Cancun Scuba-Diving

Dive in the Cancun underwater Museum

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In the clear, blue water about 30 minutes from Cancun, divers and snorkelers can visit the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art. British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor brought Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) to life with his  pieces, and installations now feature other artists as well. The museum lies within the Cancun National Marine Park, which includes Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc.

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What is the Cancun Underwater Museum?

Cancun Underwater Museum

MUSA (Cancun Underwater museum of art is the only museum that you can visit wearing only a bathing suit.
The best way to explore it is scuba diving because it’s to about 28 feet deep.  MUSA is made up of hundreds of statues.
The project started in 2009 so nowadays the pieces are covered with beautiful coral formations and surrounded by fish, making the Underwater Museum an artificial reef to host marine life, a stress relief for nearby coral reefs… and of course, a one-of-a-kind diving spot!The installation, which features just over 500 sculptures — by deCaires Taylor and five Mexican artists — opened in 2010 with an installation called The Silent Evolution.  

Aside from offering divers a unique experience, the museum also functions as an artificial reef. In fact, it was originally conceived to relieve pressure on local reefs. The artist used pH-neutral concrete to create the sculptures, which encourage coral growth and thus attract marine life.

Why are there statues underwater in Cancun?

Cancun Underwater Museum History

MUSA has two galleries, the Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc. Salon Manchones is best for divers, with sculptures sitting between 26 and 33 feet (8 to 10 m), while Salon Nizuc is best for snorkeling, with sculptures sitting at 6.5 to 13 feet (2 to 4 m). All together, the artists sum over 500 statues. Some of the artists that made the statues are: Jason deCaires Taylor, Salvador Quiroz, Rodrigo Quiñones Reyes, Karen Salinas Martinez, Enrique Mireles and Elier Amado Gil.

DeCaires Taylor based the sculptures on local people from Puerto Morelos, and each one of the sculpted men, women, and children has unique expressions and features. Each sculpture or group of sculptures also has a different meaning and name that depicts a specific theme, such as Man on Fire, Dream Collector, Anthropocene, and The Banker. One of the more famous exhibitions in this area — although better suited to snorkeling than diving — is Vicissitude — an installation that depicts a group of people looking up at the sky while holding hands.

Since the installation in 2009, coral growth has covered the statues, and they continue to attract schools of fish, turtles, rays, and other marine life. Eventually, it is hoped that the sculptures themselves will become unrecognizable as they are covered in so much life.

Cancun Underwater Museum - MExplor

How to visit the Cancun underwater Museum?

Visit Cancun Underwater Museum Mexico

MUSA is an excellent dive and snorkeling site for novice and more experienced divers. Divers and snorkelers must, however, carefully interact with the space to promote its conservation. MUSA Cancun and its sculptures are open to anyone any day of the year, however only private tours offers can take you there, since it is a protected area. Besides, you’ll want a guided tour of the museum so you can learn about the museum’s concept, the statues and more! MUSA is divided into three main areas: Manchones, Nizuc and Punta Sam. The Manchones reef lies between Cancun and Isla Mujeres and is home to most of the sculptures submerged at 8 meters deep. This part is best visited with a guided tour, or as part of a diving class in Cancun. The Nizuc and Punta Sam attractions are located in shallower waters (4 meters or less) and are the perfect place to snorkel and immerse yourself in this magical world.

Diving

The Cancun underwater museum or the MUSA offers its tourists a variety of options to experience its glowing reefs. One has the option of either snorkeling or scuba diving through this coral wonderland. The average depth of the museum is about 8 meters, so it would be advisable that you know a basic amount of swimming before signing up. Diving without certification is not illegal in the Cancun underwater museum, however, certification would benefit you in ensuring a safe experience. With Scuba diving, a professional diver will assist you as you would be diving anywhere between 30 to 100 feet underwater. If you are a water enthusiast, scuba diving would prove to be a better option as it would give you the option of being closest to the sculpted structures.

