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Is There Too Much Seaweed in Punta Cana?


Sargassum seaweed is a type of seaweed found in tropical areas and Punta Cana has been known to have it on its beaches. This video shows that the amount of seaweed can vary from day to day.

What is Sargassum Seaweed?

This genus of seaweed is known to float in island-like masses. It is large and brown and has berry-like structures. As it floats, it provides food, refuge, and breeding grounds for fish and sea creatures. When it sinks to the ocean floor, it provides energy for deep-sea creatures and can be an additional source of food. It has been designated as an Essential Fish Habitat because of its ecological importance.

Resort Beaches

Some resorts attempt to clear their beaches of the seaweed. It comes and goes and not all resorts are able to keep up with the deposits on the beach. However, not all resorts have beaches filled with this seaweed.

Punta Cana beach at sunset

Some visitors say that, while in Punta Cana, the resort where they were staying was free of Sargasso seaweed. It might be worthwhile to read the comments of those who have visited Punta Cana recently.

Enjoy the Variety

With an abundance of things to do in Punta Cana, travelers who experience seaweed on their beach one day might go into town or do something else on the island. The next day might be fine; like the weather, seaweed varies from day to day.Often travelers find that a break from sun and sand can provide the fun of a new adventure or sport.You might use the time to explore the towns around the area and meet the local population.

Check It Out

Beach cams can give access to views of popular beaches in the Dominican Republic. You might contact the resort to see if they have a beach cam or learn more about the seaweed on their beach.You can also see what the seaweed situation is in Las Terrenas, about three hours from Punta Cana.

Woman using a laptop

Another choice is available for viewing the beaches; see up to date Punta Cana photo images of the beaches here.Some travelers do not mind some beneficial Sargassum seaweed on the beach; there is still room for chairs and enjoyment of the water. Many travelers come to Punta Cana for the relaxing warm water, fine resorts and fun of an affordable and beautiful tropical vacation destination.Don’t let some seaweed deter you; it may be gone by the time you arrive!

32 thoughts on “Is There Too Much Seaweed in Punta Cana?

    • Ari Guerra says:

      It must be pretty frustrating! I read the other day that this year the sea-weed reached even all the way to Florida…

  1. gail says:

    So, I know its hard to measure we may be booking a trip in April-May of 2020. I know it maybe to early but worried about the amount of seaweed. I too, will be spending lots of money to travel and stay there. We are booking through a travel agency – Im upset that they would not warn us ahead of time.. what’s up with that? Anyways this website has helped me a lot. So – has anyone gone this year (2019) in April or May?

    • Ari says:

      I was just at the RIU Republica (May 31st-June 3rd) and was surprised because there was NO seaweed in sight. None in the water and none in the sand… the beach was gorgeous. As a reference the RIU Republica is right next to the Hard Rock Hotel and the Occidental, it’s also near the Majestic Elegance. However, this seaweed problem is apparently caused by climate change (the ocean currents are now different and bring the seaweed from the open ocean) and so far it’s believed this is a permanent change and could get worse as time passes. It affects all the islands and the Caribbean coast of Mexico. What I would check is if the hotel you book cleans the beach of seaweed as much as possible, usually the more expensive ones do while the cheaper ones don’t have as much of a budget to do this.

      • gail says:

        Thank you Ari, that was so informative and that sounds like great news! We are looking into staying at the Secrets Punta Cana Resort (5 star resort) and had seen lots of you tube post were the seaweed is 50 feet before you can get in the beach for miles… and also mentioned was rotting fish… the guest also mentioned that they do not clean it. However, that was a 2018 post. Thank you again for your feedback!

  2. Lisa says:

    Is there a”Seaweed Season”? Is August in the Caribbean just the worst time to go for seaweed? Perhaps there is historically less seaweed during another time of year?

  3. M Oconnor says:

    Visited Punta Cana in mid August. Seeweeds everywhere. Did not get in the water, but did enjoyed the sun and the view. Very disappointed. This was at Bavaro Beach. Looking to go next year as a family reunion but will rely on this channel to get update and do other research.

  4. Rick holt says:

    at sanctuary cap Cana now the beach is black with dirt and seaweed cant go into water. The one request for liberty travel was to have a clear clean beach, sitting looking at pool could have done this at home for thousands less

  5. Claudia says:

    We just came back from Playa del Carmen, Mexico and same problem. We had to stay in the hotel pool all day. Very disappointed!! We had to spend extra money to do different activities.

