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The Summer of Seaweed for the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen

How Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya have dealt with it.

seaweed on the beach mexico

Seaweed in the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen

It actually started late 2014 summer and at first everyone thought it was just some seaweed washing ashore. That happens from time to time. Then it kept coming.

This is not the first time this has happend and we are not the only ones being affected. It is however something we have not seen in decades. Much of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida have been effected as well. Here is a look at this historic inundation of seaweed on the beaches that we have been faced with.

Update: We have been on the beaches and as of December 30 th, 2017 we are at about a 2 out of a 100 for seaweed. We have very low amounts of seaweed now! For the past month the waters have been pretty clear and we are headed into a nice winter season of much less problems. 

When will the seaweed go away?

We are glad you asked! In fact many people ask how things look at the beach because it is a day to day changing situation. People actually have been checking in with people in other parts of the region and looking at webcams to get a daily report. Then people make decisions to go visit a beach along the Riviera Maya or stay put. This however is not possible for people that book their holiday months in advance.

Nasa and Texas A&M have developed a website that gives advanced predictions of the floating mats of seaweed. It is an interesting website to look at. It is called the SEAS project which stands ” Sargassum Early Advisory System“. Here is the website: Tip: Go to the forecast section and look for Yucatan Passage 18 for the forecast for the Riviera Maya.

What is the cause of the seaweed?

There are different opinions to the cause. The most popular are:

  • Changing climate and wind patterns blowing the loose mats of seaweed to coastlines.
  • Nutrient rich waters producing more sargassum (seaweed).
  • When there are periods of low hurricane activity, the natural process of being “chopped up” by storms is lessened and more seaweed is floating around.

How to Escape the Seaweed

Now that the seaweed has been here for a while, some people have just gotten used to it and swim out past where most of it is. However there are some places you can go to avoid it.

  • Visit a cenote. These natural water pools are inland and have crystal clear water.
  • Xel-Ha park is a natural inlet and has ground water flowing out to the ocean. This area is fairly clear of seaweed.
  • Visit a roof top pool club in Playa Del Carmen. Most of them charge a minimum consumption of 200-500 pesos and you can lay by the pool. One roof pool you can check out is Be Playa.
  • Take advantage of the interior of the Yucatan Peninsula. Everything is not all about the beach here and there are many treasure to explore. For example there are Mayan ruins and colonial towns to visit.
  • One of the most consistent beaches that is not as affected is on Isla Mujeres.

Removal of the Seaweed

Usually the routine is when seaweed is washing ashore, staff from hotels or beach clubs will rake up the seaweed and dig a hole in the beach and bury it. The seaweed breaks down and becomes part fo the beach. When there is more seaweed that washes up and it has been several days, the seaweed is raked up and often carted away because you can only bury so much in beach.

The city of Playa Del Carmen does have beach rakes. They are a tractor that has rotating tines that pick up seaweed and trash from the beach. The tines rotate and drop everything in a tray and the sand falls out back onto the beach. This is very efficent for cleaning large swaths of the beach. The city does not uses these everyday leaving it up to people to do the work of romoving the seaweed to make the beaches more beautiful for visitors.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya

A man rakes up seaweed on the beach.

|After a while the less used beaches just got piled up with seaweed as you can see in the photo below. This remote stretch of beach just north of the Canibal Royal Beach Club is lined with seaweed.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya

A streach of beach north of Playa Del Carmen just past Canibal Royal.

Is there a bright spot with the seaweed?

While most people dislike the seaweed because it is unsighlty and can smell when decomposing, there are actually some good things about seaweed.

  • Seaweed makes great mulch for your garden. It is rich in nutrients and is a natural deterant to bugs and pest.
  • It brings nutrient to dunes and helps plants grow near the beach.
  • The seaweed slows the errosion of the beach and in some places the beach is 3 to 17 meters wider!
  • Seaweed attracts flyies and insects which might not sound like a great thing, but shore birds do enjoy it. This makes for ample feeding for them.

When the seaweed is alowed to pile up it makes mounds. The floating seaweed is actually alive and green but dies when it reaches the shore. If water remains traped behind these mounds it can become pretty smelly.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya

Seaweed piling up near the boats.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya

Seaweed mounds.

Most of the seaweed seems to collect within 20 feet or 7 meters from the beach. As the seaweed dies and dries it goes from green to dark brown. When it is dry it breaks up and makes the water look bad. The photo below is a more extreme example of how bad the water can look.

Lets all hope the seaweed stops arriving on our costline and we return to normal. Then we can look back in wonder at these photos and hardly believe what the summer of seaweed was like.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya

Our beautiful turquose water turned brown with seaweed.

Do you have a question or comment about the seaweed in Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya? Let us know in the comment section below.


