The idyllic coastal town of Akumal is seeing its popularity explode as travelers flock to its sargassum-free shores.
Located south of Cancun, Akumal has redoubled efforts to remove seaweed from its beaches, making this sun-soaked destination one of the best Riviera Maya getaways this summer.
With sargassum seaweed plaguing many Mexican Caribbean hotspots, here’s why travelers are flocking to Akumal’s stunning white-sand shores.
Akumal Popularity Grows Amid Sargassum Concerns
Sargassum seaweed has become an all too common sight across many Mexican Caribbean resort towns this year.
From Cancun’s Blue-Flag beaches to Playa del Carmen, travelers have had to come to terms with the dramatic consequences of climate change.
But one Riviera Maya destination has turned the tide by drastically ramping up cleanliness measures across its beaches. Akumal, a sunny resort community some 60 miles south of Cancun, is home to an array of stunning white-sand beaches that are seeing much less sargassum than other Riviera Maya locations.
The tropical destination is already among the best places for snorkeling and scuba diving, thanks to its abundance of marine wildlife, but in recent weeks, it’s become a magnet for beach lovers as officials step up anti-sargassum measures.
@monagyns Swimming with turtles 🐢💦🐚💚 #turtle #akumal #mexico #swim #fyp ♬ this is what falling in love feels like – JVKE
Akumal officials have worked tirelessly to spruce up local beaches and have joined efforts with state and federal partners to remove as much sargassum as possible.
According to local hospitality organizations, occupancy rates in Akumal have reached as high as 70% in recent weeks, up significantly compared to previous years. While that number is far from Cancun’s record-shattering figures, it’s excellent news for travelers, who can look forward to lower nightly accommodation rates and emptier beaches.
According to Manuel Aguilar, a local businessman employed in the tourism sector, the locale is well-prepared to confront record sargassum levels.
“Everyone knows Akumal is famous for its turtles, and although more seaweed keeps arriving, all of the stakeholders here are working to keep beaches clean,” he said in an interview.
Akumal is home to an array of tour companies that specialize in the city’s flourishing wildlife, such as Ocean Tours, a top-rated local company that offers snorkeling tours for just $89 per person.
Travelers can find a handful of luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the stunning seaside destination, such as Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya or Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort. Offering serenity amid tropical nature as well as countless fun amenities, Akumal is a well-rounded choice for your next vacation.
The Riviera Maya is one of the most heavily affected regions when it comes to sargassum, with hotspots like Playa del Carmen and Tulum reporting record seaweed levels. In some cases, authorities have even gone so far as to close public sargassum-covered public beaches for health and safety concerns.
Those visiting Akumal in the coming weeks can generally look forward to much less sargassum than in other Riviera Maya hotspots, especially as the city continues to invest more in anti-seaweed measures.
Travelers can check the sargassum situation across the Mexican Caribbean on the Sargassum Monitoring Network’s Facebook page. Environmental officials publish weekly updates allowing tourists to plan their vacations accordingly.
While sargassum is a reality that many travelers will have to face, destinations in the Mexican Caribbean are full of fun alternatives to seaweed-covered beaches. With thousands of cenotes – freshwater lagoons – not to mention dozens of well-maintained historical ruins, the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo is the ideal tropical getaway – with or without sargassum.
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