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Paradise | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea

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True name Paradise
Depth 18m to 23m+
Conditions Wall, medium current, excessive depth
Visibility Exceptional (40m+)
Platform Boat
Level Advanced to technical
Snorkelling? No
Other names used Ashraf’s Grotto

After passing by a coral outcropping, we’ll level out over seagrass at 18m. We could turn south to see some impressive red coral growth, turtles, and rays over the seagrass beds, but you’re probably here to head west – to the lip of the wall.

It’s easy to find after we cross a narrow but thriving reef (also dominated by red corals) that extends to and over the edge at 25m. Heading downward we find a sandy bottom and ascend along the wall for the duration of the dive.

The water at Paradise wall is deep, blue, and crystal clear.

Just a little further out, we’d find dropoffs with walls extending well below 100m – but although the diving is spectacular there can be strong currents in this area and we didn’t bring our tec gear on this trip – let’s keep to recreational depths for today.

Densely packed with coral and teeming with fish, this dive site is an Aqaba favourite.

Looking out to the blue, we see eagle rays, schooling tuna, jack, and some larger solitary pelagics – including sharks, which are uncommon in most of Aqaba. Morays, frogfish, and barracuda hunt between dense, healthy soft corals and sponges while blennies, nudibranchs, seek shelter in its folds.

Although Paradise is a deep, sometimes tec dive, the reef begins right offshore.

A huge coral outcropping forms a natural, swimthrough mini-cave around 30m – this is Ashraf’s Grotto, from which the site derives its name.

Marine life is plentiful and varied, even in the shallows.

We’ll keep track of our position as we gradually ascent the wall throughout our dive, taking care to find the mooring line to have a reference as we safety-stop and surface.

Paradise is one of Aqaba’s best dive sites for mixed groups of divers and snorkelers.

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