155 Comments on The Summer of Seaweed for the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen

  1. Regarding the seaweed problem, you can´t bury it if you want to maintain the pristine beaches and water. Now on most days and after 2 years of burying the seaweed the water is no longer transparent but a brown colour, as seen on live web cams playa del Carmen. The beaches are changing colour due to the seaweed. Any seaweed that settles in the water, settles and forms mud. The municipal government is a fault and after 2015 they should see the number of tourist drop due to their inability to use common sense. Cancun, Tulum, Pt Morelas do not bury the garbage and seaweed that floats onto the shore, but truck it away. I don´t believe that the government will learn that you can´t bury garbage (natural or manmade) in a beach and hope to maintain its pristine appearance.

  2. Does someone know if we will have seaweed in August of 2016?
    How is that right now?
    Thank you

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 10, 2016 at 6:25 PM // Reply

      It is hard to predict the future but we have had a much better year so far and only had small amounts is seaweed wash up. We imagine it will be just fine for August and you should plan your trip here and have a great time in Playa Del Carmen. Thank you for sending us a question.

      • Jolie giron // August 3, 2017 at 2:37 AM // Reply

        Those some one knows if is seaweed right now in Cancun we’re planned to be there next week the second week of agust. Last year we couldn’t enjoy the beach it was cover with seaweed we were so upset

        • It has been going and coming a lot lately. Some days it is barely anything. It most recently there has been seaweed. A good thing to f
          So is look at Instagram and see photos people post each day of the beach in Cancun. Of course there is. It much you can do since you are coming soon.

  3. Sergio Pena // May 21, 2016 at 11:19 PM // Reply

    How is the seaweed right now?

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 22, 2016 at 7:24 AM // Reply

      We have not had much problem with the seaweed at all. On a few windy days there is a little seaweed that makes a fine line at the high tide line but that is all. The only place that seems to have a collection of it is the boat area around 14th street in Playa. We have been to almost all the beach areas lately and it is not a problem. So don’t worry about it now and plan on having some great beach days here!

  4. The seaweed right now is horrendous At blue beach esmerelda and all its surrounding hotels. Water is brown and seaweed is everywhere!

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 23, 2016 at 5:07 PM // Reply

      Thank you for the update from there about the seaweed. You must be staying at the resort now. We have not been by the beaches there lately but everywhere we have been has been good. We were at the beaches in Tulum on Sunday and there were only a few pieces in the water and the other week in Holbox had none. We were also at Punta Venado this past week just south of Playa Del Carmen and there was none there. Playa is also pretty free now except the area around 14th Street and Coco Beach which are both places where the seaweed seems to accumulate.

  5. MARIE WAYWELL // June 13, 2016 at 4:25 AM // Reply

    How is the seeweed now at Playacar and Playa del Carmen

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 13, 2016 at 8:21 AM // Reply

      Hello Marie. The beaches in front of Playacar are very good and clear of seaweed. In front of Phase 2 where most of the all inclusive hotels are is the best part. Most of the hotels clean the beach if there is any seaweed but in general this beach does not get much. Overall most of the seaweed on the coast is gone and nothing to worry about ruining your vacation. Playa Del Carmen center beaches are good as well with the only two exceptions where the boats park on 14th Street and a little near Coco beach which is near 44th Street. We hope you have an wonder vacation and enjoy swimming. For up to the minute photos, you can check our instagram account @EverythingPlayaDelCarmen

  6. MARIE WAYWELL // June 15, 2016 at 9:17 AM // Reply

    Thank you Mr Yucatan, that’s fantastic – we had a lot of seaweed last July and so very pleased it’s gone!

  7. planning a trip to Cancun in July and would like to know how is the seaweed in that area, I been going to Cancun for over 25 years and never saw how it was last year, my usual trip is always to enjoy the ocean and I did not have any chance to do it last year, please let me know how is doing.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 30, 2016 at 1:50 AM // Reply

      Hello Selma

      The good things is Cancun is looking great these days. Last year was something else for the seaweed. It truly was a remarkable things that happens in nature. You should have a great vacation in July and have nothing to fear, except having too good of a time and you don’t want to go home. We hope you have a great vacation!

  8. We are so glad the seaweed is gone! we were in Akumal last year and there were piles of sargassum. the beaches now look like they used to. We are here now in Tulum.

  9. Aaron Walden // June 30, 2016 at 8:53 AM // Reply

    Hello. We have been wondering if we should come because the seaweed problem but we have seen photos of the beaches now and are coming down to Playa del Carmen this week. We are looking forward to a week of nothing! and seeing nice beaches.

  10. We are going to the Puerto Morelos in August. What’s the seaweed like there? Lots of mixed reviews on trip advisor. Many thanks in advance. X

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 1, 2016 at 6:36 AM // Reply

      We were just in Puerto Morelos about one week ago. There was some in the water in some parts. Other parts were almost empty of seaweed. We would not worry about it too much now. The worst part is over and now large hotels are working to maintain the beaches after almost giving up when the worst of it was coming ashore. We hope you have a great vacation there and there is no seaweed for you.

  11. We are going to the Playa del Carmen in August. What’s the seaweed like there?

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 25, 2016 at 6:23 PM // Reply

      The seaweed issue is really a non issue now. It has for the most part gone away. You should be able to enjoy a nice clean turquoise sea on your vacation. We hope you have a great time visiting.

