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This Punta Cana Resort Boasts Sargassum-Free Beaches Thanks To New Technology

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Countless Caribbean destinations see hundreds of tons of sargassum seaweed washing up on their pristine shorelines each year, including in the Dominican Republic.

But one Punta Cana resort stands out for its stunning, nearly sargassum-free beaches.

a white sand beach in punta cana with blue water

Sanctuary Cap Cana, a prestigious 5-star all-inclusive resort in the exclusive gated community of Cap Cana, recently introduced a new sargassum technology that is helping to ensure the resort’s private beaches remain in tip-touch condition. 

With sargassum set to remain one of the most noticeable environmental obstacles in the future, here’s how Punta Cana’s resorts are dealing with the foul-smelling seaweed.

Aerial view of the luxury Sanctuary Cap Cana
Image courtesy of: Sanctuary Cap Cana

Sanctuary Cap Cana Among First Resorts To Benefit From New Sargassum Barriers

Sargassum is a naturally-occurring seaweed that forms en masse over the Atlantic Ocean each year. From the months of February to November, massive quantities of sargassum seaweed make their way across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, where they wash up on the region’s white-sand beaches.

Despite being generally harmless, sargassum seaweed emits a pungent odor and is an eyesore for Punta Cana’s otherwise stunning powdery beaches. 

@sargassummonitoring 12/08/2023 #PuntaCana – Bahia Principe grand punta cana #RepubliqueDominicaine #DominicanRepublic #RepublicaDominicana More pictures, Forecast, News & Official Map here–> #sargassum #sargasso #sargazo #sargasse #algues #algae #seaweed #sargassummonitoring ♬ original sound – Sargassum Monitoring

Affecting everything from travelers’ beach plans to occupancy rates across Punta Cana’s resorts; government officials have made tackling sargassum a priority. New investments in cleaning technology and costly barriers are among the many new measures helping to lower sargassum levels. 

While new government initiatives are leading efforts to keep sargassum from reaching popular beaches, resorts are increasingly using high-tech solutions developed by local enterprises. 

@kaileymire Sanctuary Cap Cana 🏝️☀️10/10 recommend #sanctuarycapcana ♬ TO THE MOON – JNR CHOI & Sam Tompkins

One resort that is benefiting from these new solutions is Sanctuary Cap Cana, which recently installed sargassum barriers developed by Beach Trotters, a leading beach cleaning firm.

Unlike other sargassum barriers, which float several hundred feet from the shore, Beach Trotter’s sargassum technology is more akin to a wall, which effectively prevents any seaweed from penetrating defensive lines. 

And while that may seem like a radical solution from an ecological perspective, the high-tech barrier is designed to allow ocean currents to move naturally, ensuring minimal environmental damage. 

a beach free of sargassum in the dominican republic

Aside from protecting guests and employees from sargassum seaweed, the new technology is also easy to deploy and retract when needed, such as during a tropical storm or hurricane. 

Guests staying at Sanctuary Cap Cana are already able to benefit from the positive results of the new investment, which helps ensure that the resort’s beaches will remain ahead of the pack in terms of cleanliness. 

How Much Sargassum Is There In Punta Cana This Year?

Punta Cana has seen some of the highest quantities of sargassum seaweed in the Dominican Republic this year. Its eastern location and proximity to strong ocean currents mean that it is more exposed to sargassum compared to other hotspots in the country.

@marieletanneur 📍Bavaro beach in Punta Cana 🇩🇴🥰One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in my life! #bavaropuntacana #bavarobeach #puntacana #domicanrepublic #puntacanavacation #puntacanabeach #vacay #trip #beach #allinclusive #islasaona #saonaisland #republicadominicana #traveltiktok #travelpassion #vacaciones #dr #vacation #travel #summervibes #fyp ♬ Waves – Mr. Probz

Officials in Punta Cana have invested heavily in new measures to deal with sargassum more effectively. This summer, the Dominican Republic government announced a massive investment program to equip resort hotspots with more trucks and other equipment to remove sargassum from popular beaches.

Several other locations in the country have also been hit hard this summer by growing amounts of sargassum, including in several destinations close to the country’s capital, Santo Domingo. In some cases, officials had to deploy emergency teams to prevent beaches from becoming entirely covered by the smelly macroalgae.

@marieletanneur Saona Island next to Punta Cana 🫶🥰 Save this video for your next trip there! #islasaona #domicanrepublic #puntacana #puntacanavacation #puntacanabeach #vacay #trip #beach #allinclusive #saonaisland #republicadominicana #traveltiktok #travelpassion #vacaciones #dr #vacation #travel #summervibes #fyp ♬ Me Gustas Tu – Sped Up Version – Manu Chao

And with travel numbers on the rise in the Dominican Republic, the national government has set up a new task force to deal with the growing issue in hopes of finding long-term solutions.

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