Arrival Of Sargassum Seaweed Threatens Easter Season In 30 Top Beaches Of Cancun Area

Arrival Of Sargassum Seaweed Threatens Easter Season In 30 Top Cancun Beaches

Large amounts of Sargassum seaweed have arrived in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and other Riviera Maya destinations, threatening to scare away international tourists during the Easter season.

The unwanted alga has already been discovered in Tulum and Mahahual’s coastal areas.

“We’re afraid Sargassum has started to appear on several Tulum beaches… The influx of tourists has already decreased a little,” said a SPA worker at the Tulum national park adding that they “expect the holiday season not to be spoiled by the arrival of the seaweed because it affects the arrival of international travelers.”

The following beaches in Quintana Roo have been affected so far, according to the Sargassum Citizen Observatory,

Playa Coral, Riviera Cancún, Moon Palace, Royalton Riviera, Punta Esmeralda, Playa el Recodo, Xpu-Ha, Kantenah, Akumal, Bahia Principe, Xcacel-Xcacelito, Bahía Soliman, Tanka, Tulum Ruinas, Tulum Zona Norte, Punta Piedra, Tulum ZH Sur, Arco Maya, Holbox centro, Punta Molas, Playa Xhanan, Playa Bonita, Playa Mezcalitos, Punta Morena, Playa Chen Río, Playa San Martín, Playa Bush, Playa Encantada y Punta Celarain.

Beaches along Quintana Roo are known for being Instagram-worthy. But now, the sulfurous scent of decay makes the water highly unappealing.

Large amounts of brown Sargassum seaweed at the beach of Tulum ruins, Mexico

The growth of the seaweed is cyclic and even beneficial in moderate amounts. Normally, it blooms and stays out in the ocean creating a floating habitat for fish, shrimp, eels, turtles, and birds.

“This is a critical habitat—it’s often called the ocean’s ‘golden forest’” says Chuanmin Hu, a professor of Optical Oceanography at the University of South Florida.

However, Marc André, director of Sales & Marketing at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen has pointed out that Sargassum has been the destination’s largest challenge for the last four years.

“The coast has boats that collect Sargassum before it is deposited on the beaches, which is what causes the discomfort, not just visually but also because of the smell,” said André.

The Hyatt is concerned about the arrival of Sargassum in the midst of the post-covid economic recovery.

Local and federal governments are working together and focusing resources and strategies to minimize their impact.