Sargassum CANCUN: Daily Seaweed Updates, Beach Photos, Forecast 2024

In 2024, the sargassum seaweed season in Cancun is anticipated to start earlier than usual, following the trend from 2023 when it began in February. Typically, the season starts in early spring, triggered by rising ocean temperatures that facilitate seaweed growth and reproduction.

Beaches most affected by high concentrations of algae include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Sian Ka’an, and certain areas between Cancun and Puerto Morelos.

However, accurately predicting which beaches will be affected and to what extent is extremely difficult, as conditions change almost daily and often without notice. 

Read on for the latest information on the sargassum situation at these beaches.

Table of contents

Latest Cancun seaweed updates:

Join our Seaweed/Sargassum Cancun FB group where locals and tourists post photos and videos from the area

January 27-28, 2024: Latest photos from Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen

January 26, 2024: Latest photos from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum

January 25, 2024: Latest photos from Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel

January 21: Scientists in Florida measured another massive seaweed blob for the Caribbean

Scientists have alerted the public to a potentially record-breaking accumulation of sargassum seaweed near the Caribbean Sea, which could impact Florida’s coasts in 2024. The University of South Florida researchers noted that the December 2023 mass of about 5 million metric tons significantly exceeded the previous year’s figure. The sargassum bloom, influenced by factors like human waste, climate change, and agricultural runoff, represents an unpredictable and growing environmental challenge.

January 18: Cancun Sargassum 2024 Season To Begin Early, According To New Report

The Cancun Sun reports that in 2024, the sargassum seaweed season in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean is expected to start earlier than usual. This follows an early onset in 2023. Sargassum, while vital to marine ecosystems, poses challenges when it grows excessively. The University of South Florida predicts an increase in sargassum in early 2024. Efforts to manage this include monitoring and clean-up initiatives, and innovative uses such as repurposing it as fertilizer.

December 17: Latest update by visitors from our FB group

All the current reports and posts in the FB group show no signs / low levels of sargassum and seaweed in the Mexican Caribbean. The seaweed season is expected to begin at the end of January / beginning of February.

September 22, 2023: Seaweed season ends

Seaweed season in the Cancun area is coming to an end, most of the beaches are clean or have very small amounts of sargassum seaweed

What is the seaweed sargasso and what is causing it?

Sargassum is a type of brown seaweed that floats on the ocean surface and is known for forming large masses or “blooms.” It is distinctive for its leafy appearance and air-filled bladders that aid in buoyancy.

The recent increases in sargassum blooms, particularly in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, are attributed to various factors including nutrient enrichment from agricultural runoff and human waste, climate change, and altered ocean currents. These factors contribute to an environment conducive to the rapid growth and accumulation of sargassum, leading to significant environmental and economic impacts on coastal regions.

Updates Archives:

April 2: New wave of seaweed hits the Cancun coast (Photo + Video from Playa del Carmen)

A new wave of sargassum seaweed arrived on the Cancun coast last night. Here is a photo + video from the morning (April 2) in Playa del Carmen by Jeremiah Rygh (Instagram: Explore with Jeremiah):

February 14: As Sargassum Plagues Cancun Coast, These Beaches Remain At Low Levels

Mexican Caribbean has seen an increase in Sargassum seaweed in the past few days. Beaches in the hotel zone in Cancun are still relatively clean and well-maintained but plenty of the beaches on the coast such as Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Akumal or Playacar have already high levels of seaweed.

Here is the list of beaches with the lowest levels:

  • Isla Mujeres
  • Playa las Perlas
  • Playa Langosta
  • Holbox Island

Playa del Carmen’s beaches are facing an influx of seaweed, however, the cleanliness of the beaches varies depending on location and the presence of organized cleaning services.

The video and photo below are from Coco Beach in Playa del Carmen (January 28 morning).