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Cancun Bound? Worst Months For Sargassum In The Mexican Caribbean Revealed 

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If you’re planning a Cancun vacation, you’ve probably seen a post or two about sargassum on social media.   

After seeing pictures of sargassum-covered beaches, you may be a little concerned about how the macroalgae might affect your vacation.   

Sargassum isn’t always present in Cancun, though, so if you are Cancun-bound, read on, because the worst months for sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean have been revealed.   

Now you’ll know exactly when to plan your vacation for if you want to avoid it.   

Worker Cleaning Sargassum From a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

What Is Sargassum? 

Sargassum is a macroalgae that easily multiplies and lives on top of the water.   

It’s an important shelter for various types of marine life, but can be a huge annoyance for beachgoers, and for officials tasked with preventing it from washing up on beaches and getting rid of it.   

It poses no major health risks but emits a bad odor when decaying and takes away from the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean’s white sand beaches.   

Sargassum on a Beach in Front of Hotels in the Cancun, Mexico Hotel Zone

Sargassum Season In The Mexican Caribbean  

There’s a season for everything, and fortunately for travelers heading to Cancun, the Mexican Caribbean’s sargassum season doesn’t last all year.   

It typically starts around April and lasts until October.   

Sargassum has been known to show up as early as February though.   

Woman Looking at Sargassum on a Playa del Carmen Beach

This Year’s Season So Far 

In the first few months of the year, visitors to the Mexican Caribbean only had to deal with minimal amounts of sargassum.   

At the end of March, a large mass was reported to be heading towards Cancun.   

In recent weeks Playa del Carmen’s sargassum levels have also started to increase too.   

Cancun Beach With a Small Amount of Sargassum

Which Months Will Be The Worst According To Predictions 

Predictions were recently made regarding what the worst months for sargassum will be during this year’s sargassum season.   

The predictions point to mid-June being the month where there will be the most sargassum.   

It is also predicted that sargassum, which reaches the Mexican Caribbean by traveling from the Atlantic along ocean currents, will be present until September.   

If you travel between then and March, it’s very likely that you’ll only see minimal amounts of sargassum.   

Cancun Beach Covered in Sargassum

How Local Officials Deal With Sargassum  

Several methods are used to prevent some of the sargassum from reaching the shores of the Mexican Caribbean and to remove it once it does.   

Sargassum barriers are one of the methods used for keeping it out to sea.   

Additionally, naval ships are used to collect it before it makes it to the coast.   

Once it does wash up manual labor and machines are used to clean it from the beaches.   

Machine Being Used to Clean Up Sargassum in Cancun, Mexico

The Future Of Dealing With Sargassum 

Scientists, academics, and officials from various industries and organizations are working on better solutions to deal with sargassum.   

One of the things that is being looked at is a way to utilize sargassum for other purposes, like making fertilizer.   

It’s also being researched as a food additive for cattle.  Both of these methods are a more eco-friendly way of dealing with sargassum.   

Sargassum On a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

Where To Go That Has Less Sargassum 

If you are set on visiting the Mexican Caribbean during a month that falls into sargassum season, there are a few places that you can go that generally have less of it.   

Right off the coast of Cancun, the island of Isla Mujeres typically gets very little.   

Additionally, the island of Cozumel also gets less than other destinations, and, you’re probably starting to see a pattern here, there’s generally less on the island of Holbox as well.   

Visiting these destinations, or waiting until September or later to take your trip, could mean that your Cancun vacation is sargassum-free. 

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