Diving in Aqaba
Jordan came late to the "tourist diving industry", and approached it slowly with all regard for the preservation of marine life. The results are paying off as far as the coral reefs are concerned. Profession photographers claim that the reefs here are easily as good as in the Maldives. If you bring your own diving suit, then in the winter months a 5-6mm suit is OK, in summer a 3mm shorty is fine, but it is always better to be warmer when in the water, especially if you are good on air or an avid underwater photographer so scarcely moving from one pinnacle.
Aqaba, JORDAN is easily accessible from Eilat, ISRAEL thanks to the Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal at the Arava Crossing. From there you can cross between Israel and Jordan.
The fee for leaving Israel through the Arava Crossing is US $15.00. Leaving Jordan to Eilat, ISRAEL is 5 Jordanian Dinars. Generally, visitors entering Jordan will receive a Jordanian visa for two weeks while visitors entering Israel will receive an Israeli visa for one month.
"A diamond in the rough"
Aqaba is one of those cities that mixes old world flavor with new world convinience. This is a fairly modern city with many of the thigs we are used to in the western world...
Night life in Jordan can be fun, if you are looking for a good time in a relaxing way, you can chill at the coffee shops, dance at the disco, and just plain have a good time, just keep in mind that this is a muslim country and there are rules and protocols that need to be watched out for.
This is not spring break paradise, but it can be a lot of fun.
Now here is an activity that can be fun, throught the city you will see kids walking around with their camels and they will offer you a ride, it can be fun.
The seaside resort of Aqaba lies on Jordan's Red Sea coast. Thanks to its location, it experiences year round sunshine and particularly hot summers.
We arrived in Aqaba following a day in rain-soaked Amman and two days in the sub-zero temperatures of Petra - so we really appreciated the warm February sunshine! I'm led to believe that a not insignificant number of Amman's residents head south to sunny Aqaba for weekends during the winter months. It is after all only a 4 hour or so journey from Amman to Aqaba.
Standing on the beach at Aqaba, you can see 3 other countries. To the west, the Israeli resort of Eilat is only a few kilometers away and only a little beyond lies the Egyptian resort of Taba. To the east, Saudi Arabia is visible on the horizon.
We stayed at the Alcazar Hotel - a nice hotel with clean, spacious rooms, an onsite restaurant and pub and a diving school. Most of the hotel's guests were in Aqaba to go diving in the Red Sea.
In common with much of Jordan in February, tourists were few and far between - but Aqaba posesses more than adequate facilities to cater for travellers. There are plenty of high quality restaurants, selling good value-for-money seafood, as well as small local restaurants, pizzerias, cafes and internationally famous fast food joints.
The town beach in Aqaba is not particularly appealing, but guests at the Alcazar can catch the free shuttle to their beach club a few dozen kilometers along the coast where there is a much better beach, as well as a swimming pool, sun loungers and a bar. Non-guests can catch the shuttle too, but must pay (a very small entrance fee) to enter the beach club.
There are boat trips (including glass-bottomed boats) available from near Aqaba town beach.
There are plenty of souvenir shops as well as a few modern shopping malls.
Neighbouring Eilat makes for a good daytrip. The beaches are much better there and there is a much more prosperous feel to the resort, with lavish hotels and glass fronted shopping malls. The contrast with the more laid-back, less developed Aqaba is quite amazing given the small distance between the two resorts.
All in all, Aqaba is a great place for some relaxing sunshine in the winter months. The four days that we spent there was sufficient and combined with the other places we visited in Jordan (Amman and Petra), it made for a very enjoyable, varied holiday!
Competition -- Aqaba- Jordan
Safe swimming - Aqaba- Jordan
Aqaba, Jordan luggage storage
I will be en route from Wadi Rum to Eilat, Israeli boarder crossing on Sunday afternoon (14 May). I wanted to know if there is anywhere where I can store my luggage for an hour or two ? Perhaps a good hotel (even though I am not a guest there) or bus station lockers??
I want to walk around and see a little bit of Aqaba, before I leave Jordan for Israel.