Contrary to earlier predictions, the Mexican Caribbean is currently experiencing some of the lowest levels of sargassum seaweed in a long time.
However, there’s one destination that is bracing for a sudden surge in the quantity of sargassum on its shoreline: Cozumel.
New forecasts suggest an imminent arrival of a massive sargassum patch that will likely lead to more seaweed across much of the popular destination this summer. The island, which is located some 17 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen, recently became Mexico’s newest Magical Town.
As Cozumel heads into the start of the busy summer season, here’s how much sargassum travelers can expect over the coming weeks.
Cozumel Among Most Affected Mexican Caribbean Locations By Sargassum
Travelers received pleasant news earlier this summer when experts released a new long-term seagrass forecast that indicated that seaweed levels would drop significantly during the summer.
And while that has been the case for most places – such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and even Tulum, a locale that had previously been especially hard-hit by seaweed – the situation is quite different in Cozumel.
@touristtolocal THIS is how you do Cozumel Mexico 🇲🇽🌴 #cozumel #cozumelmexico #cozumelisland #mexicomagico #mexicotravel ♬ original sound – touristtolocal
This week, environmental experts published a new analysis of ocean currents, which suggests that Cozumel may soon be hit by huge quantities of the foul-smelling seaweed. According to authorities, the situation could persist until mid-August, coinciding with one of the busiest periods of the summer travel season.
Environmental officials have already reported more sargassum accumulating along the eastern coast of the island, which faces the Atlantic and is thus more exposed to currents that carry seaweed.
Some of the beaches that are expected to be hardest hit by the impending sargassum patch include Caleta, San Martin, Chumul, and El Mirador.
Although the new development is causing concern among Cozumel’s travel industry, officials are well-prepared to deal with further sargassum arrivals. Among other measures, decision-makers recently decided to deploy more cleaners to clear Cozumel’s beaches of as much of the seaweed as possible.
Workers have already removed 800 tons of sargassum from the island’s most popular beaches this year, and with 40 new cleaners set to join the ranks, the island is uniquely positioned to respond to the worsening environmental situation.
Will Sargassum Affect Travel To Cozumel This Summer?
Cozumel made headlines this summer after authorities officially confirmed its status as a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town). The tropical island launched an intense campaign last year to achieve that recognition and now joins 131 other Magical Towns across Mexico.
@joshcruises THINGS TO DO IN COZUMEL, MEXICO! 🟥🟧🟨🟩🟥🟧🟨🟩🟥 I really enjoyed my time at Mr. Sancho’s in Cozumel, Mexico! The all-inclusive package was well worth it, i truly feel like i got my money’s worth. The resort is beautiful, and the staff was so amazing. My server Carlos went above and beyond, he found me anywhere in the resort, whether the pool, beach, or table, and made sure I had a drink in my hand! 10/10 definitely would recommend a trip to Mr. Sanchos next time you’re in Cozumel! #cruise #cruising #cruiseexcursion #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cozumel #mexico #mrsanchos #mrsanchoscozumel #joshcruises #ocean #cruisehacks ♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again
Despite being home to thousands of unique destinations, only a few can boast the title of being a Magical Town. With strict requirements ranging from environmental protection to cultural heritage, Magical Towns reflect the unique elements that make Mexico so spectacular.
And while Cozumel will likely grapple with growing amounts of sargassum over the following weeks, there’s a lot more to see on the Caribbean island than just beach and sea. Among other things, it’s home to several impressive Mayan ruins, including the San Gervasio Archeological Zone, an ancient hub of worship of the goddess of fertility.
Meanwhile, San Miguel de Cozumel, the island’s small but vibrant capital, is teeming with culture and Mexican gastronomy. Travelers can visit the Cozumel Museum, where they can learn more about the island’s rich history and culture.
Travelers can easily visit Cozumel with ferry companies like Ultramar, although Cancun travelers can also book guided tours of the spectacular island destination. Cozumel’s coral reefs are part of the Mesoamerican Reef system, the second largest of its kind in the world, making it one of the best places to snorkel and swim.
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