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 Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen

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 happened 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 and what is being done to deal with it. 

Update: As of  spring 2022 in the Riviera Maya the seaweed is coming back. This year is predicted to be a bad year for seaweed.   If you are interested in current situations on different beaches or in front of hotels, these two Facebook pages are good to check out. One has an excellent map with traffic light dots noting the condition of the beaches and this Facebook group has a lot of current information about the sargassum including tourists photos

Playa Del Carmen beach
The year 2020 was one of the best year in the past 5 tears for seaweed amounts.

Be sure to check out our special guide to seaweed in Playa Del Carmen here. We have this very helpful map that is below in the article and we talk about what beaches get less seaweed.


What is the situation with the seaweed now?

The early part of 2022 was great for the beaches and it they were very clear. However, with the arrival of currents and warmer waters, there has been a lot of seaweed coming in waves. This year is predicted to be a bad year, if not one of the worst. More barriers and better barriers have been put in place as well as boats to collect the seaweed before arriving on shore. It is a constant battle that is being fought to keep seaweed off the beaches. 

beaches with no seaweed
The beaches in the Riviera Maya have been pretty free from seaweed lately.

Are the seaweed barriers working?

Different beaches and municipalities have been experimenting with barriers offshore. These are floating barriers that capture seaweed or sargassum and block it from arriving on the beaches. These have been very limited in effectiveness. For one, it is impossible to line the entire Riviera Maya with barriers. There needs to be access for boats and the cost of such a project is astronomical. There also needs to be collection of the seaweed when it builds up behind the barriers. 

Where the barriers help is in calm conditions with light seaweed conditions, they do hold it back. It is not a permeant solution but something to give people hope and at least one action people can do to try to do something. With time, the barriers are getting better. Currently there Navy has 11 boats collecting the seaweed before it arrives on the shore, 

When there are stronger winds, causing rougher waters, the seaweed blows over the barriers and they become much less effective. There have also been many times the anchors have come loose and the protected area is not fully enclosed. 

Below you can see a photo of a barrier where it comes to shore. The area on the right is the protected area. One the left you can see the open ocean. It is a little more brown along the shore line where the barriers were not protecting the shore. 

seaweed barrier
This photo shows an end of the seaweed barrier coming to shore. On one side you can see a little less seaweed in the water.

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 Quintana Roo North (Cancun) and Quintana Roo South (Playa del Carmen) for the forecast for the Riviera Maya.

What is the cause of the seaweed?

There are different opinions to the cause. Not everything is know about it and studies are continuing. The most popular reasons are:

  • Changing climate and wind patterns blowing the loose mats of seaweed to coastlines.
  • Nutrient rich waters producing more sargassum (seaweed). Winds blowing dust from Africa into the Atlantic and runoff from Brazil are cited for this. 
  • Warmer waters breed the seaweed faster and the Caribbean has been warmer in the past few years.
  • 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

All inclusive hotel that is seaweed proof?

Many of our readers have thought about moving to another hotel just to find that perfect beach without seaweed. This is hard since it is so unpredictable. But we do have a great option for you. The new Hotel Xcaret Mexico has coves, rivers, sandy beaches and inlets that are beautiful and you will never miss the beach. See what this new all inclusive hotel is like in the link. It just might save your vacation.

Tours and options to avoid 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.

Beach club Isla Mujeres
The crystal clear waters of Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres Mexico.

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 or truck it off to be dumped somewhere else. The seaweed buried in the beach breaks down and becomes part of the beach. This method can be bad because if the waves expose the burred seaweed, the seeds can bloom again in the water creating more seaweed. Seaweed that is collected and removed can also have a detrimental affect on sand and how much is removed with the seaweed. 

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 efficient for cleaning large swaths of the beach. The city does not uses these everyday leaving it up to people to do the work of removing 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 CTM Avenue in Playa Del Carmen is lined with seaweed.

seaweed on the beach in the Riviera Maya
A streach of beach north of Playa Del Carmen just past 48th Street.

 See our article about building islands off the coast of Playa Del Carmen

Is there a bright spot with the seaweed?

While most people dislike the seaweed because it is unsightly 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 deterrent to bugs and pest.
  • It brings nutrient to dunes and helps plants grow near the beach.
  • The seaweed slows the erosion 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 coastline 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.

For more reading about this topic, see the article in The Atlantic here

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.

If you are coming to the Riviera Maya, we have guides for everything on our website. You only need to use the search box for what you need. We do have a list of our guides here for you also. 

Playa Del Carmen Guides

About The Author


  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.

    • yea… that seems like a real intelligent comment. Its natural to have seaweed. They don’t have to truck it away at all…. They just do it to keep people like you happy. Seaweed happens everwhere Lake Ontario, Finger Lakes, Oceans…. everywhere..

      • We were in riviera maya for a week in July and the weed was horrible, it was all over the shores, in the water, water was brown, bottom of the ocean was very rocky and weedy, this was the worst we’ve ever seen. There were tractors cleaning it but didn’t help there was no place to put it, it was dumped and buried in different areas along the beach but there was no where else to put it away anymore. We were at the platinum Yucatán princess adult only resort and you couldn’t just walk out to the shores, there was about a 3-4 ft drop at the shore, wthen all the weed had turned black from sitting there so long, the tractors would drive over it and grind it up…but the hotel had beautiful pools and our too had the swim out patio, it was still beautiful, but our attempts to the beach were disappointing.

        • Hello,
          Which resort are you at? I’m a travel agent and have clients booked to go to Secrets Maroma and they are asking about the seaweed. I’m gettin conflicting info about the extent of the seaweed issue.
          I would appreciate any feedback you can share! Thanks! Enjoy your vacation ?

          • Hi I’m staying at secrets maroma and the seaweed is very bad here and I will be complaining to ba for not mentioning just how bad it is. They do there best to clean it up but just seem to pile it up further down the beach. I’m not kidding when I say there is easily over 1000 tons of the stuff and it smells really bad

          • thank you, carl. imo SMB is one of the best resort beaches along the entire coast. to the point where if you go anywhere else you’ll be disappointed. was planning a trip in a few weeks and appreciate hearing your honest review. sorry to hear you’re not able to enjoy the ordinarily beautiful and relaxing beach right now.

        • Where are you staying ? I’ve heard the seaweed is
          Unbareable ? Just wondering if it’s all of playa shorelines of just part ?

        • I am going to riviera maya next year staying at the grand riviera princess. Does anyone know what the seaweed is like at this private beach or around this area?

          • We have been there several times and that is where we stayed. My daughter and her new husband just returned from princess a few days ago. She was very saddened that she and her new husband could not swim in the ocean because the sea weed was too bad. She said it looks nothing like when she and I went three years ago ?

      • It was an intelligent comment. It may be natural to have seaweed but trying to bury such a excess can cause issues which are obvious! We love Playa and live here but to think the city will continue to grow in years to come if this problem isn’t cured is being very optimistic. Your comment “Just to keep people like you happy” is partially correct as people travel and spend money on nice beaches not to sit on piles of seaweed. You may not like his comment but he is absolutely correct in his observation.

    • Fortunately the leeward side of Cozumel and the many beach clubs make for a worthwhile day trip. They have not been affected by the seaweed invasion!

    • My husband and i are due to come out here in 2 weeks time to cellebrate our silver wedding but am worried about the amount of seaweed.

    • My Husband and I are planning to be there the weekend of October 4 -7 2018 at Esmeralda Blue Bay resort Riviera Maya can we expect a lot of this seaweed mess ??

      • Hello Sharon

        That is a little ways off but it is still the end of the warmer waters and there will probably still be issues with the seaweed.

        • I’m planning a trip to Tulum at the end of October. Does anyone know if the seaweed is still an issue? Any information is appreciated.

          • Currently it is an issue in Tulum but this can change in a day or week. So it is too unpredictable to say if it will be an issue in a couple of weeks.

    • Currently, we are staying at the Secrets Silversands and there is a lot of seaweed. Water is brown and murky. We got here last Friday while Tropical storm Micheal was forming. Water has not improved and it is the following Thursday. While I’m disappointed about the water conditions, the resort has plenty of pools and loungers and excellent service. I will start traveling the Caribbean in May and June in order to miss the most active weather seasons.

