Lonely Planet Writer

The new Cancun street art museum is transforming buildings all over the city

The streets of Cancun are getting a colourful makeover with a new open-air street art museum on display all around the city.

More Cancun street art will soon be all around the city.
More Cancun street art will soon be all around the city. Image by Gonzalo Areuz

Four buildings have already been transformed and they will form the basis for a city-wide movement dedicated to street art. Currently two are in the downtown area, with another two in the city’s hotel zone. The next phase is planned for July when an additional eight buildings will get an artistic makeover.

Each of the murals are painted in a distinct style by artists who came from as far away as the USA, New Zealand and Ukraine to participate. All the artists donated their time for the project and the efforts have been sponsored by local government agencies.

Two of the new examples of Cancun street art in the downtown area.
Two of the new examples of Cancun street art in the downtown area. Image by Aaron Glasson and Celeste Byres

Cancun may be more famous for spring break and busy resorts but many hope the urban art project will be more reflective of the culture of the local communities. They also portray an important message of ecotourism and ocean conservation, hoping to bring increased awareness of the benefits of these to both visitors and locals.

The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomed the development, calling it a “ wonderful new art movement”. In a statement they said: “Cancun is proud to offer both visitors and locals alike the opportunity to enjoy these unique art pieces, which perfectly align with the city’s fresh vibe and vibrant personality as well as its current environmental conservation efforts.”

Cancun street art is getting a makeover.
The open-air museum will stretch throughout the city. Image by Marisol D Estrabeau

Cancun is the most popular holiday spot in Mexico, with five million people visiting in 2015 alone. With the majority passing through resorts, it’s hoped that these colourful new murals will bring more tourists in to explore the bustling city.

If you’re interested in discovering unique street art from all over the world, Lonely Planet’s newest book showcases some of the best with more than 40 cities and hundreds of locations.

The art is specially selected to reflect the local communities.
The art is specially selected to reflect the local communities. Image by Aec Interesnikazki

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