Tulum Seaweed Problem [2023]: Everything You Need To Know!

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If you are planning a trip to Mexico, there is no doubt Tulum would be on your bucket list. Tulum, which is one of the top beach destinations in the world, is known for its pristine white sand beaches, Mayan ruins, and hippie vibes.

However, if you are planning your vacation to Tulum, you should be aware of the problem of Sargassum seaweed. Sargassum seaweed is a big problem that can ruin your precious beach experience in this beautiful beach town.

Sargassum is a type of seaweed that usually washes up on Tulum’s beaches during the summer season. When it lands on the coastline, it decomposes and releases a foul smell that makes swimming almost impossible for visitors.

That is why, if you are planning a trip to Tulum in 2023, you should first check the sargassum conditions of the beach you intend to visit. So, let’s have a look at the current sargassum conditions in Tulum and the forecast for the next few months.

Tulum SEAWEED Problem [2023]: Everything You Need to Know!

Tulum Seaweed Forecast 2023Tulum is expected to encounter influx of sargassum until September 2023.
Tulum Seaweed Season 2023Tulum seaweed season usually lasts from April to October. However, this year, Seaweed will continue to wash up on Mexico’s beaches until December 2023 and has already started to receive its first landfall as of January 2023.
Best Seaweed-free Beaches near Tulum in 2023Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Holbox, Akumal

Is Tulum facing a Sargassum problem in 2023?

Tulum seaweed 2022

Unfortunately, Tulum, along with other popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, is currently facing a huge sargassum problem. In fact, Mexico’s Caribbean coastline is expected to see another year of sargassum influx that might be as bad as 2022 or even worse.

Tulum has been encountering huge piles of sargassum since the beginning of January 2023. Fortunately, the amount of sargassum washing up on Tulum’s beaches has been low since the start of 2023. According to the latest report, there will be a significant influx of sargassum in Tulum during the months of May to September this year.

In fact, Tulum and Playa del carmen are one of the most affected beach destinations by sargassum this year. The continuous arrival of foul-smelling sargassum on Tulum’s coastline is ruining the beauty of its pristine beaches and has made recreational activities like swimming very difficult for tourists.

However, Sargassum is not a new phenomenon in Tulum.

Every year, Tulum and other major tourist destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast face this problem in the summer season.

This year, however, the Mexican Caribbean coastline has seen the worst influx of sargassum in recent history.

Tulum Sargassum Problem 2023: How bad it is?

Tulum is currently dealing with a major seaweed problem. The massive sargassum piles that wash up on its beaches on a daily basis have had a negative impact on the local tourism industry.

While there is no doubt that the Mexican navy, locals, and hoteliers work tirelessly to keep beaches clean, the constant arrival of massive sargassum piles prevents them from accomplishing their goal.

The other major problem in Tulum right now is that most popular beaches which are dominated by expensive hotels and all-inclusive resorts are being given more attention as compared to quieter beaches that are away from the hotel zone.

One such beach, Playa Paraiso, has been neglected for weeks, resulting in the formation of sargassum heaps on that beach.

As per a recent report by Sipse, the president of the Tulum Hotel Association, David Ortiz Mena along with other hoteliers have raised major concerns to local authorities regarding activating the anti-algae plan to tackle the arrival of the first massive influx of sargassum in the first two months of 2023.

Mena also stated that the foul-smelling brown algae continue to be a major threat to the tourism and hospitality industry in the Coastal cities in the coming summer months of 2023, especially from April to September.

Tulum Sargassum Problem: Forecast for 2023

Tulum is expected to experience a huge sargassum crisis in 2023. In April 2022, it was already known that the massive 32,000 tonnes of sargassum were on their way to Mexico.

According to the most recent update, a massive amount of sargassum will arrive on the Tulum coastline in August and September. Also, recent satellite images show that there is still a significant amount of sargassum in the Atlantic Ocean, which will make its way to the Mexican coast within the next two to three months.

The Directorate of Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat) said that in 2023 the amount of sargassum that is expected to land on the coastlines will exceed last years record, which was 37,000 tons.

Coastal regions of Quintana Roo like Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelas have already started to see arrival of sargassum in the first week of January itself with over 4.57 tonnes of seaweed collected within just first two days of the new year.

Tulum Sargassum Season for 2023

Tulum’s sargassum season usually runs from early April to mid-September. The months of April through October are the hottest in Yucatan and Quintana Roo, providing ideal conditions for Sargassum reproduction. Particularly in June and July, Tulum’s shoreline sees a massive influx of sargassum.

If you want sargassum-free beaches, the best time to visit Tulum is usually from November to February. Because of the reduction in temperature, sargassum reproduction decreases dramatically during this time period.