      • Just returned from
        Cancun today. The seaweed is a huge problem. Tulum was the worst. Their beach has 4-5 feet tall mounds of seaweed and the smell even from the top of the ruins is unbearable. It’s so sad. The government should consult with the biologists to see what they can do. I won’t be going back to Playa or Tulum again.

        • We are at Royalton Riviera Cancun and I have never seen seaweed so bad. Ocean smells and is brown, can’t see your hand a foot below the surface. Can’t even beach walk at waters edge. If you like beach and Ocean like me (beach sand is beautiful) then avoid this area. Tracking through seaweed to get into a dirty ocean is not my idea of beach vacation May 21, 2019.

          • We are going to the Royalton June 1st,we love the beach would you cancel if you was me?

          • It is mid-July 2019. We are in Tulum and the seaweed is pretty bad. I thought people were being wimpy and that is not the case. They beach is unswimmable. Your only option is to go to one of the islands to swim on their beaches or buy a snorkeling excursion, so you can swim in the ocean. Really sad!

      • The sea weed is so disgusting and it’s smells. They just pile it up. The beaches are empty and useless. All the coast is affected. Only the island are clean!

          • I’m going to the Royalton Cancun in revers Myanmar. How is the seaweed? I will be there the week of June 1st. Just trying to prepare myself to be upset it’s our first time to the Cancun are.

      • I spent the week of January 5-12 ,2019 at Secrets Maroma and the ocean was crystal clear with No seaweed. The following week I. Was in Playacar Phase 1 in Playa Del Carmen and there were a few patches of seaweed but the water was still crystal clear . The week of January 19-26 I stayed st Grand Mayan about 20 minutes above Playa and there was a lot of seaweed . This week I am at Breathless 40 minutes above Playa and the seaweed is heavy with Brown water . .wont even go in the ocean .

        • i arrived Jan. 8th 2019 and the beaches in Playa were crystal clear for the next 2 weeks and now seaweed is back – not sure if it will clear for next week anyway i leave the 17th so its all good

    • Strongly suggest giving Tulum a miss – we have been here for over a week (February 2019) and it is a mess. Some hotels clean their beach – if they do, the majority buries the seaweed on the beach, making the send dark, others just pile it up on the edge of their property. Impossible to run or walk on the beach and the smell is very bad. Given how expensive hotels in Tulum are this is shocking!

      Clearly the problem is not Tulum’s fault, but nothing is done to manage it by clearing the entire beach on a daily basis

    • My wife and I have traveled to Cancun and the Riviera Maya since 1989, when we fell in love with the aquamarine and turquoise waters on the limestone sand beaches. This seaweed problem is like a curse from heaven. I can see that the seaweed issues is affecting property values. The governments, of the entire Caribbean needs to get a handle on this issue. It doesn’t just affect the beaches in the Mexican Caribbean but has devastated the beaches of much of tge Caribbean.
      The governments should make a use for the seaweed like fish fed, or fertilizer. It will be really sad if this continues because the Mexican Caribbean was the greatest destination on earth while it lasted. It’s like the passing of studio 54. Mike

    • We are at Eldorado Royal and sea weed is just as bad as described. The resort has a ton of labor raking, netting and forking it into wagons they then pull off the beach but it is a losing proposition. As I type I can see several large swathes of sea weed floating into the beach on the tide. It doesn’t look to be getting better anytime soon.

      • My husband and i also stayed at the Eldorado Royale in May this year and the beaches were unusable, could not even attempt to go in the sea. Our first time in mexico such a shame as the resort was superb but the beach was deserted, i would not go again.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • It’s not just seaweed that is turning the water brown in Playa. It is also coming from raw sewage that has been pouring in for years. Most of us who live here know it and hate it, but very few ever speak up because they will get flamed by others who depend on tourism for their livelihood. I don’t depend on tourists and have no motivation to hide the truth. Yes, the seaweed is smelly and unsightly, but it is part of nature and eventually will go away. The horrible infrastructure and sewage problems will not go away if left unchecked. They will only get worse.

      • I was wondering about that… i’ve seen many places in Mexico that throw sewage right into the sea. It might not be as apparent in Playa, but i’m sure it’s happening. Humans are disgusting me. We are willing to destroy our environnement to make money. One day it will be too late. The 2010 BP oil spill is responsible for that crazy algae problem that the Gulf of Mexico is facing. A lady in Cozumel told me it stared 7 years ago… pretty much after the spill, but she kept saying it’s natural.. I don’t think so….

        • We were in Playa 2 years ago, tried to have a beer on the water, smell of sewage was so bad it made us sick. Disgusting . I said the sewage was being dumped into the ocean and was told no. They lied. I also believe that the nutrient rich sewage is finally catching up to them and likely the cause of the ongoing seaweed bloom in the ocean. Caused by a hurricane, I call Bullshit. Just recently got home from my first trip to Hawaii, stayed in Maui and the beaches were to die for. I think the Mexican government needs to seriously address the corruption and put the money to fixing the infrastructure or the Caribbean tourist industry will head into the toilet r

          • I moved back from living in Puerto Morelos for over a year and the last 2 months were terrible, couldn’t go to the beach it was so bad with the seaweed and smell. I do not plan on going back there to even visit. For years they have dumped their sewage in the oceans and now the curse is on them. I can’t believe so many people go there and visit, crowded and expensive. Best to go to Merida or the island of Holbox or isla Mujeres. I personally will be going back go panhandle Florida, Navarre Beach in particular, the white sands and emerald water and better prices.

      • Hello, can you say where specifically the raw sewage is being dumped into the ocean? I’ve seen minor instances, but nothing large scale. The sargassum explosion is gruesome, but I can’t find anything that is tying it to sewage. Thanks.

    • 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!

    • I’ll be I Playa del Carmen in November for the month, any chance the sargassum will be less or gone?

      • Hi, we are in Tulum right now – further south but facing the same direction – and the seaweed is aweful and stinky. A lot. Couldn’t enter the water this week at all.

      • In Playacar area now at RIU Palace Riviera Maya and the seaweed is here and there on the shoreline, heavy in some areas. The first 20 feet of the surf is darker colored but you can walk through it to get to clear water to swim. The resort is doing their best to keep up with it. 10/12/2018

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

    • 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.

    • 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

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

  4. 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.

    • 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    • 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.

      • I just returned from Puerto Morales and there was seaweed everyday that was raked away. I also noticed that the water was cloudy and brown. I hadn’t been to this area in years and I was surprised to see this. Once you swim past the seaweed it becomes clearer. I still really had an enjoyable time.

    • 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.

  8. 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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

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

  21. 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.

    • 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.

  22. 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.

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

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

    • 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  27. 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

    • 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.

      • There is no predicting it. It is like asking if it will snow in New York in December 2020. It is best to get a little bit closer to the date to see how the situation is.

  28. 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?

    • 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.

    • We have been at Eldorada Royale hotel Riviera Maya for 11 days now and seaweed has been a massive problem for at least half of tne time.Appreciate seaweed is a natural event and variable but the hotels management of it is poor and not effective-manpower and rakes do not work.If City of Playa can use a tractor then why not the hotel at least twice a day.Sadly despite our raising the issue on TripAdvisor a conversation with duty manager he seemed to believe there was nothing more they could do(we have noticed though that a small digger and more men with small boats have been used since our TripAdvisor review,digger not in use all the time? Why).There are lots of alternatvive lovely places and things to do other than swim in dea but this was a major part of our holiday choice and disappointment which hotel management don’t seem to be too worried about-happy to take peoples money up front when they know it’s a big problem.

  29. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  30. 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  31. Hello,

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

    • 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.

  32. 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.

    • 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.

  33. 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?

    • 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.

  34. 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  35. 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.

    • 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.

  36. 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.

    • 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. Hello,

    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 !

    • 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.

  40. 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 ?

    • 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.

  41. 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

    • 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.

  42. 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.

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

    • 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.

        • 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.

