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Sargassum Seaweed in Cozumel

Sargassum Seaweed in Cozumel

Sargassum Seaweed in Cozumel

Like birds–tourists are migrating to Cozumel to flee the advancement of sargassum because the seaweed has not invaded the western beaches of this island and the water is still crystal clear. Because of the sargassum invasion in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Playa del Carmen, many travelers have opted to move to Cozumel instead of staying on the mainland of the Mexican Caribbean. SEE THE CURRENT SARGASSUM CONDITIONS HERE.

What is causing the Sargassum to grow in such quantities?

Experts believe it has a lot to do with the currents, global warming, wastewater, and other pollution supplying nutrients for the algae to grow. Understand that there is a sizeable amount of seaweed growing between the coast of Africa and Brazil, an area they have coined the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt. The seaweed moves from the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt to Mexico and the Caribbean region by hitching a ride on currents. As it makes its way along these streams, the sargassum picks up more and more nutrients and continues to grow.

We are happy not to have all the Seaweed of the Mainland

Good news if you’re visiting the most beautiful island of the Mexican Caribbean. The west side of Cozumel is free of algae. The east side of Cozumel works as a natural barrier for the rest of the island and it is getting hit by the seaweed arrivals.

This means that Cozumel continues to be one of the least sargassum-affected municipalities and maintains clean western beaches (different from the landscape of other Quintana Roo destinations). 

The phenomenon will continue throughout the summer and the issue is being dealt with. This translates into tourist benefits and allowed Cozumel to receive the title “Sargassum Free”. On Cozumel’s west-facing beaches, the hotels (Iberostar, Occidental, Secrets, El Presidente, Cozumel Palace, Hotel B, Coral Princess, and Westin), and beach clubs never have the seaweed problems of the mainland.

Seaweed Tourism

As a direct consequence of this natural phenomenon, some hotels and tourism agencies have created a seaweed-tourism industry that will provide access to clean beaches and the natural phenomenon. There are several companies that offer this experience. These companies organize snorkeling trips to look at the underwater beauty and take photos of the seabed. Some companies provide their guests with special masks that allow them to dive in the ocean with this seaweed and see what it’s like to go under the waves while swimming through the sargassum. There are companies that even bring the sargassum from the east to the west coast.

In addition, many flights take you over the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt and you will see the immense amount of seaweed growing on the coast of Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean Sea. It is a beautiful sight that allows us to understand the importance of preserving our planet and its environment. What we can do to avoid this scenario is to stop polluting the planet. This way we preserve the fresh waters of the oceans which sustain life.

We hope that you will enjoy your stay in Cozumel. Be sure to take advantage of the sargassum-free beaches! We would love to hear what you think about this article and the topic of sargassum-free beaches on the island of Cozumel. What do you think is the best beach in Cozumel? Let us know at for a seaweed update or check availability at our four 15th Avenida Airbnbs.

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