Skip to Content

Cancun Hotels Adding Hundreds Of Workers To Keep Beaches Sargassum Free This Summer

Share The Article

Last Updated

With peak sargassum season right around the corner, hotels in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have started staffing up to ensure that tourists to the area enjoy relatively clean beaches during their beach resort vacation getaway.

Resorts Attack Sargassum

Sargassum on Playa del Carmen

Sargassum, the smelly brown macroalgae that washes up on the shores and beaches of the Mexican Caribbean, is public enemy number one in the area, and federal, state, and municipal officials are calling out the troops to handle the upcoming influx of the seaweed.

Jesús Almaguer Salazar, President of the Hotel Association of Cancún, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres, said in a report about the sargassum issue in the Mexican Caribbean that some of the larger resort properties have up to 300 employees ready to make sure that tourists can enjoy a day in the sun, sand and surf sargassum free.

Calling in the Troops

Sargassum cleaning vehicle in Playa Forum, Cancun

Meanwhile, the Mexican federal government has deployed Navy troops, engineers, scientific personnel and ships to address the issue of sargassum washing up on the beaches in Quintana Roo.

According to published reports about how the Mexican Navy will be responding to the influx of sargassum about to hit the shores around Cancun, more than 20 ships, four beach sweepers, 11 algae collectors, a large ocean vessel and 340 scientific personnel and other troops have been deployed to the area to handle the issue.

What the Secretary of the Navy, Rafael Ojeda Durán, is calling “Operation Sargassum” will also involve the installation of more than 8,600 meters of barriers to block the sargassum from reaching the shores of Quintana Roo.

This is the biggest deployment the Mexican Navy has conducted to address the attack of the smelly brown microalgae.

sargassum washing up on a playa del carmen beach

The Influx Starts

Through the middle of April, the Mexican Navy and other state and municipal efforts, along with the actions of the local resorts and hotels, have collected nearly 950 tons of sargassum so far this season.

They were expecting at least another 125 tons of sargassum to arrive through the end of April.

Worker removing sargassum seaweed in Playa del Carmen

Officials continue to monitor the growth of sargassum in the season and its movements towards the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.

What’s the Issue with Sargassum?

There is no real health risk from sargassum other than the possibility that swimmers and beachgoers could actually become entangled in the macroalgae.

Playa Delfines in Cancun, Mexico Covered in Sargassum and Filled With Tourists

In fact, there are many cultures around the world where seaweed, such as sargassum, is actually eaten or at least used as a food additive. However, please don’t do that in and around Cancun!

The real impact of sargassum actually comes from the negative experience that travelers have when the sargassum is not picked up on a timely basis.

Not only is sargassum quite unsightly to look at while enjoying a day in the sun, surf and sand of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. It also has a really bad odor after baking in the sun on the beach for a day or two.

Sargassum on a Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The odor of sargassum is one of the biggest complaints travelers have about spending a day on a Mexican Caribbean beach during the sargassum season in the area.

What Tourists Should Know

Travelers should know that the issue is important to enough to tourism in Cancun and the surrounding cities that the federal, state and municipal governments, in addition to the beachside resorts and hotels, have deployed hundreds of people to address the issue in a timely manner and improve the experience visitors have on their vacation getaway.

Worker Cleaning Sargassum From a Cancun Beach

Due to ocean warming conditions, a large influx of sargassum is expected this year, and travelers should expect some impact.

However, local officials are working hard to ensure that the impact on tourists during their beach resort vacation getaway is minimal.

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.