Mexican Caribbean About To See A Peak Of Seaweed Levels In Cancun And Other Areas

Mexican Caribbean About To See A Peak Of Seaweed Levels

Nearly the whole coast will see peak seaweed/sargassum levels over the coming week, maybe the highest of the entire season, according to a warning from the local Sargassum Monitoring Network (Red de Monitoreo de Sargazo).

The monitoring agency says the sargassum surge will have the greatest impact on southern Quintana Roo, particularly areas such as Tulum, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen.

The network’s director, Esteban Amaro, added that the heat wave is good for the seaweed, so beachgoers might see more of it on their next beach trip.

Health officials in Tulum this week urged locals and visitors to heed important health advice to combat the ongoing extreme heat.

Playa del Carmen seaweed
Seaweed removal in Playa del Carmen

Regarding Cancun, Esteban Amaro recommends paying special attention to beaches in the southern part of the hotel zone to avoid compromising visitors’ high expectations for a perfect vacation.

Municipalities such as Benito Juárez (Canun) and Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) have increased their efforts and hired additional staff to keep the beaches free of algae.

The local government is working to effectively address the high sargassum levels by working with volunteer organizations, environmental organizations, and commercial businesses. 

This year, sargassum has reached near-record levels due to climate change and high temperatures.

The Sargassum Monitoring Network’s most recent update, found here, shows that there are currently 18 beaches with excessive amounts of seaweed. Only four beaches in the Mexican Caribbean are completely free of sargassum, while 20 beaches have low levels. Isla Mujeres Punta Sur and Chiquilá are two of the most beautiful beaches currently free of sargassum. 

quintana roo, playa del carmen, cozumel, cancun seaweed map

Cancun beaches also currently have low levels of sargassum, with Punta Cancun and Cancun Playa Caracol reporting moderate amounts. In contrast, elevated levels of sargassum are reported at the southern beaches of Tulum and Playa del Carmen, and at the eastern beaches of Cozumel.

Video from Playa del Carmen, MAY 2022 (Credit: Jeremiah Rygh)