This is everything you need to know about diving the MUSA underwater museum in Cancun, Mexico and whether it’s worth the $$$
The MUSA underwater museum in an 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 Kick the Grid to see what the diving is like at MUSA:
What is the Cancun underwater museum?
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.
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.
Is the MUSA underwater 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 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.
How much does it cost to dive the MUSA underwater museum?
Also, 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 diver then you’ll probably love MUSA – it really is like no other dive site!
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!
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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