Snorkeling

The best thing about their snorkeling programs is that they provide for same-day training within a period of two to three hours. Your initial anxiety will be at bay as the theoretical training of equipment instruction will be followed by several sessions of diving in shallow pools. Snorkeling with the help guide would prove to be a great option for kids and people struggling with breathing issues. The memory of swimming through these colorful corals illuminated by the glorious golden rays of the sun will want you to try out both the options! There are many tour operators offering a snorkeling tour (book online ) to the Cancun underwater museum. In general, you will be provided with a life jacket, fins, mask and a brand new snorkeling tube, yours to keep. Once equipped, you will follow a guide to enjoy the coral barrier known as Arrecife Mesoamericano. In this area, you can see around 30 MUSA sculptures, including The Grardner of hope, Time Bomb, The Last Supper, Reclamation and several other works by the English artist Jason deCaires Taylor.  In addition, you may see sculptures by the Cuban artist Elier Amado Gil, such as Understanding, Threshold and No Name. Enjoy and admire The Ocean Muse, created by the Mexican artist Roberto Díaz Abraham, who also is Co-Founder of the Underwater Museum of Art.

How much costs the Cancun underwater Museum?

Cancun Underwater Museum Price

Cancun Underwater Museum price varies depending on the activity you want to do there (snorkeling or diving) and the gallery and the operator you choose.

A double dive at the MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum from Cancun will cost you around US$90 with the equipment. We were quoted almost the same price to do a single dive. That’s the price to visit Manchones, one of the three galleries of Cancun Underwater Museum. If you’re not a certified diver, you can do two dives for less than US$140 (click here to book online*). Or it’s around $72 for a snorkeling tour (click here to book online*).

The other galleries if Cancun Underwater Museum are for snorkelling only. It costs around US$94 for a catamaran trip to Punta Nizuc from Cancun. Punta Sam is the newest gallery and does not have many sculptures yet. It’s only a few hundred metres away from the shore, which will please those who are subject to seasickness.

When you’re planning your budget for diving or snorkeling MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum, consider the extra fees for boat docking that are often excluded from the displayed price to visit Cancun Underwater Museum.

Cancun Underwater Museum - MExplor

When to visit the Cancun underwater Museum?

Best time to go to Cancun Underwater Museum

Cancun and nearby Cozumel are popular dive destinations that offer around 300 good diving days a year. The dry season — also the high season — falls between November and April. The hurricane season is between June and October, but storms can arrive as late as December.

Water temperatures range from 73 F (23 C) in the winter to around 84 F (29 C) in the summer. MUSA offers very shallow diving — so lots of bottom time — and little to no current. Average visibility is around 65 feet (20 m).

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art offers interesting dives that you will want to add to your logbook. The warm, clear water offers excellent diving conditions and a unique chance to take some time out and revel in the art.

Cancun Underwater Museum - MExplor - time bomb

Book your trip

Are you ready to book your trip?  .Here are the websites you can use to book your trip, get inspired with the best things to do in your destinations and travel smarter.

  • Kiwi.com– A great website to book your flights. It has good airfares but you need to search regulaly as the prices are constantly changing
  • Booking.com – The best website to book your accommodation, you can book and cancel free up until a certain point, especially when your plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – You can get some really nice places to stay here. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hotel.com – Huge choice of hotels with  free cancellation up until a certain point. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Agoda – Agoda is very good if you are searching hotels, resorts, houses. They always have attractive promotions.  
  • Get your Guide – It is a platform where you will find tours and excurtions in Cozumel and every part of the world.
  • Viator – If you need to find inspiration about things to do in Cozumel, check on Viator to see the tours they offer for diving and other activities
  • Rental Cars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • MExplor Travel Agency – Another website to book accommodation and tours. They have a lot of options and mainly working with diferent travel partners.

See other things to do in Cancun

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Scuba-Diving in Cozumel

If you love diving and are in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, take 1 day or 2 to dive in Cozumel.