Travelers from the United States and Canada looking to escape winter this year need to know that the government of Mexico has strengthened the laws that prohibit private beaches in Mexico.
All resorts, guest houses, condos or accommodations claiming to have a private beach are doing so against the law.
As of October 22nd, 2020 all beaches in Mexico must guarantee free public access to everyone.
The Federal Government published the new decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation stating that fines of up to $48,000 USD (1 million MXC) will be administered to individuals or companies that prohibit access to the country’s beaches.
Many travelers have been duped in the past by accommodations claiming to have private beaches in vacation hotspots such as Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta.
While some accommodations may feature beaches that may be quiet or even secluded, they are open to the public and anyone is free to use them.
If you’re headed to Mexico, some beaches will will have loud families enjoying their time together, banda music filling the air, beach vendors and partying locals. Mexicans love the beach and rightfully so, it’s theirs. They are the ones sharing it with the travelers not vice versa.
While some travelers may feel entitled to believe it belongs to them while there on vacation, there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.
The new decree published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación (DOF) details that access to beaches may not be inhibited, restricted, hindered or conditioned except in the cases established by regulations.
Additionally the decree states that in the event that there are no public roads or access points, the owners of land adjacent to the beaches must allow access to citizens, through the routes indicated by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.
Earlier this month, the Mexico Senate approved to guarantee free access to Mexican beaches and apply fines of up to one million peso to those who fail to comply. The vote was unanimous reported Riviera Maya News.
While there have always been laws preventing private beaches in Mexico, up until now they were not regularly enforced and there were loopholes for offenders.
If you’re headed to Mexico this winter, the best thing to do is take it all in. Enjoy the noise, excitement, culture and energy of Mexico.
In recent years, new bylaws have already come into effect in touristy cities restricting noise levels. While things have started to quiet down in some areas, it’s still Mexico.
My advice, bring earplugs and instead of being annoyed by the loud local beside you on the beach, offer them a cerveza… you might just make a friend.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
Sunday 25th of October 2020
A couple months ago while in Cabo I tried accessing a beach that required walking across a hotel’s property. The hotel staff wouldn’t allow this and informed me that I would have to walk another mile down the road to the nearest public land. My question is, does this new law mean that, in this example here, the hotel would have to allow non-guests to cross their property in order to access the beach?
Monday 26th of October 2020
Article 127 states that the owner of the property has to grant access to the beach in case there is no other access. If you can access the beach in front of the hotel by walking another mile, then they don’t need to grant you access. I know a friend who owns a large property with a beach protected by rocks on each side. It is impossible to reach this beach unless you come by boat. Under this law he has to let others drive through his property to access the beach. Also an interesting case is the gated community in Costa Careyes (among many others) which owns a few beaches. I was there just a few weeks ago, and you would need to know somebody inside to grant you access. So I am not sure how they will handle the situation. It could drive real estate price down for property owners there. It also could make beach front properties less valuable due to lack of privacy.