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A Guide How to Avoid Seaweed and Sargassum in Mexico Beaches

Say you’re planning a trip to Cancun, the beaches of the Riviera Maya. You probably have visions of pristine white sand beaches with crystal blue waters and excellent swimming conditions. Unfortunately, in some parts of the region, the beachscape is affected by an onslaught of seaweed known as sargassum.

The large brown algae can build up onshore and block out sunbathers from enjoying a perfect day in paradise. But wait, there’s good news. Although this massive accumulation of seaweed has become more frequent over recent years, it’s possible to enjoy your visit without worrying about this unsightly nuisance. In this guide, find out how to avoid running into sargassum on vacation.


What is sargassum?

Sargassum is a type of seaweed, sometimes called “gulfweed,” that appears in the coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea. It forms large, dense mats, which can be pretty unsightly and even damaging to the beachfront and other areas. Sargassum originates from the Sargasso Sea, located in the North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda, and is transported through ocean currents movements to Mexico’s coasts.

Sargassum typically first appears around April and persists throughout the summer months until its eventual disappearance at the end of summer. The presence of sargassum also affects tourism by bringing an increased risk of flooding due to its ability to trap water within its dense mat formation.

Why is there sargassum on Mexico beaches?

The reasons why sargassum accumulates along Mexico’s coastlines include changes to ocean currents that become disrupted due to natural factors such as climate change or human-caused activities like oil spills and overfishing that increase nutrient levels in the water column and attract higher concentrations of sargassum seaweed.

For these mats not to accumulate so much along Mexico’s shores, authorities have employed strategies such as beach cleaning campaigns and artificial reefs built with sunken vessels so that waves can break before reaching shallower waters.

Places that don’t have sargassum on Mexican Caribbean coasts

When it comes to places in Mexico that don’t have sargassum, there are a few noteworthy spots. One of the most popular destinations is the island of Holbox, which lies just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun.

  • Cancun hotel zone north beaches and Playa Mujeres an area located north to Cancun.
  • Isla Mujeres – Playa Norte
  • West Coast beaches of Cozumel island
  • Protected bays along the Riviera Maya such as Puerto Aventuras
  • Holbox island which is located north to Cancun is likely to be free of sargassum in most times.
  • The beautiful Bacalar Lagoon located in the southern state of Quintana Roo.

Each beach has something unique to offer visitors looking for relaxing days spent lounging in the sun without worrying about sargassum or other seaweed spoiling their relaxation.

And these are only some of the many fine places you can find in Mexico without worrying about sargassum – the perfect spot to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation during your travels.

Cancun All Inclusive

Where to find the latest sargassum updates in Mexico?

Before you book hotels and activities, make sure you visit the following websites:

Which resorts don’t have sargassum?

As of this time of writing, Cancun is expected to have low sargassum mainly in February. This is a perfect time to travel and enjoy the sun, sand, and drinks.