Discover MUSA Cancun: The Underwater Museum in Mexico That Needs to Be on Your Bucket List

I had the pleasure of visiting MUSA Cancun, the underwater museum in Mexico, on a recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. The museum wasn’t on my Cancun itinerary originally, but a tropical storm cancelled my plans to go swimming with whale sharks and the owners at Casa del Buceo were kind enough to lead me on a last minute dive to make sure my day was not wasted.

MUSA stands for “Museo Subacuático de Arte,” which means “underwater museum of art.” Formed in 2009, the site had on my radar for some time but I didn’t think it would be possible to do without a PADI certification. I was happy to find that I–a seasoned snorkeler but by no means a diver–could complete this journey in a half day or less.

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Here’s everything you need to know to have your own underwater adventure in Cancun, Mexico.

MUSA Cancun Location

MUSA Cancun

The underwater museum is located in the ocean between Cancun and Isla Mujeres and is easily accessible by boat. Most tour providers depart from Isla Mujeres, and you’ll have to catch a ferry to the island. If you’re renting a car, you can leave it parked at the ferry port. Ferries leave from four locations: Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam, Cancun Hotel Zone and Gran Puerto Cancun. Research your accommodations to find out which ferry port is closest to you. I left from Puerto Juarez. Boats leave every half hour until 9pm and you can buy tickets on site for 80 pesos one way.

The museum is about about 8 meters deep (26 feet) and there are different exhibits to be discovered. In total, there are more than 500 sculptures under the water. They each have different meanings, like the statute of headless people represents politicians burying their head under the sand. There’s no way to do an audio guide under water, so make sure to ask questions about what you’ll see on the ride out to the dive site.

MUSA Cancun Museum Tour

MUSA Cancun

I took a tour of the museum and my guide was excellent. I followed him under the water and we basically had the location to ourselves until we were joined by 3 other divers. The whole experience took approximately 1 hour, with a half hour in the water to tour the museum and a half hour to practice dive techniques and signals beforehand in shallow water. We were dependent on the oxygen we took with us, and kept an eye on that as our cue to head back up.

Dive Certification Requirements

MUSA Cancun

You can get certified to dive MUSA on the same-day! I had been wanting to get PADI certified for a while, and while this isn’t a full certification, it’s a sort of mini-course consisting of an official video, a one-on-one question and answer session and the live exercise that I mentioned above. In total, your training outside of the water will take about 2 hours.

MUSA is great dive for all skill levels as it’s relatively shallow and is a memorable way to get introduced to the world of scuba diving.

Know Before You Go

MUSA Cancun

Always bring cash to tip your dive leader, they work hard to make sure you are safe under the water. This trip is dependent on weather but, as I noted, I was able to sneak in a quick dive before a storm on my visit. If you choose to go with the folks at Casa del Buceo, call before you go to make sure they are available since you have to take a taxi to the site and it’s not within walking distance of the ferry port. Otherwise, there are a ton of other providers available, and many will even approach you as you disembark from the ferry.

Weather permitting, tours are held 365 days a year. Swimming with whale sharks is also offered, between June and August which is whale shark season.

There’s way more to do in this area than just party. Take a moment to explore the underwater artwork and discover a different side of Mexico at MUSA Cancun.

Till next time, safe travels!

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Explore MUSA, an underwater museum off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. No dive certification needed!

Just 20 minutes from Cancun and Isla Mujeres by boat lies MUSA, an underwater museum with more than 500 statues for scuba divers and snorkelers to explore. Don't miss this underwater museum while in Mexico!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2018-10-14T23:47:28+00:0030 Comments

30 Comments

  1. daneen rogers July 6, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    What an amazing experience! I had no idea this even existed 🙂

  2. Katie July 6, 2017 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I’ve had my PADI scuba license for almost four years and I highly recommend it. You can dive anywhere in the world and the license never expires! The MUSA is on my bucket list!

    – Katie

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      I definitely want to get certified, so excited just thinking about all the places to dive around the world!

  3. Moe July 7, 2017 at 12:44 am - Reply

    OH my Gosh! How cool! What an interesting adventure!

  4. Amy July 8, 2017 at 11:17 am - Reply

    I’ve seen photos of this but never read about someone’s experience. It sounds super cool! Did you feel like half an hour was enough time to see the statues?

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      I wish I’d had a little more time, and information about the statues beforehand cause I’m a nerd and like context lol, but all the more reason to go again!

  5. Ana Ro July 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Wooow, that must be a memorable museum visit. I was calling myself not a museum person, but I think even I would love to try this!

  6. Kat July 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    This is SO cool, I’d love to do this! If I ever go to Mexico it’s going at the top of my list (I swam with whalesharks in Australia and it was awesome).

  7. Cristina July 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I’ve known about this place for a long time but never met or read about somebody who’s actually been there! Really cool post! And the museum looks so nice and special…
    I’d love to see it too but I’m a bit scared of diving haha.

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      It’s a bit scary when you’re doing it for sure! But an easier thrill than jumping out of a plane so it’s all relative haha 😉

  8. Teresa July 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    This looks fabulous! But can you really get certified in one day to dive the museum?? After having gone through the Open Water certification, and knowing how much there is to learn and how many things can go wrong (and what you need to know to react), I wouldn’t be comfortable with that!

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      I was nervous too but it’s an official PADI course for less challenging experiences, they have kids dive that use the ame videos to train. It was only 30 minutes and a shallow depth, and they said we only learned like 10 of the basic hand signals compared to 50+ that you’d learn in a full course. I’d love to continue learning and do more diving in the future!

  9. Kelly July 8, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Oh man!! I would be so bummed not to dive with whale sharks!! That is such a shame!! But this experience looks amazing. Love the photos.

  10. Carrie July 9, 2017 at 12:56 am - Reply

    This looks like so much fun! Glad you were able to check off another item on your bucket list when the tropical storm changed your plans.

  11. Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate July 9, 2017 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I did an underwater statue museum in Grenada, and it was awesome! More than 65 statues and equal parts cool and creepy =)

  12. Kate July 9, 2017 at 1:58 am - Reply

    I had never heard of an underwater museum, but it sounds fascinating. I’ll definitely be looking this up to learn more about the art. Good tips on scuba certification also. Very helpful!

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kate! The art was fascinating, I definitely found myself wishing there was an underwater audio guide haha.

  13. Gabby July 9, 2017 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I’m heading to Cancun TODAY! Would love to do this. Questions: do you tip in American cash? And how much did the whole dive cost? Great article!!

    • Jen on a Jet Plane July 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Awesome, have fun Gabby! They will accept tips in any currency you’re offering haha, and the whole dive cost me around 1,500 Pesos, less than $100 USD! Have a great time 🙂

  14. Katie @ Zen Life and Travel July 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I did this dive in January – it was my first dive after getting my certification. I absolutely loved it! It’s so surreal to see the sculptures underwater. You have some great photos, too!

  15. Katchutravels July 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    The MUSA is so beautiful. I love the Volkswagen car in the middle of the sea! Swimming with the sea sharks sounds adventurous!

  16. The Globe Runners July 17, 2017 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    this would be amazing. That VW bug pic is funny.

  17. Muhammad Ameen Sheikh August 15, 2017 at 6:27 am - Reply

    This looks really cool!!! Hope you had tons of fun

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