The Manchones Reef is a popular dive spot on Mexico’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (also known as the Great Mayan Reef), on the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo.
This shallow reef, over 800m/2'625ft long is located south of Isla Mujeres. Diving can be done any time of the year. The average air temperature varies between 25-30C/77-86F and water temperature between 26-29C/78-84F.
Vibrant coral landscapes and abundance of colorful reef fish attract divers of all experience levels. Due to its great natural light and beauty, photographers like this spot. Coming here divers can explore fields of elk horn, stag horn, brain coral and sponges as well as schools of blue tangs, angel fish, wrasse, trunkfish, grunts, snappers, damselfish and sea breams.
Along with remarkable coral formations and diverse marine life, the Manchones Reef area is also home to MUSA, an underwater sculpture museum consisting of 400 life-size sculptures. The figures are designed to encourage coral growth and the site is evolving into a complex reef structure full of fish. The dive is reasonably shallow and suitable for beginners.
This is an adventure that will leave you breathless! Take a swim in these worldly known waters and explore over 500 statues and the life they’ve bred along the coral reefs that have formed this artistic reef that balances art and nature in the most elegant and visually attractive way.
The project founded by Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park, Roberto Díaz Abraham, then President of the Cancun Nautical Association and English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.
The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science and form part of a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life. The total installations occupy an area of over 420sq meters of barren substrate and weighing in at over 200 tons.
The C58, also known as General Anaya, is a shipwreck popular with scuba divers. The ship is a former US navy vessel used as a minesweeper during World War II – originally named the USS Harlequin -- that passed hands to the Mexican Navy, who deliberately sunk it in the 1980s to create an artificial reef.
The wreck lies in an area of water frequented by manta rays, barracuda, groupers and other impressive marine life. Divers can swim around the entire ship as well as entering it (known as penetration dives). Thanks to hurricane damage from Wilma in 2005, which basically split the vessel in two, all the ship’s rooms are accessible to divers, making this a fascinating and many-faceted dive experience.
This dive is recommended for experienced Scuba divers, thanks to often strong currents on the way down to the wreck.
The wreck is around 25 minutes by boat from Isla Mujeres. You could try scuba diving at Wreck C-58 throughout the year, the temperature of the water ranges from 26°C/78.8°F in winter to 29°C/84.2°F in summer.
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