Dive into the MUSA underwater museum off Isla Mujeres in Mexico – see incredible photos and find out info & prices for a 2 tank dive, including Manchones Reef 2.
MUSA Underwater Museum
Before we here at DIY Travel HQ get into the diving at MUSA let’s take a look at the story behind this unique underwater museum.
MUSA is the brainchild of Jason deCaires Taylor, a British sculptor.
He created some 500 pieces of sculpture, then installed them 3-8 meters deep on the ocean floor.
Taylor’s intention was to create an eco-project that would draw snorkelers & divers away from the deteriorating Manchones reef, the largest in Mexico.
So the MUSA underwater museum is today a conservation site, where the original concrete sculptures have now become an artificial reef.
Since they’re installation in 2010, many of the sculptures have now been completely covered with algae & are sprouting stunning reef formations.
It’s an ongoing work of art, as nature will continue to transform the sculptures as new corals grow & form.
MUSA Underwater Museum: What to See
The largest collection of pieces at MUSA is the called “The Silent Evolution”.
It features 450 life-size human figures standing together on a bare stretch of sand.
No two statues are alike, they each have their own personality & features, based on people from the artists’ local fishing community.
The figures symbolize both the positive & negative relationship between humans & the natural environment.
The algae & coral, together with the fish swimming around, have shaped a lot of their facial expressions & really enhanced the emotion & message of these incredible works of art.
Apart from “The Silent Evolution”, other underwater sculptures include:
- Anthropocene (VW beetle car)
- The Banker
- The Dream Collector
- Man on Fire
- The Gardiner of Hope
- Time Bomb
These are spread out over 3 sites so it’s not possible to see everything on the 1 dive.
Most tours to the MUSA underwater museum will visit “The Silent Evolution”.
Diving at MUSA Underwater Museum & Manchones Reef 2
The first dive was at MUSA itself while the second was at Manchones reef.
MUSA has mixed reviews & I can see why – the sculptures are unique & impressive, with a lot of new, colourful coral that has already formed.
There were many grunt & angel fish swimming around, loggerhead turtles too, but a lot of the underwater world was barren & bleak.
The 2nd dive at Manchones Reef 2 was average, nothing spectacular.
Among the marine life we spotted were moray eels, hawksbill turtles & different varieties of angel fish, surgeon fish, lion fish & snapper.
Both dives are perfect for beginners or those needing a refresher – do you know how to dive?
You can also snorkel at MUSA but you won’t see as much from the surface. I loved being able to swim around the sculptures & getting up-close & personal.
Overall, diving at the MUSA underwater museum was a good experience but like swimming with whale sharks it didn’t lie up to the hype.
Know Before You Go
2-Tank Dive: MUSA Underwater Museum & Manchones Reef 2
Price: around $1200MXN / US$60
Dive Centre: Poc-Na Hostel
Water Temperature: 28 degrees
Visibility: 15 meters
Depth: 9 meters
Time: 50 minutes each dive
*** The Final Word – It might not blow you away but you probably won’t regret diving at MUSA underwater museum ***
Where did you dive in Mexico?
Impossible or illegal DIY travel
Dived in June 2016