  12. Thanks so much for replying. We are staying at the Royalton Rivieria in a few weeks. Trip advisor is a saying it’s very bad at the moment! Any chance it might calm down again? Many thanks! X

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 26, 2016 at 6:05 PM // Reply

      The Royalton is close to Cancun so we cannot say exactly what the seaweed is like there but we have seen pictures from there this week and it did not look like an issue at all. You can see the link in the article to the NASA tracking to see if there is any seaweed in the ocean. We hope it is good for you and you have a great time. The pools are nice at that resort.

  13. hi, could you please send mu updated pics and info on the seaweed situation at the moment at playa del karmen or riviera maya/

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 26, 2016 at 6:07 PM // Reply

      Hello. We cannot post pictures in the comments but you can see our Facebook and instagram photos of the beach. Of course the Rivera Maya is long and there are a few small places where seaweed collects but you should not have anything to worry about. We hope you have a nice vacation here with no seaweed.

  14. I just returned from a week in Riviera Maya. There was seaweed washing up every day but 2 while I was there. The men work tirelessly to try to keep the beaches clear but it still remains. Still a beautiful place but was definitely surprised by the amount I saw.

    • Hello Lori. Can you tell us what beach or hotel you were at? The Riviera Maya is a large stretch of coastline.

  15. Please update on the seaweed in Riveria Maya, especially Iberostar hotels. Going this November 2016. Thank you!

    • Hello Anne

      The seaweed is nothing like last year so that is a relief. We are at about a 16 our of 100. There is a small line that washed up on most beaches. The situation changes weekly so there is no knowing how it will be in November. However the winter months do tend to bring different currents and that means a much less chance of getting seaweed. What Iberostar Hotel are you staying in? We will try to keep you updated. Thanks for your comment.

  16. Helena Scaff Pedrosa // October 3, 2016 at 12:53 PM // Reply

    Hello Mr Yucatan
    February is a month of high probability of accumulation of seagrass in Cancun and Playa del Carmen?
    How is the situation now?
    Thank you!

    • Hello. The seaweed has been going away to the point of being gone completely. We only have a few pieces here and there on the beaches in most places. We were just at the beach this morning and there was no seaweed. We don’t know how the seaweed will be churned up by Hurricane Matthew or how this will change things but we will keep you posted. It really is not a factor as of now and no one should plan around it or not come because of it.

  17. We will be in Cancun on Dec 16, staying at one of the all inclusive resorts-any indication of what the beaches will be like & what is the condition of them today?

    • Hello Catherine

      There is no seaweed at most places at the moment. Cancun is usually the most clear so you should have no worries about the beach. We hope you have a great time and enjoy the sun and sand.

  18. Hi, We where there in june 2015 and the seaweed was terrible,we will be going back again in june 2017, how can i be sure that we will not have the same problem again.

    • Hello Chris

      There is no way you can be sure because the seaweed is a phenomena of nature. But with that being said, it has cleared up and is not really an issue now. In the past couple of decades it has happened a few times and it last for a short period. We don’t expect it to come back. The NASA website where you can track it was a cool tool and is something to look at if they still have it up.

  19. 3/11/2017
    We are currently staying on Tulum beach. The north winds have brought in a tremendous amount of sea grass. Too much to maimtain removal. According to the locals the weather pattern in March has been unusual. The beaches are still beautiful and the waters warm. Just understand the beaches this week are not pristine.

  20. Nancy Northway // March 16, 2017 at 12:53 PM // Reply

    Just got back from a resort near Porto Morelos (beginning of March). The water was full of seaweed and the shoreline as well. The staff was raking all day long, every day and it was never ending. It was very unpleasant to try and swim and we stuck to the pool. This is our 5th time to the Mayan area and have never experienced this before.

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 16, 2017 at 4:19 PM // Reply

      Hello Nancy

      The winter winds have recently brought seaweed our way. It is a natural process that happens once in a while and perhaps with some manmade interference. Sorry you experienced this. Some beaches now have nothing and others get hit.

  21. Melissa loan // April 6, 2017 at 7:33 PM // Reply

    Coming to the yucatan April 28 2017 how is the seaweed situtation?

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 7, 2017 at 7:28 AM // Reply

      Hello Melissa

      Recently there has been some seaweed on the coast. We are at about a 20 out of 100. Each beach is different and it depends on the wind. There are still clear places to swim next to areas with seaweed.

  22. The seaweed situation is in full force in Playa del Carmen & on the south beach – very thick along the whole beach & in the water – worse in some sections. Today is April 10. No appearance of it subsiding. No real clean up going on because there’s more blowing in!

  23. How about cancun?

  24. Doris Sanchez // April 17, 2017 at 1:31 PM // Reply

    April 17, 2017, I just got back to LA from Playa del Carmen and seaweed all over and its not fun anymore, I did see a few men which is not enough to clean up the beach. if you want to enjoy the beach , call before you go.

