Seaweed in a natural part of the ocean but in the last couple of years, 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 Cancun and 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 sometimes it’s so dense and so thick, that you can’t get to the beach.

The hardest part is that is changes every day.

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

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).  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.  The worst time of year for sargassum is the summer months of May-October in the Cancun/Riviera Maya regions of Mexico, The Dominican Republic and other Caribbean Islands.

Is there anything that can be done about this seaweed?

Sargassum on a very bad day

The resorts do a great job of raking up the sargassum and the Mexican government is trying to block it from hitting the beaches with boats and barriers but it’s naturally occurring and it can change daily so we can never guarantee which beaches may be effected.  It varies based on the size of the sargassum bloom, the ocean current and the winds.

TYPICALLY, the beaches that tend to get the least sargassum are:

  • In Mexico, Playa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres tend to get the least.  North Cancun beaches tend to get less than the Riviera Maya and the west coast of Cozumel is usually better.
  • Grace  Bay in Turks and Caicos are usually sargassum free
  • Aruba’s main beaches are outside of the seaweed belt
  • Jamaica’s 7 Mile Beach and Bloody Beach in Negril are usually sargassum free
  • For the most part, the west coasts of the Caribbean Islands have less sargassum than the east coasts.

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.   We know of 1 hotel in the Dominican Republic that has not had sargassum in over 20 years!

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!