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What Seaweed?! This Popular Resort Destination South Of Cancun Is Leading The Fight Against Sargassum

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As Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean head into one of the busiest summer seasons on record, a number of resort hotspots in the sunny region are bolstering their sargassum strategies. 

One standout among the crowd is Playa del Carmen, a quaint city destination just south of Cancun. 

aerial view of a white sand beach in playa del carmen

With tons of sargassum seaweed expected to affect the coastal destination, officials have announced a host of measures to tackle the foul-smelling macroalgae. 

From hiring more cleaners to deploying more specialized machinery, Playa del Carmen stands out as one of the better-prepared destinations when it comes to sargassum seaweed. 

sunset in playa del carmen with sargassum. on beach

With that in mind, here’s a look at what Playa del Carmen is doing to keep city beaches clean this summer

Playa del Carmen Steps Up Beach Cleaning Efforts Ahead Of Busy Summer Season 

Numerous seaside resort destinations across the Mexican Caribbean are preparing for one of the busiest summer seasons on record. 

While Cancun continues to lead the way as the most sought-after resort area in the region, nearby Playa del Carmen is attracting visitors in droves. 

tractor and cleaners on beach with sargassum

Home to numerous white-sand beaches – the city boasts several Blue-Flag-certified locations – Playa del Carmen is an excellent choice for beachgoers. 

But as temperatures soar across the sunny region, officials are anticipating a huge amount of sargassum seaweed to invade Playa del Carmen beaches on a weekly basis. 

Fortunately, the sunny resort hotspot has announced significant investments in keeping beaches clear from sargassum seaweed. 

Swings on a Beach in Tulum, Mexico

The city’s Zofemat agency – entrusted with beach cleanliness – maintains constant situation awareness in order to tackle growing sargassum levels. 

The head of the agency Adrian Medina says that cleaners have collected over 200 tons of sargassum seaweed from local beaches so far this year. 

xcaret park in playa del carmen with traveler

But as summer temperatures continue to rise, experts say more sargassum could soon be heading towards Playa del Carmen, potentially disrupting the vacation of thousands of arriving visitors. 

To cope with above-average sargassum levels, Playa del Carmen has hired more cleaners. More than 140 cleaners currently make up the bulk of the city’s sargassum efforts, although more workers would be hired before the peak of the summer season, Medina added. 

In addition to manual labor, the city has also purchased more high-tech machinery to keep beaches spotless. From trucks to excavators, Playa del Carmen environmental officials are confident the city will be able to keep sargassum at bay. 

Crowd of Tourists on a Playa del Carmen Beach on a Hot Sunny Day

But sargassum isn’t the only threat facing Playa del Carmen beaches; trash and pollution are another major source of concern for local politicians, who have responded by building more recycling points and trash bins. 

Even though the city is prepared for looming sargassum patches, which form over the Atlantic Ocean, it is likely there will be times when the city’s resources run thin. 

Travelers can check the latest sargassum situation on the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network Facebook page. The non-profit organization publishes regular color-coded updates for numerous beach destinations in the region. 

Lifeguard Chair on a Sargassum-Free Beach in Isla Mujeres

Aside from its top-rated beaches – including the likes of Playa Esmeralda – Playa del Carmen is home to numerous attractions that can be enjoyed without worrying about sargassum.

From Xcaret Park’s underground rivers to Puerto Morelos’ stunning Ruta de los Cenotes, travelers can enjoy several activities that are perfect for when there’s too much sargassum on local beaches.

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