Seaweed in Tulum Beaches – A Complete Guide

Although the beach is one of the most prized possessions of Tulum, it’s also one of its downsides when the seaweed problem occurs. It may seem scary to plan a vacation in Tulum, knowing its beautiful beaches can be covered with seaweed. As such, you’ll want to know about this problem to better plan your stay in Tulum.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the seaweed problem in Tulum to help you get around it. This information will let you know how bad this problem is and when is the best time to visit this town to avoid seaweed. We’ll also give you some things to do if there’s a seaweed problem during your stay.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Seaweed in Tulum Beaches

Is There a Seaweed Problem in Tulum?

As a town that sits beside the Caribbean sea, Tulum also suffers from a seaweed problem. 

The seaweed, also known as Sargassum in Spanish, is a type of macroalgae that grows in the Caribbean waters, especially during the warm season. As a result, the seaweed problem affects the beaches of Tulum and other nearby areas like Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

The seaweed problems start during the warm season since the seaweeds breed and multiply when the sea waters warm. Thus, these seaweeds end up on the shores of Mexico, and among the affected are the shores of Tulum. 

Are there Beaches in Tulum Without Seaweed?

Since Tulum Beach is a long stretch of beach facing the Caribbean waters, all the areas can be affected by seaweed. As such, during this season, you’ll find seaweed in every beach area of Tulum.

Maybe this article will be useful for you: Best Beaches in Tulum – A Guide for Travelers

What Happens When There’s a Seaweed Problem?

The seaweed problem in Tulum starts and worsens during summer because of the hot and humid weather. Due to the heat, the seaweed grows and replicates, creating more of these brown algae by the shores.

As a result, the seaweeds build up on the coasts, making swimming impossible. Some resorts will have staff to clear the seaweeds, but the number of seaweeds can make it hard to take out all of them.

Further, the clearing causes massive piles of seaweed along the shores, and it’s unappealing. What’s worse is that the waters affected by the seaweeds turn darker. Further, the smell these seaweeds give off is quite unpleasant, and you can smell it from a distance.

When Is the Best Time to Avoid the Seaweed Problem in Tulum?

Since seaweeds start to occur during the warm season, the best time to avoid them is in November, December, and January. This time applies to Tulum and the neighboring cities, towns, and shores beside the Caribbean sea.

Thus, if you have plans to visit Tulum, you’ll want to know when the seaweed starts and when it becomes worst.

You’ll generally find seaweed occurring along the shores all year. However, it will only be noticeable during May, although it starts during March and April.

April through October is the hottest time of year in the Yucatan, especially June and July, so seaweed reproduces more readily during hot weather. 

Therefore, avoiding the Caribbean coast during June, July, and August is best if you want to avoid seaweed.

Where to Go to Avoid Tulum Seaweed?

Here are some beaches that are unaffected by seaweed. You can visit these beaches instead of Tulum if you want to spend some vacation during the seaweed season.


Regarding Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, Cozumel is unquestionably the most reliable place to find a seaweed-free beach. Seaweed is rarely found on Cozumel’s west-facing beaches, such as Palancar Beach and Playa El Cielo, due to the island’s unique geographical location.

Seaweed occurs on Cozumel’s east coast, but it is a barrier, allowing the island’s western coast to remain free of such.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is another beach you can enjoy if you’re visiting Mexico during the seaweed season. The beach on this area’s west side is usually free from seaweed. 

Thus, even if Tulum and other popular areas are affected by lots of seaweed, the shores of this place will remain enjoyable since it’s seaweed-free.


There is a small island called Holbox located just off the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula, and it usually has seaweed-free beaches.

Holbox is quite similar to Tulum because they are both laid-back-natured. However, Holbox remains an off-the-beaten-path area, whereas Tulum has started to develop already.

Besides its virgin white sand beaches, this place is also renowned for its abundance of marine life, stunning sunsets, and tranquil environment.

If you are looking to relax and unwind in a tranquil environment with pristine white sand beaches without seaweed, Holbox is the place for you.

Things to Do if There Is Seaweed in Tulum

Millions of tourists visit Tulum annually, making it one of Central America’s most popular tourist destinations. Moreover, its beautiful beaches weren’t the only reason the area became so popular.

Although the beach is not as enjoyable as when there are many seaweeds, you can still find enjoyable activities during this season in Tulum. As such, the seaweed season shouldn’t stop you from visiting Tulum. 

Below are some things you can enjoy in Tulum, especially during seaweed season.

Explore the cenotes

The cenotes offer the best alternative to the beaches of Tulum. Thus, if you’re a beach lover who went to Tulum during the seaweed season, you should explore and enjoy the cenotes it offers.

Cenotes are some of the most picturesque bodies of water you’ll ever witness. They are natural swimming holes standard in the Yucatan peninsula, and these wonders are a must-see in Tulum. 

Tourists enjoy cenotes because they have natural refreshing properties and because the Mayans believed cenotes had healing properties. One thing about cenotes is that they don’t have even a single piece of seaweed.

If you want to know about the best ones to visit and enjoy, read about the Best Cenotes in Tulum.

Enjoy some wellness activities

Besides its beautiful beaches, Tulum is also known for being a place of wellness, healing, and meditation. As such, you can always visit Tulum for these things.

You can enjoy some yoga classes, spa treatments, and meditations here. You can also join some Temazcals and other local ceremonies for healing.

Overall, Tulum is an ideal escape from the hustles of life and a place to retreat and relax to gain more energy.

Shop in boutique stores

Tulum Pueblo, and even the hotel zone, houses some interesting chic boutique stores that sell affordable items that you can shop. As such, it’s worth visiting Tulum to buy items that can fancy your sense of fashion and your love for Mexican culture.

Here, you can find local stores that sell affordable souvenirs, jewelry made by local artisans, trendy clothing, and Mexican arts and crafts. As a result, if you are a shopaholic, you will enjoy Tulum and its boutiques.

Visit the ancient ruins

Besides the beach, Tulum is also famous for its rich history, and it is best shown through the archaeological sites, including ancient Mayan ruins. 

Tulum itself houses archaeological sites like Coba, Chichen Itza, and Tulum Ruins. As such, it’s a town filled with places that can teach you some authentic ancient Mayan culture.

If you want to know more about the famous ruins near the beach, read Tulum Ruins.


As a town beside the sea, Tulum can have some significant problems because of the rising seaweed problems. For a town that lives mostly from tourism, Tulum can easily be affected when seaweeds start to multiply and gather on its shores.

Nevertheless, the seaweed season is always solvable, and you can enjoy the beaches of Tulum as long as you visit during particular seasons. Still, even if you visit during seaweed season, you’ll always enjoy a break in this town, as it will always have something to offer you.

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