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Sargasso 2021 in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya

Every year between March and October the Sargasso season happens in Cancun, Playa del Carmen en Tulum, all along the coastal area of the Riviera Maya. Some beaches are highly affected, others mildly. It all depends on wind and tide.

Every Business along the Riviera Maya struggles

Destination weddings are suffering for who wants a dream wedding in the stinky Sargasso? But also hotels at the beach and restaurants struggle with the tons of sargasso washing to shore every day.

Although the Sargasso is completely harmless for swimmers, it is no fun swimming in these beds of seaweed and having all these tiny brown bots stuck to every body part or leave the sea with hair extensions of seaweed. And that is how bad it can get.

And there is the smell, the rotten egg smell that Sargasso that is older produces when it is left untouched when it is waiting to be removed or at the points where they gather it waiting for transportation to the plant. The smell sometimes carries for miles and is horrible. Passing Ventura Park in the Cancun hotel zone where somewhere next to the Torre Peninsula the smell is overwhelming, but also near the city side of the Hotel Zone, there are areas where you feel like pinching your nose.

I have written about the Sargasso every year since I came to live in the Riviera Maya, I applauded the government for the way they handled it and all the dedicated workers that are daily removing the tons of seaweed by hand.

But this year I am kind of baffled by the fact that there are no sea barriers up in most places and they totally rely on the few Sargasso vessels out at sea to get the stuff out of the water before it reaches the shores. See for yourself in my video how the beaches look at some areas in Puerto Morels and Playa del Carmen.


Trust me when I say not all beaches are this bad, but like in Tulum the pile of collected Sargasso is so high it almost blocks the entrance road to the hotel zone, and in Cancun, they remove daily 30 tons of Sargasso from the beaches, so the newspaper reports.

How Sargasso-free will your hotel beach be?

it all depends on the wind, tide, and the willingness of the hotel to clean the beach for its guests. If you are like the destination wedding couple in the video, you might still be in sargasso. Or like the Hilton Hotel and Panama jack hotel in Playa, where I show you how they clean it but also how the water looks.

Some beaches are splendid some days and horrible other days, but all beaches have Sargasso, every day, all day.