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Up To 300 Tons Of Sargassum Hitting Playa Del Carmen Beaches Daily

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After enjoying pristine beach conditions for several months in a row, sargassum levels are finally starting to grow across Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, with new reports showing that up to 300 tons of the smelly seaweed could hit Playa del Carmen daily. 

a cleaner on the beach in playa del carmen with lots of seaweed

Sargassum typically appears on the Mexican Caribbean coastline during spring, gradually increasing throughout summer.

This year, the region is bracing for an even larger amount of the foul-smelling macroalgae, and has deployed more cleaners to keep beaches sargassum-free. 

Playa del Carmen is among the most affected destinations by sargassum, lacking any natural barrier against the seaweed, making cleaning efforts all the more important. 

a colorful playa del carmen sign on beach

With that in mind, here’s the latest on the sargassum situation in the Mexican Caribbean and especially Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen Braces For Huge Sargassum Quantities This Month 

The Mexican Caribbean just wrapped up the busiest Easter vacation period on record, with over a million travelers flocking to the sunny region in search of excellent resorts and stunning beaches. 

Fortunately, beaches remained in pristine condition throughout the busy period, with only minimal amounts of sargassum affecting beaches in southern destinations like Tulum. 

Sargassum In the Atlantic Ocean

But that is set to change soon, according to the latest sargassum update published by Quintana Roo’s main environmental agency, the Zofemat.

According to experts from the entity, which is also responsible for keeping beaches clean, warmer weather is likely to cause a spike in sargassum arrivals in the coming weeks. 

In the worst-case scenario, up to 300 tons of sargassum seaweed could wash up on Playa del Carmen’s shores, a worrying sign for both officials and travelers. 

a small beach in playa del carmen

But officials say the city is well-equipped to deal with a dramatic increase in sargassum levels thanks to comprehensive planning, including the deployment of a new larger sargassum barrier as well as more physical labor.

“We know from experience that the warmer it gets, the more sargassum accumulates on shore. But we are prepared to launch a massive clean-up effort at short notice because, as of now, sargassum levels are definitely set to rise,” María Várguez Ocampo, the city’s head of environment, said in a media interview. 

sargassum washing up on a playa del carmen beach

Although the city has yet to deploy its new state-of-the-art sargassum barriers, officials say Playa del Carmen is working closely with the Mexican Navy, meaning that the new measure is just several weeks away from helping prevent seaweed from tarnishing local beaches. 

Playa del Carmen is one of the hardest-hit destinations each year when it comes to sargassum seaweed. Much like Tulum and parts of Cozumel, the city struggles to fully prevent tons of seaweed from washing up on shore. 

Tourists Standing in Sargassum On a Beach in Cancun, Mexico

This year, however, officials are optimistic about new investments in anti-seaweed technology, which will hopefully prevent sargassum from running beachgoers’ holiday plans. 

Travelers can check the latest sargassum situation on Quintana Roo’s sargassum monitoring network, which publishes frequent studies on beach conditions. 

For now, beaches in Playa del Carmen are seeing just several tons of sargassum seaweed per day, but that number is set to explode over the coming weeks, meaning now is the last opportunity to enjoy pristine local beaches. 

aerial view of a white sand beach in cancun with waves

In Cancun and other northern Mexican Caribbean hotspots, the sargassum situation remains calm, although authorities are ready to respond to any sudden changes. 

In addition to spectacular beaches, Playa del Carmen also boasts several cenotes, or freshwater sinkholes, that offer the perfect alternative to seaweed-covered beaches.

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