From all the recent reports and satellite images it can be said that 2023 might be another year that is certainly going to see a lot of seaweed infested beaches, whether its better or worse than 2022, only time will tell.

Best Seaweed Free Beaches on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

It is true that major tourist destinations along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun, are plagued by sargassum. But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit Mexico or enjoy its world-class Caribbean beaches without sargassum.

Sargassum is a problem in popular tourist destinations along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, including Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun. However, this does not necessarily prevent you from visiting Mexico or enjoying its world-class Caribbean beaches without sargassum.

Cozumel: Visit the West Facing Beaches of Cozumel

Cozumel beach seaweed free

Cozumel is without a doubt one of the most dependable places to visit if you’re looking for a sargassum-free beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Because of its unique geographical location, Cozumel’s west-facing beaches, such as Palancar Beach and Playa El Cielo, are usually free of sargassum.

The east coast of Cozumel is affected by seaweed, but it serves as a barrier, receiving the majority of the seaweed that comes to Cozumel, allowing the island’s western coast to remain sargassum-free.

Cozumel, also known as Mexico’s most beautiful island, is known for its pristine beaches, authentic Mexican vibes, cenotes, and world-class snorkeling sites.

If you are planning your trip to Cozumel, here is our top pick for staying in Cozumel for a sargassum-free beach vacation:

Iberostar Cozumel All-inclusive: We recommend this resort if you want a sargassum-free beach vacation because of its high rating and proximity to Playa Palancar and Playa El Cielo beaches. These are the most dependable beaches on Cozumel for a sargassum-free beach experience. Iberostar Cozumel is also an excellent resort for diving and snorkeling activities.

👉 Also read: Cozumel SEAWEED Problem (2023): Everything You Need To Know!

Isla Mujeres: Visit the West Facing Beaches of Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres beach seaweed free

Isla Mujeres is truly one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beach destinations. In fact, it is home to Playa Norte beach, which is regarded as Mexico’s most beautiful beach.

Fortunately, the west-facing beaches of Isla Mujeres, like those of Cozumel, are usually free of sargassum. Even in 2022, when major tourist destinations such as Cancun and Tulum are experiencing severe sargassum problems, Isla Mujeres is typically sargassum-free.

👉 Also read: Isla Mujeres SEAWEED Problem in 2023? Everything You Need to Know!

Holbox

Holbox is a small island that is situated on the northern side of the Yucatan peninsula and is another excellent option if you are looking for sargassum-free beaches.

Holbox is not like other popular tourist destinations such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which are known for their wild nightlife, highly commercialized beaches, fancy shopping malls, and world-class hotel chains.

Holbox, on the other hand, is an off-the-beaten-path destination known for its laid-back vibes, undeveloped white sand beaches, abundant marine life, breathtaking sunsets, and tranquil setting.

In other words, if you are looking for pristine white sand beaches, which are free of sargassum, in a relaxed, tranquil setting then Holbox is the place to go.

Things to Do if there is Sargassum in Tulum

There is no doubt that sargassum is a big concern if you are planning a vacation to Tulum right now.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should cancel your trip to Tulum. Remember that Tulum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America and attracts millions of tourists every year. And, it didn’t become such a world-class tourist destination solely because of its beautiful beaches.

Even if you come across sargassum while vacationing in Tulum, there are countless other things to do in Tulum besides visiting its beautiful beaches.

From its refreshing cenotes to its mystical Mayan jungles to its Mayan ruins, shopping, and yoga and meditation classes, Tulum does have a plethora of activities to keep you occupied for the duration of your vacation.

Here are some of the off-the-beach activities to do in Tulum

Join Yoga and Meditation classes

yoga classes tulum

Tulum has become a well-known destination for yoga and meditation enthusiasts from all over the world. Every year, a large number of people travel to Tulum to immerse themselves in yoga and meditation programs in order to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Boutique Shopping

One of the most popular activities in Tulum is shopping. Tulum is well-known for its boutique shops, which sell inexpensive souvenirs, handmade jewelry, fashionable clothing, and Mexican arts and crafts. In other words, if you are a fashion-obsessed shopaholic, you would love Tulum and its boutique shops.

Dive into Refreshing Cenotes

Cenotes Tulum

If you’re a beach lover who happened to be on vacation in Tulum when sargassum arrives, don’t worry. Visit Cenotes which are Tulum’s mystical natural swimming pools.

Cenotes are natural swimming holes found in Mayan jungles. Cenotes are popular with tourists due to their natural refreshing properties and their importance to the Mayans, who believed Cenotes had natural healing properties.

Visit Archeological sites

History buffs can visit a number of intriguing archeological sites in the area surrounding Tulum. You can learn about Mayan history by visiting Mayan archeological sites such as Coba, Chichen Itza, and Tulum.

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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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