Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea

Best Night Dive

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True name Rainbow Reef
Depth 6m to 25m+
Conditions Best at night
Visibility Very good (15-20m)
Platform Shore (boat unnecessary)
Level Beginner to advanced
Snorkelling? No
Other names used Cable Reef

This one’s easy to find, so we’ll gear up on shore at the divers’ platform, and head straight out for a very short swim to 6m depth. We’ve already reached the end the ‘rainbow’! Now it’s a simple matter of following the reef contour down to about 18m, where we’ll turn north for an impressive wall diving experience.

 Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea
Rainbow Reef is easy to find – when you see the telecoms cables, you know you’re in the right spot.

We cruise serenely over sand with 4 telecommunications cables (laid in 1996 between Jordan and Egypt), running below us and coral walls on either side. The northern wall of this site is actually a thriving artificial reef, constructed to protect those cables and home to a wide variety of wildlife.

 Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea
Is this a sponge-encrusted coral head, or an ancient dragon?

Everything we would have missed during the day is active now – we see octopi, crabs, shrimp, lobsters, and other invertebrates hunting and picking away at the reef, unafraid of their daytime predators who sleep hidden away within the reef.

 Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea
Rainbow Reef is easy to find – when you see the telecoms cables, you know you’re in the right spot.
 Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea
Like most of Aqaba, Rainbow Reef’s crystalline waters are home to a huge diversity of marine life.

Morays and lionfish actively scour a reef peppered with Spanish Dancers and other nudibranchs – all between a spiny forest of feather stars in every colour of the rainbow, waving in the gentle current.

 Rainbow Reef | Aqaba-Jordan-Red Sea
It’s a photographer’s dream dive in the Red Sea ...

If we dive here during the day, we’ll see a huge assortment of fish life including a variety of parrotfish, butterfly fish, wrasse, and scorpion fish. Eagle rays provide a graceful backdrop for the bustling reef.

It’s beautiful in the daytime, too, but really – this is Aqaba’s most popular night dive site for a reason.

... and Rainbow Reef is Aqaba’s most popular night dive site for very good reasons.

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Arab Divers