Have you ever seen life sized sculptures covered in new coral life under the sea, only visible through your scuba or snorkel mask, or a glass bottom boat? This is something environmental artists dream of and a museum that a group of international and local artists created in Cancun.
This museum has a message, a profound sustainable message that we can protect our oceans, harmoniously, through a cooperation of art and environmental science. The artists who participated as visionaries, collaborators, assistants and fundraisers, continue to pass their environmental message to hundreds and thousands of visitors each year in Cancun.
MUSA was created for two reasons. As the popularity of scuba diving and snorkeling increased on the northern Mesoamerican reef in Cancun, an artificial reef would help to divert these enthusiasts from the current reef system to another location, taking some pressure off the Mesoamerican reef and the inhabitants (coral and fish) that define the second largest barrier reef in the world. It also was in response to the damages created by the 2005 hurricane that stuck Cancun.
What has resulted is two fold. Artists successfully created sustainble ar that promotes a health reef system and have people talking environmental sustainability in ways they were not before.
Three artists created over 500 life size sculptures that make up the 420 square meters of museum in three main areas in Cancun. These areas can be snorkeled, visited by scuba divers or viewed through glass bottom boats. Jason de Caines Taylor from Britian was the first artist with assistance from Karen Salenas Martinez from Mexico City, to generate the largest collection of sculptures. Elier Haindo Gil from Cuba recently added sculptures to MUSA at Punta Sam in May 2016.
The museum has three underwater locations/galleries, Salon Machones for divers and snorkelers, Salon Nizuc for snorkelers and glass bottom boats only, and Punta Sam which can easily be seen by snorkelers. Maximum depth of the locations is 8 meters, with the shallowest areas at 4 meters.
This is not just another dive site or snorkel location. It is one of the largest permanent artificial reef attractions in the world. De Cairn Taylor has since created other underwater art museums on a smaller scale in Grenada, The Bahamas, in the Thames River in London England and most recently in Europe in Lanzarote.
This tour is an experience combining art, science, care for the environment, and fun, definitely something not to be missed! If you are hoping to visit this attraction from the Riviera Maya, make arrangements in advance with a Cancun or Isla Mujeres dive center and make your way up to either location.
Dive Centers in Cancun and Isla Mujeres take divers and snorkelers to MUSA. If neither of these sports interest you, glass bottom boats can take you to the galleries off Punta Nizuc.
Tour times differ from dive center to dive center but dive tours take about 2 hours and snorkel tours take about 90 minutes. Glass bottom boat tours last an hour.
If you need some help booking the tours, please don’t hesitate to contact Paulina at our guest services.