  25. Hi all! Planning a trip to one of the following in a couple weeks, what’s the seaweed situation currently at:

    Azul fives resort
    Finest playa mujeres
    Dreams riviera cancun

    We were there summer of 2015 when there was a massive influx of seaweed and really disliked being in the water. Any help is Much appreciated!

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 26, 2017 at 5:40 PM // Reply

      We thought we had gotten rid of the seaweed for good but just about a month ago some came back. It was on and off for about two and a half weeks. When the winds died down we got wonder weather and calm beaches with little to nothing. Check the site wind guru to see what the predictions will be. Finest Playa Mujeres is probably the lightest. It seems to be more southern on the coast but we also just saw some live video from Holbox where there was a little.

  26. How bad is the seaweed in the Playacar area? I am arriving Monday May 1 and am curious.

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 27, 2017 at 9:40 PM // Reply

      We have not been there this week but usually the beaches are pretty clear there. They are wide and all the hotels work hard to keep them clean of seaweed.

  27. How is the seaweed in the Grand Riviera princess area??? We have 40 days and will be so upset

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 28, 2017 at 4:25 PM // Reply

      Hello Shannon

      Right now that area is not that bad. It is really hard to predict what 40 days will be like from now. We are hopping it will all stop soon.

  28. Planning to go to Isla Mujeres or Belize in June. Does anyone know the seaweed status there? Thank you in advance!!

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 29, 2017 at 9:10 AM // Reply

      Usually Isla Mujeres is in good shape because the North Beach faces away from the currents. We don’t know how Belize is fairing.

  29. Thank you… I knew I should of picked Playacar…. Too late to change hotels I think. I may call my agent Monday and see if we can relocate. I normally would not mind much but we have a new traveler coming and would be so disappointed to see this.

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 29, 2017 at 9:08 AM // Reply

      It is too bad each hotel does not have a webcam, that way you could see the beach daily for the seaweed report. There are still a lot of ways to enjoy the Yucatan and Riviera Maya. There are cenotes, ruins and going out in Playa that can all make a vacation great. We wish you the best while here.

  30. Thanks again..Mr Yucatan. I am sure we will enjoy it either way it goes. Its mother nature and we can not control it. And yes I wish they had web cams in all areas. We plan on renting a 37 ft catamaran and doing a 4 to 6 hour trip snorkeling and fishing and seeing sea turtles if that is still an option once we arrive. I am glad I picked the bigger resort so we will be busy in all the pools avail etc. So if the seaweed wants to be around it is all good. Its my 3rd trip since August lol. I wiah I could live here..

    • Your hotel is just north Of Playa Del Carmen by Azul Fives. You might already have a catamaran planned but we like Catamaya in Puerto Aventuras. It goes up the coast to a reef to snorkel and see sea turtles in that area. We like them and asked if they would give a special price to our readers. We have a 10% off price which makes it the lowest for that tour but the same price as a lower quality tour. On Catamaya you get a full meal plus it is a bigger boat so it is more stable in the water. Just an idea for you.

  31. One more ? Is Grand Riv Princess North of playa or south? So i can watch on wind guru

  32. Thanks again we will def check it out.

  33. Mojgan aghai // April 29, 2017 at 5:55 PM // Reply

    Will there be excessive seaweed in August in playa de Carnell? We will stay at Rui Palace

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 29, 2017 at 5:58 PM // Reply

      We have no idea because this is not a normal pattern. We will keep you posted though. We hope there is none in August.

  34. we will be at grand riviera princess this 1st week of june. how’s the beach there as of now?

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 1, 2017 at 6:58 AM // Reply

      Hello Huey

      The beaches are not perfect but not the worse. On calm days with no wind the beaches are pretty beautiful. Yesterday was windy and the water never looks soft and turquoise when it is like that. June is a whole month away so there is no predicting it. It can change from week to week. We are hopping that things will clear up soon though.

  35. What is the definition of “windy”? We are coming on the 10th to Barcelo Maya and the forecast is showing winds from the east/southeast at 10mph or under. Really would like to snorkel, but am hearing there are red flags everyday because of the wind right now.

  36. Hello,

    I am travelling to Royalton Riveria Cancun at the end of May. What is the seaweed like at the moment? I really do not want to relocate as i am quite happy with the hotel but to see this would disappoint me a little.

    Thanks – Carly

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 2, 2017 at 9:35 AM // Reply

      Hello Carly

      We have not been on that stretch of beach lately to give you an up-to-date report. It does however change daily. The seaweed is more on the southern end of the Rivera Maya so you have a better chance of not being bothered by it. It would not make any sense to change hotels because no beach is immune to the natural cycles. The end of Maya is a ways off so we hope that it is all cleared up by then.

  37. Was wondering how the beach was at Iberostar Paraiso beach? Have plans to travel there in a couple of weeks.

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 2, 2017 at 3:20 PM // Reply

      Hello Misty

      The beach is ok there now, meaning not the best but not the worst. Days can make a big difference in the seaweed and weeks can mean even more change, so it is pointless to worry about it now since things can change a lot before you get here. The hotel is nice and you should enjoy your time here.

