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4 Must-See Museums in Cancun and How to Visit

From an underwater museum to Maya complexes, here's where to head in Cancun.

A Maya building in the Cancun era
Hi, I'm Jen!

Vermont travel writer Jen Rose Smith covers adventure, remote places, and traditional cuisine from a home base in the Green Mountains. Her articles have appeared in National Geographic Adventure, American Way, Nexos, Condé Nast Traveler, Backpacker, AFAR, Rolling Stone, USA Today, and Outside Online.

When you think of Cancun, museums may not leap to mind, but that’s because Cancun’s museums are anything but average. Here, you can swim into an underground sculpture garden, step into the ancient Maya world, or check out historic race cars. Here’s where to find the best museums in Cancun.

1. Mayan Museum of Cancun (Museo Maya de Cancún)

Ruins at Cancun's Mayan Museum.
Ruins at Cancun's Mayan Museum.Photo Credit: Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock

For artifacts from the Yucatan.

Artifacts from around the Yucatan are on display at this renovated museum in the Hotel Zone, where sea views offer a spectacular backdrop to the Maya treasures. Admission to the Mayan Museum of Cancun also gets you access to the adjacent San Miguelito archaeological site, which include the ruins of a Mayan palace.

2. Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (Museo Subacuático de Arte, MUSA)

A statue at Cancun's Underwater Museum.
Swim with art and fishes off Cancun's coast.Photo Credit: Rob Atherton / Shutterstock

For native tropical fish.

Hundreds of sculptures rest on the seafloor of Cancun National Marine Park, providing a creative haven for native tropical fish. Explore the underwater museum on a snorkeling or scuba diving trip from Cancun.

3. Cancun Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Cancún)

Elvis at Cancun's Wax Museum.
Meet Elvis at the Wax Museum.Photo Credit: Cancun / Tripadvisor

For photo-ops with wax figures.

You’ll find familiar faces among the dozens of wax figures in this Hotel Zone museum. It’s a family-friendly activity and a great photo opportunity, whether you’re snapping your own or posing for the museum’s professional photographer.

4. Iconographic Museum of the Pan-American Race (Museo Iconográfico de la Carrera Panamericana)

Visitors explore an exhibit at Iconographic Museum.
Visitors enjoy the Iconographic Museum.Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

For car lovers.

Car lovers won’t want to miss this quirky car museum’s collection of race cars, which range from century-old relics to modern classics. There’s also plenty of info on the Carrera Panamericana, a historic road race that zoomed across Mexico in the early 1950s. 

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