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5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

TripBlog
Jan 5, 202135,2413

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art enjoys the status of being the biggest underwater museum in the world.

Table of Contents

What is MUSA?
Unique Underwater Sculptures
Diving Under the Waves
Diving Certification Options
Glass Bottom Boat
Transportation to MUSA
Available Tours
Tips for Your Trip

Originally known as ‘MUSA’ or the ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte, the Cancun Underwater Museum welcomes nearly 750,000 tourists yearly.

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

This hidden piece of wonder is beautifully tucked in between the islands of Cancun and Isla Mujeres on the coast of Mexico.

As a brainchild of British sculptor Jason De Caires Taylor this museum welcomed the installation of nearly 500 life-size installations submerged underwater in the breathtaking coasts of the Caribbean islands. Apart from enjoying the status of a coastline getaway, Cancun also enjoys the status of a world preservation site. It promotes marine diversity through its underwater installations which also act as a fertile landscape for its lost Fauna. If you happen to be a water enthusiast who loves the alluring waters of the ocean, you might have just found the right spot for your next vacation! Your dream to swim through this exotic fauna coupled with some interesting art just came alive!

What is MUSA?

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

MUSA also known as the ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’ is an initiative that wished to divert a large group of ocean divers disrupting the balance of underwater fauna in the Caribbean coastline. The director of the Cancun National Marine Park -Jaime Gonzalez Canto wished to provide an alternative to preserving these disrupted coral reefs. By bringing British Sculptor Jason De Caires Taylor and a group of Mexican artists on board, nearly 500 statues with pH neutral marine concrete were anchored into the ocean. The Cancun Underwater Museum has nearly three such galleries that showcase a variety of themes reflecting the subtle nuances of the fishing community. The idea of maintaining a much-needed balance between nature and mankind is reinforced through its solitary human sculptures. You can view these underwater installations in the National Marine Park of Cancun situated in the islands of Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. They are due to expand to another 10 galleries adding nearly 1200 statues to its wondrous collection. The Cancun Underwater Museum has stationed these pieces deep within the ocean to provide you with the most unique experience of swimming underwater! These galleries are located at a depth of nearly 8 meters, making it an exciting feat for the water enthusiast in you. The option of 4 meters and below would excite the new water enthusiasts who are waiting for that first adrenaline rush. Those of you who fear the water-worry not! The option of riding on a glass bottom boat or flying high through parasailing would get you a jaw dropping experience of viewing the beautiful Cancun view.

Unique Underwater Sculptures

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

The Cancun Underwater Museum holds an interesting blend of statues ranging from themes such as capital greed to simplistic holistic living of the fishermen community. You would find sculptures ranging from simple objects such as time bombs to world-renowned art forms such as the ‘Vicissitude’ in close quarters. The ‘Vicissitude’ showcases people standing in a circle looking at the sky praying for hope. Other Installations such as that of a group of men, with their heads buried in the sand, showcase realistic capitalistic burnout. As you glide through the waters you may find yourself deeply transfixed to the strong themes. These deeply thought out themes through real life-like sculptures will make it the most surreal journey for you. Somewhere within these themes, you would find beautiful corals growing on these figurines. Another interesting sculpture, popular amongst the tourists is the statue of the ‘Anthropocene’ an actual beetle car located near the Manchones Reef. On looking closer you will find its crevices filled with algae where iridescent red lobsters lay sleeping! ‘The Silent Evolution’ is another popular installation which showcases a group of nearly 450 human size figurines standing together representing a beautiful cross-section of society living harmoniously. As a tourist of the Cancun Underwater Museum, you will find yourself gliding through these enticing waters weaving your very own aquatic memory!

Diving Under the Waves

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

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. Training would help in understanding safety risks and precautions such as gauging depth, how to put on pieces of equipment with proper breathing techniques. For the new water enthusiasts and young kids, snorkeling would prove to be a wiser option as one would only hit the shallow reefs without having to worry about the dangers of deep depths. 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. If this training interests you feel free to sign up with water adventure professionals such as AquaWorld for more professional courses. 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 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!

Diving Certification Options

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

To get the most from your visit to the Cancun Underwater Museum you would require theoretical and practical knowledge of swimming underwater. MUSA offers tourist-friendly packages with a variety of options to choose from. You could also look into various open dive agencies that offer PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SDI (Scuba Diving International) certifications. Training in open water diver and advanced open water dive certifications would need you to invest an amount of $90 to $115 per person. To make it simpler you could also take training in snorkeling for a few hours and use that pass to explore the shallow reefs of Nizuc throughout the day. The only advantage with taking a certification with either the Cancun Underwater Museum or AquaWorld is that you could explore the shipwrecks, caverns, and mangroves in addition to the statues located in the Cancun Underwater Museum. If you do not have any form of certification you can always choose to dive with a professional diver. The open diver certification, on the other hand, will allow you to dive in nearly 60 feet underwater amid the beautiful coral beauty. With the advanced water certification, you could dive in nearly 130 feet underwater without a guide or any professional help! The ocean will be yours to conquer! Go ahead and take that certification to enjoy the uninterrupted beauty of the majestic underworld. Dive in, face down and enjoy!

