The Beaches of the Riviera Maya Continue to Be Sargassum-Free

A few months ago, it seemed like the Sargassum would never stop rolling in.

For you folks who don’t know what Sargassum is, it’s a type of seaweed that has been showing up throughout the Caribbean in massive and unprecedented quantities since 2011. It piles up on the beaches, chokes the bays and smells absolutely terrible.

Here’s a pic of the stinky stuff taken back in July:

Photo of Akumal Bay Taken July 9, 2019

Around September, which is the low tourist season here and is often referred to by locals as Septi-hambre (hambre means hunger in Spanish), the Sargassum stopped rolling in and the beaches returned to their former beauty.

I even joked at the time that the Sargassum must have only been vacationing here because it left with the tourists.

Since then, the Sargassum-free trend has continued in this area. Here are some pics of what the beaches look like nowadays:

Let’s Wrap This Up

There’s no way to predict with any real certainty when this trend will end and the Sargassum will return. In the meantime, we plan to get as many beach days in as humanly possible.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

21 Comments on "The Beaches of the Riviera Maya Continue to Be Sargassum-Free"

  1. Huguette Van Sickle | November 19, 2019 at 11:08 am |

    so happy to read the good news we follow your blogs from Mazatlan and felt bad for the folks at the other side of the country. What a relief!!! Huguette & Gerry

  2. Fantastic new!! I sure hope that it stays away!!

  3. We too decided for Mazatlan due to this problem. It looks beautiful but will come back… enjoy!

    • I can definitely confirm. Nothing in either Playa Del Carmen, Playa Paraiso, or the Zona Hotelera in Cancun when we left a week ago.

  4. Looks beautiful! Can’t wait to be back in January!

  5. Stephanie Hejna | November 19, 2019 at 11:53 am |

    They were the best I had seen them the first week in November in Puerto Aventuras.

  6. Suzanne Warner | November 19, 2019 at 11:58 am |

    Thank you for the info. We are booked to return December 9th. It will be nice to see sand once again!

  7. At Iberostar now….a great time of year and NO seaweed!. Just the lovely smell of my pina colada!

  8. We are back in Puerto Morelos and the beaches here are beautiful as well.

  9. I am interested to know how the seaweed disappeared… Was it just all washed away by the tides or was it cleaned up by the local government? The beaches look so pristine!

  10. Nice to hear about the lack of seagrass. We depart from Sweden on Thursday for 3 weeks on the Yucatan, starting with Puerto Morelos 5 days so we look forward to the beaches with seagrass-free sand.

  11. The beaches have been amazing lately, such a welcome break from the waves we were getting earlier this year!

    Feel free, of course, to delete this comment if it’s not allowed, but I’ve been messing around with a little app for fun to track seaweed landings in Quintana Roo. Lately it hasn’t been too useful, since the beaches are all beautiful, but it can be good for locating a good beach for a beach day when there is seaweed. Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

  12. So glad to see the beaches back to normal again…hope it stays!!!

  13. I love to get seaweed for my garden. I wonder if the town could start using this to enrich vegetable and flower gardens that way getting rid of it sooner. Or just adding it to compost bins.. you say it stinks…maybe it is different than what i am used to but it still could be dug into the soil and used. Just a thought

  14. If I’ve noticed one thing over the years, and especially because I’m a certified pesticide applicator, among other things, is that things sometimes come in waves. One year we had a cricket infestation. Literally billions of them.. Another year it was a web worm explosion, where the worms ate all their favorite tree leaves and began eating trees they normally do not bother, then they moved to houses and began building webs on houses.. Another year it was Army Worms. They marched in and gobbled up entire lawns almost overnight throughout entire cities.. I’ve been a pesticide applicator for nearly 30 years, and all of these events only happened once during that 30 year span, in my area, and have yet to happen again.. Hopefully the multi year sargassum explosion will be like that.

  15. Hector Montoya | November 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm |

    Los últimos años a estado asi apenas fui en Julio por dos semanas y mi hijo le pegó infección por el sargasso ojala pare todo este problema para el turismo de Cancun y sigamos hiendo

  16. What’s the draw to Mazatlan?

Comments are closed.