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Playa Del Carmen Beaches Are Clean After Over 5,000 Tons Of Sargassum Removed 

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For the last several years, the amount of sargassum arriving on the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean seems to have peaked.   

Now this year, according to the Secretary of the Environment of Solidarity, it is arriving in lesser quantities than over the last few years.   

Still, the seaweed has washed up in large amounts, but Playa del Carmen beaches are clean after over 5,000 tons of sargassum have been removed.   

Minimal Amounts of Sargassum on a Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Sargassum Explained 

There are probably very few beaches that you’ve been to that don’t have some kind of seaweed either in the water or on the beaches, and seaweed is essentially what sargassum is.   

Scientifically speaking, it is a brown macroalgae that floats on the water’s surface.   

It typically travels in massive amounts and washes onto the shore. 

Sargassum on a Beach in Playa del Carmen

Where Sargassum Comes From 

Sargassum can be found as far as the Atlantic Ocean, which affects some beaches on the east coast of the United States.   

It comes from what is known as the Sargasso Sea, which is situated in the Atlantic.   

It travels along ocean currents to get to the Mexican Caribbean and can be found on most beaches in the region from around April through October.   

Sargassum in the Caribbean Sea

Why Tourists Hate Sargassum 

It’s no surprise that most tourists don’t like sargassum.   

It smells when it begins to decompose, and it isn’t pretty.   

It can also carry little fleas that bite and irritate more sensitive skin.   

Beyond that, it isn’t harmful, but it does take away from the glamor of Playa del Carmen’s otherwise beautiful beaches.   

Woman looking at sargassum on playa del carmen beach

Where Sargassum Is Mostly Concentrated In Playa Del Carmen  

Some areas of Playa del Carmen have more sargassum than others.   

The beaches in the center of the city, Playa Fundadores and Playa 88, typically receive more sargassum.   

Punta Esmeralda, on the north end of the beach, also currently has more sargassum, but overall, there is very little right now due to efficient cleaning.   

Sargassum on a Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

How Sargassum Is Removed From Playa Del Carmen Beaches 

There are a few different methods for removing sargassum from Playa del Carmen’s beaches.   

One is good old-fashioned hard work on the part of officials and locals, who remove it by hand.   

Machines are also used to collect sargassum when massive arrivals occur.   

sargassum truck collecting seaweed in playa del carmen

Preventative Measures Used To Limit The Arrival Of Sargassum 

The best way to keep sargassum off of the beaches is to keep it out to sea, and there are several ways in which this is done.   

The most common one is to install sargassum barriers, which block it off of the coast from washing up on the shores.   

Officials announced earlier this year that barriers would be used in Playa del Carmen at some point this year.   

Naval ships are also used to collect sargassum before it reaches the shore.  

Sargassum barrier

Making The Best Of Your Playa Del Carmen Vacation When Sargassum Invades The Beaches 

If you’ll be visiting Playa del Carmen during the spring or summer months, it is a possibility that you’ll have to deal with sargassum.   

Fortunately, your hotel will likely have multiple gorgeous pools to cool off in.   

The area’s cenotes are also an option and deserve a visit anyway.   

You can also escape to the island of Cozumel, which is just off the coast of Playa del Carmen and is known for getting less sargassum.   

The good news is, in addition to these options, there are plenty of ways to make the best of your Playa del Carmen vacation even if there is a sargassum invasion during your visit to this much-loved destination. 

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