Coral in in the Red Sea.

SCUBA Diving in Jordan Under the Red Sea

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After a night in the desert in Wadi Rum we turned our wheels towards the resort city of Aqaba and the sea breeze of the Red Sea.

Lemon and Mint juice at the Radisson Blu Resort near the Red Sea, Jordan.

Aqaba

Aqaba, borders the Red Sea and is the only coastal city in Jordan. Being in such close proximity to Egypt and Israel it acts as the go to hot spot for Jordanian holidays. Its location has also helped Aqaba achieve notoriety as a special economic zone where many items benefit from little to no tax. Qais Bader of Jordan Select Tours, our driver for the week, pulled in to the Radisson Blue Tala Bay resort.  It was obvious by the strict once over that they gave the car that security in this area was stricter than in the central Jordanian areas.

We explored the resort, giving the kids a chance to taste a delicious lemon mint smoothie before meeting the nanny who would be watching the boys for the next few hours while Mommy and Daddy went Scuba Diving in the famous Red Sea.

Maria, the nanny jumped right into action with the kids getting them ready for some excitement at the hotel’s kids club while Christina and I went to the lobby for our transfer to Sinbad’s Dive Club.

Scuba Diving in the Red Sea

When we arrived at Sinbad’s Dive Club, we were told that since it had been almost 2 years since our last dive, we would need to complete a short refresher course that included a pool dive before we would be allowed to slip into the Red Sea. Kate, our Hungarian dive instructor was fantastic and helped us get acclimated to our gear before bringing us down to the pier for our shore dive.

Couple in scuba gear waits to go in the pool to practice their dive skills before going to the Red Sea.

Aqaba is home to an extensive marine reserve that lines much of the shore on the Tala Bay side of Aqaba. Because of this you will find that many resorts have rocky shores rather than soft sand. The reserve has 25 dive spots, most of which are accessible as shore dives.

We walked down a short flight of stairs from the pier into the water and it was like stepping in to a bathtub. The surface temperature was a warm 29°C and it cooled only to 27ºC at our deepest depth of 60 ft. As we descended the splashes of the locals jumping off the pier into the clear waters grew muffled and we began our descent down the sandy bottom to the Rainbow reef.

Boxer fish on the sandy bottom of the Red Sed.

We quickly encountered large spotted puffer fish, clown fish and lionfish all while pods of small silver fish sparkled in the sunlight above us. The reef’s huge, colourful corals surrounded us and gave me ample chance to finally try our new Olympus TG-4 out in its natural habitat.  The camera’s on-board depth and navigation information proved useful as I worked to find just the right settings to capture the scenery.

After about an hour, we surfaced reluctantly after a 5 metre safety stop and carried our equipment back to the Dive Centre before heading back to the Radisson Blu to swap adventure stories with the kids. C and D came running out of the room with their faces sporting giant smiles and painted with red spider webs. We showed them pictures of the eels and clown fish before heading down for some relaxing family time by the pool.

Moray each hiding under some coral in the Red Sea.

Radisson Blu Tala Bay

The pools at the Radisson Blu all seemed to be fairly deep and outside of the area around the hot tubs, there were few areas where the kids could play without Mommy and Daddy helping them out. In fact, most areas needed Daddy specifically as the water was neck deep for Christina in most of the pools as well.

Mother and son splashing in a pool at the Radisson Blu Resort near the Red Sea, Jordan.

Although the water was deep, it was an excellent temperature and we found lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the water from the bridges to the waterfalls between the pools and more.

As the sun went down, we wandered down for a stroll along the rocky beach before heading to a fantastic buffet dinner at the Aziab restaurant. The next day would bring us to the lowest point of the surface of the Earth, and we needed to be prepared.

View Red Sea beach during the sunset in Aqaba Jordan.
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Kevin Wagar

Kevin Wagar is a creative designer and technology expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life.
With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that travelling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.
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14 Comments

  1. Amazing photos and it absolutely seems like you guys had a great time! I haven’t been to this part of the world yet, but I have always been eyeing to. Thanks for this article, I have ideas on what to do once I do head off there.

  2. What a wonderful experience! Diving in the Red Sea looks absolutely amazing – and your camera stacked up well: great colours and clarity! The Raddison Blu looked spectacular also. I’m hoping to get to Jordan and Petra soon – and it never occurred to me to include diving in the Red Sea – thank you for inspiring me!

    Happy Travels!
    -Vicki

  3. Jordan sounds fantastic guys seems you had some great travels. It is my promise to myself to go somewhere that has a kids club one day soon. Great that you guys could get away diving without any trouble. the water looks so clean and clear amazing

  4. I felt like I was there while reading this. Not sure why I never considered diving out of Jordan, I grew up with a lot of fish in my fathers tank from the Red Sea and they were beautiful!

    Greig

  5. I’m jealous! This looks so lovely and fun! What a great experience for the kids. I hope to have the same with my future children one day.

  6. Stunning underwater photography! Jordan has always been a country that has intrigued me, and I never even associated diving with that area. Gives me more reason to visit!

  7. I am not a diver but my husband is, so I showed him your post. He would love to dive in the Red Sea. That eel looks so scary, although beautiful to look at in the picture.

  8. This is the first time I heard that you can scuba dive in the Red Sea. Sounds like a luxurious vacation you had. 🙂 Great underwater photos as well. (I wonder why sea urchins always squeeze themselves on the sides of corals?)

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