Sargassum continues to plague the Mexican Caribbean, with huge amounts of it arriving during the summer months for the past few years.
This has led to vacation destinations along the coast trying to come up with ways to minimize the effect it has on the tourism industry.
In Tulum, one method they are implementing is barriers, and more than a mile of sargassum barriers are set to be installed in the tourist destination.
What Is Sargassum?
Sargassum is a type of seaweed that is brown in color and forms huge masses that float on top of the sea.
It starts in the Northern Atlantic and forms what is known as the Sargasso Sea before traveling southwest and ending up in the Mexican Caribbean.
Sometimes sargassum blooms are so massive that they can be seen from satellites in space.
Other areas, such as Florida’s eastern coast, are also affected by sargassum, not just the Mexican Caribbean.
@thedomesticgypsy_ I had never seen anything like this before! Thankfully I didnt care too much about swimming 😬 #tulummexico #sargassum #tulum #mexico ♬ original sound – Lexi
It’s not uncommon to see huge amounts of sargassum in Tulum and the rest of the Mexican Caribbean during the months between April and October.
Usually, the season peaks in July or August, but predictions this year are estimating that the worst months for sargassum will be June and July.
While typically there is less of the seaweed during the fall and winter months, sargassum can arrive on the beaches at any time throughout the year.
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@theteacherandthetrucker Sargassum as far as the eye can see. #tulum #mexico #sargassum #sargasso #fyp #travel #traveltiktok ♬ Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) [feat. Tobymac] – Grits
Sargassum’s Effect On Tourism
When sargassum arrives in the Mexican Caribbean it washes onto the beaches, sometimes completely covering them.
It not only takes away from the beauty of these stunning white sand beaches but also smells bad too, making it not just an aesthetic issue but an issue that affects multiple senses.
While its presence doesn’t necessarily slow down tourism, it does keep many tourists off of the beaches when it arrives in huge amounts.
@jessculotta I can honestly smell this video 💀 #tulum #tulummexico #sargazo #sargassum #sargazocancun #sargazoplayadelcarmen ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
Solutions To Sargassum
While there may not be a permanent solution to the growing sargassum problem, there are many ideas being tossed around.
Various task forces have even been formed over the last year or so to address the problem, proposing ideas like having naval ships collect it at sea and harvesting it to be used as fertilizer.
Barriers are one of the most commonly used ways to keep it off the shore, though, in addition to collecting it after its arrival.
@sargassummonitoring 02/04/2023 #Mexico ♬ original sound – Sargassum Monitoring
The Barriers Being Installed In Tulum
The total length of the barrier that will be installed in Tulum is just over a mile and a half.
The installation of the barriers began on May 12th and the expected completion date is May 25, 2023.
The barrier will run north from Santa Fe Beach in the southern part of Tulum.
They will stay in place throughout the remainder of this year’s sargassum season and are not scheduled to be removed until November 15, 2023.
@marton1105 #sargassum #seaweed #caribbean #mexico #tulum #sea #parati #foryou #nekedbe ♬ eredeti hang – Marton1105
Why Luxury All-Inclusives Are The Best Option During Sargassum Season
One of the great things about luxury all-inclusives in the Mexican Caribbean is that they typically have multiple pools on the property.
Many of these overlook the Caribbean Sea, allowing you to enjoy the scenery while cooling off in the pool.
This allows visitors to avoid sargassum but still enjoy the beautiful tropical weather that so many visit the Mexican Caribbean for.
@thereallyndsey Tulum has been amazing so far! Vacation with me 😎 #tulum #vacation #beachside #poolside #allinclusiveresort ♬ Fiesta Mexicana – Musica Mexicana
What To Do When The Beaches Are Full Of Sargassum
There are plenty of things to do in and around Tulum when you want to avoid the sargassum-plagued beaches.
Visiting ancient Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes, visiting nearby Magic Towns, or spending a day at an adventure park are all great options.
Hopefully, though, with the new sargassum barrier being installed, visitors will get to enjoy Tulum’s amazing beaches this summer.
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