A Day in the Underwater Museum

Wherever there is water, underneath the surface awaits a fascinating world to those who seek it. The Caribbean Sea is full of old tales of shipwrecks, pirate lore, and natural coral reefs. But it’s only in the Mexican Caribbean, near Cancún, that you’ll find the largest underwater museum in the world.

Cancún Underwater Museum (Museo Subacuático de Arte or MUSA) was founded in 2009 by Roberto Díaz Abraham, Jaime González Cano (Director of the National Marine Park), and Jason deCaires Taylor (British sculptor). Taylor sculpted over 500 figures made of pH neutral clay/concrete. The founders hoped to see coral, lobsters, and tropical fish make a home in and around the sculptures.caribbean sea,

“The Museo Subacuático de Arte, located off the coast of Isla Mujeres in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, is the world’s largest underwater museum. Composed of over 500 life-sized sculptures, MUSA offers incredible displays hidden 28 feet below the ocean’s surface. That means that the only way it can be explored is by diving or snorkeling.”

Their vision was to create a sanctuary for marine life to thrive and invite snorkelers and scuba divers to see them up close – diverting divers from the precious natural coral reefs nearby.

“The exhibitions were designed to draw tourists away from local reefs that were being damaged by snorkelers.”

Over the years, Taylor has added his own unique inspirations to the collection, all while thinking of marine life. Some of his creations, such as “Resurrection” or “The Banker”, are social commentary on today’s thinking and politics. Others, such as a Volkswagen Beetle, were placed to make a welcoming environment for crustaceans.

“The main goal of the museum is preservation, so the clay promotes marine growth to form a complex structure inhabited and colonized by various forms of marine life.”

The Underwater Museum is divided into two galleries: Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc. Scuba diving is the recommended way to see Salon Manchones. Snorkeling works, too, but the statues are about 30 feet below the surface. Several snorkelers mentioned they were disappointed with visibility on a windy day because the sand on the ocean floor was stirred up, making it difficult to see the statues from so far away.

Snorkeling, glass bottom boats, or the Jungle Tour are the three ways to see Salon Nizuc. No scuba diving allowed here because it is too shallow.

MUSA is not the only underwater museum in the world, but it is the biggest. When you’re in Cancún, it’s an attraction you don’t want to miss. Even if you’re not scuba-certified, it’s a great way to spend the day at this beach destination.

Where to Stay

Club Regina Cancun is a beach resort located in Mexico’s premier vacation destination, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupte Lagoon. The location brings ancient and contemporary Cancun to your vacation experience. This destination offers seaside views of naturally turquoise waters; perfect for waterskiing, diving and snorkeling. The resort amenities include an on-site restaurant and bar, and a sparkling swimming pool.

 

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