  44. 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.

    • 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.

  45. 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.

    • 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.

  46. 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?

  47. 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!!

    • 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.

  48. 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.

    • 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.

  49. 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!

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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

    • 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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

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

  60. We are at the Riu palace Riviera Maya right now and with every day the sea weed became more and more. Right now it is really a lot what is washing ashore . The hotel staff is working hard to remove it but it seems almost impossible. The Hotel is the best place ever and we are by the pool a lot!

  61. Just came back from a week in both PDC and Tulum. In a word: disgusting! I had no idea that this was so bad. The hotel we stayed at near Tulum had the seaweed as well as trash for a long as the eye could see (hopefully my link showing the photos come through). So people, my advise if you ant a beach holiday is to consider the Pacific and not Atlantic/Caribbean

  62. The seaweed is a natural occurring phenomina that will eventually leave, then without warning will be back. Mother nature does her thing and all you can do is sit back and say “oh well”.

  63. Mother Nature does not “do her thing”. The seaweed is no doubt the result of pollution and climate change, both our responsibility to fix. Where does the human waste go from all the new hotels and development along the Maya Riviera. Wake up people! Tourists talk and will not go to beaches,even if there are swimming pools, natural springs, and Mayan ruins nearby. We stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe in February and staff worked constantly to clear the beach and take away the seaweed. So it was okay, not great. My daughter is currently in a town near Belize and their beachfront holiday is ruined.

  64. I’m going end of April- early may to tulum. What are the chances that this will clear up by then? Could it potential he get worse or stay the same? I’m thinking about canceling my trip but really don’t want to 🙁

    • Hello Liz

      We don’t think it can get worse since it is near the worst point it has been in the past. It can clear up in a few weeks time from now but not a given. We will try to update the article with current conditions every once in a while.

  65. We are staying just north of Playa del Carmen. The seaweed issue is severe (in PDC, Xpu-Ha, Tulum). In some areas it is nearly impossible to go for a swim. Local authorities are not doing anything to remove the seaweed and the entangled trash. Some hotels are trying to clean up but without strong partcipation with local authorities, the efforts will not produce clean beaches. The amount of trash that gets caught in the seaweed is frightening. No one is managing this crisis.

  66. Another option is perhaps day tripping to Cozumel. Last time in Playa sea weed pretty bad – went to Cozumel and nothing – granted it wasn’t a sandy beach but water crystal clear – – We were at the Money Bar – Fabulous Place!!

  67. Just returned from a week in PDC feb 22-28,2018. The seaweed is pretty terrible. I walked the shoreline from the ferry terminal (2nd south) all the way to the Paradisus at 120 North—three or four miles. The entire distance is covered with seaweed mats about 5-10 feet wide and 6-10 inches deep right at the waterline. That said, the water is beautiful, mangos are in season, street tacos are delicious, and the people and scenery are endlessly fascinating.

  68. We are going to PDC Maroma Beach 3/7/18. Our travel agent just told us about the seaweed. Can someone give us an update? I’m wondering if we should cancel our trip… our goal was to have a visit to paradise on a beautiful beach and clear water…

  69. Just leaving Playa del Carmen today (March 3) from r the Cancun airport. Was here for a week. Could not walk on beach or go swimming. Huge let down. Wish I had discovered Xel Ha before my last full day here. I would have gone there 3 full days instead of half of one day (went there after a trip to Tulum yesterday).

  70. We rented a car in Playa Del Carmen for a few days last week and wanted to discover the beaches from Cancun all the way down just south of Tulum. Our favorite beach we visit every time is in Tulum and it was just a freaking nightmare what we have seen there. Absolutely garbage and not even a hint it was a paradise a few months ago. No chance to swimm, no chance to be on the beach (terrible smell) and no chance to find a place where it could be barrable to just sit on the beach and relax. This was the case everywhere and after the third day we returned the car and ended our plans early. Just a waste of money and time. Maybe next time. For those who make this destination a holiday once a year it must be a really big problem. Fortunately the Mayan Riviera is not just only about the beach and you have a lot of things to do.

  71. After reading this, very upset. I have a pool here, want to be at the beach”””” I am going May 2 Rivera Maya, do you think it will change, is it seasonal???

    • It has already improved recently and can change fast. It is not as much seasonal but has to do more with currents and temperature of the ocean.

  72. Oil spill back in 2010 in the Gulf…
    Maybe has something to do with this?
    What a shame!
    I knew there would be a price to pay for that someday.
    At Puerto Molaris the whole beach for miles and miles full of seaweed!

  73. We just left Playa Del Carmen and had a similar experience….beaches covered in seaweed, muddy brown water, and bad smells. It was the same at Playa Maya by Tulum. We know it’s is something beyond the control of the hotels/cities/etc…but it was disappointing just the same. We will try again in the future

  74. just arrived back in uk after 2 weeks on the riviera maya,puerto morelos beach area.beach still has seaweed arriving daily and large slicks still can be seen out at sea.Our hotel had a army of workers out every day with wheelbarrows,rakes and forks trying to clear it away,also using mechanical plant,dumper truck as a snow plough and a very large tractor pulling a large scarifier but seaweed keeps coming in. On our beach walks each day, the other hotel’s along were just shovelling seaweed back into the sea. Disappointing for a beach holiday and its very annoying that the tour operator had not highlighted the seaweed problem when booking this trip.

    • It is disappointing to go to the beach and see this natural phenome happening. Tour bookers might not know at all about the problem or it might be impossible to predict what it will be like just a few months before. It does change rapidly at times and we can have a beautiful week and then it starts to roll in.

  75. We’re just back from two weeks in Tulum where the Sargasso was so bad from Tulum and south for the 30 miles we drove along the Sian Kaan, that we never went in the water. Even where some resorts rake it up, it still made swimming (with long hair to catch the seaweed) a very unpleasant experience. And the smell at Tulum beach from the rotting Sargasso is the same as a sewerage plants, where they process human waste. It made us gag, so we left after 5 minute. Thank goodness for the fresh water cenotes and Mayan ruin explorations, which were fantastic.

  76. Is the seaweed problem any better in Cancun? We are headed to Akumal this week and am considering moving to Cancun instead if the seaweed is better there. Beach is my number one priority.

  77. How long does the Sargassum typically last? I was there in Dec/Jan and the beaches were pristine! I saw that by February the Sargassum had arrived. Does it usually last a few weeks/months?

    • Hello Christina

      It is random. It can come for a week and go away or last for months. More or less it dependent on the currents.

  78. Hi. My family is planning our first family vacation with a 4 yr old and 2 yr old to Playa Del Carmen next week. All we really want to do is sit on the beach, play in the and, and enjoy the ocean…we are so hoping just to relax (my husbands last break from medical school!). However, just learned about the seaweed from a friend. We planned to arrive April 9th and stay at the week at the Mahekal (which I also heard is having beach erosion issues). Any sense of how the seaweed is currently and what it might be like in week? I know its impossible to predict, but hoping for a general sense of whether we should cancel entirely or look for another hotel somewhere (we fly into Cancun). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • The seaweed is getting less and less now but that does not change beach erosion. Why did you choose that hotel? Do you like being in the center of Playa? Do you want to have access to the city or you just like the hotel? The beaches in Playacar are nicer and you can still go out in town. If you want a more kid friendly resort and it does not matter where, there are resorts with nicer beaches south of playa especially. Palladium or Sirenis are good.

      • Sirenis is an awesome place and I have come here a few times. However, this year (right now) you can barely go into the water. One part of the inlet is totally inaccessible and the other is day by day. The water is so thick, brown and amost muddy from the rotting seaweed. The stench is terrible and no one is on the beach area here and live in the pools. It is sad to see what is happening to this beautiful reef area.

        • Thank you Corina for the news from Sirenis. We do love that resort. It is good there are the huge pools as an option but of course the beach is beautiful there when there is no seaweed.

