Playa del Carmen beaches are sargassum-free for the first time in 6 months
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Playa del Carmen beaches are sargassum-free for the first time in more than six months as Atlantic hurricane season helps ward off brown algae. The resort has struggled to contain large amounts of Sargassum seaweed over the summer, with authorities cleaning up more Sargassum this year than at any time in the past 6 years.
Tourists and residents of Playa del Carmen encountered an unusual sight this week: clean beaches with a minimal amount of sargassum seaweed. The news comes at a time when Sargassum levels are declining in the Mexican Caribbean.
However, for Playa del Carmen, the development is even more positive as the location of the resort has been plagued by invasive algae during the busy summer season. Despite hiring more workers to clean up the sargassum around the clock, Playa del Carmen is struggling to contain the constant waves of seaweed, which wash up on its shores, prompting tourists to seek cleaner alternatives.
For now, weather conditions such as the formation of powerful hurricanes in the Atlantic prevent Sargassum from reaching the Mexican Caribbean, including Playa del Carmen. Hurricane Fiona, the most recent to hit the Caribbean, is credited with providing respite to the region’s beaches. Tropical storms and hurricanes affect the currents, which then carry the macroalgae out to the Atlantic and away from local beaches.
During the summer months, Playa del Carmen is vulnerable to sargassum buildup, which comes from the depths of the Atlantic waters before heading to the beaches of the Caribbean. With the end of Sargassum season fast approaching, more seaweed is unlikely to reach Playa del Carmen’s beaches, at least for the rest of the month.
According to Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network Last bulletin, all major beaches in Playa del Carmen reported low levels of Sargassum. The same cannot be said for all beaches in the Riviera Maya region, such as Tulum, where moderate levels of seaweed have been reported. Meanwhile, the east coast of Cozumel continued to see excessive levels of Sargassum, while Cancun’s beaches mostly contained moderate to low levels.
Overall, the amount of sargassum washed up on the beaches of Quintana Roo has decreased by more than 48% this week compared to the beginning of the month. The gradual decline in macroalgae levels is particularly noticeable in Playa del Carmen, which implemented a series of measures over the summer to contain the algae. Although largely effective, they only provide temporary relief as more and more sargassum is found on the beaches of Playa del Carmen.
Among other measures, the city installed barriers in the sea with the help of the navy, which prevented algae from reaching the coasts. Local authorities have also partnered with hotels and resorts, which have dedicated cleaners that help keep pesky algae at bay.
Although harmless, Sargassum can be an eyesore and is known for the foul odor it gives off as it decomposes. Sargassum levels this year have been particularly troublesome for Playa del Carmen, and global warming is thought to be helping more macroalgae form in the ocean.
These are the best beaches to enjoy in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is renowned for its excellent food scene, diverse cultural landscape, and most importantly, its tropical beaches. For the best beach experience, visitors can head to Playa del Carmen beach, the main city beach. Adjacent to the city center, this white-sand beach is bustling with life, and travelers can find bars and restaurants dotted along the nearly mile-long beach.
For a more laid-back vibe, visitors can head north nearby Emerald Beach, where lush nature abounds. The beach is lined with tropical palm trees and a freshwater cenote sits in the northern corner of the beach.
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