Now is one of the best times to visit beaches in Isla Mujeres, which have reported low sargassum levels since July. The tropical island has managed to keep the pesky algae at bay unlike other destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, which have struggled with high levels of the brown seaweed over the summer.
Just several minutes from mainland Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a gem of the Mexican Caribbean. This paradise-like island is famous for its pueblos mágicos (magical towns) and laid-back atmosphere. Now, its beaches are making the headlines thanks to their excellent cleanliness and consistently low levels of sargassum.
According to Quintana Roo’s Sargassum Monitoring Network’s latest update on sargassum levels in the Mexican Caribbean, Isla Mujeres beaches had little to no sargassum. This is in contrast to beaches in the Riviera Maya and the eastern side of Cozumel, which reported high levels of macroalgae.
The secret to Isla Mujeres’ excellent beachside cleanliness: harnessing collaboration between government and society. In a statement given to the tourism outlet Reportur, Antonio Delgado González, the island’s environmental director said, “when there’s a will, there’s a way, and when we join forces we can achieve greater results.” As a result of the island’s heightened efforts, including hiring more seasonal cleaners, workers have successfully removed any sargassum that happened to find its way to the island’s beaches.
Although mostly harmless, sargassum is a major concern for beachgoers. Not only is it unsightly, but it emits a foul odor as it decomposes, making it a top priority for cleaners. Even though places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen have invested heavily in new anti-sargassum measures this summer, they’ve struggled to keep beaches clean at times.
Earlier in August, Cancun’s most popular beach, playa Defines, was covered in a layer of the seaweed as cleaners worked tirelessly to get rid of the algae. On the other hand, tourists visiting nearby Isla Mujeres could enjoy spotless beaches and crystal-clear tropical water. The situation has remained similar since July, and the following weeks also look good for beachgoers.
Sargassum levels are expected to gradually diminish around the Mexican Caribbean over the next few months. The seaweed season starts around March, lasting until late September. As a result of regular clean-up efforts, sargassum-free beaches are never too far.
These Are The Top Beaches In Isla Mujeres
The lack of sargassum at Isla Mujeres beaches isn’t the only good news for beachgoers. Two of Isla Mujeres’ top beaches have recently been awarded the Blue Flag certification, more than a year after losing the prestigious credential.
Playa Norte is undoubtedly the most popular beach on the tropical island and ranks well as one of the top beaches worldwide. This public beach, located on the northernmost tip of the island, can be enjoyed year-round. A short walk away from the ferry terminal, visitors will find a range of bars, restaurants, and activities in the vicinity of the paradise-like beach.
Meanwhile, Playa Centro has also been awarded the Blue Flag distinction this year. This white-sand beach is just as good as Playa Norte, although quieter and slightly smaller. Tourists can rent umbrellas and chairs from nearby service points, as well as enjoy cocktails from the many surrounding local bars.
The prestigious Blue Flag certification is a global effort to award beaches that comply with the highest standards in cleanliness, environmental protection, water quality, and safety.
Although tourists can easily explore the island by themselves, guided tours are one of the best ways to make the most of Isla Mujeres. This 4h Isla Mujeres snorkeling tour showcases the island’s top underwater attractions, including colorful reefs. The highly-recommended tour starts at $47 per person.
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