  38. We are at Iberostar grand in riviera maya and for me there is too much seaweed. Happy with everything else but this beach trip has been a disappointing one. The men work hard daily to remove the seaweed but it seems futile. At least they are trying. Good luck

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 3, 2017 at 11:28 AM // Reply

      Thank you for your report on the seaweed. We like getting first hand info from our readers. We hope next time you are here the beaches are in better shape.

  39. Mr Yucatan I know this is not seaweed related. But u may know more info. I see a few killings have happened in Playa one being taxi guys right by the princess we will be at. But the other killings are not saying if locals or turf related or tourist. Esp the one person kidnapped and killed in casa del sol area? Do you know more details?

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 6, 2017 at 6:51 AM // Reply

      Hello Shannon

      Yes there have been some killings lately. One was an Argentinian girl that was supposedly killed by her boyfriend. Another was just north of Playa that involved a taxi driver. While there is a base population of about 140,000 people living in Playa Del Carmen there is always a influx of tourist population at any given time. With that size population there is going to be a certain level of crime. However the crime levels do remain low but albeit horrible to see happen. For those of us that live here, we feel pretty safe here. There is an underlying knowledge that murder in Playa Del Carmen happens most between domestic disputes and people that get involved in organized crime. Tourist really have a very low chance of anything happening to them. Taxi drivers of any group are usually involved in murder or getting killed more then most other type of people. You can read into that however you want. When ever there is money involved in something, there is animosity, greed and disputes. Therefor it is our opinion that most of these things happen. Yes there is organized crime in the Riviera Maya. Most of which comes from tourist that that want drugs. It is a bit ironic that tourist can feel unsafe when they hear about crime but they are the ones that are causing it. Of course we are not saying all tourist are the problem, but the ones that come here and innocently want to party and think there are no repercussions. It is why in our two articles on crime and safety, both for tourist and locals, we talk about the major way to avoid issues is to not get drunk and avoid association in certain groups Is there a solution, yes, but will it happen, probably not. We try to encourage people to come here and enjoy the wonderful things that are here, spend more time and really get to know the wonderful people and culture. If more people did this, we feel it would make the Riviera Maya a better place and safer place.

  40. Well said Mr Yucatan… Thank you for your in put. Really put our minds at ease. I never worry about the crimes. It happens everywhere. Just saw it happen in last 3 days on the Yucatan news. I like you… really wish people who travel to this beautiful area would act right. I have always been told mind your own business and dont be out after hours etc…thank you again. I knew you would say it like it is.

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 7, 2017 at 2:39 PM // Reply

      You also have to watch what websites motives are. Some websites are not really news websites but rather a website that combines other news into one place and gather an audience to sell advertising. Some websites love catchy titles to grab people’s attention as well and need to be balanced in what the content is.

  41. Any new reports on seaweed near Grand riv princess? Just saw on news page a big mat has hit

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 11, 2017 at 11:30 AM // Reply

      Hello Shannon

      We have not been near there is week. We do have a storm or remnants of a hurricane in the pacific that might come across Mexico and push the currents in another direction. This type of even can change the weather and patterns a lot. So we will see after this weekend.

  42. Currents pushing it away??? Reading the Seas page is hard for me. Says big mat going ene 45mph a day from Yucatan. So is that near or leaving?thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 11, 2017 at 3:57 PM // Reply

      This is going away from the peninsula. Plus the area are more north of where your hotel is. So this is some good seaweed news. It appears as the storm that is coming is blowing things away from us.

  43. Heading to The Royal Haciendas May 30th. Any word on the seaweed situation there?

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 13, 2017 at 4:34 PM // Reply

      Hello Kim

      We are about 25 on the scale of 100 here in Playa and your hotel is just north of Playa. That means there is some on the beach but not too bad. How it is in 17 days, it can change daily so there is no great prediction.

  44. Hello,

    We are coming to PDC on Saturday. Any news on the seaweed by the Viva Wyndham area? Thanks so much!

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 18, 2017 at 11:30 AM // Reply

      We were at the beach yesterday in the center of Playa and there was about 40 on the scale of 100. Playacar is always a little better then the center but there is some. It will be better if the winds die down.

  45. thank you!

  46. Hello,
    We are going to Barcelo in 2 weeks. Their webcam shows normal looking beach right now. But in Dreams, which is not that far, trip reports mention too much seaweed that makes swimming uncomfortable. Perhaps Barcelo’s bay currents keep seaweed from entering there, I don’t know.
    I’m trying to understand what does “30 out of 100 for seaweed” mean? Does it mean there is some seaweed on the shore, 2 feet into the ocean from the shore, etc.? With 30 out 100 – is it still swimmable or you’d be surrounded by sargassum?
    Thank you.

