Skip to Content

Isla Mujeres Sees First Sargassum Of The Year On Most Popular Beach 

Share The Article

Last Updated

The season for sargassum has seemingly come early in the Mexican Caribbean, and Isla Mujeres has seen its first sargassum of the year on the island’s most popular beach.  During the busy winter season, there has been very little of the ever-present seaweed, as is typical.  But as spring and summer get closer, tourists can expect to see more and more of it wash up on the beaches in places like Isla Mujeres, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen.  

Sargassum and Cleaning Equipment on a Beach in Isla Mujeres

What Is Sargassum?  

Sargassum is a brown algae, also referred to as seaweed, that grows on top of the water in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.  So much of it grows that it gathers together and forms what is known as the Sargasso Sea.  Despite the fact that it starts a long way away from the Caribbean Sea; eventually, the ocean currents carry it to the Caribbean coast, where it often washes onto the shore. 

Sargassum in the Caribbean Sea

Sargassum Season 

The worst part of the sargassum season takes place from May through October, but it isn’t uncommon to see some amount of sargassum outside of this window.  Isla Mujeres is known for typically getting less sargassum on its beaches than places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.  The first arrival of sargassum in Isla Mujeres this year, though, has already amounted to more than a ton just on Playa Norte alone.   

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

A Sandcastle and Sargassum on a Mexican Caribbean Beach

Sargassum In Isla Mujeres 

In 2022, one of the worst years for sargassum ever, Isla Mujeres remained mostly free of the smelly brown seaweed from about July to at least September.  In fact, Isla Mujeres had some of the lowest levels of sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean in 2022.  In addition to having lower levels of sargassum, the dedication to its removal, which took place every morning from 5-11 am, also helped keep the beaches free of it. 

Worker Removing Sargassum from a Beach in the Mexican Caribbean and a Tourist in the Background

About Isla Mujeres 

Isla Mujeres is a paradisiacal island located a few minutes from Cancun’s mainland that is known for its more laid-back island life atmosphere.  It was named one of Mexico’s “Magic Towns” in 2015 because it has so much to offer in the way of culture and nature that it provides visitors with a “magical experience.”  It is one of only around 80 towns in Mexico that have been awarded this distinction, proving how special it is. 

Tourists Swimming in the aqua blue water in the Water in Isla Mujeres.

Getting To Isla Mujeres 

To get to Isla Mujeres, you have to take a ferry from Cancun, and there are a number of different options.  The best two options are taking the high-speed ferry from the Gran Puerto Cancun terminal or the Puerto Juarez terminal, which takes about 15 minutes to cross from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.  There is also an Ultramar ferry that departs from two different areas in the Hotel Zone, Playa Caracol and Playa Tortugas, but the trip takes a bit longer, and a car ferry that departs from Punta Sam that takes about 45 minutes.  

Ferry to Isla Mujeres from Cancun with tourists on the beach nearby.

Playa Norte In Isla Mujeres 

Playa Norte is Isla Mujeres’ most popular beach because it has beautiful, calm, crystal clear turquoise water and stunning white sand beaches.  It was voted as the best beach in Mexico in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best Awards in 2022.  Near Playa Norte, you’ll find multiple bars, restaurants, and beach clubs where you can sit back and relax and enjoy the laid-back vibe of Isla Mujeres.  

Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres, surrounded by beautiful aqua blue water.

While Isla Mujeres had an early arrival of sargassum on the shores of Playa Norte, cleaning staff immediately got to work to remove it from the beach.  The island still typically only sees the arrival of the seaweed a couple of times a month, so if you’re visiting the Mexican Caribbean during the spring and summer months, Isla Mujeres is the place to be.

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.