Cancún may not have any museums on land, but under the waves are more than four hundred sculptures. This underwater sculpture park, the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA; wmusacancun.com), is the work of English artist Jason deCaires Taylor. The concrete casts are largely based on real Mexicans, and some create surreal scenarios, such as a bureaucrat’s office on the sea floor. The aim of the ever-expanding museum is to draw visitors away from stressed reefs, while also giving coral a new place to grow. Though the first works were installed only in 2009, some of the figures are sprouting colourful buds and attracting other sea life.

A few of the works are in shallow water (4–10m), so snorkellers can drift above them. But the MUSA is really better visited as a dive excursion: with a full scuba kit, you can submerge and look the strikingly realistic portraits in the eye.

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