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 21, 2017 at 7:57 PM // Reply

      Hello Kathy

      We tried to give some sort of measurement of seaweed for our readers. A 0 means there is nothing and a 100 means there is a worst case with tons of seaweed. A30 means there is some seaweed that washes up and some in the water but not the worst.

      • Hi Kathy
        just got back from Royal Hideaway Barcelo in playacar if this is the one you are going to. Seaweed is on the beach constantly although they try to clear it up. Didnt end up going in the sea that much but was able to walk up and down Playacar.

  47. Hey Mr.Yucatan.. How is the seaweed and water around Grand Riv Princess? If you have not been by there or plan to be soon can you let me know we leave in 21 days. I see it on maps but changes on web cams daily. Is there any coming that hasn’t been announced?

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 24, 2017 at 7:38 PM // Reply

      Hello Shannon

      We have not been by there this week, so we don’t have a good update from you. We were just up the coast north of where your hotel is. There has been seaweed and the hotel staff have been racking it up daily in front of the resorts. We don’t have any more info other then the link for the Nasa early detection. As you know the weather can change very fast in the Caribbean. We just had a nice rain storm to clear the humidity. That means tomorrow should be a calm day at the beach. We will see. And calm days mean low waves and no seaweed coming in.

  48. Thank you… For always answering questions.

  49. have clients who want to snorkel right from their hotel with their teenagers in August? what resort is the best for that with less seaweed to swim in

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 1, 2017 at 11:48 AM // Reply

      We love Sirens Resort. They have good snorkeling right off the coast. Many resorts have beaches but there is not much to see in the water. The coast is about 40 miles of hotels so if they had an area they wanted to be close to or a specific hotel, they can stay there and go snorkeling in a place that is sure not to have seaweed. We have a master list of places to snorkel. Many are inlets or cenotes where there is no seaweed.

  50. I am going to the Riu Palace Mexico in 10 days time what will the seaweed be like then.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 6, 2017 at 11:48 AM // Reply

      Hello Chris

      In 10 days no one knows for sure but it should not be too bad. That stretch of beach does not get as effected as other places. You can expect a small line on the beach but not enough to be concerned about not swimming.

  51. we will be at the grand riviera princess tomorrow? how’s the seaweeds and weather? thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 8, 2017 at 4:14 PM // Reply

      Hello Rowell

      The weather the past week has been cloudy and humid and we had been waiting for a good rain to clear the air. We had a short bust or rain last night. That meant blue skies today and nice calm ocean waters. We are expecting better weather this week. Expect some clouds but also blue sky days. The seaweed was almost gone from the ocean overnight as it rained and the winds died down. We probably will have some but it is low on the scale. We hope you have a great vacation here.

  52. Maria Decker // June 8, 2017 at 1:52 PM // Reply

    Thank you for providing so much information about the seaweed issues. I am heading to the Cancun/Riviera Maya area for the beginning of August. Should we look north of Cancun for clear water and if so what area.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 8, 2017 at 4:12 PM // Reply

      There is actually not that much area north of Cancun, There is just Playa Mujeres and that is not a guarantee of seaweed free. Most of the large resorts are going to work hard on clearing seaweed, so you are in better hands if you stay at one. We cannot recommend one area that will be better since the seaweed takes turns landing in different area.

  53. Hello again. How is the weather forcast looking this week? We arrive the 14th.also hows the seaweed scale? No update since the 10th. Thank you.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 12, 2017 at 6:53 AM // Reply

      Hello Shannon

      Expect some half cloudy days and humid weather. We are in a cycle where it is humid and when it gets high it rains. The cloudier days are good to visit the Mayan ruin sites. We were just at Chichen Itza during a cloudy day and even though the photos are night pretty with blue sky, it made it cooler and less hot for walking around. The seaweed is about a 24 now. With the winds it might bring more ashore raising it to a 30. Hope this amateur forecast helps. We just base this on our experience here and the local patterns.

  54. Thanks a bunch. I just keep seeing rain on forecast but then it says 2mm so I assume its not down pours just rains and stops? I am good with all that. We plan on Aukumal trip to see the Turtles and staying mostly at resort may go to Cozumel also. We would love to visit the ruins but way too hot for me to do that and for my Mother in law who has mobility issues.

  55. Hello, I will be staying at the Azul Sensatori in Puerto Morelos (Riviera Maya), Mexico in a few weeks and I am wondering how the seaweed is. Thank you!

  56. Frank Pietocor // June 17, 2017 at 9:53 AM // Reply


    going to the Paradisus La Perla in a week, do you know if this hotel gets a lot of seaweed ? Thank you for your website !

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 17, 2017 at 6:02 PM // Reply

      Hello Frank. The quasi bay that it is on gets some seaweed and just north of it, it tends to be more prevelent. They do a good job on the beach or removing it but they cannot do much about the ocean. It does tend to be a little more there.

  57. travelling to the royalton Riviera maya in mid august what can we expect in terms of seawood woul I be better off boookin in cancun ?

