Many cities boast art, history, and cultural museums, but Cancun’s version of these is a little out of the ordinary. The Cancun Underwater Museum is an ongoing project promoting art as well as lively coral reefs. Snorkelers and divers can view its collection of more than 500 sunken sculptures that lie up to 20 feet (6 meters) deep.
British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor is the artistic mastermind behind the Cancun Underwater Museum, also known as the Underwater Museum of Art (Museo Subacuático de Arte, or MUSA). The establishment’s goal is to conserve the existing natural reefs while building new nooks and crannies for local fish and marine life to inhabit. The hauntingly beautiful underwater phenomenon helps establish Cancun as an artistic destination, as well cement it as a tourism hot spot. Plus, the museum makes for a unique scuba diving and snorkeling experience.
You can explore the submerged statues with a snorkeling or diving tour via speedboat from Cancun. Glass-bottom boat tours are available as well.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Cancun Underwater Museum is a must-see for avid snorkelers and divers of all skill levels.
- Bring an underwater camera in order to snap photos of the sculptures surrounded by plenty of tropical fish.
- The museum is divided into two galleries: Salon Manchones, which is 26 feet (8 meters) deep and suitable for both divers and snorkelers, and Salon Nizuc, where you can only snorkel.
MUSA is located in the National Marine Park surrounding the area of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc. Tours typically depart from the Cancun marina, which is easily accessible from the hotel zone. You can reach the museum’s Salon Nizuc portion by glass-bottom boat, jungle, and snorkeling tours.
When to Get There
Cancun is considered a year-round diving location because the water temperatures remain constant—you can dive roughly 300 days a year. That said, you may want to avoid hurricane season (usually June to October or even into December), since dives may be canceled due to storms.
Nearby Isla Mujeres
Located off the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, right off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres draws loads of day-trippers from Cancun and nearby Playa del Carmen. Sailing tours to the Cancun Underwater Museum often include a stop at the tiny island, where you can relax at a beach club and browse the artisan shops. If you have ample time, spend the night so you can enjoy quiet evenings and empty beaches once the tour boats depart.