  79. Hi. This is really helpful, thank you. We chose that hotel based on someone’s recommendation, but we can cancel. We really are just looking for something kid friendly, not over the top (dont need kids club). The most important things for us is to stay right on the beach so we can hang out, play in the sand, splash in the water. Bonus if the hotel has a nice pool with zero entry, so our kids can splash around there too. I’ll check out the places you mentioned and any other recommendations are welcome. I was also thinking maybe Cozumel? I heard the seaweed problem is much less there. But of course I was a little worried about safety given the recent ferry incidents.

    • In Cozumel all the hotels are on the west side. This does help block the current and seaweed but will not totally eliminate it. We really don’t prefer staying on Cozumel. Being on the mainland offers much closer access to everything. The ferry are back to running normal albeit just two companies. The travel alerts have been dropped.

  80. We just returned from Puerto Morelos yesterday (about 20 min from Cancun). We stayed at Ventus El Cid. The seaweed does impede the fun on the beach for the kids but I think it is everywhere in the areas we saw. El Cid had a crew raking it up every morning but it builds up as the day goes on. My kids enjoyed the pool(there are a few with zero entry) over the ocean due to the seaweed issue. It would have been nice to enjoy boogie boarding and swimming in the water but the unfortunately the seaweed does impact this. It didn’t lessen our enjoyment of our vacation though and we still enjoyed a few snorkelling tours. With 2 kiddies that are the ages of yours I would recommend looking for a place with a great pool on the beach so they can still play in the sand.

  81. Beaches at paradisus absolutely disgusting. Such a shame. This economy will suffer once word of this gets out. This is coco beach area.

      • I was at Paradisus Mar 31-Apr 7. The beach was horrible. Couldn’t go in the water. Couldn’t walk the beach. Had to plug our noses due to the stink. Very disappointing

  82. Just returned from Puerto Morelos. Seaweed is prevalent, ocean is not swimmable. Nets, like ones used in Tulum that block the seaweed from reaching the beach, might be a consideration. Still had fun, but no ocean/beach use was quite dissapointing

  83. Just returned from a fabulous week at Now Jade south of Cancun. Great resort, service top notch! Unfortunately the beach is full of seaweed. Some days a few feet high and the crews worked non stop. The water was a little clearer a few days, but then it looked black and dirty a few days so didn’t attempt to go in those days. First time in Mexico at a resort and the beach conditions really turned us off! Not sure if we will go back as we go for the beach! I was more disappointed that this issue was not communicated to us by the travel agent. As I read on-line it’s a known problem.

  84. is the seaweed situation the same across isla on the top 7? we want to travel 4/20 4/28 – beach is gorgeous by top 7 but less hotel choices and no word on seaweed

  85. We’re here in Playa del Carmen (23 April 2018) and there is a lot. No where is without it currently. There are still places to swim though. It really is day to day and place to place.

  86. Hi just discovered this site! Planning our first trip to Mexico in about 8 weeks – was looking at Playa Del Carmen. I was vaguely aware of the seaweed issue but did not realise that this would impede on water sports. We will have our 16 yr old son with us and were hoping to do lots of water activities, snorkelling etc but may have to change our plans if we cant do this. (I cant sit round a pool with a moaning teenager for 2 weeks…!) . Grateful for any advice please specifically in relation to using the water. I can live with the beach looking less pretty 🙁 but cant live with not using the beach at all! thanks in advance!

    • There are still lots of things to do while here. Xel Ha for one is a park where you can swim in a inlet without seaweed. A tour to one of the Mayan ruin sites is also usually on a schedule of guest, cenotes for swimming, zip lines, atvs and more. Your teenager should not be board.

  87. Mr. Yucatan – we stayed in Puerto Morelos for the month of March 2018 – the third year at our favorite rental, and although it was quite expensive and the sargassum problem kept getting worse, we gave it one more chance – but NO MORE!! It is NOT a phenomenon as you keep saying – the truth is the entire Yucatan shoreline, the Gulf of Mx, west coast of Florida, Caribbean, all the way down to the Amazon, is part of the Sargassum Migratory Loop, now made worse due to climate change (Google “The Journey of the Sargassum”) – so sadly, we don’t see an end to this tragedy!!!

  88. We are in Puerto Morelos now and the seaweed is BAD!!!
    We’ve been here every season and November was Fine!!!! No seaweed but it was bad last July. Thinking of going back to Cabo!!

  89. We are in Rivera Maya right now and it’s the worst I’ve ever seen! The smell is horrible as well, not to mention the actual beach is half of what it was just 4 years ago! Pretty soon all the beach resorts on this stretch will be in the seaweed! Climate change is scary!

  90. Just got back from playa dell Carmen and the
    Seaweed is bad and they are burying it and the
    Beach water is turning brown.

  91. I would like to know how the carted off seaweed is used… is it made into compost or fertilizer for landscaping or farming?

    • The seaweed is usually just dumped on land to degrade. Some people clean it and use it for fertilizer, but nothing on a large scale.

  92. Any chance that the current tropical storm Alberto will clear some of the seaweed from Puerto Morales beaches? Or at least pull some of it back out to sea?

    • Usually the currents are changed with storms like this and that can be a good thing. We will see. The weather is already better here.

  93. We were at Fairmont Mayakoba from 21 May – 25 May 2018 and unfortunately the seaweed ruined our trip.

    We were lucky enough to be at such a nice resort with a few different pools to use, otherwise we would have been miserable. We love the beach and the sea and were SO disappointed with the seaweed problem. Still made the most of our time just bummed out about all the fun we missed.

  94. We are going to Dreams Puerto Adventuras in early October 2018.
    Do you think this could be a problem we may encounter that time of year?
    It is our first trip to Mexico, and was expecting clear blue water!

    • Hello Cassie

      It is impossible to know what the seaweed will be like in October. It is not seasonal or predictable. The one thing we will say it that normally with storms it clears it out more. Late summer is hurricane season and we have typically has less seaweed in October.

  95. Off to the Catalonia royal Tulum on Thursday 7th June – can anyone update me on the seaweed and the current weather

    • At Catalonia Royal Tulum now. Seaweed is an issue. Yesterday not so bad and we could swim. Today it’s worse and we stayed by the pool.

    • Can u update me on the seaweed situation after you leave, we have a trip booked for July 13 …. thanks in advance….. Dolly

  96. The current seaweed situation is not good. We are here now in Playacar and there is lots of seaweed. Playa Del Carmen in some areas looks like it has brown sea. Not many people venture into the water . In some areas its not as bad but you have people permanently clearing it. They work hard too. Some just bury it and that’s not the answer as it will decompose into mud. The first 30 feet of water looks brown. We’ve had a great holiday but would never return. We have better beaches in the worst areas of the UK! if we had know about his problem we would never had booked. I do feel sorry for the hotels as this can only deter more and more visitors every year.

  97. Mr Yucatan , can you do more updates on the amounts reported? Going on trip 5 in last 2 years. And I have been 11 total. So I see the changes. Its nature I get it. Please let me know we will be in Puerto Morelos the 14th. Thanks

    • Hello SB

      We don’t get to see all parts of the Riviera Maya all the time but we try to get info for our readers. Right now it is not good. Your trip is about 10 days away but we would say don’t expect clear beaches.

  98. Me and my partner are currently staying in riviera maya. Unfortunately the seaweed is a big problem. To simply get to the water we have to traipse through two foot deep blockade of weed. Once in the water you have to go out quite deep to get past it. The water is also very murky. However, the worst part is the smell. Our hotels pools are all close to the beach so when the when the wind blows inland the stench wafts over the resort. So there is no escaping it.

    It is a huge shame, the resort is lovely, the weather is great, the staff and the local people are all very nice. I came here before approximately 10 years ago and had a holiday of a lifetime. However, me and my partner love to swim in the sea, snorkel and other water sports so this is a big issue for us.

    • We’re heading there in August and I’m starting to rethink my decision. I know it’s out of their control, but the beach and ocean are a big reason for wanting to go here. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with that on your holiday. 🙁

        • Go to Isla Mujeres. Its Playa Norte is usually clear even when the mainland beaches are inundated. I was in Isla in January and it was lovely swimming. Went to Playa del Carmen in early June and the seaweed was so bad it was unswimmable. If you do go to Puerto Morelos make sure your hotel has a nice pool.

