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Why This Gorgeous Island Near Cancun Is The Perfect Sargassum-Free Destination This Summer

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Sargassum is making a comeback in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean after months of nearly seaweed-free beaches in the region.

The sargassum season is already in full swing, and multiple beaches in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel are already experiencing the effects of the foul-smelling macroalgae. 

a beach and palm trees in holbox during good weather

But there is one Mexican Caribbean tropical island paradise where sargassum is rarely seen; Holbox, a tiny island off the coast of northern Quintana Roo, is home to some of the cleanest shores in the region. 

A popular hotspot for nature lovers & backpackers, the idyllic island of Holbox has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to its Instagrammable beaches and stunning landscape. 

Crystal Clear Turquoise Water at a Mexican Caribbean Beach

Now, the island’s government is launching a campaign highlighting the destination’s sargassum-free beaches. 

With that in mind, here’s a look at why Holbox is one of the best sargassum-free destinations in the Mexica Caribbean this summer

Holbox Tempts Travelers With Minimal Sargassum Levels & Remote Beaches 

Cancun travelers can enjoy a number of spectacular island destinations just a short distance away from the resort’s capital.

But this year, the tiny island of Holbox is all the rage with travelers amid reports of record-breaking sargassum amounts this summer. 

sargassum washing up on a playa del carmen beach

Situated around 60 kilometers north of Cancun, Holbox has earned a unique reputation among beach hotspots thanks to its pristine shores, which not only feature powdery white sands but, more importantly, are nearly immune to sargassum. 

Due to the island’s unique geography and an abundance of sand dunes & mangroves, Holbox enjoys a natural barrier to sargassum seaweed, maintaining beaches in excellent condition throughout the summer. 

According to Christian Stenta, the head of the Holbox Hotel Association, traveler numbers can drop by as much as 20% during the sargassum season, which runs from March until November. 

a beach vendor on a beach in holbox

Many travelers mistakingly believe that beaches in Holbox are also affected by sargassum, just like those in Cancun and elsewhere. But in reality, Holbox is one of the few places in the region to enjoy pristine beaches year-round, making this destination one of the safest bets for sun-seeking travelers. 

And although minor quantities of sargassum may find their way to Holbox shores, the city employs a considerable contingent of cleaners to remove seaweed from tourist beaches. 

beautiful beach resort in Tulum with boats

Holbox, which measures just 2 kilometers in width but 42 kilometers in length, offers plenty of beaches, ensuring there is always at least a section of sargassum-free shoreline to choose from. 

The tropical island has seen its popularity grow vastly over the past several years and is currently home to 109 properties with nearly 700 rooms. 

In addition to a copious number of boutique hotels and smaller resorts, the island is a hotspot for vacation rentals, offering large living areas and beachside views. 

a white sand beach with shallow water on holbox

Despite the island’s favorable sargassum situation, Holbox is prone to other, more unpleasant natural catastrophes such as flooding.

However, with new government investments, the island is slowly bolstering its infrastructure, allowing the destination to compete with other mainland hotspots. 

Travelers can reach Holbox by taking an ADO bus to Chiquilá, a nearby port village, where they can make the remaining journey via ferry.

With departures every hour, the island is well-connected to the mainland, enabling everything from day trips to longer stays. 

Hammocks in the Water at a Beach in Holbox, Mexico

Visitors can monitor the latest sargassum situation in Holbox and elsewhere on Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network’s Facebook page, which publishes regular updates concerning the main beach destinations in the region.

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