The calm weather, the mild currents and the even temperatures that characterize the Gulf of Aqaba make the Jordan coral reefs a paradise for corals and numerous other marine species. The reef area is about 15 miles long and it hosts more than 100 species of hard corals, another more than 100 species of soft corals and a staggering 1,000 fish species, making up a complex and intricate ecosystem of exquisite beauty.
The reefs are populated not only by corals and fish – sea-dwelling mammals and reptiles also choose the Aqaba area as their home:
- Power Station – a fringing reef area that slopes gradually to 20m, then further on to 200m, this site comes with pinnacles and large fan corals. Glass fish, Napoleon fish and yellow-mouthed moray eels populate the area;
- Cazar Reef – cabbage corals, table corals, black corals and numerous other colorful soft coral species co-habit the area with lunar tail groupers, barracuda, grey morays and lion fish. The sandy areas offer the opportunity to see flounders, Moses soles and dragonets;
- Eel Garden – the spot is named after its major attraction, garden eels. It is a sandy bed with numerous pinnacles and with depth up to 20m and perfect for those who enjoy underwater photography. The Garden is populated with colorful soft corals and some other, very special creatures such as Harlequin shrimps, various species of groupers, ghost pipe fish and lion fish;
- Gorgone One – table corals, fan corals and spectacular boulder corals live here and among them Bartlett’s anthias, devil scorpion fish and stone fish. There are two pinnacles in the area, each of them serving as shelter for different fish species.
These are only a few of the sites on the Jordan coral reefs – there are many others in the area and almost all of them can be explored as shore dives.