Dive into MUSA, the world’s first underwater sculpture museum – see incredible photos and find out info & prices for a 2 tank dive, including Manchones Reef 2.

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.

MUSA sculptures near the surface

Some of the sculptures are only 3 meters deep

So MUSA 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.

Colourful coral at MUSA

New colourful coral forming on the sculptures

What to see at MUSA

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 Silent Evolution

Some of the 450+ sculptures that make up “The Silent Evolution”

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.

House on MUSA sculpture museum

There are other sculptures such as this cute house

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 will visit “The Silent Evolution”.

 VW Beetle Car at MUSA

You can see the VW Beetle at the same site as The Silent Evolution

Diving at MUSA & Manchones Reef 2

I dived at MUSA with the dive centre at Poc-Na Hostel on Isla Mujeres – for more information on the island, see our post Isla Mujeres Budget Travel Guide.

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.

Loggerhead turtle at MUSA

This loggerhead turtle swam by at the end of the MUSA dive!

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. 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.

Yellow school of fish at MUSA

School of fish on the MUSA dive

In a Nutshell

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 ***

Where did you dive in Mexico?

1 Shovel

Impossible or illegal DIY travel

Dived in June 2016