Cancun is a tourist hotspot for many reasons: it combines the rich culture of the Mexican Caribbean with stunning archaeological sites, delicious cuisine and plenty of sun all year round. But the real star of the show is undoubtedly its soft, sandy beaches and azure blue surf.
This summer, an estimated four to five million international tourists who visited Cancun were able to relax on some of the best beaches in the region, including Playa Delfines and Playa Langosta. But this relaxation was short-lived, as devastating amounts of sargassum seaweed have washed up on some of the city’s best beaches.
Sargassum is a leafy-brown algae that floats on the surface of the ocean. When it washes ashore and begins to decompose, it releases a foul smell and taints the natural beauty of the beach, which often discourages swimmers and sunbathers from visiting.
This week, the Sargassum Monitoring Network have found 15 of the region’s beaches to have excessive sargassum, with a further 15 beaches displaying moderate amounts of the troublesome brown seaweed.
In spite of the rising sargassum levels on Cancun beaches over the past few weeks, the Sargassum Monitoring Network have found four beaches in the Cancun area that are completely sargassum free: why not take a trip away from downtown Cancun and visit one of these alternatives?
Located in the north of Quintana Roo state, this beach is a quiet stretch of surf and sand away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Chiquila is known as a quaint fishing town, meaning there is plenty of delicious seafood on hand to sample whilst relaxing on the beach.
Chiquila’s port also has daily sailings to Holbox Island, for tourists who want to tap into their adventurous side. Why not spend the day relaxing in this natural paradise before taking a trip across the water?
Isla Mujeres Playa Centro
Playa Centro is undoubtedly one of the most popular beaches in the entirety of Quintana Roo: with white sands and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder that hundreds of visitors make a point of visiting Isla Mujeres whilst in Cancun.
There are numerous activities to do on this sargassum-free beach, from whale and dolphin watching to paddle-boarding and snorkelling.
The beach is situated directly next to various eateries and bars, not to mention multiple colourful shops selling excellent souvenirs to take home.
Isla Mujeres Punta Sur
Whilst Punta Sur is technically not a beach, it’s a great sargassum-free alternative to visit for avid photographers. Punta Sur is the place to go if you want to top up your tan whilst exploring some of the region’s most stunning sculptures, with a jaw-dropping coastline to match. This unique rocky beach features works of art from over 20 talented Mexican artists, as well as snippets of Mexican archaeology.
The lack of sargassum along the coastline makes it the ultimate spot for taking photos of the Caribbean Sea. Make sure to visit at sunrise or sunset to get an Instagram-worthy shot.
The natural wonder of Isla Contoy is located just off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula, just a few miles away from Cancun’s hotel zone. The island is often considered to be one of the hidden gems of Quintana Roo, as an entirely unspoilt natural paradise.
As the island is only 5 miles long, its sargassum-free white sands are undoubtedly the main attraction. Why not take the ferry from Cancun or Playa del Carmen and visit the island for a day trip? This way, you can avoid the hordes of tourists visiting other beaches, relax away from sargassum and enjoy the natural paradise of the Mexican Caribbean’s plants and animal life.
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.