That’s a great question! As the ocean temperature changes so does the seaweed problem, some years there is little to no seaweed (also called “sargassum”), in other years there is an over-abundance of the stinky stuff. Weather — sometimes far offshore — also has an effect. These factors can be hard to predict, and sometimes last for weeks or months, often changing overnight.
Your friends might have a perfect seaweed-free vacation just the week before your trip to the same destination, when you might encounter a daily pile-up of seaweed.
What that means is that it’s hard for anyone, expert or not, to tell you exactly when or where to go to avoid seaweed, but you do have SOME options.
- Consider an all-inclusive in Playa Mujeres or Costa Mujeres (north of Cancun), where they get *some* protection from the seaweed from Isla Mujeres (which also blocks some of the ocean’s larger waves, resulting in calmer water).
- There are several great all-inclusive resorts in Isla Mujeres where there is no seaweed at all on the west-facing (inward aka leeward) coast of the island. We’re really looking forward to a stay at the brand-new Check PricesSecrets Impression Isla Mujeres when it opens!
- A few resorts – such as the Check PricesHotel Xcaret and the Check PricesHard Rock Riviera Maya – have a “lagoon”-style beach area featuring either natural or man-made off-shore reefs that block most waves, and most of the seaweed, but still let you wade and snorkel amongst the fishies.
- On the opposite coast, the all-inclusives in Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, and Riviera Nayarit, rarely suffer from seaweed problems that can sometimes plague the Caribbean side of Mexico.
It’s also important to know that the government of popular Caribbean tourist destinations including Mexico, along with many in the tourism industry, are now spending millions of dollars to combat the problem. One solution being implemented is off-shore nets that will keep the stuff from hitting the beach.
Want to know more about when/where/why seaweed is more of a problem than it used to be?
Mexico Seaweed Report