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Tourists Flock To Holbox Island To Escape Sargassum In Cancun

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Tourists are increasingly seeking alternatives amid unusually high levels of sargassum in several popular destinations across Cancun. Holbox island, with its beautiful and sargassum-free beaches, is turning out to be a popular choice. The island is seeing a massive influx of sun-seeking tourists and its hotels are recording high occupancy levels. 


Holbox is a popular tourist destination just north of the Yucatan Peninsula. Measuring 26 miles in length, the island’s long coastline makes it ideal for resorts and pristine beaches. Now, it’s gaining popularity thanks to a highly sought-after feature: sargassum-free beaches. Holbox has earned a reputation as a paradise-like island thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and tropical beaches. A popular site for swimming with whale sharks, the island also offers visitors unique and memorable experiences.

Holbox beach

As hotels in Cancun and Playa del Carmen continue to grapple with unusually high levels of sargassum, an increasing number of tourists are discovering Holbox’s natural beauty and tourism potential. The island is seeing a strong recovery in tourism figures thanks to the national and international travelers who head there for a taste of the Mexican Caribbean. The island’s dunes and mangroves protect it naturally from pesky sargassum, offering respite for countless tourists. 

man collecting sargassum

The island is expecting a near-100% hotel occupancy rate this summer as tourists flock to the island. Holbox currently has around 2500 hotel rooms in addition to a selection of private rentals. The summer season is looking good for the island, which expects most of its hotel rooms to be booked during the peak of the season, around July and August. 

Holbox culture

According to Franceso Rossi, a hotel owner who emigrated to the island to seek new tourism opportunities “people are leaving Playa del Carmen because the beaches are in bad shape, and they are looking for other destinations like Holbox”, he said in a statement to Reportur

lifeguard patrolling playa del carmen

Holbox island is home to several luxury resorts, including the 5-star beachfront Villas Flamingo featuring an exclusive spa. St. Somewhere by Karisma is another top choice, where guests can enjoy over 3000 square feet of pristine beach in a secluded setting. The island is one of the best places in Mexico for whale shark tours. Its waters are rich in plankton which makes it an ideal location for marine life. The island also features dense vegetation and plenty of local flora and fauna.

Whale shark Mexico

Holbox can be reached by ferry from Chiquilá, a journey that lasts approximately 25 minutes one-way. Tourists can also choose to book a day trip to the island, which includes pick-up from hotels in Cancun. 

Sargassum: These Are The Most Affected Areas

Playa del Carmen is amongst the most affected destinations this summer by the intrusive seaweed. The municipality has removed up to 16 thousand tons of sargassum so far. Meanwhile, according to the Mexican Secretariat of the Navy, around 28,000 tons of seaweed have been removed from the Mexican Caribbean’s coastal areas, meaning that more than half of it has washed up in Playa del Carmen and Solidaridad. 

seaweed on beach line

Sargassum, a type of algae, has been making the headlines this summer as it washes up on popular tourist beaches in Cancun. The record-breaking summer vacation season coincides with sargassum levels not seen in nearly a decade. The smelly seaweed has been so problematic that hotels have asked the President to send aid to the area in an effort to clean up local beaches. Although harmless for humans, sargassum can be an eyesore, and local businesses have been working for months to find a solution to no avail. 

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Ron Campbell

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Until people start polluting and the thugs start robbing !!