  99. We r a family of 5 visiting sandos playacar in 2 weeks. Do you have an update on the seaweed in that area? This is a special family trip do we will go either way. We just want to know what to expect so we can have some contingency plans if we can’t hand out on the beach. Thank you for all of the other comments on this forum. I appreciate all of the information provided regarding, snorkeling, Cenote, Mayan ruins, etc. you rock!

    • Hello Colleen

      We just posted a picture of the beginning of Playacar. It is bad now, so some pool days, Xel Ha, tours and things like that will still make for a great vacation. Thank you so much for reading and we hope you have a great trip!

  100. we were just in Riviera Maya for 8 days. We were only able swim in the sea twice due to the seaweed. We were there 2 years ago & had no issue. Very disappointing, but NOT vacation ruining. We spent time on the beach, then enjoyed the resorts pool. Couldn’t snorkel, the water was too murky. Don’t let it ruin your trip, so many other things to enjoy!

    • You are correct. It is hard to predict but if history teaches us anything, August has been it usually clears toward the end of summer. A lot will depend on the currents and if we have a lot of tropical storms or hurricanes.

  101. We are staying at the Bahia Principe Akumal at the moment. We are not sea lovers but do like being on the beach and there is no real problem for us. However, for those who do like snorkelling and a dip in the sea the seaweed problem at the moment is horrendous. They work so hard to clear it up but they are up against it to say the least. Today there are some areas where it seems to cover 20 meters or more from the shore. Nevertheless it wouldn’t stop me coming back here.

  102. We will be in Costa Maya(Maya chan) and Cozumel(Playa Mia) the week of June 25th. What is the seagrass like now and forcast for next week? Thanks

    • Sounds like you will be on a cruise. The seaweed situation is not good and we don’t think it will be clear for when you arrive.

  103. Hi there, we are flying in July 8th for 10 days and were planning on renting out a place in PDC to enjoy the city, beaches and for day trips here and there. Seems that with the Seaweed condition the beach part will be troublesome. Are there other areas in Riviera maya- Cancun where the seaweed condition is better and where we could enjoy the beach?

    Thank you!

    • It is currently better in Cancun but there are not good options for city exploring there. Isla Mujeres on the North Beach is usually better because the currents take it around that area.

    • No, Tulum is actually a little worse. Right now it seems that the further north on the coast you go, the better.

  104. We are staying at the grand Bahia right now and the sea is choked with seaweed two feet deep the sea isn’t moving and no way can you even paddle and because of the five day storm we have just had it hasn’t been worked on by hotel staff it’s an unending job and you can see more seaweed waiting to get passed the nets trying to hold it back and now it’s smells and our beach is unusable the seaweed is piled high. Two bob cats and twenty men to clear thousands and thousands of tons of the stuff.

  105. we are arriving on June 23rd, staying at the Iberostar in the Riveria Maya for 5 nights. Do you think the seaweed will still be bad?

  106. I don’t know what to think and we are very concern about our trip to Mexico starting this Saturday, June 23. We are heading to Ocean & Coral Turquesa and all I read everywhere is the seaweed everywhere on the coast and now when I look at the weather it shows rain pretty much all week. I am trying to stay positive but it does not look good. With no beach to go and potential too bad weather to even head out to the pool, our dreamy trip with our 6 year old may become a nightmare. I usually don’t care much about reviews but this time it bothers me. If you have any good news or better news for us, please share. :-/

    • Hello Katrina

      This week the seaweed is not as bad but it will not be gone by the time you get here, so that is a given. The weather however is not easy to predict here since it changes so much. Even if it predicts rain each day it often is just an afternoon shower. If it is a large front it can be rainy for a few days but we are not expecting any right now. SO you should get some good pool time in and we hope you enjoy your vacation.

  107. Hi

    We are travelling to the Riviera May at the end of September, I know you cannot predict the future but from historic sea weed problems – is his likely to have cleared by then?
    We are travelling from the UK for a week so it s along way to travel if we cannot enjoy the beach & sea


  108. We are on our way home today. We stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Coba. The resort was beautiful. However, the seaweed was horrible. We also spent a day at Xcaret which was awesome, but would have loved some beach time.

  109. I am staying in playa del carmen and the seaweed situation is horrendous. We have an ocean front condo and the stench is something I definitely wasn’t expecting. Basically sewer gas smell. Water is not swimmable.

    My advice:

    1. do the Jungle Maya Tour (alltournative company). Great tour ziplining and snorkeling in a cenote. (did this yesterday)

    2. take the ferry over to cozumel. minimal to no seaweed. (did this today)

  110. Seaweed is terrible in Tulum. Just returned home from 7 days in Tulum. We ended up hanging out at Casa Malca as they had the best beach & a big pool. My family went for the beach & clear water, so was very disappointed not to spend any time in the ocean. Amazing trip, but if you’re going for the ocean, CANCEL. It has ruined the entire vibe on the beach.

  111. we are staying from 4 august 2 weeks in unico 2087
    we have booked last september
    we both are coming since 20 years to the riviera maya while of the beaches and sea
    now we don’t now what to do
    we have a 12 hours flight from frankfurt to cancun and we are thinking about canceling
    i read somewhere that it gets better in august, is that true?
    thank you for help

    • We have said that August has typically subsided the amount of seaweed but there is no guarantee. It might be in part to the waters cooling down and less growing. Here is one suggestion to you. Unico is a great resort so just being there will be nice but we also know the water and beach are great to see. One resort that is seaweed proof kind of is the New Xcaret Hotel. They built and a inland channel of swimming wonderland and a beautiful resort. You can see it here in a video and get info.

  112. Hi,

    We will be honeymooning at Secrets Maroma mid november. I know it is nearly impossible to predict, but what might we expect. It has been mentioned elsewhere that seaweed generally subsides by August. Does that mean it should definitely subside by November? Is it seasonal in that way?


    PS. I’m impressed at how lively and friendly this comment section has been over the last few years.

    • Hello Matt

      We have said it seems to calm down in August but since the seaweed is not really seasonal, it does not mean that it will be gone by November. Maroma area tends to be more clear then other areas due to currents and shape of the beach. We will stay that.

      • Thanks for the prompt response. I’ll check back into this comment section as our trip becomes closer.


  113. Excellence and Dreams Riviera Maya trying really hard to control the seaweed but fighting a losing battle at the moment. Ive only got in the sea once in 14 days June 2018 and that was Puerto Morelos further down the beach. Probably a 4 mike stretch needing a few JCB’s to clear the problem Required now!

  114. Going to Honeymoon end of next month (July 26-AUg 1) to secrets maroma. Do you think the seaweed will still be a big issue by then? Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Felicia

      It is not looking good now so we don’t think it will be cleared up by then sorry.

  115. Im heading to Moon Palace end of August and was wondering if you have any idea what the seaweed situation will be like? I know its pot luck lol

    • It has been more clear near Cancun lately regarding seaweed. We have not been ear the Moon Palace lately but in general you will be a little more fortunate.

  116. Mr. Yucatan you have been taking about seaweed for over 3 years now!! I was in Playa del Carmen on March of this year and had a few upper respiratory issues. I am thinking that the dead seaweed was the culprit. 🙁 I am caming back next march and will bring somekind of alergy and steroid nose spray with me hopefully that will help. I think this is a problrm that might stay around for a while I get sad when i read of it being a losing battle.

    • It is going on 4 years now where the seaweed has come, goes and then reappears. It is sad it is an ongoing issue. We are not the only ones fighting it, as much of the Caribbean is being faced with issues. Now that the elections are over, we hope the government will get to work with a new energy and come up with some helpful plans.

    • Call before you go. Was looking forward for crystal clean beaches. Cancun is horrible now and smells like eggs and dead fish

  117. We were at Riu Cancun in February for my wife’s brothers wedding and there was a small bit of seaweed, but the resort workers were cleaning it regularly so we really had no issues at all as we were on the beach & in the water every day. We are going to be at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo in 3 weeks for our 20 year anniversary, with 4 other families. I sure hope its one of the times the seaweed is down, but either way we will make the most out of whatever situation we encounter.

