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Of Jordan’s 17 miles of coast along the Red Sea, four miles are protected by a marine park. Here you will find over 20 uncrowded dive sites with something for every level of diver to discover.

Diving in Jordan

Quick facts

For divers, Jordan’s southernmost tip, where the Red Sea’s tropical waters bathe some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world, has to be the main attraction. While the total coastline is only about 27 kilometres/17 miles long, there are plenty of dive sites to choose from, many of them located within Aqaba Marine Park. Here divers enjoy a wide variety of soft and hard coral and myriad reef fish, and some of the best diving in the world. Most of the 20+ sites are accessible from the shore, but those positioned in the south must now be travelled to by boat due to new hotel development. With only 17 miles of coastline, the variety of dive sites available in Jordan will surprise many. Seven Sisters and the Tank is one of the more popular dives. Here divers can visit an American M42 tank, which was scuttled in 1999, next to a beautiful set of pinnacles. The dive starts at 20 feet (6 meters) and drops to 80 feet (24 meters). Furthermore, Japanese Gardens is a gorgeous reef dive that everyone can enjoy. The black coral has formed from 16 to 130 feet (5 to 40 meters) and now plays home to hawksbill turtles, eagle rays and a variety of reef fish. Finally, the wreck of Cedar Pride, a Lebanese cargo ship sunk in 1985, gives divers the chance to interact with feather tail stingrays and pygmy slug nudibranchs. The stunning ship, which lies from 30 to 85 feet (9 to 26 meters), offers fantastic swim throughs and the chance to get up close and personal with history. Whatever your reason for visiting Jordan is, diving in the Red Sea will be one of your favorite experiences.

Recommended training

The PADI Deep Diver Specialty course will let you make the most of the deeper reefs.

When to go

Jordan has hot, dry, long summers and short, cool winters. It enjoys a year-round diving season like other places on the Red Sea. However, it’s best to pack your 3mm wetsuit in the summer when water temperatures reach 82ºF (28ºC) but a 5mm wetsuit is necessary for other parts of the year. Water temperature varies from about 26° C/79° F in summer to 20° C/68° F during the winter. And visibility is frequently stunning, exceeding 30 metres/100 feet.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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* Cedar Pride - One of Jordan’s most popular dives, the basically intact wreck of the Cedar Pride, which went to the bottom in 1985, is now a busy artificial reef. She lies on her side about 200 metres/220 yards offshore at a maximum depth of about 27 metres/90 feet and can be dived from boat or shore. Make sure to stop by the crow’s nest for a great photo opportunity. * Yellowstone Reef - This site derives its name from a couple of large yellow boulders, one on land and one in the water. The reef drops to 30 metres/100 feet and divers may encounter giant Napoleon wrasse and big stingrays. This is a great boat dive with lots of soft coral and macro life. Keep an eye out for magnificent lyre-tailed grouper, which are known to frequent the area. * Aquarium - With a name like this, you would expect this dive site to have enough reef fish and coral to impress all comers. You’d be right. Divemasters used to feed the fish here (no longer an option as the site is within the Aqaba Marine Park) and it seems like the fish’s descendants remember the old days. * Japanese Gardens – This colorful reef starts shallow and gently slopes into the depths. It’s loved by snorkelers and is renowned as one of the most beautiful dives in the area. Watch for turtles, schools of barracuda and vibrant shoals of reef fish. Moray eels and giant clams make the crevices of the reef bottom their home. * Power Station - Conditions have to be right to dive this site, but when they are, divers make the most of a dramatic drop off to depths in excess of 40 metres/130 feet. As you might expect, it’s a popular spot with the tec divers too. Look for giant morays and black coral on the wall. * Seven Sisters and the Tank - This series of pinnacles lie next to an American M42 tank, which was sunk in 1999 just for divers. It’s now well covered in soft corals and marine life. Divers may see moray eels and multicolored nudibranchs around the wreck. The tank sits in 6 metres/18 feet of water, but the pinnacles and fringing reef drop well beyond this.

What to see

In the warm and clear waters of the Red Sea, pristine corals and interesting marine life abound. Because of the protected status of the Aqaba Marine Park and the upwelling of nutrients from the deeper sea below, divers can enjoy a myriad of fish and the chance of spotting some larger pelagic species. Feather tail stingrays, fluorescent nudibranchs, Napoleon wrasse, pygmy slug nudibranchs, frogfish, giant morays, elephant ear sponges, fire corals, stonefish, hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, seahorses, pipefish, shrimps and torpedo rays are commonly spotted. Even the occasionally whale shark makes an appearance. With over 1000 species of fish and 100 that are not found outside of the Red Sea, your dive logs from Jordan are sure to be full and unique.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

From majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to bustling urban centers, Jordan inspires with breathtaking sights and plenty to do. This desert land features dramatic red sands, towering cliffs, vast plains of volcanic basalt and hills rich with olive trees. In addition, Jordan has a well-earned reputation for excellent cuisine, a wide range of places to stay (from five star hotels to Bedouin-style camps) and for making visitors feel welcome. Jordan is a country with a long and varied history. It is officially an Arab kingdom in western Asia and is bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Israel and Palestine to the west and Saudi Arabia to the south and the east. Jordan shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The history of Jordan stretches to antiquity. However, in more modern history, the Emirate of Transjordan was first officially recognized following Britain and France’s division of West Asia after World War I. In 1946, the area became a sovereign state known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Only after capturing the West Bank from Israel in 1948 did the country change its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Today, Jordan enjoys economic and political stability in a region known for conflict. As such, it has become a major tourist destination and a refuge for many of the refugees fleeing other states in the Middle East. The constitutional monarchy is considered the safest country in the Middle East and also the safest Arab country. With its currently stable status, warm desert climate and interesting history, Jordan makes the perfect holiday destination for divers and non-divers alike.

Other attractions

Above the sea, Jordan is also something to behold. Most visitors find their way to Petra, an ancient city carved out of mountains, now considered one of the seven wonders of the world. The valley of Wadi Rum offers tourists the opportunity to get up close and personal with desert life through a night in a Bedouin camp or a camel tour. Finally, Jordan controls half of the Dead Sea. It’s not recommended to dive in the salty sea, but floating is encouraged. Whether you are diving the Red Sea or exploring everything Jordan has to offer, you are sure to fall in love with this peaceful Middle Eastern country.

Getting there

The main entry point for all international visitors to Jordan is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. More than 20 international carriers service this airport with flights from Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Guests arriving solely to dive in the Red Sea might also consider using King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba as some domestic and international carriers have recently begun to operate flights into this more convenient airport. Once within the country, buses, shuttles, and taxis are available for transfers.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

JOD

Currency

+962

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

D, 

F, 

G, 

J

Plug type

ADJ

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.