Gulfweed in Cancun

In the last weeks, one main topic has concerned everyone in the Mayan Riviera: the gulfweed in Cancun (also called sargassum).

The gulfweed in Cancun is a floating brown algae, regularly natural in the sea but this year the amount presented was surprising and became a problem, making almost  impossible to enter the sea in some areas. This problem, as part of a natural environmental process, affects not only Cancun but other Caribbean destinations like Florida, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and more.

Besides the excessive amount, this organic material when decomposed, results in a bad odor as it generates polluting products and there are some regulations when picking it up, to protect the turtle nesting.


Being Cancun one of the the main touristic places in the world, cancellations for vacation started due to this situation, so a call from the government was made to all local people, to help in the campaigns to pick up the gulfweed in Cancun and more than 12 million pesos were designated for this cause.

Luckily, the actions seem to be having a favorable outcome as last weekend the tourists returned to the beaches that were empty for weeks and the tourist occupation went up to 91.8%, having an increase of 9.5% in national tourism in comparison to last year.

From July 17th to today, more than 29 thousand cubic meters of sargassum were picked.

Also the Convention and Visitors Bureau had a tour last week along the main visited beaches, accompanied by some important wholesale agencies, to confirm that the sea conditions were under control and in good condition for foreign visitors to arrive; they gave thumbs up to the great progress that the gulfweed situation is having.

Even though the gulfweed in Cancun is expected to keep on coming for the next month, the government and the Hotel Association in Cancun are already working on the statistics for next year, to prevent and avoid the same situation again. The measures taken are still active in an effort to eliminate the gulfweed in Cancun for good.

Let’s not forget that NOT ALL BEACHES are being affected, some of them (Isla Mujeres for example) are completely clean. Also, there are many other activities available in Cancun like thematic parks, shows, restaurants to visit, etc

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Johanna Lee

Hey! I'm the Chief Content Editor of Discoverymundo.
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