    Mr. Yucatan, thanks for all the information you put on this site.

  118. We’ll be visiting Playa Del Carmen again the last 2 weeks of January 2019, and hope it won’t be too bad. In 2017 there was quite a bit of the sargassum, but we didn’t let it ruin our vacation. This past February we spent 2 weeks in Isla Mujeres and the beaches were free of any sargassum.

  119. Hi Mr Yucatan,
    I had initially booked 6 days at the end of the month for the Royal Haciendas in PDC but after reading your article decided to change the reservation to the Fiesta Americana Condesa on the main hotel strip in Cancun. Having observed the live webcams on the seas-forecast website it appeared there is less of a seaweed problem in that area. What do you think?
    Thank you.

  120. We are at The Royal Resorts in Cancun and he seaweed has wrecked the beautiful view and i have no intention of going in the sea water with it floating around. I have noticed resorts staff raking it, as well as people driving the sand-raking tractors and also using a large walk-behind equivalent to groom the sand. I don’t know what they are doing with the seaweed, though. We are also watching huge dark areas of it drifting in. So much for the perfect white sand merging with the perfectly clear turquoise water years and decades ago :'(

  121. Just returned from iberostar paraiso maya. We have very little sargassum. Beach was clean and clear for the whole week. June 28-july 5th. A bit of debris in the water now and again. We were in the ocean every day and it was fantastic. Pleasantly surprised given all that I had heard before we went.

  122. Hey there Mr Yucatan. On trip 6 since Aug 2016. Hows the issue near the Royal PDC? I see its clearing in webcam near ferry and the resort there. But the Royal don’t seem to have one. We come Sept 7th. Thanks for always keeping us posted.

    • Hello Lilian

      It is not equal. Some parts like Mamitas are better then say 12th street area. Overall it is not perfect and some places are looking bad.

  123. Hi there,

    My husband and I are coming to Mexico for our honeymoon from July 23-30th. We are currently booked at the Secret Silversands in Puerto Morelos however we would live a BEACH vacation, is there somewhere else we should be going? We can still make travel adjustments at this time. Any recommendations would be welcome!

    • Hello Leona

      We mention one hotel in this article that is good to check out. North End of Isla Mujeres is good but there are no large all inclusive resorts there. So the suggestion in the article is the best one for you.

  124. Hi, Mr. Yucatan. We are planning a trip to Secrets Maroma this Sunday through Thursday. I’m having problems finding out about the seaweed status. We planned the trip because of the beach. Can you let me know what it is like there? Thanks for all your information!

    • Hello Anne

      We have not been past there this week or seen any photos as well. We have heard that the area has been better and one end of the beach is pretty clear.

  125. I am sitting on a balcony at Royal Caribbean in Cancun, have been coming for 26 years and have never seen the seaweed so bad. It’s still gorgeous and the people here are amazing. We haven’t seen any turtles this trip either. Headed to Paamul next week, hoping the cove is better and we can enjoy the ocean.

    • Hello Chrissi

      We have seen pictures from Paamul and it looks nice now. We hope you have a good time there.

  126. We are visiting the Valentin Imperial on Aug. 1st to 5th! How are the beaches and the smell now with the seaweed? What do you think we will experience for our trip and should we think about going elsewhere! Thanks for your input!

    • Hello Kisti
      The beach around there is getting better but not perfect. You have about two weeks before you will be there and no ones knows what it will be like then. Chances are with the warm weather, it will make the seaweed grow faster. Usully it is not until the end og August when we see a decline. If you can afford it we do mention one option here in this article that can be a seaweed proof holiday.

  127. I have been in Tulum for since the 13th and the seaweed has been pretty bad. Woke up this a.m. I don’t see any seaweed patches coming in from the ocean at all..water still brown though.

    • We were in Tulum today and see that it depends on what part of the beach you are at will effect the amount of seaweed. It will still take some time to return to clear blue waters.

  128. Hello we are coming July 21 thru July 30 and staying at the new Grand Hyatt how is the beaches looking?

    • The beach is ok, it is one of the more clean ones in the center of Playa. It is not perfect at the moment and will have some seaweed in the water.

  129. I am heading to Sirenis in Akumal, QR in a couple of days. Can anyone advise the status of the problem there?
    many thanks in advance,

  130. I’m staying at Be Tulum & Nomade. There is seaweed coming in every day but they have a tractor that is clearing it every morning and the water is clear. Other beaches in Tulum are not being cleared as often and the water can get brown near the shore but I haven’t noticed a smell so they must be getting cleared at some point during the week.

  131. Hello! I’m leaving for Play Del Carmen La Esmeralda near Riviera Maya for July 22nd – 26th. Just looking to gain some insight on how the seaweed is looking over there. Thanks for the input!

  132. just got back from a week at Moon Palace south of Cancun. Beaches at our resort were being cleaned with tractors all day long. Yesterday they were using a dump truck to remove the seaweed. Seaweed was a constant problem. Water was brown, not the beautiful blue/green we were used to. Horrible smell. After they spent all morning carting it away, the smell was gone but the next morning it was back. Still love the area and will continue to go back though. Just stayed at the pool most of the time.

  133. Hi, me and my family are coming out to the Barcelo Riviera Maya on 27th August for 10 days and just heard today about the seaweed. It is a holiday of a lifetime for us and costing a fortune. Have wanted to come here for 20 years. Does anyone know if it is likely to have died down by then and whether we will still be able to go diving?

    • There is no way of knowing what it will be like in late August. You will be able to go diving and most likely will not notice anything different there. Once you get out in the water you see some clumps but the water is mostly open. It accumulates more on the shore since that is the natural flow. That hotel is nice and have a lot of pools for you to enjoy, which is what most people do anyways, but we hope the water in the ocean is clear for you.

  134. I just came back after 3 weeks in Mexico. First week we stayed in Cancun Hotel Zone, Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites Cancún and the beach there was perfect. Isla Mujeres was amazing beaches and water. The second week we went to Progreso and Chicxulub, different sea of course, but a good and positive experience since the beaches and water was perfect clear. The last week we spent in Playa del Carmen, and also visited Tulum. I was such a big disipointment for us. The water was so brown at the beach. Even the kids refused to swim. We preferd to stay at the hotel and use the pool. I feel so sorry for all the business among the beaches, it must be hard on them.

    • Hello Carina

      Thank you for your comments. It is not often visitors get to travel around to different places and even sides of the peninsula. We are glad you got to go around. Yes the seaweed is bad for business. When almost all your tourism is based on the ocean and it has seaweed it has a bad effect.

  135. Hi, We have booked for June 2019 visiting the Akumel Wellbeing Beach and Spa resort. We were here two years ago and much looking forward to our trip in 2019. However, now reading all about the seaweed can you tell me anything about the seaweed in this area and how bad it is.

    • Hello Sue

      Right now there is seaweed on this beach. You are looking at over a year away and there is no way of knowing what the weather will be as well as seaweed conditions. It is better to start thinking about it in April or May of next year.

  136. I have no idea how I missed this seaweed topic all this time, but here we are! I love Cancun, 30 years going. Fantastic! Trying a new resort with the whole family come July 30th at the Beach Palace. I’ve stayed at Kin Ha, Fiesta Americana, and from the looks of it, maybe should have hit that area up.

    Looking at webcams at Hard Rock, doesn’t look like the seaweed is letting up. At this time trying to possible do last ditch effort cancel. Good thing we have the traveler’s insurance.

    How’s it looking on the ground???

    • Hello Chris

      At the moment it is generally worse from south to north along the Riviera Maya. It can change weekly but does take time to rake up the beaches when it does let up. With the waters so warm it is bad now.

    • Hello Chris,
      if possible you can change to Isla Mujeres. The water there was perfect a couple of weeks ago.

