The Mexican Caribbean has enjoyed a mostly sargassum-free winter but sargassum season is now just around the corner again.
In some areas, it looks like it’s going to arrive before the season officially starts.
Playa del Carmen, specifically, is expecting massive amounts of sargassum this month.
Let’s take a look at when it will arrive and what’s being done about it so that tourists can still enjoy the destination’s otherwise stunning beaches.
The Sargassum Forecast For Playa Del Carmen
According to officials in Playa del Carmen, sargassum will start to arrive in larger amounts within the next week.
Some sargassum has already washed up on the beaches this year, though so far in small amounts.
The director of Zofemat, or the Federal Maritime Land Zone, commented that they are ready for it, stating that “As the season progresses, the arrival of seaweed will increase; it is expected that high amounts of sargassum will begin to arrive in the middle of this month, but well, we are prepared.”
@lifeof.hers 📍Playa del Carmen, Mexico, seaweed/sargassum season, July 2021 #fyp #travellife #traveller #mexicotravel #playadelcarmenmexico #sargassum ♬ original sound – Ivca
How Playa Del Carmen Is Dealing With Sargassum
According to Zofemat director Adrian Medina, those preparations include employing more than 100 workers to remove sargassum, with plans to hire more.
Additionally, it was announced last month that barriers would be installed.
Barriers help to keep some of the sargassum from reaching the shore.
There has been no update yet regarding that project, though.
@sargassummonitoring 14/04/2023 #Mexico #Mexique #PlayadelCarmen – El Taj Ubicación en el mapa oficial aquí: https://sargassummonitoring.com/ COMPARTE CON NOSOTROS TUS VÍDEOS Y FOTOS RECIENTES #sargassum #sargasso #sargazo #sargasse #sargassi #algues #algea #seaweed #sargassumbelt #sargassummonitoring ♬ original sound Sargassum Monitoring
Current Sargassum Situation In Nearby Destinations
The Sargassum Monitoring Network provides a continuously updated map of the sargassum situation in the Mexican Caribbean.
Currently, it is showing that much of the coast south of the Cancun Hotel Zone is seeing low amounts of sargassum.
North of Playa Delfines, which is at the southernmost point of the Hotel Zone, all the way to Isla Contoy, is currently without sargassum.
The western side of the island of Cozumel is also free of sargassum right now.
@jamaicantravels 📍#islasmujeres #mexico #🇲🇽 #beach @•✨JTSTRAVELS🌎 ® ♬ sonido original – 🎧🎶
Sargassum – What It Is And What Effects Does It Have
Sargassum is a type of seaweed or algae that is brown in color.
Unlike other types of seaweed, it floats on top of the water and is not harmful to humans.
The problem with sargassum is that it washes up on the beaches and is unsightly and smells bad as it decays.
@elwih Sargassum in Playa Del Carmen after à Rain #Rain #playadelcarmen #mexico #beach #pollution ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
Why Sargassum Isn’t Just A Mexican Caribbean Problem
Places like Playa del Carmen and other Mexican Caribbean destinations are not the only coastal communities to deal with sargassum.
It originates in the Atlantic, where it forms what is known as the Sargasso Sea.
From there it is carried by currents to the Mexican Caribbean and often washes up on beaches in places like Florida along the way too.
@thebutterflyceo #sargassum #sargassumbelt has started to arrive on the shores of S Florida #nature #timetoleave #algaetok ♬ Daydreams – Gentle State
Sargassum Season In The Mexican Caribbean
The official sargassum season is from April through October.
In recent years as sargassum has begun to arrive in larger amounts, though, it has been arriving as early as January in some areas.
The worst part of the season is typically during the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
@fortheroadtravels Playa del Carmen Beach Update 2023 – Sargassum-Free Paradise 🌴 #PlayaDelCarmen #BeachUpdate #RivieraMaya #TravelTip ♬ original sound – For The Road | Travel Mexico
Where To Go To Escape Sargassum When It Arrives In Playa Del Carmen
Surprisingly, even when most of the Mexican Caribbean coast is getting sargassum, there are a couple of places to go that see very little.
One of those places, Isla Mujeres, is just off the coast of Cancun.
The other, Cozumel (specifically on the western side), is off the coast of Playa del Carmen.
If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen in the coming weeks, you can always hop on a ferry to Cozumel to escape the sargassum.
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