  6. Sterling says:

    Currently in Punta Cana and there is seaweed everywhere. Depending on which part of the beach and tides it is better or worse but still around and have to wade through 5 meters to get to clear water. I won’t let it ruin the trip but if I had known there was a “seaweed season” I may have booked a different side of the island or a different beach without the issue. Just like the way I avoid monsoon season at different places because I know it’s going to rain. I have heard and read a lot of different reasons for the seaweed issue – apparently this wasnt an issue less than 10 years ago – like over fishing of a certain fish that eats the seaweed, nature’s response to recent ecological disasters, warmer waters that contributes to the over growth, and other reasons. Of the reason listed above they seem to be man made. Have we created this problem for ourselves? If so, this is irony at its finest.

  7. Liss says:

    Unfortunately seaweed in most of the public beach we visit today. I was here last year in mid October and the beaches were pristine. But now a total disappointment. Seaweed galore. No blue ocean around. 10 hours flight and thousand of dollars expeded for uglly beaches. I do not recommed Punta Cana this time around. And for the one recommending to do some water sport activities.We didn’t come here to expend money doing water sport or touring the town, and beside there noghing to see here but shopping .we came for clean clear beaches. Total disappoint.

    • Gaylee says:

      I am so sad to read your review. I have spent HOURS researching the punta cana area to see if seaweed is everywhere. I have been to the DR in the past and the beaches were beautiful. What all beaches did you visit? Ive read that Macao is clear of the nasty seaweed and algae. I’m just kind of at a loss for where to try and stay. I want to be able to enjoy a blue beach! can you give me more details where all you went and what you saw.

      Thank you so much!

      • Lisa J. says:

        Not sure when you are coming but I am at the Rui Palace Macao and the seaweed is AWFUL. I tried to go in the ocean yesterday but i couldn’t stand it. Walked the beach today. Seaweed up and down the beach and in the water. I’m now at the pool.

  8. Frank d s says:

    We’re at oceans blue. Sea weed everywhere. It smells. Waste of money. If I wanted to swim in the pool I would of stayed at home

  9. Tripp Weigel says:

    We’re at the Barcelo Palace in Punta Cana. Do not waste your money coming here. Seaweed piled up on the beaches, water brown and stinks. Not spending anytime at the beach.
    Wasted money on a trip

    • Kathy says:

      We stayed at Bavaro Beach Resort from 08-12-18 through 08-17-18. We were not able to go in the ocean once because of the massive amount of seaweed and the horrible smell. There were literally bulldozers on the beach scooping it up in the evening. We should of been informed by our Travel agent and booking agent of this problem!!! Very disappointed, would never go back there again!!!

  10. Silvio says:

    I will not be returning to Punta Cana, I go for the beautiful clean waters not to try and play a new sport. We don’t need to vacation to play new sports or to swim in pools and drink, we spend thousands for the pristine clean beaches. I was in Punta Cana and I have never seen such an abundance of seaweed, to say “just do something else” when the water is contaminated to this extent is unacceptable and turning a blind eye to a real problem that if not dealt with seriously will deter or put serious damage on the tourism industry which is so vital to so many Caribbean communities.

    When you are spending thousands of dollars to spend time on a beach resort you wan’t to visit the beach but you can’t with weeds piled 5 feet high and stinks the whole ocean front like rotten eggs and turns the water brown. I cannot visit or spend huge money on visiting resorts where the beach is an egg factory.

    They should look into diversionary nets that can funnel most of this waste into proper channels should be looked into to avoid widespread beach erosion from diggers and front loaders. Seaweed in this current capacity washing up on shore is not beneficial to any species or beaches.

  11. Joyce says:

    We just returned from punta cana and the seaweed on our beach was awful. It was not just a little seaweed on the beach which would have been tolerable, it was piles and piles making the water brown and the smell was awful

  12. Martha Sauer says:

    I’m looking at a resort on the southern shore not Punta Cana. We want to go in the water and we had a bad experience with this on the Maya Rivera. Dreams Dominicus La Romana

    • Ari Guerra says:

      The southern shore does not experience the same amount of seaweed so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Are you coming to Santo Domingo or another city?

  13. Steve says:

    Just returned from Punta Cana. The seaweed was very abundant all 7 days. So thick and annoying that it is a deal-breaker when conderingva return. Resort was gorgeous, but if one likes ocean swimming, this is just gross.

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Yes, unfortunately, it can be bad some days… it’s not a nice experience on those days but the entire Caribbean region has been experiencing the same problem for some years now due to a change in ocean currents.

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