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Large Scale Cancun Sargassum Invasion Forecasted: Will It Affect Your Trip?

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Travelers planning an early or mid-June vacation getaway to Cancun or the Mexican Caribbean may want to plan ahead for a potential impact on enjoying their days in the sun, sand, and surf.

No, the warning is not yet for a tropical storm alert. It’s a little early in the season for that. This alert instead is for a potentially large patch of brown macroalgae heading right towards the northern Quintana Roo coastline.

Attack of Sargassum

Playa Delfines in Cancun, Mexico Covered in Sargassum and Filled With Tourists

A big brown beast is headed towards Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean and it’s threatening to potentially ruin a June beach resort vacation getaway for travelers.

According to the Citizen Observatory, more than a half a million tons of sargassum has been spotted about 100 kilometers in the sea off the coast of Roatan, Honduras.

They are projecting that the sargassum floating out in the sea will double its mass within 20 days as it heads towards the coastline of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

Man cleaning Sargassum in Playa del Carmen

Not only is the sargassum going to be unsightly when it potentially arrives on the picturesque and popular tourist beaches of the region, but the amount of gases and odors it will put out as it rots will be a smelly after effect.

A Smelly Problem

Normal amounts of sargassum is well known by tourists to make a smelly impact on a beach resort vacation getaway.

Worker Cleaning Sargassum From a Cancun Beach

However, this potentially million ton sargassum patch will bring that odor to a brand new level for those looking forward to a June beach trip enjoying the sun, sand and surf of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

Sargassum takes in oxygen as it breaks down and instead gives off noxious amounts of methane and hydrogen sulfide. In addition to smelling bad, these gases can be harmful to tourists and other animals in the ocean and on the beaches.

Officials Take Immediate Action

Sargassum cleaning vehicle in Playa Forum, Cancun

Recently, federal, state and municipal officials in Cancun raised the sargassum threat level from category two to category three, or a yellow light threat level, due to the massive amount of sargassum present in the ocean and heading towards the Mexican Caribbean.

The most recent projection and analysis of the situation by the Mexican Secretariat of the Navy is predicting a sargassum impact of about 7,000 tons to impact the area in the next two weeks.

The Navy has been directly involved out at sea with trying to limit the amount of sargassum hitting the coast of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

sunrise on beach at playa del carmen with sargassum

Not only have they committed a fleet of ships and naval troops towards combatting the macroalgae, but they have also deployed a number of offshore barriers to block the ability of the sargassum to approach the popular tourist beaches.

The impact is currently estimated to be in the northern area of the State of Quintana Roo and the Mexican Caribbean sometime in early to mid June.

What Travelers Can Expect

Sargassum catching barriers

Tourists planning some leisurely vacation days enjoying the sun, sand and surf of the premier beach resort destination in Mexico will want to pay attention to not only the weather forecasts for their June trip, but also the sargassum forecast.

As it currently looks, visitors to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean should be prepared for an encounter with sargassum during their early June vacation getaway to the area.

Ironically, it is the current which will determine the impact for vacationing tourists. However, hopefully the Mexican Navy can also use its strategies to limit the negative customer experience on a beach resort vacation from the floating sargassum.

Early June travelers may want to have alternative beach plans and locations in mind if the sargassum predictions end up being accurate.

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Michelle Hermick

Friday 24th of May 2024

Whatever !!!!! I live on this beach permanently… the seaweed may come but we clean it up quickly !!!! I have twenty rental properties . Laughing