If you are planning to visit Mexico make sure you reserve an extra day just for snorkelling in Cancun. This is one of the top snorkelling destinations in the world. Here you will find crystal clear waters, a great selection of marine and amazing underwater beauties.

Experience the most beautiful adventure while snorkelling in Cancun

The Museum of Underwater Art – El Museo subaquàtico de Arte was inaugurated on 27th of November 2010 in the Caribbean Sea Cancun.
It brings together the largest assembly of underwater sculptures presenting a main gallery that consists of over 400 life sized sculptures.
The museum is separated into two sections with over 470 life sized sculptures that had been gradually submerged since 2009. The Musa was designed as an eco-project habitat for fish and other reef creatures. The Marine Park is visited by approximately 750,000 tourists every year.

museum cancun

History of The Museum of Underwater Art

The first plans for an Underwater Museum began in the year 2008 when Jaime Gonzalez Canto and Jason de Caires Taylor initiated the idea.
The plan was very appealing to Dr. Jaime Gonzalez Miki, Director of the National Park Costa Occidental Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun y Punta Nizuc, that noticed how coral reefs were being damaged everyday by divers and tourists. The idea of taking divers to a completely new area and away from Manchones reef seemed to be the perfect solution to save the coral reefs. This new location, at that time consisted of concrete reefs that had been placed at the beginning of 2005.

In the beginning of 2008, it was believed that the project would take many years for an artificial gardens to become an attraction.
Dr. Gonzalez Canto began doing some research and contacted British sculpture Jason deCaires Taylor, a diving instructor in the Caribbean at the time. Their collaboration created the MUSA museum.
Jason installed almost 500 sculptures, with the aid of other Mexican sculptors. In total, six artists have had their unique art placed at the bottom of the ocean.

In 2009 November, the first three sculptures were installed in Punta Nizuc and on Manchones Reef.
By 2014, a total of 500 sculptures were included in the MUSA collection. 477 in the Manchones exhibit room and 23 in Nizuc and 26 replicas located at a Visitor Center at Kukulcan Mall in the Hotel Zone.
487 sculptures wered created by Jason deCaires Taylor.
The MUSA project is sustained by Cancun’s Ministry of Environment and its Nautical Association.

MUSA – Cancun underwater museum

The museum includes an area of over 4500 square feet and weighs about 180 tonnes.
The museum’s primary aim is to redirect tourists away from coral reefs in order to preserver natural life. Every piece of art has been planned to be stable and durable not to cause any harmful effects to the underwater elements and environment. The sculptures are pH neutral, constructed using a mix of specialised porous marine grade cement, inert fibreglass rebar and microsilica.
They stimulate coral growth and inhabitation and they had been installed at the correct time of year to match with coral spawning. All the research and projects behind the design of the sculptures was made in collaboration with marine biologists of the national park.
The museum displays 2 galleries underwater and one on land. MUSA has the right to display underwater 1,200 structures in 10 different zones within the National Marine Park. Until now only two areas had been developed.
Tourists, snorkel lovers and divers can visit the Underwater Museum via glass bottom boats that can offer a unique experience.

The sculptures you can enjoy while visiting MUSA

The concrete statues are located at around a depth of 9 meters and they slightly change in appearance as time proceeds due to the colonisation of nature. Coral polyps get attached to them and algae grew on surfaces a well as large sponges.

La Jardinera de la Esperanza – The Gardener of Hope
Size: 100 height x 240 width x 180 cm depth
Submersion date: 14 November 2009.
Location: Punta Nizuc, Cancun, depth 4 meters.
The statue is of a young girl lying on a cemented square nurturing the nearby plant pots that contain live coral.

hope snorkel cancun

Hombre en llamas – Man on Fire
Weight: 1 tonne.
Size: 2 m x 2 m x 1.5 m cube. Figure 1.5 m tall.
Submersion date: 14 November 2009
Location: Manchones Reef, Isla Mujeres/Cancun
The statue is of a local Mexican fisherman and it is drilled with over 75 holes impregnated with live fire coral.

El colecionista de los sueños – The Dream Collector
Size: 2 m x 2 m x 1.5 m cube. Figure 1.5 m tall.
Submersion date: 14 November 2009.
Location: Manchones Reef, Isla Mujeres/Cancun, depth 8 meters
This unique statue depicts a collection of bottles brought by the ocean, collected by a man and his dog. In Each bottle there is a messages from people or communities from around the world.

dreams cancun

La Evolucion Silenciosa – The Silent Evolution
Size: Includes an area of over 420 square metres on the ocean floor.
Weight: over 1800 tons.
Submersion date: November 2010.
Location: National Marine Park, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc, Cancun, depth 9 metres

This is the largest installation in the museum. The statues depict mostly locals, including even some faces of the international community. This collects stands as a statement to portray Mexico’s anthropological diversity.
A miniature version of the Terracotta Army

“The tight gathering of people is meant to illustrate how we are all facing serious questions concerning our environment and our impact on the natural world” – museum statement in the National Geographic

Art saved the ocean

Regarding his art, Jason deCaires Taylor declared in an article in The Telegraph “It’s a symbiosis of humans and nature living in this cycle in harmony with each other”

The Museum of Underwater Art was mainly created to protect the natural coral reef.

Each statue is especially designed to encourage coral, algae and seaweed growth and was made with PH-neutral.They also feature holes in them, which allow marine wildlife to inhabit and feed off the coral.
Forbes name the MUSA museum “One of the World’s Most Unique Travel Destinations”.

 

Other amazing snorkelling destinations:

Snorkeling Hot Spots California – San Diego

Snorkeling Hot Spots Hawaii – Oahu Beaches

Hawaii Snorkeling Hot Spots – Maui

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