Seaweed in a natural part of the ocean but this year, it has been exceptionally bad in many parts of the Caribbean, the Mexican Caribbean and even parts of Florida.

Normal seaweed in the Riviera Maya

Normal seaweed in the Riviera Maya

There are certain areas of the Riviera Maya that are known to have seaweed and the resorts do a great job cleaning it up every morning and during the day but this year, it is sometimes so dense and so thick, that you can’t get to the beach.

So what is this stuff and why is it so bad this year?

The stuff is called Sargassum and it’s a vine like floating algae that normally floats around the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic (near Bermuda). This year, there is a floating mass from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico that according to satellite observations, is the biggest seaweed bloom in the world

Typically Sargassum, in the open ocean, is good providing food and habitat for a number of sea animals including turtles, fish and even birds.  It also helps build and strengthen dunes, so it protects the land and buildings on the shore from storms.

With the amount of seaweed showing up now on the white sandy shores of resort areas all over the Caribbean and the Eastern Coast of Mexico, it’s creating havoc.  Tourists want the clear blue water and don’t want to have to climb over mounds of brown (and sometimes very pungent) seaweed to get into the ocean.  It’s affecting fishermen who can’t fish through the thick seaweed.

Is there anything that can be done about this seaweed?

Sargassum on a very bad day

Other than raking it up with heavy equipment which many resorts have upgraded to, there is really nothing that we can do at this time.  My Vacation Lady is in contact with clients and colleagues all over the Caribbean who are reporting mass amounts of seaweed one day and virtually nothing the next.  Just between beaches, the amount can differ. Unfortunately, it’s an act of nature and other than making our clients aware of the situation this year, and perhaps change destinations to the Pacific Coast of Mexico or Hawaii, there is not much we can do.

For those clients who are only interested in the white sand and clear turquoise waters, we may have to talk a bit more about the possibility of this seaweed effecting your vacations and honeymoons but otherwise, bring water shoes?

Our goals is to help you plan a seamless and stress free vacation or honeymoon experience and if we could have a chat with Mother Nature to get rid of this Sargassum, we certainly would.

There may be certain areas of the Caribbean and Mexico that have less of a problem than others and the experience team at My Vacation Lady can assist in helping you choose the best resort and destination for your dream vacation or honeymoon!