Cancun SEAWEED Problem [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!

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It is no secret that Cancun is currently one of the top travel destinations in the world. Especially, if you want a super affordable travel destination along with magnificent beaches, then Cancun definitely should be on your bucket list.

Cancun, due to its affordable all-inclusive packages and gorgeous white sand beaches, attracts countless tourists from all over the world. However, for the last few years, Cancun has been facing a sargassum problem which has been a big concern for the people visiting this city.

Sargassum is a type of seaweed that usually lands on Mexico’s Caribbean beaches in the summer season with the help of ocean currents. However, when this seaweed lands on Cancun’s beaches, it ruins their beauty and makes it almost impossible to explore water-related activities like swimming and snorkeling.

Unfortunately, Cancun and other top travel destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast are still facing this problem in 2023. That is why, if you are planning a trip to Cancun in 2023, you should first check the sargassum conditions of the beach you intend to visit.

In this article, we have given detailed information about current sargassum conditions in Cancun, sargassum season in Cancun, and the forecast for sargassum in Cancun in 2023.

Cancun SEAWEED Problem [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!

Cancun Seaweed Forecast 2023The sargassum season in 2023 is expected to be just as bad as the one in 2022. Cancun is expected to face a huge sargassum crisis in 2023.
Cancun Seaweed Season 2023The Seaweed season in Cancun runs from April to October every year.
Best Seaweed-free Beaches near Cancun in 2023West-facing beaches of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel

Does Cancun still Have a Sargassum Problem in 2023?

Sargassum seaweed is a huge problem in Cancun and other parts of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, and it has been getting worse every year since 2015.

In fact, Cancun and other parts of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline faced their worst sargassum crisis to date in 2022, when a record 37,000 tons of sargassum arrived on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline.

Unfortunately, 2023 will be no different. Along with other popular travel destinations like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Cancun is expected to face a huge sargassum crisis in 2023.

In fact, as per the latest data and satellite images, experts are predicting that the sargassum crisis in 2023 could be as bad as the one in 2022, or even worse.

Another important thing to note is that Cancun is expected to be sargassum-free for the first three months of 2023 (January 2023 to March 2023).

But, as it does every year, the amount of sargassum coming to Cancun is expected to get a lot worse starting in March 2023.

In other words, the amount of sargassum washing up on Cancun’s beaches will increase significantly from the beginning of March 2023. So, if you are planning a trip to Cancun, make sure to check the sargassum conditions on the beach/place you intend to visit before you plan your trip.

However, it is also important to understand that this problem is not limited to only Cancun. Almost all Caribbean countries and other top travel destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast (like Tulum and Playa del carmen) are also facing this huge problem.

Also, another point to notice is that neither tourists nor hoteliers desire the presence of sargassum on their beaches. That’s why the Mexican government and the local hoteliers are also working tirelessly to tackle this problem and keep beaches as clean as possible for tourists.

The good news is that the Mexican government (and local hoteliers) are far better prepared to deal with the sargassum problem in 2023 than they were in 2022. Mexican government and hoteliers have invested millions of dollars in cutting-edge technologies like the sargassum barrier to tackle this problem and keep beaches as clean as possible for tourists.

Cancun Sargassum Forecast 2023

As of January 2023, Cancun and other parts of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline are sargassum free. And, it is expected to remain so until March 2023. The strong northern winds will keep seaweed away from Cancun’s coastline until March 2023.

In other words, if you visit Cancun in the first three months of 2023, you will find gorgeous sargassum-free beaches, sparkling turquoise blue water, and beautiful weather, the perfect conditions for every beach lover.

However, seaweed conditions will change rapidly from March 2023. With the increase in sea temperature, the sargassum conditions will start to worsen from the beginning of March 2023.

In fact, Zofemat (Zona Federal Maritimo Terrestre) stated in a recent report that they expect to receive the same amount of sargassum as in 2022 or even more than in 2022.

In other words, the sargassum season in 2023 is expected to be just as bad as the one in 2022 or even worse. Cancun is expected to face a huge sargassum crisis in 2023, and the first major sargassum wave is expected to arrive on Cancun’s beaches in March 2023.

And, as it does every year, the amount of sargassum washing up on Cancun’s shoreline will increase continuously from March 2023 to October 2023, and again will start to decrease from November 2023 to February 2024 with the decrease in sea temperature.

Especially, the months of July and August are expected to receive the highest influx of sargassum this season.