  137. Lots of seaweed on the Seas forecast. I also can tell watching webcams esp El Taj and I see a lot more beach width… Than usual. I have reaf seaweed help with beach erosion but also read it can be bad for it also. What is your thoughts Mr.Yucatan? Since you have been seeing it over the years like I have been watching. My trip in June was horrible with Trop storm Alberto and seaweed. But not stopping us. We are coming again to The Royal in Sept

    • It does slow down the waves and adds a buffer for the beaches but the winter is when beach erosion mainly kicks in and this is when there is less seaweed. Most would say they can deal with a little erosion over seaweed. There is also the longer ferry pier which is effecting the Playacar beach. So man made issues have also hurt the beaches according to size.

  138. Hello,
    I was wondering how the seaweed is at Secrets MAroma resort I will be visiting there August 3 to 8th. I’m a beach person and really want to enjoy my beach vacation. thanks in advance.

  139. Yes I can see that also. Esp since the pier put in by the Royal. I came when the Porto Royale was just open. Nothing next door just a street. Beach was so nice then and almost gone the last time I went to the Royal in 2016.

  140. Just returned from Cancun staying at Excellence Riveria Maya. Wonderful time there, but the beaches were horrible with seaweed. I felt sorry for the staff who tried their best to keep the beaches clean, but it was a losing battle. It was my first time in Mexico and it won’t be the last. I will be back.

  141. Let me help everybody out here. No matter where you stay, no matter what time you come, there will probably be seaweed. It’s still fun. There is still a lot to do. Just change your expectations.

  142. Hi All,
    I just happened upon this site, and so grateful I did. We are planning a trip to Rivera Maya August 5-11. I’ve accepted the fact, although not happily, the beach is going to be a nightmare. ;( We have scheduled a snorkeling excursion to the Unico Beach Club. Is anyone familiar with this beach. Will we encounter the same seaweed? One more question are there other beaches we could go to that do not have the seaweed problem? I’ve never been to Mexico, we are certainly bummed about this issue, and would like other ideas, or beaches to go to with the kids. (10&13) I don’t want this to ruin our trip, but I also want some quality beach time!! Thanks in advance!

  143. July 25-29, 2018. I am staying at Ibertostar grand hotel in Playa Del Carmen. Lots of seaweed. Unable to walk along the water.

  144. Hello, wife and daughter are in PDC: arrived yesterday and staying at a centro hotel near Senor Frogs (yeah, hubby had to stay home to hold down the fort!). They were very surprised by the seaweed, beach/water conditions! Didn’t want to attempt swim or even stay at beach. So, based on the info from forums they took snorkeling day trip today to W. side cozumel. I’ll post this evening on what conditions were like there once I hear back from them.

    Wondering if anyone has current info on Isla Mujeres/Playa Norte as maybe they will go there for a day or two later this week? Cheers!

    • We were just there and it looks great. You can see photos on our Instagram or article on Green Demon Beach Club on Playa Norte.

  145. Ok, that’s great. Thanks! They had a nice time on snorkel trip to cozumel yesterday, water was a little choppy n not great visibility but that was due to weather. No seaweed that they saw. They are going to a cenote today and then maybe back to cozumel tomorrow to spend the day at beach since it’s closer/easier to get to than isla mujeres. they are probably gonna go to playa palancar. If you have any updates on that beach, let me know. I’ll post again to give update when they get back.

    • Playacar beach is not that bad now. We just saw some photos of the beach. You might need to walk up to the middle area because the area near the ferry is bad.

  146. Has anyone stayed at the Grand Sirenis and can comment on the seaweed situation there? We are looking at booking a holiday there at the end of September. I’m not too bothered about the beach itself but wondering if you can smell the seaweed from the pool areas

  147. Yes,received report from wife that beach/water are amazingly beautiful at isla today!
    They are having a BLAST, thank you! 🙂

      • Yup, Beach Palace was not ideal the week of July 30th. However took a Catamaran to Isla (playa norta) and it was awesome. Next time we go the family decided we’re going to look at the island. Just awesome.

  148. Seaweed on the beach should not be a problem it should be a solution on a town wide level collect it and bring it to a processing facility to grind it and mix with other organic matter and make compost that people can pick up and take to their gardens or use it for municipal gardens seaweed is very good for compost it has nutrients eliminate the beach problem.

  149. Was going to plan a trip in November,, but after hearing of all the seaweed problems; reconsidering…. I love Cancun, but I love the beach and would hate to go and see brown water ?

    • We hear you Christie. There are options though. One is Isla Mujeres Playa Norte, the hotel mentioned in the article and waiting to see if the new barriers work that they are starting to install. It would be a shame to cancel and then the beaches are great in November. The barriers will be offshore and block a lot of the seaweed from coming ashore. What does come to the beach is going to collected.

  150. Nutrient dumps and lake okochobe discharges are destoying the gulf and the Caribbean. This is compounded by the unbridled development of the mexican riviera. We need to work together to protect these vital areas. This is not a localized problem but spans thousands of miles and several countries

  151. The Seawead is still today a major problem. You can not just go into the sea. Every morning there is a massive amount of new Seawead on the beaches. Best to book elsewhere if you want to enjoy a nice beach

  152. In looking at all the comments, it is apparent that the local governments are not establishing and then not enforcing environmental laws for all the resorts here in the Yucatan. With climate change, these laws need to be established and followed to ensure that the waters stay clear and pristine. I have traveled to the Yucatan Penisula for the past 20 years and this is the worst I have seen the water and beaches

    • We should see the barriers installed soon. We will post when they are up and let people know how well they are working.

  153. We have just returned from the Royalton Riviera hotel our second visit. the hotel is amazing but the beach was really bad. Full of seaweed far worse than last year.

    Our first visit wasnt too bad some seaweed but the staff could mamage it daily, the sea was still blue.

    This year the sea was brown and actually smelt of seaweed.

    Will not return untill it is better.

    First choice should worn you of this.

  154. Any further info on the seaweed barriers that have been mentioned in the press, will be back at GBP Coba from 06/09/18 for 3 weeks and hoping there may be some improvement in time for our arrival. Plan to visit Isla Contoy and Sian Kaan so not too worried to be fair, still looking forward to being back in our happy place.

    • They have installed some in Cancun and have a small portion in Playa. We will take photos later this week of how it is working.

      • Thats great, fingers crossed that they work as well as expected. I see a lot of negative comments on trip advisor, i understand people love the beaches and the sea, but Mexico is a beautiful country and there is so much more to see and do.

  155. I just left Playa Del Carmen and the seaweed issue is a mess. A lot of seaweed and it smells, the ocean is brown and mucky by the shore. We went to Isla Mujeres there wasn’t any seaweed but it’s only shopping and your snorkeling excursions. I wish I new of the seaweed. I would of picked another destination.

  156. We will be coming to stay at the Jade @ the Riviera Maya at the End of September . we are hoping that the seaweed issue will be somewhat cleared up by then. Anyone stayed in that area currently? what is the seaweed issue like in that area presently?
    would appreciate any updates as the end of September approaches.

    • Hello Lisa

      The calm currents and winds have lessened the seaweed but the Jade Resort does still have some seaweed. The barrios they are looking to put in the ocean are not expected to be in front of that hotel so it should continue to be an issue there.

  157. Does anyone know if the barriers will help the seaweed situation in Playa Murjees we are staying at the beloved for 2 weeks beginning of October

  158. Just got back from Playa del Carmen area, beaches were covered in seaweed. Not the resorts’ fault, but eas not pleasant being with the family along the beach area. We ended up poolside all week. Waters are brown and murky, as are the shores smelling bad.

  159. Mr.Yucatan, I was wondering why no updates on the amount of seaweed hasn’t been updated since June 30th? And you said pics would be posted soon. I know you are busy but please keep us all in the loop. Esp the pier areas in Playa by The Royal. Any areas clean to get in? I know its hit an miss where it accumulates. We come again the 7th. I am not picky I just want to no if I will be not able to enjoy tanning on beach and such with the smell. Thank you. Also see a storm brewing but says 20 percent in next 5 days. Info on what you locals hear would be nice.

    • Hello

      You probably missed our video we put on Facebook. It was a video showing the beaches and the current situation. We just updated the article. Not much has changed on the beaches and you should expect it to be here in the next 4 days you are arriving. As for the tropical storms, no one here worries until it is bigger or closer.

