely brighten up any tourist’s day.
The real attraction when diving in Aqaba is in the areas around the southern parts of the coast, where the reef starts at the beach itself and where wreck sites abound just a bit further into the water, especially around Aqaba Marine Park. Some of the sites have huge growths of coral that are already centuries old, and some of these growths have chosen truly interesting places from which to sprout. Wreckages of old ships are included. Indeed, there is even a dive site referred to as The Tank for obvious reasons: it is a sunken tank overtaken by corals and other marine plants and animals already, an instrument of war held captive by the sea in a peaceful blue stasis. Other places of interest are waiting just beneath the waters for the curious diver, from the Cazar Reef to the Eel Garden.
The best way to know where to go diving in Aqaba is simply to hire a divemaster from one of the many shops and establishments offering assistance in this matter. Aqaba International Dive Center, for example, is a PADI-associated establishment that many recommend highly for first-time divers in the gulf looking for underwater guides. There are many others to be found in the city, so just ask around: this is a place famed for diving, after all.
The beauty of diving in Aqaba is that it can be done the entire year, at any time whatsoever. The region’s climate is hot, after all, which means even the winters see the waters still manageable in just a 5mm suit. No dangers have been reported either, although the waters off the Sinai Peninsula have had some shark scares as recently as 2010. The same has not been reported in Aqaba, though.
Keep in mind, when diving in Aqaba, that if your interest is not so much the wrecks and fixed scenery (i.e. corals) but rather the actual fish and other marine creatures swimming in the waters, you have to be mindful of when you actually dip into the sea. This is because certain species only visit the waters or are spotted at certain times of the year, and cannot be expected to show up at random months. For example, it is very difficult to spot any whale sharks in winter in the area, although they do tend to turn up in all their majestic bulk when June to July kick in. The same applies to large skates and manta species, which typically appear near the end of winter. Just ask your guide which species you are likely to see and where you can go to maximise your chances of seeing them.