The Dominican Republic is the ideal destination if you are looking for dream beaches and a tropical climate to enjoy them. However, there are always natural conditions that we cannot foresee, be it a storm, rain or, as we want you to see in this article, algae that spoil the experience on your vacation a bit.
The beaches of Punta Cana are a favorite destination for tourists, but unfortunately also for sargassum, a type of seaweed very common in this area of the Caribbean. Today we want to explain what sargassum is, because there is so much in the waters of the Caribbean, what is the sargassum season in Punta Cana and show you some alternative beaches in case you are not a good friend of these floating plants.
Sargassum is a type of marine macroalgae that is very important in the ecosystem of tropical and subtropical seas and oceans. Although it is annoying for tourists, it is also the main reason that when we snorkel in places like Punta Cana or Saona Island we can see such abundant and beautiful marine fauna.
Turtles, fish, shellfish and a large number of marine species feed on this plankton which allows them to follow the life cycle that maintains a sustainable ecosystem. So if you are in Punta Cana and it seems that this seaweed is ruining your vacations, remember that you can also enjoy such a wonderful place thanks to them.
It should be noted that sargassum is a completely harmless algae for people's health, but it is so repudiated by tourists because when they reach the beaches and get stranded on land they give off a bad smell. In addition, its presence in the water causes us not to enjoy those turquoise blue tones that we see in the photos of the beaches of the Dominican Republic.
Sargassum has always been present in the Caribbean, but it is true that since the last century it has multiplied to very high levels due to climate change.
The main reason why there is sargassum in Punta Cana is that this area faces the Atlantic Ocean, which is the place where this type of algae proliferates.
So much so, that in the Atlantic area that is just in front of the Florida peninsula, in the United States, there is a sea called Sargasso, in which the absence of currents and wind causes these algae to accumulate forming islands that they even endanger navigation.
The currents that surround it tend to bring sargassum to the Caribbean, and not only affects Punta Cana, but this algae reaches Mexico, causing major incidents such as the one experienced in 2014, when the amount of sargassum doubled and yes it caused a maladjustment in the ecosystem.
Sargassum, although in recent years it has become detached from patterns and can affect at any time of the year, it occurs mainly in the following months: September, October, November, December and January.
You must bear in mind that the hotels and the Dominican government have worked hard so that this phenomenon does not affect the beaches, since they are its main tourist attraction. They do this by collecting the large amounts of sargassum that reach the coasts and, even, putting barriers in the water that trap the sargassum and preventing it from reaching land. As you can see, you don't have to worry so much about this phenomenon.
Peace of mind. If one day the beach dawns with sargassum, the day is not lost. It is, perhaps, the perfect excuse to get to know the country away from the typical beach days and go sightseeing in the Dominican Republic.
A good way to take advantage of the day is to take tours, excursions or activities that make us enjoy the island from another tourist point of view. Here you will find the best options to do when we encounter sargassum.
In case sargassum is your main concern (although there are many more activities to enjoy in Punta Cana), we have prepared for you a list of beaches that are not usually affected by this phenomenon.
The first on our list is undoubtedly a success if you want to avoid sargassum. The turquoise and crystalline waters of Bayahibe are not usually affected by sargassum since they are protected by the peninsula of the Cotubanamá National Park and Saona Island.
In addition, it is very close to the tourist town of La Romana, where you can find very good resorts and hotels for your vacations in the Dominican Republic.
In the northeast of the Dominican Republic is Samaná and its bay, perfect for the sighting of humpback whales that come during the mating season. But its beaches are also dreamlike.
In this case we are located in the town of El Valle and its beach, which is protected by the small peninsula that occupies the Cabo Cabrón National Park.
Although not so well known, many consider this beach one of the most beautiful in the entire Dominican Republic due to its crystal clear waters.
It is located in the southwest of the country, near the town of Pedernales, almost on the border with Haiti. Without a doubt, it will be a success to visit it, whether or not sargassum in Punta Cana, so dare!
The palm trees going into the sea, the turquoise waters, the tropical climate. No, we are not in Bávaro, but we are going to the north of the country. In the province of Samaná there is another of the beaches that, being oriented towards the west, is not affected by sargassum.
Punta Bonita Beach is also totally surrounded by the best tourist facilities in the town of Las Terrenas, so it is a perfect destination for the Dominican Republic.
Don't worry, a seaweed can't ruin your vacation. Our island has much more to offer than just beaches.
In addition to the activities that we have previously proposed, you can move to one of the beaches that are not affected by sargassum in private transport. We are sure that whatever it is, you will enjoy your vacation in the Dominican Republic!