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 20, 2017 at 2:30 PM // Reply

      Hello Alex

      Well August is a ways off and there no way of predicting what things will be like by then. The Royalton is close to Cancun and the Hotel Zone so there is not too much of a difference. Usually Cancun in the Hotel Zone is clearer but we would hate for you to change booking just based on that. We suggest waiting to see what things are like in late July and then maybe taking a decision. We will say that the beach is more quiet at the Royalton so it is a nice experience. We hope there is no seaweed and all your plans come true.

  58. Danny Deutsch // June 26, 2017 at 1:24 PM // Reply

    Any idea what the seaweed situation is like right now at the Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya
    Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 328, Bahía Petempich, Benito Juarez, 77580 Puerto Morelos, QROO, Mexico

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 26, 2017 at 1:38 PM // Reply

      Hello Danny

      We have not been to that beach this week but overall the seaweed situation is low right now so you should not have too much to worry about.

  59. How will Crown Paradise, Puerto Morelos be on seaweed in mid July? I know hard to say but your best guess would be most helpful since we have not booked as of yet. Thanks.

  60. we are thinking of a trip in mid august to the valentin imperial. How is the seaweed on their beach?

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 13, 2017 at 10:59 AM // Reply

      Hello Jarred

      As of now the seaweed situation is pretty low and has been getting better over the past month so we would predict it not to be too bad. We do have a month to go. It that is how things are looking now.

      • Thanks Mr. Yucatan. How is the Valentin Imperial? I see a lot of reviews, but some glaring bad ones as well.

        • Mr.Yucatan // July 14, 2017 at 8:02 AM // Reply

          We have not stayed there but are familiar with it. We would say it is not too in its catagory but decent hotel. It has a little older style. It may get bad reviews because the price ranges so much between sales and promotions and people might expect a lot. You should have a good time there though.

  61. Amy Quarles // July 16, 2017 at 4:43 PM // Reply

    This has been so helpful. My family is planning a trip to the Ocean Coral and Turquesa at the end of the month and fingers crossed the seaweed is moderate. A tourist posted a review on a travel site the the seaweed made the beach unsuable and smelly.

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 16, 2017 at 5:37 PM // Reply

      Well right now the seaweed is near nothing. This is because the water is calm and nothing is coming ashore. We hope you come and have a great time here and the seaweed is not an issue.

  62. Mr.Yucatan,

    I am planning on a trip to Iberostar Paraiso Maya/Dreams Tulum on the first week of October. That is still months away, but I’d like to know your guess on how heavier rainfall will affect sargassum level?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 18, 2017 at 8:32 AM // Reply

      Hello Joe

      The seaweed has been very low recently and that is a good sign. The rains usualy work in favor of lower amounts. So good signs for a good October. We will see though. We hope you have a great vacation here.

  63. Sheri Conelli // July 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM // Reply

    Akumal beach webcam doesn’t look good. Lots of sargassum making the water color green and brown near the shore. It was clear during the month of June. Maybe a dorm or currents?

  64. What can you tell me about the beach and palafitos at El Dorado Maroma? Going there on out honeymoon 2nd week in August. Hopefully it is nice based on the price. Other reviews seem good. Can you comment? Thanks in advance!!

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 22, 2017 at 11:45 AM // Reply

      Hello Scott

      We have had out hotel person that does all inclusive sales there. It has been very popular and yes it is pricy. It is the first of its kind in the Riviera Maya. That stretch of beach is one of the better ones. You should have a good time there and you should get good service.

  65. The beaches of Punta Cana were horrible last week. Really put a damper on a $3000 trip.

  66. Sheri Conelli // July 31, 2017 at 3:19 PM // Reply

    Hello, We have been watching the webcams for Sargassum, as our trip is coming up in August. Akumal has a huge increase in sargassum today, as it did last week. It seems to clear a bit and then in a couple of days is back to being covered. The water is now green, instead of its normal turquoise blue. Playa del Carmen has a lot, as well, changing the water to green. The Tulum webcam is offline, but a friend of ours just came back from Cabanas La Luna, and at least 3 ft of beach was just covered with sargassum in all his Instagram pictures. We are really worried at this point. We were in Tulum during the 2015 invasion, and you could not even get into the water. We’ve noticed, there is an abundance of sargassum in the water’s edge turning the water a blackish brown. I can’t believe this is happening again. I just saw your post, that sargassum is very low now, but that’s not what the webcams are showing. We are praying it starts to clear up within the coming weeks.

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 31, 2017 at 3:44 PM // Reply

      Hello Sheri

      the past few weeks it has gone from hardly any to a noticeable amount. It is surprising how quick it has been coming and going. It is good to watch webcams and instagram pics. We just posted a picture from this past Sunday on our instagram and it does look pretty good and clear water. But it is hard to keep up with, so we try to update when we can.

  67. Beach girl // August 5, 2017 at 8:57 AM // Reply

    The seaweed is prolific!!! All the way from Cancun to Tulum (at least!). We are staying in Playa and it’s so bad you can’t swim in the water. So disappointed! I came to swim in the beautiful blue ocean and can’t get in without scratchy seaweed coveting my body. It’s horrible! We tried to escape it but Tulum is covered too. Probably not coming back for a long time!

