Algae in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum
Unfortunately, since we are currently finding algae on the beach from time to time, I thought I would write you an article on the subject. Especially in Tulum, which is famous for its paradisiacal beaches, lemons have been traded when the beaches are full of algae.
Unfortunately, it can always happen that you book your vacation in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum and find so-called sargassum on the beach. Depending on how unlucky you are, you will find more or less algae. Unfortunately, the problem exists on all beaches throughout the Caribbean. I just saw pictures of the beaches in Punta Cana and it looks the same there.
Instead of long white sandy beaches with crystal clear
turquoise blue water, you will find a beach contaminated with brown/black algae. You don’t even want to think about swimming anymore.
These algae are called sargassum . Sargassum is a species of brown algae. It occurs worldwide in warmer seas and has only been washed up on the Caribbean beaches again and again for a few years. These free-floating algae are primarily found in the form of “colonies or forests” in the Sargasso Sea . This represents a special habitat for small crabs, worms and other sea creatures. All in all, these algae are actually a great thing. Due to climate change, however, the algae are washing up on the beaches and making bathing a nightmare for people.
The longer the algae lie “dead” on the beach, the more
more they start to stink. It stinks of rotten eggs and the seaweed attracts stinging sand fleas and jellyfish. It is therefore the “fault” of the respective city or simply a question of money as to how the algae are removed. Cleaning is very expensive and with the large amounts washed up you need a lot of helping hands.
Unfortunately, there are actually no specific “times” when these algae are washed up on the beach. At first I thought it was just a “summer issue” since we were hit particularly hard in Cancun in August 2017, but that’s not true. It can also happen that one day you are particularly badly affected and the next day only a few algae are washed up. It’s worth googling for the relevant webcam and then deciding which beach to go to.
If we want to go to the beach, I’ll check
first the various webcams in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Here you get to the webcams in Cancun. Here you get to the webcam of Playa del Carmen and here to the webcam in Tulum. Since the webcam in Tulum has been offline for a few days, you can view the webcam in Akumal here . As a rule, you can assume that if Akumal is full of seaweed, so is Tulum. The places are in the immediate vicinity.
What advice can I give you as an “insider”? Before booking, I advise you to choose a hotel with a pool, so you are on the safe side. If you would like to go to the beach, it is worth checking the webcams and choosing a beach that is free of algae.
When Playa del Carmen is full of algae, we always switch to 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, has no entrance fee or minimum consumption and is a good and, above all, inexpensive alternative when the beach is full of algae. The only “shortcoming” is the cheap booze that is sold there. But the location is nice and there is usually a DJ there.
Tulum has had this seaweed on the beach for at least 6 months, sometimes more and sometimes less. I still love Tulum because the city is just beautiful. One can find many small but great boutiques in the hotel zone or eat and drink something delicious in the many small restaurants.
My tip at this point is to visit the Laguna de Kaan Luum or to take a trip to a cenote, such as the Cenote Dos Ojos or the Gran Cenote . I can also highly recommend a day trip to Sian Kaàn or the ” Xel-Ha ” park.
The seaweed can cover any beach along the Riviera
Meet the Maya, but it’s always worth checking out the webcams here in Quintana Roo, as not all beaches are equally infested! It’s entirely possible that Tulum is full of seaweed and Cancun doesn’t have a single seaweed on the beach! Unfortunately, I have even found the beach at Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres full of algae. At first I thought it wouldn’t be possible there. Unfortunately, I was taught better.
For the sake of completeness, here is the link to the webcam on Isla Mujeres and Cozumel .
Based on experience, I would say that the “algae-free time” is from 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 of this.
It can happen that you have algae on the beach for a few days and then no more are washed up. It’s like the weather, sometimes there’s rain, sometimes there’s sunshine. It’s the same with algae. However, the beaches are regularly cleaned and the cities are working on solutions, as this is of course an immense problem for tourism.
I will definitely keep you updated on the topic on my blog!
Hello, my dears,
At this point I would like to give you a short update on the algae plague in Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Mahahual. The first tests in the aforementioned cities with the floating barriers have been underway since the weekend . The aim is to intercept the algae in the water far from the beach and to get them out of the water there in order to then dispose of them. The next few weeks will show in practice whether the issue of algae plague is noticeably improved by this method.
Hello, my dears,
a quick update. Things are looking a lot better on the beaches at the moment, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and also Tulum. It’s either the storms we’ve had or the floating barriers are helping!
I will probably go to Playa del Carmen next week and will take you with me via Instagram story and also save it in my highlights.
Hello, my dears,
We were in Playa del Carmen on Saturday and the beach was completely free of algae and the sea was beautiful again. I saved the videos and pictures from the beach in my story highlights under “Playa del Carmen” .
Have fun watching!
As of 12/24/2018
Hello and Merry Christmas dears!
At the moment all the beaches are beautiful and super clean. I wish you a nice holiday and a happy new year!!!