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Cancun Braces For Massive Arrival Of Sargassum This Week

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Cities across the Mexican Caribbean – and especially Cancun – are bracing for huge quantities of sargassum seaweed to wash up on shore as thousands of travelers continue to pour into the region for their summer vacation.

Aerial view of sargassum in the cancun hotel zone

While sargassum levels have generally remained low during most of the season, a new seaweed patch spells trouble for resorts across popular resort destinations such as Cancun.

Despite the worrying situation, long-term forecasts suggest that sargassum levels will continue to fall during the remainder of the summer. With that in mind, here’s how much sargassum is expected in Cancun this week.

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Cancun To See Sargassum Spike This Week

More sargassum is in store for swathes of the Mexican Caribbean this week, with some locales in the sun-drenched region already reporting significant seaweed sightings. 

A massive sargassum patch has drifted toward the Mexican Caribbean coastline from Africa and is expected to wash up on local beaches in the coming days. 

New intel from the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network suggests that the northern parts of the region are expected to be among the most affected, although southern locations are also anticipating rising seaweed levels.

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Authorities in several vacation hotspots like Puerto Morelos have already activated enhanced cleaning protocols, with the first wave of the looming sargassum patch reaching the coastline last Saturday.

CancunPlaya del Carmen, and the wider Riviera Maya are forecast to see a huge increase in sargassum levels this week, comparable to the situation in early 2023 when the season began well ahead of time. 

Despite the worrying forecast, authorities across the popular vacation destination have hired more cleaners and deployed more machinery to remove sargassum from public beaches. 

Huge sargassum patch in the canun hotel zone

But with sargassum being a powerful force of nature, travelers should still be prepared to make alternative plans should their favorite beach be covered in seaweed. 

Resort hubs like Playa del Carmen and Tulum are especially well-prepared for sudden rises in sargassum levels, having installed several kilometers of barriers to prevent the macroalgae from reaching the shoreline. 

In Cancun, by far the most sought-after beach destination this summer, travelers can expect to encounter sargassum across beaches in the hotel zone, as well as in Costa Mujeres. 

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According to the state’s seaweed monitoring network, MarlínBallenasDelfines, and Punta Nizuc are likely to see high quantities of seaweed. 

With sargassum set to interrupt vacation plans, it’s a good idea to consider other popular aquatic activities like swimming in cenotes or heading to a waterpark this week as officials gear up to remove tons of seaweed from beaches.

All-Inclusive Resort on a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

One option is to visit Playa del Carmen’s Xcaret Park, which has seen its popularity skyrocket this summer thanks to the theme park’s stunning Mayan-inspired decoration, performances, and lush nature. 

Travelers can book tickets online or purchase a guided tour of the massive theme park, which houses three underground rivers, bird sanctuaries, and several freshwater pools.

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Ventura Park is another great alternative to sargassum-filled beaches in Cancun. The outdoor water park recently launched several new attractions, making this one of the most popular ways to cool down for the whole family.

Not to be overlooked are the hundreds of azure cenotes or freshwater lagoons that dot the Mexican Caribbean. Offering respite from both sargassum and the intense summer heat, these natural wonders have soared in popularity this year, with dozens of guided tours and excursions departing from Cancun each day.

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