    • Where is that emoji with mouth wide open! hahahah We forget sometimes people don’t use Facebook. It is loosing some appeal but we try to be on many social media and our website to keep people updated. We hope you have a great vacation down and enjoy it.

  160. Beaches in the hotel zone of Cancun collect a pile of seaweed every high tide. They clean the beach with tractors every morning. From the shore to 100 or so yards offshore the water is brown with seaweed. The beach is unusable for swimming or even walking. Pools are nice, but folks come here for the beach and those beaches are deserted. Hotel occupancy is probably about 20%. If I had known the condition of the beach, I would not be here.

  161. Hi! I’m so glad I found this site. My husband and I are planning on going to PDC in mid October but I’m getting so turned off by the reports of seaweed around the beach. I saw your video on FB about it (thanks for making it public!) but we’re still not sure what to do.

    At this point, do you think we can chance going to PDC in October and have sargassum free beaches or should we head to Isla mujeres? If we do go to IM, are we locked to that area? Or do people typically go there instead for playa Norte and then go back to PDC for everything else?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • Playa Nortenis going to be the safe bet for the beach. Maybe spending half and half between Playa and Isla Mujeres. You can enjoy the lively 5th Aveneu in Playa and the beach in Isla. Isla Mujeres is nice but does not have a lot of good restaurants. If you want to go to any ruins or parks it is not best to leave from Isla Mujeres.

  162. I will be happy to say It wasnt too bad at The royal even by the pier was most clear. Water was murky we stayed the 7th thru 10th of Sept.

  163. Hi, thanks for any advice. We are planning to go to Cozumel late October/early November planning some beach time on the south end of island but will be primarily scuba diving and some boat fishing/spear fishing. What are the conditions over there? Cheers!

    • Hello Brian

      You should be good there in Cozumel. The western side of the island does not get much seaweed and diving is not effected.

  164. Dear Mr.Yucatan,
    We reserved at Barcelo maya beach from 3th of November.
    it’s better the situation of sargassum after october or not?
    because my mind think that after the period of raining the sea and saragssum are better but if the situation is no good we change the destination and we will gone in santo domingo.
    i hope in your reply
    thank you so much

    • Generally the seaweed is less of an issue in the cooler months because the water does not make it reproduce as fast. Recently with storms in the Caribbean the beaches have been very clear in most places.

  165. Hi How is the situation with Seaweed today, Sep 17,2018, we our trip is coming up in 10 days, we traveling to Tulim how is tje it look like right now
    Thank you

    • Right now the beaches are in pretty nice condition. We have seen photos from Tulum to Playa and all are nice however it can change daily.

  166. We are staying in Tulum right now, and a situation with seaweed is getting worse. It is coming 2nd day and seaweed covers about 1 m on a shoreline, but we still have a hope to swim soon.

  167. planning on going to Cancun in DEC at the Royalton
    What is the situation in that area now and will it be worse or better at that time

    • Hello Betty

      The beach is not good now. Usually in the winter months the seaweed goes away or is much less. So it should be better for when you come.

  168. Mr. Yucatán! Thank you so much for this forum and all the amazing advice! I only wish we had a crystal ball… but What are your educated thoughts based on experience and expectation on the cleanliness of the beaches of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen, Playa Mujeres, and Isla Mujeres for vacationing in March 2019? Would you say there are one or two beaches that are a safer choice in terms of avoiding seaweed issues ?

    • The west side of Cozumel is a safer bet but we aren’t super excited about the resorts there. The north beach of isla mujeres is a safer bet but there are not as good resorts there. So maybe the best is pick one for the amenities and pool and maybe the beach will be good. It will depend on what you want in your vacation as well. If you want a non all inclusive you can choose a hotel with rooftop pool or if you plan on not going on excursions, Cancun’s hotel zone tends to have clearer beaches. It is just farther to stay there for tours and you cannot walk around much in the hotel zone.

    • The only thing we can say is that winter months are usualy better from seaweed. The cooler waters don’t make it grow as fast and the currents are usually different. It is hard to predict though.

  169. Hi Mr. Yucatan, you’be got a great forum with good info! We are planning a trip to Secrets Maroma in late November of this year. Is there a source to get daily updates on beach conditions in Playa Del Carmen? Thank you sir!

    • Hello Wes

      There is no place that has daily updates. Each part of the coast is different and changes daily. Some that have contacted the hotels often get standard responses and not too accurate ones. There are some Facebook groups that post random pictures of parts of the coast that can give you some idea. It is hard because it changes daily and weekly. Right now the coast is in pretty good shape. We are not sure if there is a webcam in Maroma but that would be the best source if you can find one. We will look into it.

  170. We spent a week at Now Jade ,Riviera Maya from Sept 23 to Sept 27. And there was a seaweed issue, the hotel’s ground crew worked arduously all day to gather and cart away as much as possible . One guest who arrived the day before we did said that on the day they arrived the beach was clean, barely any seaweed but overnight by Sunday morning it was a deluge. The hotel’s ground crew worked arduously all day to gather and cart away as much as possible, we were happy that on the last 2 days the beach was indeed swimmable ,The water temperature was quite warm so we made the best of it when we could but its a constant battle and it did seem to lessen as the days were progressing so it looks like the seaweed issue will be a non issue by the end of this month. Luckily the resort has a great Pool area which overlooked the ocean so you didn’t feel entirely cheated out of a sea experience.

  171. Has NASA or anyone else had any predictions as to when the issue will get back to normal? It’s been ongoing for 4 years so is this the new norm or will the sargassum eventually get back to minimal levels as in the past ?

    • No one has really dared to predict it. There are several factors like the warm seas, current and possible nutrition in the water spurning growth. It is something that no one predicted and people have been trying to study it.

  172. How the clean up looking at the Royal playa area? Heard more came after the storm cleaned it up. We come next Sunday again

    • It is looking ok. There is still some seaweed on the beach and the water has some. It is not the worst nor perfect.

  173. Thank you as usual. Hahaha.You know me by now I don’t need perfect Everytime. I have had it both and the worst. It’s the culture I love and the relaxing.

  174. Anyone staying near El Taj in Playa or see their beach club Indigo? Have they had to take up the beach chairs due to Seaweed?

    • Hello Lori

      We have not been by there lately but you can check their live webcam. It looks down toward the beach.

  175. Hello! I’m booking a trip to the Cancun area for the mid part of November. Is it safe to say that staying in the hotel zone may be our best bet for the least seaweed?
    Also, any recommendations on all-inclusive resorts or area that has calmer waters for swimming?

  176. Hello! We are going to the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzel (Playacar)at the beginning of november. Any news on seaweed? Am travelling with 2 kids (10 and 13) and the beach is important to us.
    Thank you!

    • Playacar has been pretty good and usually is one of the better beaches. We have not been there lately but have not heard of any major issues there.

  177. Hi! Thanks for any help you can give me. We have booked a stay at the Zoetry Parasio for a quick 4 night honeymoon in November. From the reviews I’ve read there still seems to be a great deal of seaweed at the Zoetry property. We got a great deal there so I’m hard-pressed to change hotels. Any advise on whether I should pay more somewhere else (was thinking of the Fairmont Mayakoba) which seems to be doing a very good job with seaweed cleanup or should I stay put at the Zoetry. Thanks!

    • That is a hard call. We have not been past Zoetry lately so we don’t have a current conditions report for you. Overall the seaweed seems to be the best it has been this year and beaches are looking pretty good. Changing hotels to maybe have a good beach is up to you on the cost difference. Zoetry does have a good reputation so that is in your favor.

    • Lately the waves have Ben sting and is brining more seaweed. But overall as we head into the winter months it is getting better. We have had some perfect days lately at the beach. It is hard to predict exactly but overall getting better.

    • There is no way to predict it but it has been very light lately and the winter months tend to see very little seaweed.

  178. Stayed at Secrets Maroma 10 Nov to 18 Nov. Seaweed problem was not an issue. only 3 days did I see any seaweed. They were consecutive and only 1 was bad enough to keep me us out of the water.