  68. Staying at the grand luxe residence in a week. Wondering if the beach is free from seaweed.

    • Hello Nina. We have not been near that resort lately but currently there is seaweed coming ashore. So you should expect some.

  69. Hello
    We have just arrived in Playa 9th August and the beaches are covered in seaweed!. Our closest beach part is indigo beach club. Are the beaches in cancun any better or is there any where a short taxi ride away you can recommend?

    Thanks in advance so disappointed

    • The recent tropical storm washed a lot of seaweed ashore. It is better the more north you do. You could do a day trip to Isla Mujeres an the beach on the north end.

  70. Whats the seaweed looking like now. Thinking of one more trip before tourist stop coming due to violence and such.

  71. What is your thoughts on Secrets Playa Mujeres? And Dreams aren’t they sisters to each other? Whats the beach like sand water color and sea life? Been everywhere else but this spot. And how is seaweed on this part of beach?

    • These resorts are newer compared to many in the Hotel Zone in Cancun. The beaches are good at these resorts. We have not been recently to see what the seaweed situation is but typically they tend to have less than other area. The one thing you should note if you stay here, they are further away from popular parks and Mayan ruin excursions. They are really at the “corner” of the peninsula.

  72. Thanks we plan on staying atvthe resort this trip and not leave. If we do leave we would only go to Isla Mujeres.

  73. Jamie Thomas // October 17, 2017 at 5:57 AM // Reply

    Any update on how the seaweed is in Cancun, Playa, Cozumel or Puerto Mureles? Heard some hurricane went through it isn’t as bad.

    • Hello Jamie
      The seaweed is practically gone from most beaches. It is very low after the recent tropical storms. You can see some photos on our instagram or Facebook accounts of the beaches recently.

  74. Hello Mr.Yucatan.. How is the seaweed in playa mujerus? We arrive Monday.

    • It is very light now. You might have seen our flight we just took up and down the coast. It is in our most recent article on scenic flight tours. You can see the beaches and it is very clear now. You don’t have really anything to worry about right now.

  75. How is the seaweed right now in November.

  76. Hi, I am traveling with 2 kids 2 and 4 years old. Do you think Barceló Maya Beach is a good choice? Also is the beach clean without sea weed now. Thanks!

    • The Barceló is a very nice hotel with lots of options for kids. The beaches in general are very nice now. We are not sure exactly what the beaches look like in front of the Barceló at this time but it should not be a big concern.

  77. Hi, travelling to Cancun with a toddler for thanksgiving and would like to stay put in one place. would we expect to see seaweed at that time, which area would you recommend to stay in Riviera Maya. Thank you

    • Right now the seaweed is not very noticeable. The Riviera Maya is full of different types of places, so you will need to narrow it down to an all inclusive, condo rental or hotel in a town. Playa Del Carmen is nice because it offers a lot of restaurants, shopping and walkable atmosphere. it is also central to day trips.

  78. We hope to holiday in the Playacar Palace in April next year travelling from the UK . We are a large family party and because of the party size and distance need to book months in advance. Two questions, any feel for what the seaweed problem is in that area at that time of year….plus..we have several mid teen kids with us, is Playacar a suitable area and not too noisy. We read a club called Senor Frogs is on the end of the hotel and can be noisy till the early hours. Are spring breakers likely to in the resort mid April.

    • Hello Dusty

      Recently we have not really had much seaweed at all. This might have to do with the fact there were more hurricanes in the Caribbean this year and it changed currents and chopped up seaweed. It does look like it should be good for next year. That beach is always the best in Playa when it comes to accumulation of seaweed. There are not many spring breakers that stay in that part of Playa and Senor Frogs is not too loud. So that should not be too much to worry about.

  79. Hello I’m looking to go to dreams Riviera Maya Cancun resort and spa in Feb 2018. It’s located near playa del Carmen and Puerto morelos… any update on seaweed situation in that area? Thank you

    • Hello Irene. This hotel is in Puerto Morelos which is about a 35-40 minute drive from Playa. We have not been to that beach lately but overall the seaweed has been almost nonexistent lately and not a problem.

  80. Heading to Moon Palace in March 2018, how do these beaches look? This will be our 1st time staying in Cancun and not Playa del Carmen area. There will be 6 of us ages 78 to 13!

    • The seaweed has been pretty non existent this past month. The summer weather changed patterns and we are looking good this winter. We hope you have a good time at Moon Palace.

  81. We are at the all inclusive Fairmont Mayakoba and our beach is beautiful. No seaweed at all, clear blue Caribbean waters. However a walk up and down the beach we noted there was some seaweed and dark areas in the water to the north and south. Don’t know how to rate the percentage of seaweed

  82. I visited Cancun in November 2017. There was no seaweed (sargassum) when we were there! The beaches were gorgeous !

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