If you think museums are an ordinary tourist attraction, think again. We know the ones like Smithsonian offer so much. But this one takes a step further. It’s none other than the Cancun Underwater Museum. Yes, it’s not just hotels like the upcoming underwater hotel in Dubai are below the water. Being the world’s largest underwater museum, it is making big splashes these days. It’s placed under the turquoise sea off the coast surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc in Mexico. It’s the perfect location for divers and snorkelers to admire not just the marine life, but modern art as well. The masterminds behind this amazing Cancun attraction are Jaime Gonzalez Cano of The National Marine Park, Roberto Diaz of The Cancun Nautical Association and Jason deCaires Taylor. Jason – an artist, a photographer and a scuba instructor has done many sculptures here. So get ready with your snorkel gear to explore this contemporary underwater museum.
Cancun Underwater Museum Mexico
Cancun Underwater Museum captures the beauty of the sea with art. The project began by placing a hundred statues in shallow waters in November 2009. Now the museum has 450 submerged permanent ghost-like sculptures based on real people. These sculptures are located within the boundaries of The National Marine Park. So you can also enjoy the beach while here. The important fact about these life-like sculptures are, that it is made with a special cement to provide a livable environment. So the coral and the ecosystem is not harmed in any way. Therefore the tourists can enjoy both Cancun marine life and modern art.
The museum is divided into two galleries – Salon Manchones and Salon Punta Nizuc. The first is eight meters below the water, which is suitable for both divers and snorkelers. Second one is four meters deep and only permitted for snorkeling. If you’re not comfortable with diving or snorkeling, you can still see the exhibits from a glass-bottom boat. No doubt this is one of the best underwater experiences to enjoy.
One of the first sculptures that was submerged under the sea is called The Gardener of Hope. It features a young girl lying on garden patio steps, cultivating pot plants. The most recent sculptures include The Last Supper, which is a table for two with plates of half-eaten fish and a centerpiece of apples and hand grenades. This work depict the threat oceans face as a result of over-fishing.
By the looks of it, this underwater museum will grow even more. Currently, the Cancun Marine Park, where the Cancun Underwater Museum is, attracts around 750,000 tourists per year. It is also one of the most visited stretches of water in the world. So if you’re a diver or a snorkeler, this might be one of the best tropical vacation destinations for you. Of course you will need a waterproof map, diving or snorkeling gear and a guide to see this underwater museum.
Have you seen the Cancun Underwater Museum?