Anyone who regularly vacations in Cancun is well aware of the inevitable presence of sargassum. Seasoned Cancun visitors also know that the winter months are typically the best time to visit to avoid excessive amounts of the ever-present seaweed. But it can also be avoided by visiting certain areas that generally see less sargassum year-round, and there is one beach near Cancun that is the best for avoiding sargassum any time of the year.
What Is Sargassum?
Sargassum is a brown seaweed that washes onto the shores of some Mexican Caribbean beaches, sometimes in massive amounts, and emits a rotten egg odor as it decomposes. It comes from the Sargasso Sea, far out in the Atlantic Ocean, and although it generally doesn’t pose any threat to humans, it can be quite annoying.
What Is Being Done About Sargassum?
Until last year, 2018 was considered the worst year ever for sargassum, but 2022 ended up being just as bad. The arrival of excessive amounts of the seaweed over the last year has led to a massive effort among scientists, public officials, the government, researchers, and others to try to figure out a way to stop it from washing ashore. Everything from installing barriers to having Naval ships collect it while it is still out to sea is being explored, but so far, no highly successful method of keeping it off Cancun’s beaches has been implemented yet.
Where To Go To Avoid Sargassum
Not far from the Cancun Hotel Zone, though, is a small island called Isla Mujeres, and some of the island’s beaches have surprisingly little sargassum. The island, in general, usually has less sargassum than other areas in the Mexican Caribbean, and often none at all. The west coast of the island sees the least amount of it. On the west coast of the island, you’ll find Playa Norte, or North Beach, a beautiful beach that is almost always seaweed-free.
What Makes Playa Norte So Special?
On the western coast of the island, the ocean currents are not as powerful, so not only does it help keep the sargassum away, but it also makes for a fantastic place to swim. Additionally, the calm waters are perfect for enjoying a wide range of activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. The area is also home to an amazing coral reef worth exploring in between soaking up the sun on the pristine white sand beach.
Another Reason To Visit Playa Norte
In addition to being one of the best sargassum-free beaches along the Mexican Caribbean coastline, Playa Norte is also home to some great beach clubs. The Green Demon Beach Club is open daily from 10 am – 8 pm and has beach beds that can be rented for around $25, but there is also a $25 minimum spend on food and beverage required. Tarzan Beach Club is open daily from 9 am – 9 pm and has a bar and restaurant that serves fresh seafood and chair rentals for around $20 for the day for two chairs.
Getting To Isla Mujeres
To get to Isla Mujeres, you’ll have to take a ferry from the Cancun mainland. There are a number of spots to catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres, including one in the Costa Mujeres area and one near the Hotel Zone. The cost for the ferry is between $10 – $20 one way, depending on which ferry you choose, and the trip takes about 20 minutes. Ferry operating times vary depending on the season, so be sure to check the current schedule before planning your trip.
Isla Mujeres has even more to offer throughout the island, but to enjoy a beautiful pristine Mexican Caribbean beach free of sargassum, a visit to Playa Norte is a must.
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