Explore New Orleans

Exploring the Yucatan on the Mississippi

The Audubon Aquarium delves into Maya culture

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is scaling up with its new Great Maya Reef exhibit, following a recent, $1-million overhaul of the facility. Interactive displays, 47 species of aquatic critters and a 30-foot-long underwater tunnel immerse visitors in a sub-sea adventure while combining the ecological diversity of the Yucatan Peninsula with the history of the ancient Mayans. Silvery sheets of false pilchards greet guests from a 5,000-gallon tank before they dive deep below the 130,000-gallon main display.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium offers cool overhead, underwater views. (©Jeff Strout)

The submerged tunnel allows a near 360-degree view: Stand eye-to-eye with stingrays; watch schools of yellow snapper swim overhead. Reefs rise above the tunnel, giving the impression visitors are gliding through an underwater canyon. King Copan awaits at the end, providing both a history lesson and a home for a green moray eel.


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
King Copan watches over the Great Maya Reef exhibit. (©Jeff Strout)