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Cancun Tourists Warned To Watch Out For Contaminated Swimming Water

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As spring break approaches in the Mexican Caribbean, a new round of tourists are already beginning to arrive, hungry for the vacation of a lifetime. 

The region is known for having some of the best coastlines in the world, and travelers come for its gorgeous white-sand beaches and beautiful blue waters.

aerial view of pier in cancun with boat and sargassum

Although we don’t want to dampen the mood, new cases of contamination have been reported by environmental groups in some of Cancun’s most sought-after, beautiful coastlines, causing slight concern for visitors, hoteliers, and officials. 

New Reports of Contaminated Swimming Water

If there is one thing Cancun is known for, it is its world-famous beaches that millions of tourists flock to during the winter and summer seasons, which is peak time for the Mexican Caribbean. 

aerial view of Cancun Hotel Zone

Unfortunately, the president of the Snorkelling and Trash Association, Daniel Gustavo Rodriguez Lozano, has reported that feces contaminants have been found in the hotel area of Cancun, both on the beach, as well as the marinas.

After being reported both in January and February of this year, the federal government has now been alerted and is warning tourists to remain vigilant.

The most likely culprits of the waste issue are being put down to tourist catamarans, which release their sewage when out at sea.

Due to the adverse weather conditions of the past two weeks, the high winds have caused sargassum to appear on the beaches of Cancun earlier than expected, as well as...well…the waste from these vessels, much to the dismay of everyone.

tractor and cleaners on beach with sargassum

This is no new issue – in 2023, 200 incidents of contaminated water caused by sewage or fecal matter were reported, mainly in urban areas of Quintana Roo.

The reason? 

Rodrigue Lozano stated, “We have poorly connected wells that are not connected to a drainage pipe, and that causes direct contamination to the aquifer (sediment that holds groundwater)”. 

What Is Being Done About The Issue?

A meeting is being held by local officials this Sunday in Bacalar, where they will discuss the environmental issue, among many others, and come up with solutions to combat them. 

aerial view of Cancun

It is the hope that once the solutions are created, they will be brought forward to the government, which will then take appropriate action on the matter. 

It’s a no-brainer, really: tourist catamarans should not be allowed to release their waste at sea, especially near tourist hotspots like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. 

Furthermore, an improved drainage system will need to be created, as the hotspots in Quintana Roo are reporting more of these issues each year. 

Though the Mexican Caribbean is experiencing a tourist boom like never before, something like swimming in waters that are contaminated with fecal matter might just be enough to put you off, something hoteliers and officials certainly don’t want.

Red Flag on a Beach in Cancun with Tourists in the Background

The beaches affected by the issue will already have a warning for tourists and may even be temporarily unavailable to use while the problem is being dealt with.

Be sure to check in with a lifeguard if you are feeling unsure. 

On A Lighter Note…

If you can look past this slight blip, Cancun is still a pretty amazing place to be in right now. 

Flying high on many travel expert websites and publications such as Forbes, CNT Traveller, and Tripadvisor, Cancun is one of those perfect vacation destinations that just will not disappoint.

Now more connected than ever with the new Maya Train, which is now traveling as far as Playa del Carmen, you have the perfect opportunity to explore all the incredible places that the Mexican Caribbean has to offer.  

sunrise in the chicehn itza ruins

Near Cancun lies the confirmed tourist favorite in the whole country, Chichen Itza, home to a once-ancient civilization known as the Mayans. 

With ancient temples, structures, and pyramids, this attraction should be high up on your list of things to see and do. 

Maybe you want to take a day trip to stunning Isla Mujeres?

A 20-minute ferry ride from the port and home to crystal clear waters, an underwater museum, and all the water sports activities you could ever imagine, this place is definitely worth a visit.

Aerial view of beautiful Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres

Another huge tourist draw in the Mexican Caribbean is the many cenotes that are littered all around it. 

Cenotes are open-air sinkholes containing permanent water and were once believed to be a ‘gateway to the underworld’ by the ancient Mayans.

They now serve as a perfect place to take an afternoon dip and find the best pictures for your social media; the perfect alternative to a beach day.

Whether you check out Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul, or Cenote Cristalino, you are going to fall in love with the natural landscapes and feel like you’re in another world entirely. 

Cenote Azul in the jungle aerial view. People swim in clear water in a cenote that is in the jungle. Top view.

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