What’s with the Seaweed in the Caribbean and Mexico

Sargassum Seaweed

Sargassum Seaweed
Sargassum Seaweed

Yes there are issues with seaweed on some Caribbean islands and in mexico.  Some days it is worse than others and it is important to know that not all resorts and areas are effected.

Her are some important facts and information, supporting material, and statistics that should help you make the best travel decisions whether you have already booked, are considering booking or are heading to the airport!

Caribbean Seaweed Issue Facts

1. While there has been a higher than normal amount of seaweed washing ashore on some Caribbean and Mexican beaches, not all are impacted and local authorities are taking steps to remedy the situation.

  • What is Sargassum – a type of brownish seaweed that is neither harmful or dangerous. It has been washing ashore throughout parts of the Caribbean and Mexico for years. This year the increased amounts have impacted beaches from the Dominican Republic in the north, to Barbados in the east, and Mexico’s Caribbean resorts to the west.
  • Sargasso seaAccording to the Associated Press (AP), Sargassum is “generally blooms in the Sargasso Sea, a roughly 2 million-square-mile (about 5 million-square-kilometer) body of warm water in the North Atlantic that is a major habitat and nursery for numerous marine species.”
  • Sargassum is commonly seen on many beaches of the northern Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of the U.S., according to a report by Riviera Maya News.
  • Beginning back in 2011 it began appearing in places where it was not common, possibly because of higher temperatures and less wind.
  • “Mexican authorities recently said they will spend about $9.1 million and hire 4,600 temporary workers to clean up seaweed mounds accumulating along that country’s Caribbean coast. Part of the money will be used to test whether the sargassum can be collected at sea before it reaches shore,” reports the AP.
  • el-dorado-royale-seaweed
    El Dorado Royale Seaweed

    According the Mexico Daily News … The “Hotel Owners of Cancún and Puerto Morelos have signed an agreement with the University of Texas, which will carry out satellite monitoring of the seaweed, identifying where it is, its volume and where it is going. With that information they hope the sargassum can be gathered by boats before it hits the beaches and relocated in areas where its presence is normal,”

  • The Caribbean News recently reported that the “Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) on [August 11, 2015] described sargassum – which has been invading Caribbean beaches recently – as an ‘unwelcome visitor’ … and “it was treating the matter seriously and with urgency and has engaged regional and international institutions to find solutions.”
  • Travelers should be aware that the issue differs significantly from country to country and beach to beach.  The CTO released a statement saying, “Even in destinations which are at risk, not all  beaches have been affected; in some cases it’s just on the windward coast and not the leeward.”

2. Latitudes’ Concierge agents are here to assist our clients and their safety and well-being is our top priority.
As a client of Latitudes travel know that we will provide you the latest facts as we get them so you can make an informed decision about their travel plans.

  • We are advocates for our clients; and they know that by working with a true travel professional, we are there for them before, during and after their trip should they need us – which gives them peace of mind.  Latitudes’ agents are monitoring situations, which may impact their clients’ travel plans all the time from weather to flight problems and now even seaweed!  Becasue we monitor you vacation and train our agents for just such occurrences you can rest assured, they are in a position to work on alternative travel plans and have those in place the moment the need arises.
  • We strongly encourage all of our clients, whether they are traveling domestically or internationally, to purchase travel insurance, particularly right at the same time as travel has been booked. Travel insurance offers an additional layer of protection for travelers and can potentially help save a traveler hundreds or thousands of dollars if a medical or travel emergency occurs.
  • Those who buy a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance policy would likely be able to recoup their investment if they decided they did not want to travel due to something such as an incursion of seaweed.

3. Latitudes provides these facts so our clients can make an informed decision about their travel plans.

  • Sargasso_Seaweed_with_waves_and_sandy_beachWe closely monitor the latest news and weather updates, as well as the U.S. Department of State website, for travel alerts and travel warnings for all destinations, including those that are most popular with our clients.
  • We also work with carefully vetted supplier partners who also have our clients best interests in mind. But working together, we are able to address any potential issues.
  • Should we become aware of an issue for a specific destination, we alert clients who may be planning to travel there so they can determine for themselves if they still wish to travel.
    Also, should we become aware of an issue for a specific destination where a client is currently located, we try to immediately contact the client to check on their well-being and work to assist them if they require alternate travel arrangements.

Still Worried?  Contact your Concierge Agent today and discuss other warm destinations which are not experience this issue, there are 100’s to choose from and we would love the opportunity to tell you about them.


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