Corridor of Marvels
Ranking with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as the world’s best place to dive, the Red Sea was described by no less an expert than Jacques Cousteau as “a corridor of marvels—the happiest hours of my diving experience.”
The sea is famed for its diverse marine life and the spectacular clarity of the water, with visibility often in excess of 150 feet. (The lack of rain in the surrounding desert means no runoff to degrade visibility.) Much of the uniqueness of a Red Sea dive derives from the dramatic juxtaposition of the stark beauty of the Sinai Desert above and the veritable Garden of Eden below. About 10 percent of Red Sea species are found nowhere else on earth.
At the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula, dive resorts such as Sharm el-Sheik offer a range of day boats out to the spectacular dive sites of Ras Mohammed, Egypt’s first national marine park. But live-aboard boats can bypass the underwater crowds and head for even more pristine reefs, steep drop-offs, sea mounts, and wrecks.