However, you must know that Sargassum is a natural phenomenon. Therefore, it is unpredictable and very difficult to track.

The sargassum level on every beach varies from day to day and season to season. On some days, you may find large piles of sargassum on the beach, on other days you may find very little sargassum on the same beach, and on other days you may not find any sargassum at all.

In other words, you can’t know for certain what the sargassum conditions will be like on a specific beach the next day.

Cancun Sargassum Season for 2023

The sargassum season in Cancun usually runs from April to October every year. However, in 2022, due to the massive amount of seaweed that was floating in the Atlantic Ocean, the seaweed season 2022 was extended from April to December 2022.

Usually, due to higher sea temperatures, the reproduction of seaweed increases significantly every year during the months of April to October. And that’s why, during this period, massive piles of seaweed land on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline every year.

However, as the temperature starts to decrease from October to February, the concentration of sargassum also decreases significantly. Apart from that, strong northern winds from January to March help keep seaweed away from Cancun’s shoreline.

Best Sargassum free Beaches near Cancun in 2023

Sargassum is a tough to track and unpredictable natural phenomenon. Sargassum concentration varies from beach to beach, day to day, and place to place. In other words, you never know what the sargassum situation will be on any given beach tomorrow.

However, it is true that most of the beaches on Mexico’s Caribbean coast including Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del carmen will face the sargassum problem in 2023. In fact, in April 2022, some of the major beaches in Playa del carmen were closed due to massive piles of sargassum on the beaches.

However, there are still places on Mexico’s Caribbean coast where you can enjoy Mexico’s pristine Caribbean beaches without worrying about sargassum. So, let’s find out what are the best places on Mexico’s Caribbean coast where you can enjoy sargassum-free beaches.

West Coast of Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres Seaweed free beach

Isla Mujeres receives the least amount of sargassum compared to other tourist destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline. Like Cozumel, Isla Mujeres has west-facing beaches that due to their location receive little to no sargassum at all.

Playa Norte which is the most famous beach on Isla Mujeres and is considered the most beautiful beach in Mexico is also the best beach to visit on the island if you want to enjoy a sargassum-free beach vacation.

If you want to go to the Isla Mujeres, you will first have to come to Cancun and take a ferry there.

However, we recommend first checking the current sargassum conditions on Playa Norte beach before planning your trip to Isla Mujeres. Here is the link to the live webcam on Playa Norte beach to check the current sargassum conditions on Playa Norte beach of Isla Mujeres.

Privilege Aluxes All-inclusive Resort: If you are looking to visit Isla Mujeres, we recommend you this all-inclusive resort. Privilege Aluxes is a highly rated all-inclusive resort, located on the Playa Norte beach, which is known for its excellent services, hospitality, and food. This fabulous property is definitely a fantastic choice for all types of visitors, including families and couples

West Coast of Cozumel

Cozumel Seaweed free beach

Cozumel, apart from Isla Mujeres, is another place to go if you are looking for sargassum-free beaches. Cozumel’s western shore, due to its geographical conditions, is mostly free of sargassum.

Fortunately, the western shore of Cozumel is its primary tourist zone and the majority of Cozumel’s major beaches and best swimming, and snorkeling sites are also on the western shore. In fact, the number of tourists choosing Cozumel over Cancun is due to Cozumel’s sargassum-free and less congested beaches.

Now, where to stay on Cozumel for sargassum-free beaches:

Iberostar Cozumel All-inclusive: If you are looking for a sargassum-free beach vacation, we recommend you to visit this resort due to its high rating and its proximity to Playa Palancar beach and Playa El Cielo beach. Both of these beaches are the most reliable beaches on the Cozumel for a sargassum-free beach experience.

Secluded beaches of Holbox

Holbox is a small island that is situated on the northern side of the Yucatan peninsula. It is known for its crystal clear blue water, pristine beaches, and relaxed atmosphere.

More crucially, sargassum-free beaches can be found on Holbox throughout the summer season (April to October), when famous tourist locations such as Cancun and Tulum confront severe sargassum problems. Holbox, on the other hand, receives sargassum from October to January.

If you are planning a trip to Holbox, here is our top pick for staying in Holbox:

Mystique Holbox by Royalton: Mystique Holbox by Royalton is undoubtedly one of the top resorts on Holbox island. This highly-rated property is a fantastic choice for all types of visitors, including families and couples.

Is Sargassum Dangerous To Humans?

