MUSA is an underwater museum of art in the waters between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. MUSA was founded in 2009 by the former president of the Cancun Nautical Association, Roberto Diaz Abraham, and the Director of the National Marine Park, Jaime Gonzalez Cano. They hired an English sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor to create the hundreds of sculptures that would grace the ocean floor.

The Cancun-Isla Mujeres Marine Park—one of the most viewed and visited ocean areas in the world, with over 750,000 visitors a year—is under immense ecological pressure. The location of the 500 sculptures promotes the recovery of the natural reef by alleviating some of that pressure and also serves as artificial reef to promote healthy sea life.

The museum is divided into two galleries—Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc. The first is 8 meters deep and available for divers and snorkelers, while the second is only 4 meters deep where only snorkeling is permitted.

How to get there:

Visiting MUSA can be done several ways. For those who don’t want to get in the water you can take a Glass Bottom Boat or if you’re feeling fishy, you can scuba dive and snorkel the sites on a tour. There are a variety of tours leaving from Cancun and Isla Mujeres.

What to consider

  • Salon Manchones—at 8 meters deep—is best experienced as a scuba dive; although some do snorkel it.
  • Salon Manchones is off the coast of Isla Mujeres.
  • Salon Nizuc can be visited in 3 ways—snorkel, take a glass bottom boat tour or the jungle tour. The depth is only 4 meters, so scuba diving is not allowed.
  • Salon Nizuc is located at the southern tip of Cancun’s hotel zone.
  • If you book a tour through a resort, you will pay significantly more than if you go to the tour company directly.
  • One of the primary purposes of the museum is conservation, and the statues were created to promote coral growth and healthy sea life.