The seaweed on Mexico beaches is simply a natural phenomenon. Seaweed, also known as sargassum, tends to arrive far offshore, but ocean currents have brought it to the shores of Mexico’s Caribbean coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The seaweed levels vary day by day, and you can follow them by webcam at the major beaches.
There are a number of different theories for the rise in the seaweed over the last few years. These include changing climate and wind patterns; nutrient-rich waters; and less hurricane activity, meaning the shredding of the seaweed by storms is reduced.
However, there’s no cause for concern. The sargassum on the beach is constantly being removed, especially from the beaches of the popular hotels. You can also easily swim past the first strip of seaweed to find crystalline waters, especially by Playa del Carmen.
Where to Avoid the Seaweed on Mexico Beaches
If you want to avoid the seaweed and still enjoy sea and sand, then don’t worry. Thanks to their location, the islands of Holbox, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel all have west-facing beaches that are either relatively or completely sargassum-free. There are also lots of tours and excursions in Cancun and further inland in the Riviera Maya. These are just as fun as a day on the beach.
You can easily visit the island of Cozumel in one day. There are tours offering snorkeling, shopping and beach fun during a fantastic day out. The island biosphere reserve Holbox is a little further away and more remote, but is still easy to do. The tour to this almost-virgin island includes fishing, snorkeling and admiring untouched beach landscapes.
Isla Mujeres is an island easily accessed from Cancun and features one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa Norte. It is rare to see seaweed on this beach and it is truly breathtaking, flanked by traditional beach clubs. Here you can also visit the Underwater Art Museum (MUSA) and enjoy incredible snorkeling.
Take a Land Tour, where no Sargassum is Present
One of the most popular tours is Xplor, a fantastic adventure park offering zip-lines, rafting in underground rivers, and excitement on amphibious vehicles. This tour is also available at nighttime, giving a completely different feel. Given that the park is located inland, it’s far away from the seaweed.
Mexico’s Caribbean coast also has other iconic, seaweed-free places for you to enjoy a refreshing swim, such as any of the region’s “cenotes” (sinkholes). You could also go to the eco-water park Xel-Ha, which is a picturesque natural inlet featuring excellent snorkeling and a wide variety of other water-based activities.
Don’t Let Seaweed Deter You from Enjoying the Beach
In conclusion, the seaweed on Mexico beaches is something natural that comes as a result of changing wind patterns. Hardworking local crews remove it constantly by raking the beach, and you easily avoid the seaweed. Look for west-facing beaches and take the chance to visit one of the picturesque Caribbean islands. Plan your trip well and you won’t even notice the seaweed. There is so much to do here in the region, hidden treasures to find, and action-filled tours to enjoy.