Glass Bottom Boat

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

One of the pleasures of visiting any museum is the simple joy of viewing it. The Cancun Underwater Museum offers exhibits with an eco-Twist. What makes the installation of nearly 500 exhibits different is that if you return after some time you will notice a change in most of the figurines. The marine cement manages to promote reef growth and the increase of water fauna proves to be a beautiful site with a variety of fish cascading through them. For all the kids and non-swimming enthusiasts, MUSA offers a beautiful boat ride where you can get a guided tour through its water boats. These fun boats travel through the coral reefs where you can view statues nearly 5 meters underwater without the fear of getting wet! If you are not satisfied and wish for an experience similar to that of a submarine- fret not! You can purchase a day pass of the famous Paradise Subsee Tour. This boat is a fascinating cross between a yellow submarine and a glass Motorboat. Keep in mind that this exciting tour is only available at the famous AquaWorld. After a fun 30 minute ride, you would descend to the bottom of the boat seated comfortably in a glass globe of pure aquatic bliss. You can enjoy your boat ride sipping some sodas through a commentary of a bilingual guided tour. This tour also offers visits to pioneer installations such as Resurrection, The Speaker, and Self-Immolation. If the weather conditions allow clear visibility they will be no one stopping you from experiencing this glorious sight. You may have to pay an additional fee of $12 reef conservation fee. Registration would be 30 mins before the tour. It would be advisable to take care of your transport to the boat site as that would not be offered on the tour.

Transportation to MUSA

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

Transportation might be a major concern for a lot of first-time travelers. There are plenty of options which will help you get to your location. The museum is located between Cancun and Isla Mujeres islands. A water ride through a ferry would be your best bet to get there. If you have teamed up with a tour provider they would be able to take you to the ferry port. If you choose to rent a car you are welcome to park the car at the ferry dock. There are typically four spots where you can choose to board the ferry. These locations would be Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam, Cancun Hotel Zone, and Gran Puerto Cancun. These are well situated no doubt but you can always research on the distance between your hotel and these locations. The ferries usually leave after every half an hour and operate till about 9 pm. It would be advisable to carry some Pesos with you. An approximate of 80 Pesos would take you one way to the museum so make sure you have brought the correct ticket depending on what you choose to do. Make sure to ask plenty of questions regarding the tour to the authorities in charge. This enthusiasm will only ensure you are comfortable throughout and don't be surprised if you find your adrenaline pumping throughout this beautiful commute.

Available Tours

5 Things to Know About the Cancun Underwater Museum

The Cancun Underwater Museum caters not only to families but also students who choose to visit this hotspot while on vacation. MUSA offers a variety of Scuba diving tours with or without certification providing budget-friendly offers to choose from. If you are cautious and have a genuine fear of being scammed feel free to book your tour through MUSA’s official website. The Cancun Underwater Museum offers about 4-5 options depending on your level of expertise in water. If you wish to dive without certification you could choose to dock either from Cancun or Isla Mujeres. The departure from Isla Mujeres would be at noon through the week costing $140 per person for at least two dives (reef and MUSA). The tour would take about 5 hours to complete. Make sure you have eaten something light as it could be physically tiring. The non-certificate diving tours from Cancun would cost you an approximate of $115 per person which departs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This tour would take about 5 hours to complete. A basic training on breathing techniques and equipment management with a supervising guide would complete its basic requirements. If you are a certified diver you would have the advantage of not only swimming through the Cancun Underwater Museum but also its surrounding reef and mangroves. It would cost you anywhere between $100 per person or lesser to dive nearly 130 feet underwater. Open Dive favorites such as AquaWorld offer snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours within the range of $60 to $150 per person. You can either choose your tour on reaching there or book online to ensure perfect planning. The tour would vary depending on your expertise as a trained professional or someone who wants to begin their journey as a scuba diver! If you are pregnant or have kids traveling with you- don't worry they are plenty of safe options to choose from!

Tips for Your Trip

If you've started planning your trip to the majestic Cancun Underwater Museum, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Wear eco-friendly sunscreen and make sure not to carry any plastic or other resources that could interfere with the sanctity of their preservation site. The Cancun underwater museum is built on a fragile system of balance and urges its visitors to think about their involvement to restore this balance.
  • Do carry some change as the guides work very hard to ensure you have the best of your island tour. Tipping is very much a major source of income for these island dwellers.
  • Do not forget to take your cameras and video recording material. The museum provides only basic diving equipment, mask fins, weights, BCD, regulator, and gages. The Cancun Underwater Museum is probably the only water museum in the world that lets you dive with your bathing suit. If you are not comfortable in a bathing suit, feel free to get a wetsuit that fits you best and enhances your overall experience.
  • Diving tours are offered to anyone who between ages 10 and 60. So if you are 18 and younger or have kids who wish to dive, they can be assisted by a professional diving guide. The glass bottom boat tour, on the other hand, could be a good option for non-swimmers.
  • Tours run throughout the year (weather permitting). The option of diving with whale sharks is available from June to August during the whale shark season.
  • Most tours begin early morning and you need to arrive on time. Ferry services tend to run every half hour.
  • MUSA diving tours do not have any audio-guided commentary so feel free to ask your instructors as many questions as you want before beginning your dive. Also, remember the tour fee covers one-on-one training with a guide regardless of whether you also opt take the certification programs.
  • Avoid touching the sculptures or distrubing the marine life in any way. Safety procedures and adherence to the conservation protocols will make your tour more enjoyable.

Whether you are traveling with your family or crossing out scuba diving off your bucket list, the Cancun Underwater Museum is a must-visit! The ethereal coastline of the Caribbean has long attracted tourists from around the world. Experience the serenity of Mexico through this unique and beautiful display of submerged art. With its numerable budget-friendly tours and tourist-friendly attractions, you won't have trouble booking a great deal online. Maybe this could be the ultimate Mexico vacation you've been waiting to enjoy!

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