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Caution Urged On Playa Del Carmen Beaches After Incident Involving American Tourist

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The popularity of the Mexican Caribbean is currently unmatched, with Americans favoring it as one of the main spots to travel on vacation. 

Places like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum have people visiting all year round, offering them an array of beautiful hotels, incredible attractions, and beaches like nowhere else. 

Tropical mexican caribbean beach and sea with a lot of fun people sun loungers parasols turquoise water in Playa del Carmen Mexico.

Unfortunately, it was reported last week that an American tourist injured himself on one of Playa Del Carmen’s stunning beaches due to the erosion of the shoreline, resulting in him being taken to hospital.

What Happened? 

An American man and his wife were walking along the shoreline in the downtown area, specifically at the entrance on 12th Street.

downtown area in Playa Del Carmen

Both this beach and many others are currently being affected by erosion, causing the passage along the shoreline to become quite tricky to cross. 

Many tourists opt for walking on the street and around the eroded areas to avoid injuring themselves, especially when the waves hit rocks and walls, making them more slippery. 

The American tourist was unaware of the rocky area and fell, consequently resulting in him hurting his back and requesting an ambulance to take him to the hospital. 

beach in Playa del carmen with sargassum

Luckily, his wife was able to get the lifeguards’ attention, who were able to provide first aid for the tourist and take him away from the eroded beach on a stretcher.

One way to protect yourself in these situations is by having travel insurance, often included with many popular credit cards. Learn more with this list of some of our favorite travel cards.

Warnings For Tourists

This incident could happen to any tourist and that is why you should keep these things in mind when visiting any destination in the Mexican Caribbean. 

A lifeguard walking on a Cancun beach with equipment

  1. Lifeguards are your friends. If you find yourself in any trouble whatsoever on a beach, make sure to flag down a lifeguard for help. If you are in an area where no lifeguard is present, think about whether or not you should be there or if it is too dangerous to be unsupervised. After all, had the American tourist not been with his wife, he could have been stranded without anyone noticing his need for help. 
  2. Follow instructions on the beach. Main beaches will usually follow a flag system, telling you whether or not the beach is safe to be on or to swim in. Again, if there is no lifeguards present and the beach has a black flag, we recommend you turn back and pick one of the many other beautiful beach locations to choose from. 
  3. Many beaches in Playa del Carmen are suffering from the effects of erosion, which some experts are linking to the effects of climate change. That means that beach landscapes are ever changing and can become unwalkable/unuseable fairly quickly. We recommend you stick to the main beach areas that are well populated and avoid walking off the beaten path(as tantalizing as that option might be).
lifeguards on the beach

Sargassum And The Erosion Issue 

Playa del Carmen is a tourist destination that is usually hit quite hard by the sargassum phenomenon.

Large masses of the smelly seaweed have been arriving on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean coast for quite a few years now, and officials are doing everything in their power to prevent it from ruining people’s vacations. 

One such method to combat the issue is to recycle the sargassum into fine sand and reinstate it on some of Playa Del Carmen’s most eroded beaches, such as El Recodo, in an attempt to return them to their former glory.

Woman looking at sargassum on playa del carmen beach

If all goes to plan, this could be an ingenious way to sustainably use the seaweed to better the areas that are being hit hardest by the problem. 

Another method that is currently being tested by Quintana Roo’s Sustainable Environment and Climate Change department is utilizing the algae as a source of fuel and charcoal. 

One thing is for certain: The world is ever-changing because of the probable effects of climate change, and places like the Mexican Caribbean will have to be one step ahead to keep tourists flocking to its doorstep. 

After all, it is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, and we certainly hope it stays that way!

Maroma Beach Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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