Sargassum seaweed is generally not harmful to humans while floating on ocean currents. When sargassum lands on the beach, the problem begins. Sargassum starts to decompose on the beach and releases hydrogen sulfide gas. Even at low levels, inhaling this gas can cause eye irritation and breathing issues. Apart from that, hydrogen sulfide gas has an unpleasant odor similar to rotten eggs, making swimming and other water activities almost impossible for visitors.

How to Check Current Seaweed Conditions in Cancun?

Live Cameras

The best way to check the current state of beaches in Cancun (or any destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast) is via live cams. Many hotels or resorts in Cancun have live cameras facing the beaches. These live cams allow you to easily track the current sargassum conditions on the beaches of Cancun.

Check This Website is a website that shows the map where you can check the present sargassum conditions on different destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. You can visit this website to find out which destinations on the Mexican Caribbean coast are currently facing the sargassum problem.

What to Do if there is Seaweed in Cancun?

Sargassum is, unfortunately, would be a big concern in the coming months for anyone visiting Cancun.

However, remember that even if you come across sargassum while vacationing in Cancun, there are innumerable other things to do in Cancun besides visiting its gorgeous beaches.

Cancun did not become the most popular vacation destination in Central America solely because of its beautiful beaches.

Apart from its magnificent beaches, there are endless things to do and explore in Cancun, from its upscale shopping malls to its rowdy nightlife to its mystical Mayan jungles that can easily keep you busy for the duration of your vacation.

Cancun’s Vibrant Nightlife

If you are a party animal, there is no doubt that Cancun is one of the best places to go for you. Cancun is undoubtedly one of the top nightlife destinations in the world.

As the sun sets over the horizon, Cancun transforms into a hive of buzzing nightclubs. You will find numerous nightclubs and pubs in Cancun where you can spend the entire night dancing and drinking.

Cancun is a World-class Shopping Destination

In addition to its wild nightlife, Cancun is renowned for its world-class shopping malls. Cancun’s upscale shopping malls, plazas, and marketplaces make it the perfect vacation for shopaholics.

These shopping malls have everything from cheap souvenirs to contemporary jewelry, cosmetics, and perfumes, as well as traditional Mexican crafts.

We especially, recommend, La Isla shopping mall and Mercado 28, which are one of the most popular shopping spots in Cancun.

Countless Adventure Activities

Explore endless adventure activities in Cancun. From ATV tours to Ziplining to Jungle boat tours, there are endless things to do and explore in Cancun for adventure enthusiasts.

Day trip to Isla Mujeres and Cozumel

If you’re a beach lover who happened to be on vacation in Cancun when sargassum arrives, don’t worry. Take a day trip to Isla Mujeres or Cozumel from Cancun. By ferry, you can reach Isla Mujeres in 30 minutes and Cozumel in 40 minutes from Cancun.

Both Isla Mujeres and Cozumel are Mexico’s hidden beach paradises that are renowned for their pristine beaches and world-class snorkeling locations. Cozumel’s and Isla Mujeres’ west-facing beaches are often free of sargassum due to their geographical locations.

Furthermore, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel provide better beach experiences than Cancun since they are less crowded and less commercialized than Cancun.

Diving in Mystical Cenotes

Cenotes are natural swimming pools that can be found in Mayan jungles and are quite famous among tourists due to their natural refreshing properties.

In fact, cenotes were very important to Mayan people, who believed that cenotes had natural healing properties. So, even if you are unable to access Cancun’s beaches due to sargassum, you can still enjoy these magically refreshing cenotes.

Visit Mystical Chichen Itza

If you love history, you should visit this mystical Mayan city which is located approximately an hour from Cancun. Chichen Itza was once an important religious center and home to over 30,000 Mayans.

It is now home to a number of ancient Mayan monuments, such as temples, pyramids, and cemeteries, that provide glimpses into its mystical and spectacular history.

Explore Cancun’s Underwater Museum

MUSA, or Cancun Underwater Museum, is located near Cancun about 30 feet below the water, and features over 500 life-size sculptures. This museum and its various life-sized sculptures can be explored by diving or snorkeling.

It was built to conserve Cancun’s beautiful coral reef by providing divers with an alternate location. This museum has now become one of Cancun’s most popular attractions.

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Chetan is a travel enthusiast, who finds solace in traveling. Reading, writing, and sharing about outdoor adventures, culture, and traditions has been his lifelong passion.

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