Since we eloped and didn’t really take a honeymoon I decided to surprise Daniel for his 27th birthday with a quick weekend getaway to Cancun, Mexico. One of the many perks of being a flight attendant is getting to fly for free! Obviously this means that spontaneous and surprise trips are so much easier and cheaper!
On the agenda for the weekend was relaxing on the beach with a piña colada in hand, spending lots of quality time together, eating our weight in tacos, and scuba diving the beautiful, clear waters of Cancun.
Cancun Underwater Museum
What is the Underwater Museum
The Cancun Underwater Museum, also known as MUSA, is a unique, artificial reef created by the British sculptor Jason Taylor along with five other sculptors from Mexico. It was opened in 2010 and houses over 500 sculptures, all submerged at different depths in the ocean. Since it opened, it has been a hot spot for snorkelers and scuba divers as well as a safe haven for many different varieties of marine life.
What is the Purpose of the Cancun Underwater Museum
MUSA was created to benefit the protection of coral reefs in Cancun. With so many tourists annually, the reefs were struggling to remain healthy and full of life.
All the statues in the Cancun Underwater Museum are made from a pH-neutral cement, so that coral, algae, and seaweed are able to grow and develop on it easily. The statues also consist of holes, which allows the marine life to colonize and feed off the coral.
Over time, all the statues will be covered and unrecognizable as the shapes they once were. It will be a sanctuary for many different species of fish, sea turtles, and other marine animals. The Underwater Museum has been set up as a way for art and artists to help save the ocean.
We chose to go with a smaller company called Manta Divers for our day under the sea, and we are so glad we did as we had a wonderful experience!
Daniel was certified to scuba dive last year, but I hadn’t been diving in several years so I felt slightly nervous. Our guide, Rachel, gave us a complimentary diving refresher in the pool before we went out to the ocean and it made me feel so much more relaxed!
It was only us, two captains, and two guides for our diving excursion which was very unexpected and such a great surprise! This is much different than most tours in Cancun as they typically like to pack as many visitors onto each boat as possible.
We got a ton of individualized attention and were able to take our time underwater with our guide Rachel pointing out all the different marine life to us.
I highly recommend booking with Manta Divers for your next scuba diving excursion, as they also do tours of shipwrecks, cenotes, and other dives are the area. You can visit their website here!
Our Diving Experience
We loved getting to experience the Cancun Underwater Museum as it is something we had never seen before. While it has only been submerged for 10 years, there was already so much life and growth on all the statues, and it was already home to a ton of marine life.
It was amazing to get to see how art can be used in many different ways, not only to illicit emotions but also help our environment.
Love for the Ocean
Growing up in Florida, I grew a love for the ocean that hasn’t stopped even though I now live in a landlocked state.
When I was young my mom would take my siblings and me to a non-profit sanctuary for injured turtles. Here they helped nurse them back to health until they were ready to be back in the ocean. It was one of my favorite places to visit and one of the first things that started my love and respect for the ocean and it’s reefs and marine life. Most of my childhood I wanted to be a marine biologist, while this didn’t happen anytime I am in the ocean I feel my happiest and most at peace.
How Can We Help our Oceans and Reefs?
So how can we do our part to help protect the reefs? I asked my dive instructor, Rachel, and she gave us some of the best things we can do to observe these beautiful reefs safely.
Some of the things she told me were to never touch the coral, to make sure the sunscreen you are using doesn’t have harmful ingredients for marine life (see this article), don’t ever throw trash in the ocean and pick up any trash you see while diving, and never take any coral from the reefs to bring home as a souvenir.
It takes coral decades or longer to create reef structures, so let’s all do our part to help protect them the best that we can!
If you have the chance, you should definitely add seeing the Cancun Underwater Museum to your bucket list, you won’t regret it!
What are your favorite dive spots?
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