With a planned morning dive, we couldn't completely indulge in the AYCE breakfast, but I loved the fresh fruit offerings including whole granadilla (first time I've seen / tried this fruit), guava, mango, as well as the made to order omelettes.
Our first dive of the day would be at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte ( MUSA), an underwater museum with over 1300 artificial habitats, an innovative project designed to counteract effects of climate change on oceans and reef systems by diverting tourism away from the national marine park, and creating new places for reef and marine life to colonize and thrive.
It was a choppy 40 mins-long boat ride from Cancun to reach MUSA, just off the coast of Isla Mujeres (don't forget the dramamine, people!) - but once we were underwater, it was utter calm.
There were several galleries in the MUSA collection, at varying depths to allow those who are more into snorkeling or free diving to enjoy viewings as well.
The installations consisted of various objects sunk to create habitats for marine life, from a Volkswagen beetle with a statue in fetal position on its windshield, to groups of statues like 'The Bankers', bodies only in prone position next to briefcases.
As we are relatively new to scuba diving and sought diversity of experiences to add to our PADI log book, this was an interesting one - but personally I find that I prefer dives designed around larger marine life (or cenotes, which was scheduled for Day 3 of this trip!).
We also shared a plate of crabs, which were tasty but on the smaller side, with not that much meat for the price.
We had such fun with Cancun Scuba Center during the day that we decided to return that evening for our first night dive. This departs from a different dock, next to the Holiday Inn in hotel zone. It's easy enough to get around in the hotel zone using public transportation - the buses that go up and down the strip are only $1 per trip! But since we had Tulum on the itinerary for the next day, our travel planner / agent extraordinaire @jennybawel had planned ahead and secured a rental car - so while we did our night dive Jenny took care of the car rental.
To be perfectly honest, the night dive was nerve-wracking for me, especially as a newish diver and not a very strong swimmer - the first few minutes were every bit as disorienting as I thought it would be. We were supplied with flashlights, and outside of the immediate foot or so that the light is able to reach, it was pitch black underwater. I was glad for the light, but it was one more thing to need to worry about among the many necessary steps you had to take to descend underwater safely - I heard myself breathing faster and deeper breaths in my nervousness.
Only two things helped me not drain all the air out of my tank before I even reach sea bed - our guide, who reassuringly let me hang onto his arm the whole time, and a giant sea turtle, who showed up a few minutes into our dive, curious to see what these bubble-making monsters were that was invading his territory. He swam right up to us and alongside us for what seemed like 5 minutes, and was joined by another turtle friend for a bit. It was thoroughly magical. I was too nervous to bring my GoPro down for the night dive, so no videos unfortunately - but it was kind of refreshing too, to just be in the moment, or as yoga teachers like to say, to be "present" - instead of engaging from behind a lens. And it was a beautiful one, that I will never forget.
Looking for more activity ideas for Cancun / Tulum / the Yucatan? Check out how we maximized our trip in my recaps of Day 1, Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5. Look out for recaps of Days 4 and 5 coming soon. For more photos from this trip, check out my Instagram @onemorebiteblog
Boulevard Kukulcan KM 20, Cancun, Quintana Roo 77500, Mexico
Ph: +52 (998) 848-7400Website: starwoodhotels.com
Cancun Scuba Center
Paradise Restaurante at Disco Beach
Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 6.5 Local 8, Playa Tortugas, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún
Pho:+52 998 282 3862
Cancun Scuba Center
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: cancunscubacenter.com
Zona Hotelera Km 9 | (Frente Al Centro de Convenciones), Cancun 77500
Day 2 costs breakdown:
- Breakfast buffet: $0 cost, complimentary with hotel stay; $10 USD tip
- MUSA + Reef dive $83pp + $20 tip
- Lunch: $30
- Rental car: $120 for 3 days = $40 per day split 4 ways = $10 per person per day
- Gas for rental car: 600 pesos for 3 days = 200 pesos per day split 4 ways = 50 pesos per person per day (~$2.64 USD pp / day)
- Bus to night dive: $1pp
- Night dive: + $20 tip
- Dinner: $45
- Westin Resort & Spa Cancun: 8,500 Starwood points
- Total: ~$221.64 USD per person
(Check out how we maximized our trip in my other recaps for Day 1, Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5. Check out more photos from this trip on my Instagram @onemorebiteblog)