Are you diving in Cancun? Then this is everything you need to know about diving the MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum, one of the most unique dive sites around!
The MUSA Cancun underwater museum in an extremely eerie place.
There’s something so strange about seeing hundreds of people underwater.
Women and children, young and old, people of all shapes and sizes just standing there, sentient in their silence.
Even though each of the 510 people underwater are immortalised in statue, you can still make out individual expressions and features as if each one has a story to tell. As I said, it’s eerie, and that’s what makes it beautiful too.
Of all the dive sites in Mexico, this was the one I was most looking forward to. Yes, you can dive the cenotes, but an underwater museum? That’s something so different.
First of all, check out this awesome video from Mike Corey at Fearless and Far to see what the diving is like at MUSA Cancun:
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What is the Cancun underwater museum?
MUSA is an underwater museum and sculpture park at Isla Mujares, a little island about 30 minutes off the coast of Cancun in Mexico.
MUSA is the brainchild of Jason deCaires Taylor, a British sculptor, and he wanted the ocean floor to be his gallery. Instead of broken whispers and shuffled footsteps, the only sounds that you hear here is the rhythmic breathing of your regulator. Personally, it beats walking around art galleries in London that’s for sure!
MUSA is made up of over 500 statues and sculptures, each one with a different symbolism and meaning.
The most famous sculpture is Viccisitude with dozens of people holding hands in a circle looking up at the sky. This is the image that really sells MUSA but is more for the snorkelers than for divers.
A couple of other sculptures that really capture the imagination is a miniature house with working chimney (you can stick your regulator underneath the chimney and fire off some bubbles to look like smoke coming out the top which is pretty cool), and one with a number of businessmen in their suits all with their heads buried in the sand. Apparently it’s supposed to symbolise capitalist greed, which is pretty ironic as MUSA isn’t a cheap dive site.
One of the things I loved about this underwater museum in Mexico is it’s a concept – it’s potentially the future of things to come when it comes to the way we view art galleries.
Personally, I don’t visit art galleries. However, stick one underwater or on the side of a mountain and I’m there. That’s what’s great about this place – it’s pioneering, before it’s time. Have that in the back of your mind as you dive here.
I just wish there was a lot more underwater art around the world!
Is the MUSA Cancun museum worth it though?
Yes and no.
Yes because it’s rare to find a dive site with so many submerged statues, let alone one that’s an underwater museum. However, that’s all you see.
Because the statues have only been under water since 2009, not much coral has taken to the underwater statues yet. This means if you’re looking to see vibrant marine life and a healthy reef then forget it. The only thing I saw was the smallest green turtle and a tiny school of yellow snapper, and that was it.
One thing the really surprised me about MUSA was how spread out all the statues were. Instead of having them all quite close to each other, it actually took a fair amount of time to get from sculpture to sculpture, and when you haven’t got any reef or marine life to distract you it can be pretty boring just looking at the sand beneath you.
Cancun Underwater Museum Price
In diving terms, the MUSA underwater museum is very expensive.
A one-tank dive will set you back US$81. And that doesn’t include the US$2 marine park fee.
However, a 3-hour discover scuba diving course costs $142 which isn’t too bad as an introduction to diving.
Personally, I feel MUSA was created to make money, and when diving here you can’t help but feel you’re just a number with a $$$ sign hanging around you.
Saying that, it is one of those dive sites that’s just so different and unique. There aren’t many places where you can see world-class art underwater, and in my eyes it beats walking around a gallery any day of the week.
Also, give it another 15 years and the reef might be really healthy with loads of life there, so if you don’t want to dive it now, consider it again in five years or 10 years’ time.
If you’re a bucket list person then you’ll probably love diving MUSA – there really is no other site like it!
Responsible travel and diving
This goes without saying these days, but please be a responsible traveller and diver.
That means taking all plastic and rubbish with you – don’t leave anything behind. Also, please take extra careful care not to kick any coral or pick things off. This is a very new reef where things are still growing so it needs time and care!
Other things to consider when diving MUSA in Cancun
- A mixture of an extremely fast speed boat and rough seas can make the journey to the dive site very rocky. If you suffer from sea sickness then make sure you take tablets before your journey.
- Remember, this is underwater art. Be very careful when touching the statues. If you’re new to diving watch where you kick your legs – this is very important so you don’t destroy anything!
- A lot of companies don’t include a tip, so make sure you take some pesos for the deckhands and dive instructors.
- Finally, just enjoy it. The MUSA Cancun diving is some of the best around!
Are you heading to Cancun? If so, check out my guide with what to do in Cancun – it’s packed full of the best things to do in the area!
Have you ever dived the MUSA underwater museum before? Did you think it was worth it or not? I would love to know what you think in the comments below!
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