MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum: Cheap Dive Tour!

Diving at MUSA Underwater Museum: Is it Worth it?

In Diving & Snorkeling, Mexico by Sheena2 Comments

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.

MUSA sculptures near the surface

Some of the sculptures are only 3 meters deep

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.

Colourful coral at MUSA

New colourful coral forming on the sculptures

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 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 to the MUSA underwater museum 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

I dived at MUSA with the dive centre at Poc-Na Hostel on Isla Mujeres – dives can also be arranged from other places to visit on the Yucatan peninsula.

We recommend Lonely Planet’s Mexico Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

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 – 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.

Whale Shark tour options:

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It’s an unforgettable & expensive experience but find out where to find a cheap Isla Mujeres Whale Shark Tour in Mexico – and why it’s a risk you may not want to take…

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Yellow school of fish at MUSA

School of fish on the MUSA dive

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

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Woman diving with flippers

 

*** 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?

1 Shovel

Impossible or illegal DIY travel

Dived in June 2016

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Comments

  1. I’ve been diving a couple times, and would like to go with my son (age 14) who’s only been diving once. Would good for us? If not, where would you recommend in the area?

    1. Author

      Hi Steve, MUSA is a shallow beginner’s dive so I think it’d be perfect for you & your son. Let us know how it goes!

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