Seaweed in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum
Since we currently unfortunately have seaweed on the beach again and again, I thought to myself, I write you a post on the subject. Especially in Tulum, which is famous for its paradisiacal beaches it´s terrible when you have the seaweed at the beaches.
Unfortunately, it can always happen that you book your holiday in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum and find so-called Sargassum on the beach. Depending on how much bad luck you have, you will find more or less algae. The problem unfortunately exists on all beaches throughout the Caribbean. I have just seen pictures of the beaches in Punta Cana and it looks the same there.
Instead of long white sandy beaches with
crystal clear turquoise water, you will find a beach contaminated with brown / black algae. You do not even think about swimming anymore.
These algae are called Sargassum. Sargassum is a brown algae species. It is found in warmer seas around the world and has only been flushed to the Caribbean beaches for a few years. Mainly you will find these free-floating algae in the form of “colonies or forests” in the Sargasso Sea. This is a special habitat for small crabs, worms and other marine animals. All in all, these algae are actually a great thing. Climate change, however, causes the algae to be flushed to the beaches and make bathing a nightmare for humans.
The longer the algae are “dead” on the beach,
the more they start to stink. It stinks of rotten eggs and the algae attract stinging sand fleas and jellyfish. Therefore, it is with the “blame” of each city, or is simply a matter of money how to deal with the elimination of algae. The cleaning is very expensive and with the large amounts you need a lot of helping hands.
Unfortunately, there are actually no specific “times” at which these algae are flushed to the beach. At first I thought it was a “summer problem”, as we were hit particularly hard in Cancun in August 2017, but that’s not true. It may also be that one day is particularly hard hit and the next day only a few algae are washed ashore. It is worth to google the webcam and then decide which beach to go.
If we want to go to the beach I first check
the different webcams in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Click here for the webcams in Cancun. Here you will get to the webcam of Playa del Carmen and here to the webcam in Tulum. Since the webcam in Tulum has been offline for several days, you can watch the webcam in Akumal here. As a rule, if Akumal is full of algae, then Tulum is the same. The places are in the immediate vicinity.
What can I give you as an “insider” for a tip? Before booking, I advise you to choose a hotel with pool, so you’re on the safe side. If you want to go to the beach, it is worth checking the webcams and dodge a beach that is free of algae.
When Playa del Carmen is full of algae we always go for a rooftop bar with an infinity pool.
In this post you will find some hotels in Playa del Carmen that have an infinity pool. The Reina Roja Hotel, for example, costs no entrance fee or minimum consumption and is a good and, above all, inexpensive alternative if the beach is full of algae. Only deficit is the cheap buzz that is sold there. But the location is nice and most of the time a DJ plays there.
Tulum has had these algae on the beach for at least 6 months, sometimes more and sometimes less. I love Tulum anyway, because the city is just beautiful. You can find in the hotel zone many small but great boutiques or something delicious in the many small restaurants.
My tip at this point is to visit the Laguna de Kaan Luum or make a trip to a cenote, such as the Cenote Dos Ojos or the Gran Cenote. Also a day trip to Sian Kaan or the park “Xel-Ha” I can highly recommend.
The algae can hit any beach along the Riviera
Maya, but it’s always worth watching the webcams here in Quintana Roo, as never all the beaches are equally affected! It may be that Tulum is full of algae and in Cancun not a single alga can be seen on the beach! Unfortunately, I have already found the beach on Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres full of algae. I first thought it would not be possible there. Unfortunately, I was taught wrong.
From experience, I would say that the “algae-free time” in the months of October to January. However, since we are in the middle of a climate change and nature does what it wants, I would like to point out that my statement is no guarantee.
It can happen to one, which one has a few days algae on the beach and afterwards no more stranded. It’s like the weather, sometimes there’s rain, sometimes sunshine. It’s the same with the algae. The beaches, however, are cleaned regularly and the cities are working on solutions, as this of course is an immense problem for tourism.
I’ll definitely keep you up to date on my blog!