Dominican Republic Sargassum In 2024 (MAP + Daily Updates)

Sargassum is a floating seaweed that in “normal” environmental conditions, provides food, shelter, and a breeding ground for marine life. But those conditions no longer exist.

For a number of years now, Sargassum has been washing ashore in massive quantities on Caribbean coasts, making it a nightmare for beachgoers and a threat to sea animals in shallow waters.

The phenomenon has been linked to an excess of nutrients in the ocean and an increase in global temperatures.

Sargasumm by itself is harmless to humans but it definitely affects vacationers’ beach experience.

Join FB Group: Dominican Republic Seaweed Reporting

Table of contents

When is Sargassum Season in the Dominican Republic?

According to reports, in the Dominican Republic sargassum is peaking between May and August but it can vary each year depending on meteorological factors affecting the Atlantic Ocean.  

This seaweed is rarely seen between November and May because lower temperatures don’t favor its reproduction. So you might want to plan your holidays accordingly. 

So far in the 2024 season, the sargassum situation in the country is under control. Some beaches are seeing increased quantities of algae, while others are almost sargassum-free.

Related: Mexico Sargassum Daily Updates 2024: Cancun, Tulum, PDC, etc.

Sargassum seaweed JUNE 2024 outlook for the Dominican Republic

Unlike other parts of the Caribbean or Mexico, the sargassum seaweed situation in the Dominican Republic hasn’t been very bad in the first two weeks of June. The morning cleanups in Punta Cana seem to be very effective and leave the beach in very good condition for most of the day.

Latest Dominican Republic Sargassum Map

Published by the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the College of Marine Science of the University of Florida.

Recent Seaweed Updates from the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana)

Hoteliers and local authorities are on top of the issue, cleaning beaches every morning and installing ocean barriers to catch the algae before it washes ashore, in order to provide vacationers with an unforgettable beach experience.

Take a look at this timeline to get an overall picture of the current situation on some of the most popular beaches and how it evolves. This report is based on data from the Algues sargasses Punta Cana and Sargassum Seaweed Updates Dominican Republic FB groups.

June 1 – June 18: Latest News & Photos

Popular Dominican Republic Beach Battles Sargassum Invasion Along With Trash Problem – Popular local and tourist hotspot Boca Chica is reporting an ongoing struggle with seaweed and trash problems. Local authorities say they are putting more effort into cleaning up and warnings for the local population as this can have a huge impact on the local economy. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and the little beach town still has plenty of trash sites at the outskirts, schools, center, and beaches.

Latest photos from Punta Cana and other parts of DR

As you can see in the photos, the situation has been very volatile but generally beaches are looking great despite the sargassum seaweed is peaking at this time of the year.

May 10 – May 30

Most of the popular hotspots in the Dominican Republic are seeing a surge in the sargassum seaweed but the cleanups in the morning are very efficient. It’s a great time to be in the Dominican Republic at the moment. In the next weeks, the arrival of Sargasso is expected to surge.

A beautiful morning foto from Dreams Onyx Resort in Punta Cana

May 1 – 9: Punta Cana has been seeing a surge in sargassum seaweed

Photos uploaded on May 9 by Rick Ram shocked ‘Algues sargasses Punta Cana’ FB community. It was the biggest arrival of the 2024 seaweed season in the Dominican Republic. After 4-hours of cleaning by a tractor, the beach was completely sargassum-free, according to Rick’s following video post.

Viral video of tractor cleaning sargassum seaweed in the morning:

May 1: Latest sargassum seaweed distribution satellite map and forecast

NOTE: As scientists suggest, this satellite image should be only taken as an estimation as the sargassum seaweed flow is very unpredictable.

This map was released on MAY 1 and it suggests that the major arrival is coming in the next weeks/months. The arrows on the map suggest the flow of the sargassum and the distance from the Caribbean islands.

April 22 – 30

The annual sargassum seaweed invasion in the Caribbean has been very mild in 2024 due to lower sea temperatures. The Dominican Republic has been seeing an increase in sargassum seaweed in the last 2 weeks but it’s nowhere as bad as in Mexico. The situation is under control and regular morning clean-ups keep the famous Punta Cana beaches mostly clean.

April 30, 2024: Riu Palace – Punta Cana – Seaweed Level LOW

April 21:

– significant sargassum at Riu Palace after the morning clean up.

– Bavaro Beach, outside of Bavaro Princess Resort, one of the 10 most amazing beaches in the world as per National Geographic, reported no sargassum. 

Is sargassum seaweed harmful to people?

In most cases sargassum is harmless but it can cause irritation and some rash to people with sensitive skin.

What’s causing sargassum seaweed in the Dominican Republic?

The exact cause of the annual seaweed invasion in the Dominican Republic and the rest of the Caribben is not scientifically proven yet. Various studies suggest sargassum growth is related to global warming, chemicals used in agriculture and human pollution in the ocean.