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These Popular Cancun Beaches Are Covered In Sargassum After Recent Storm

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Several popular beaches in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have seen an uptick of sargassum seaweed in the wake of the powerful category 2 Hurricane Beryl.

Although the hurricane caused only minor damage to several locations in the Mexican Caribbean, strong ocean currents & wind resulted in tons of sargassum seaweed washing up on several popular Cancun & Isla Mujeres beaches. 

a cleaner removing sargassum seaweed from a cancun beach

Workers & cleaners have had their work cut out for them as they continue to remove huge quantities of the macroalgae from local beaches.

With just a few days to go until the travel surge of the summer season, Cancun is gearing up for thousands of travelers to enjoy its white-sand beaches daily. 

a large patch of sargassum on a playa del carmen beach

As sargassum continues to threaten the otherwise pristine Mexican Caribbean coastline, here’s the latest on the region’s seaweed situation.

Workers Rush To Remove Sargassum From Popular Cancun & Isla Mujeres Beaches

Last week, hurricane Beryl made landfall in Tulum as a category 2 hurricane, causing heavy rain, power cuts, and minor damage to parts of the Mexican Caribbean. 

Although the affected areas have restarted all services that were temporarily shut down, the lingering effects of the hurricane can still be seen in the form of sargassum seaweed. 

a storm approaching cancun during summer

Several Cancun and Isla Mujeres beaches are currently dealing with above-average levels of the smelly seaweed. 

Playa del Nino, a popular beach just north of Cancun’s resort zone, has been particularly affected by tons of sargassum seaweed, with the white-sand beach nearly entirely covered by the foul-smelling algae earlier this week.

Fortunately, intense cleaning efforts over the past several days mean that the beach is slowly returning to its normal state, meaning travelers can expect Playa del Nino to be largely sargassum-free by the end of the week.

Playa del Niño in cancn with no sargassum

According to the latest sargassum update published by the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network, most Cancun beaches currently have low to moderate seaweed levels, largely thanks to strengthened clean-up efforts over the past several days.

Beaches in Isla Mujeres have also seen an uptick in sargassum levels, with an estimated 300 tons of seaweed impacting the coastline of the popular tropical island as well as in Costa Mujeres.

new resort development in costa mujeres

Cleaners from more than 18 hotels and resorts on the island have ramped up cleaning efforts this week.

The goal, volunteer organizations say, is to ensure that Isla Mujeres beaches are fully prepared for the incoming travel surge, which is expected to begin on July 15th, the start of the busy summer season. 

While the sargassum situation is expected to mild this summer – especially compared to previous years – ocean currents and evolving weather conditions can make predicting seaweed levels a challenge. 

Sargassum catching barriers

Travelers headed to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean this summer can track the sargassum situation through several websites, including the regional Sargassum Monitoring Network, which posts regular beach updates.

Numerous resort hotspots in the region have implemented new policies to deter sargassum from affecting local beaches.

From new sargassum barriers in Playa del Carmen to over a dozen vessels from the Mexican Navy, officials are hopeful that sargassum seaweed will be kept at bay this summer.

aeriel view of cenote in Tulum

Although travelers can mostly look forward to enjoying the Mexican Caribbean’s splendid white-sand beaches this year, it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst.

From underground rivers in Playa del Carmen’s Xcaret Park to cenotes in the nearby Puerto Morelos, travelers can explore several sargassum-free alternatives in case their favorite beach is covered in seaweed.

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