Surely the first thought that pops into your mind when someone mentions Cancun is endless parties and days spent sunbathing by the beach. However, this touristic city located in Quintana Roo, Mexico has a lot more to offer that visitors aren’t often aware of.
If you love diving and snorkeling but wish you try something different and exciting, Cancun’s Underwater Museum is for you. Located under the ocean, between Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Isla Nizuc. The museum is now the home of more than five hundred sculptures. The pieces are varied and interesting: from simple human forms to more complex scenes such as a man watching television, and even a VM Beetle car.
The project was started in 2009 by Jason deCaires Taylor under the name “The Silent Evolution”, and it is meant to depict the way the Mayan culture has evolved to modern day society throughout the years.
The museum is divided into two different “galleries”. The first one is Salón Manchones, which has a depth of eight meters and is aimed for divers and swimmers, whereas the second one, Salón Nizuc, is only apt for snorkeling. Glass-bottom boat tours are offered as well.
This young attraction serves two purposes: to promote art and culture in Cancun and to showcase the work of various Mexican artists such as Karen Salinas Martínez and Rodrigo Quiñonez Reyes. The second is to create an artificial reef to boost the area’s ecosystem. The pieces are sculpt using special materials that welcome new life. Algae and coral have grown on the statues themselves, giving them an eerie look and an ever-changing figure.
This beautiful project has managed to create a harmonic interaction between tourists and the fragile habitats under the sea. Combining art, ecology and tourism, this place will surely linger in your memories forever.
Day and night snorkeling and diving tours are offered both from Cancun as well as Isla Mujeres. The best and safest way is to book through the museum's official website.