Diving the Underwater Museum in Mexico

Mexico is known as the adventure capital of Central America. There are so many adventures to have in the water, as Mexico has splendid beaches and ideal tropical weather. From diving into perfectly circular cenotes, to jet-skiing and parasailing, Mexico has something for everyone. One of these adventures however is a little more unique and rare – it’s snorkelling at the Underwater Museum, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. We’ll show you how to do it and what your adventure will look like in this mini guide to diving the Underwater Museum in Mexico.

What is the Underwater Museum?

This project was founded by Roberto Díaz Abraham, former President of the Cancun Nautical Association and Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park in 2009. There are over 500 permanent sculptures in the museum.

The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and the environment. It forms a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life.

The sculptures are located 8m deep in the ocean, and the creator, Jason deCaires Taylor calls the collection The Silent Evolution. The statues of this collection are to show humans interacting with the environment around them, with both a positive and negative impact. The museum includes; a little girl with a faint smile on her face looking up to the surface; six businessmen with their heads in the sand, not paying attention to their surroundings, and even a man behind a desk with his dog lying next to him.

The Experience

Please keep in mind that you must be a competent swimmer, the waters are very deep, and the waves can get large. Swimmers who are strong will be in large groups, led by the guide. You will be given a life jacket, some flippers and snorkeling gear. As there are many tours being run to this popular destination every day, there are multiple catamarans that surround the museum. They will create a circle around the museum, and swimmers will snorkel in the middle, so ensure that you’re cautious of where you’re swimming.

As you glide through the water and see the sculptures for the first time, you’ll be amazed at how well preserved they are. You can swim very close to the artwork, and very strong and confident swimmers can even dive towards the ocean floor towards them to get a closer look. You will get about an hour to swim around, surrounded by fish, and explore this Underwater Museum.

As you silently meander through the water, gazing at the incredible sculptures below you, you will be blown away by the detail and the creativity of these pieces of art. You may pass over the VW car, parked on the ocean floor, of the circle of people, gazing outwards towards the rest of the ocean. Each sculpture is covered in coral, sea grass and surrounded by fish, giving them a surreal and eerie vibe.

After exploring this famous and iconic museum, you’ll never be fully satisfied with snorkelling again! Add it to your adventure travel bucket list and let the brilliant blue water, stunning sculptures, and bright fish take your breath away.

How to Get There

The best launching point is Cancun. Many flights run from the US to Cancun, as it’s a very popular tourist and Spring Break destination. Flights can be very cheap when accessed during flight deals. Most tours will run out to the Underwater Museum from Cancun, on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. You can book these in advance online, or simply head to one of the many vendors that line the streets of Cancun, offering tours and adventure sports. The tours will include a hotel pick up, a day out on the boat visiting the Underwater Museum and then a trip to the stunning island paradise of Ilha Mujeres. They will also include lunch and as many Margaritas you can drink on the boat. From Cancun, you will be picked up from your hotel and take a catamaran out to the waters between the Cancun coastline and the paradise Ilha Mujeres.

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