Playa del Carmen SEAWEED Crisis [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!

Affiliate disclosure: Gohitchhiking is reader supported. If you buy something through a link on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It keeps the coffee flowing☕️. Thanks for your support!

If you are planning a trip to Playa del Carmen, you may be worried about the current sargassum problem in Mexico.

It is no secret that Playa del Carmen, one of the top beach destinations in the world, is currently facing a severe sargassum problem. Unfortunately, the continuous arrival of the sargassum on the beaches of Playa del Carmen has ruined the vacations of many visitors and also negatively impacted the local tourism industry,

Sargassum is a type of seaweed that ruins the beauty of beaches and releases a foul odor that makes it difficult for tourists to enjoy beach activities. So, if you’re planning a trip to Playa del Carmen, especially during the summer, you should first check the current sargassum conditions of the area or beach you’re going to visit.

So, let’s have a look at the current sargassum conditions in Playa del Carmen and the forecast for the coming months.

Playa del Carmen SEAWEED Problem [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!

Playa del Carmen Seaweed Forecast 2023The sargassum season in 2023 is expected to be just as bad as the one in 2022. Playa del Carmen is expected to face a huge sargassum crisis in 2023.
Playa del Carmen Seaweed Season 2023The Playa del Carmen seaweed season usually runs from April to October every year.

However, seaweed has arrived much earlier than expected this year.

As a result, the seaweed season in Playa del Carmen in 2023 is expected to last from February to October.
Best Seaweed-free Beaches near Playa del Carmen in 2023Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and Holbox

Does Playa del Carmen still Have a Sargassum Problem in 2023?

Playa del carmen seaweed 2022

Unfortunately, Playa del carmen along with other top tourist destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast are currently facing a severe sargassum problem. It is true that Sargassum is not a new phenomenon and Every year, in the summer season, Playa del carmen face this problem. However, this year, Playa del Carmen has seen the worst influx of sargassum in recent history.

In fact, Playa del Carmen, along with Tulum, is one of the most affected beach destinations by sargassum this year. Since the beginning of April 2022, the amount of seaweed washing up on the beaches of Playa del Carmen has been increasing steadily month after month.

In fact, during the months of July and August, workers in Playa del Carmen collected an average of 180 tons of seaweed per day from the city’s coastline. Martina beach club, Playa el Recodo, Playa Mamitas, Playa Fundadores, and Playa Esmeralda are some of the most affected beaches by sargassum in Playa del Carmen.

According to a recent report, the situation on some of Playa del Carmen’s major beaches has deteriorated to the point where beachgoers have been denied entry due to the presence of a huge pile of sargassum.

The situation is particularly bad on the beaches of downtown Playa del Carmen, where foul odors and massive sargassum accumulations have made it difficult for tourists to engage in aquatic activities.

Playa del Carmen Seaweed Forecast 2023

There is no doubt that Playa del carmen is currently facing the worst sargassum crisis since 2018. Playa del carmen will encounter a record amount of sargassum on its coastline this year.

It is expected, as it does every year, that the amount of sargassum will increase continuously from April to September with the increase in sea temperature. Especially, it is predicted that in July and August, playa del carmen will experience the worst influx of sargassum this year.

Fortunately, according to the most recent update, the seaweed season in Playa del Carmen is expected to end in late September or early October. But, at the same time, recent satellite images show that there is still a huge amount of sargassum in the Atlantic Ocean that will reach Mexico’s Caribbean coastline until December 2022.

On the other hand, keep in mind that sargassum is very difficult to predict and track. Furthermore, the sargassum conditions can change very rapidly.

It is possible that you will find massive sargassum piles on the beach one day and then find no sargassum at all the next. In other words, do your own research and check the sargassum conditions of the beach you intend to visit before planning your trip.

Playa del Carmen Sargassum Season 2023

Sargassum season in Playa del Carmen usually runs from April to October. During this time period, the reproduction of sargassum accelerates significantly due to the increase in sea temperatures. That’s why, during this time of year, a massive amount of sargassum washes up on the beaches of Playa del Carmen and other parts of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline.

In particular, in July and August, Playa del Carmen sees a massive influx of sargassum on its coastline.

If you want sargassum-free beaches, the best time to visit Playa del Carmen is usually from November to January. Because of the decrease in temperature, sargassum reproduction decreases significantly during this time period.

Is Sargassum dangerous to humans?

Sargassum, when it lands on the beach, releases hydrogen sulfide gas. Sometimes, inhaling this gas can cause eye irritation and breathing problems. Apart from that, Sargassum releases a very unpleasant odor and forms a thick brownish layer on the surface of water that makes swimming and other water activities almost impossible for visitors.

Best Seaweed Free Beaches near Playa del Carmen

Even though popular tourist destinations like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun, are currently facing severe sargassum problems, still there are some places on Mexico’s Caribbean coast where you can enjoy its world-class Caribbean beaches without worrying about sargassum.

So, let’s see where on Mexico’s Caribbean coast you can still enjoy its pristine beaches and participate in various aquatic activities without fear of sargassum.

West facing beaches of Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres seaweed free

If you want to avoid sargassum on Mexico’s Caribbean coast during the summer, Isla Mujeres is unquestionably the best place to visit.

Even in 2022, when all of the major destinations such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum are inundated with record-breaking sargassum influxes, Isla Mujeres is usually sargassum-free.

Furthermore, if you enjoy the beach, Isla Mujeres is a must-see destination. The beaches on Isla Mujeres are thought to be the most beautiful in Mexico.

When compared to Cancun and Playa del Carmen, beaches on Isla Mujeres are less crowded, more beautiful, and less commercialized.

In fact, Isla Mujeres is home to the Playa Norte beach, which is considered Mexico’s most beautiful beach and one of the best beaches to visit on Isla Mujeres if you want to avoid sargassum.

West facing beaches of Cozumel

Cozumel seaweed free

Aside from Isla Mujeres, another popular tourist destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast that receives little to no sargassum is Cozumel. Cozumel is considered Mexico’s most beautiful island, with its pristine beaches and the world’s most beautiful coral reefs.

Cozumel not only has beautiful beaches, but it also has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. But keep in mind that when I say Cozumel is sargassum-free, I mean the west coast of the island.

Sargassum also affects the east coast of Cozumel, as it does Cancun and Tulum. However, doing so on the east coast acts as a barrier, keeping sargassum away from the west coast of Cozumel.

We especially recommend visiting the beaches on Cozumel’s southwest side, such as Palancar Beach and Playa El Cielo.


Holbox is the place to go if you want pristine sargassum-free beaches in a tranquil and relaxed setting. Holbox is a small island off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Holbox is not a commercialized tourist destination in the same way that Cancun or Playa del Carmen are. It is an off-the-beaten-path destination with miles of undeveloped pristine beaches, abundant marine life, and spectacular sunsets.

Photo of author
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.

2 thoughts on “Playa del Carmen SEAWEED Crisis [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!”

  1. It’s Feb 2023, playa coco is the only public beach left in Playa del Carmen without the encroachment of hotels and clubs, the sargassum has been building up for 6 days now and no one is attempting to clear it awa. It’s dreadful, smelly and impedes swimming. Don’t go.


Leave a Comment