Nuweiba serves as both a crucial Gulf of Aqaba port and a resort with a couple of hotel areas and a quaint town center. Its name means "bubbling springs," and Nuweiba has long been an important oasis for Muslim pilgrims en route to Mecca. Sandy beaches and colorful coral reefs accessible from the shore have earned it a reputation as a dive center, though it hasn't thrived in the last decade in the same way as the rest of the Red Sea Riviera.
Maagana Bay, the main port area, sees constant traffic from trucks full of goods and equipment and travelers making their way to Mecca or Jordan. This is where you'll find a post office, telephone office, bus station, and beckoning taxi drivers. About 6 km (4 miles) north of the port lies the touristy city center, its simple stores filled with cheap local clothing, trinkets, souvenirs, and household goods. Inexpensive restaurants serve basic food, and supermarkets carry an adequate range of supplies. But you'll probably spend most of your time enjoying the beach, its coffeehouses, and the Sinai scenery.
Nuweiba, which has a population of about 3,000, is the center for two tribes. Their members, once the outstanding fishermen of the Sinai Coast, still inhabit the area in two communities: Nuweiba el Muzeina, south of Nuweiba's city center, and Nuweiba Tarabin, to the north.
Because of its central position on the Sinai Coast, Nuweiba makes a good base for trekking into the Sinai interior to the Colored Canyon. Getting a glimpse of the Colored Canyon's red, yellow, rose, brown, and purple hues deep within the mountains northwest of Nuweiba is something that you can do only by camel or four-wheel-drive vehicle. The Abanoub Travel Agency or your hotel can arrange a trip to the canyon; you can also take tours from Sharm El-Sheikh or Dahab.