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Snorkeling in Aqaba, Jordan

Snorkeling in the Middle East! Adventures in the Red Sea resort city of Aqaba!

While visiting the Kingdom of Jordan in the Middle East, we were surprised after our journey to Petra, the city of Amman, the Dead Sea and the Wadi Rum Desert that we would find a place to go snorkeling. Aqaba is a resort town located on the Red Sea, where you can enjoy the beach and underwater adventures, including snorkeling and diving.

Aqaba's skyline. Photo by Senia L.

Aqaba’s skyline. Photo by Senia L.

Aqaba is bordered by Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the northern tip of the Red Sea. As Jordan’s only port city, Aqaba is an important hub for trade. Aqaba really began to take off as a travel destination when in 1965, Jordan made a deal with its neighbor Saudi Arabia. King Hussein of Jordan gave Saudi Arabia a big chuck of interior desert in exchange for this small, but beautiful piece of the coast. The additional shoreline gave Jordan room to develop the beaches and access to the coral reef where we enjoyed snorkeling.

Aqaba's coral reef isn't too far from the shoreline. Photo by Joi.

Aqaba’s coral reef isn’t too far from the shoreline and is home to brightly-coloured corals, sponges and sea fans. Photo by Joi.

After coming from the desert, my guide Ibrahim and I couldn’t wait to jump into the cool waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. The water was clear and calm and with a thriving coral reef just off the shoreline, Aqaba is a popular place to snorkel. I would have never guessed I’d be snorkeling in the Middle East, but my trip to Jordan was be full of surprises.

My guide Ibrahim explains more about Jordanian culture as we head out to snorkel. Aqaba is Jordan's only outlet to the sea.

My guide Ibrahim explains more about Jordanian culture as we head out to snorkel. Aqaba is Jordan’s only outlet to the sea.

You can dive or snorkel from Aqaba year round. In June and July, you may encounter are whale sharks and in February one can often see Manta Rays. For those who don’t want to dive or snorkel, there glass-bottomed boat tours, sandy beaches and an interesting Marine Park.

Check out more photos below and watch the video to learn more and see film footage of the reef!

Views from the water. From Aqaba's town center, the borders of Israel, Egypt's Sinai and Saudi Arabia are no more than a 30-minute drive.

Views from the water. From Aqaba’s town center, the borders of Israel, Egypt’s Sinai and Saudi Arabia are no more than a 30-minute drive.

Our director of photography, Greg, gets ready to film in the water with our camera protected by underwater housing.

Our director of photography, Greg, gets ready to film in the water with our camera protected by underwater housing.

We took in sunset by the water, as my Jordanian guide smoked a hookah.

We took in sunset by the water, as my Jordanian guide smoked a hookah.

Just a cool shot as night falls by the Gulf of Aqaba!

Just a cool shot as night falls by the Gulf of Aqaba!

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Travels with Darley is a travel TV series broadcast on PBS stations and on digital networks, including the AOL On Network. Host Darley Newman of "Equitrekking" fame joins locals to showcase the top food, culture and adventure attractions in the USA and around the globe.

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