Tourists Flock To Cancun Despite Sargassum Seaweed Surge

Tourists Flock To Cancun Despite Sargassum Seaweed Surge

With an average of 275 inbound-daily flights over the weekend, air operations in Cancun International Airport don’t seem to slow down despite the important arrival of sargassum to Quintana Roo.

In recent years Mexico has shattered all arrival records, with a large percentage of international tourists choosing Cancun as their primary hotspot.

The number of international passengers passing through customs at Cancun airport surpassed 8.21 million as of April 2024, according to data revealed by Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR), the New York Stock Exchange trade operator of this airport.

This figure represents a 6 percent increase compared to the same period in 2023. 

Although Cozumel has seen an increase of 20 percent in international arrivals and Merida 9 percent, Cancun still beat them both.

The idea of getting a taste of Caribbean life by strolling on pristine white-sand beaches bathed in turquoise waters has attracted visitors to Cancun for years. But that may be about to change.

On May 11, the Navy Secretariat raised the sargassum alert for the northern area of Quintana Roo to ”Level 3 – Yellow,” due to an increase in algae on its beaches and a negative forecast for the weeks to come.

For its part, the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network (RDMS) has detected 7,400 tons of sargassum floating on its way to the state from the Honduran Caribbean. 

Hundreds of tons of that sargassum are expected to start arriving at Mexican beaches over the next few weeks. 

Despite unfavorable predictions, sargassum season in Cancun has not been as bad as it has been in areas of Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

“There are morning clean-ups organized by resorts that keep the beaches mostly clean until the afternoon,” according to our most recent report.

In fact, the presence of algae has not prevented beachgoers from swimming and playing in the waters of Playa Delfines, one of the most affected beaches so far.

Cancun also offers cenotes, stunning natural sinkholes filled with fresh water, which have become highly demanded because they are protected from sargassum.

Those planning a getaway to Cancun or the Mexican Caribbean should hurry up because, according to the Citizen Observatory, the mass of sargassum approaching the beaches of Quintana Roo could double in the next 20 days, threatening to ruin aquatic activities in the area.

The most affected months in Cancun are May, June and July, according to historical observations.

During this period, you will inevitably find a significant number of beaches covered with sargassum, especially in certain areas of the so-called Cancun Hotel Zone.