Cancun is well-known for its pristine white-sand beaches, which attract millions of visitors each year. For the 2022-2023 season, Cancun has the most Blue Flag-awarded beaches in Mexico, which are a testament to local authorities who have prioritized keeping the beaches in top-notch shape. Stretching for miles on end, travelers can find dozens of beaches to enjoy in Cancun and its surroundings.
7 Cancun beaches were awarded Blue Flag certification in a recent event held in Playa Delfines. Blue Flag certification is given to beaches that meet extremely high environmental, sustainability, and cleanliness standards, such as most of those found in the resort city. Cancun now has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in all of Mexico, and the destination also stands out internationally for its high concentration of impeccable beaches.
According to local officials, the beaches that were awarded Blue Flag certification this year include Del Nino, Las Perlas, Chach Mool, Ballenas, Marlín, Delfines, and Coral. Moreover, three privately owned and maintained beaches also received the accolade, including Fiesta Americana Condesa, Hotel Live Aqua, and Iberostar’s beaches.
According to Joaquín Díaz Ríos, head of the National Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) “Cancun is the national Blue Flag capital, which means that its main industry, tourism, can enjoy a long and environmentally-friendly future,” the official commented. Overall, Blue Flag beaches must meet dozens of criteria, from cleanliness to safety and water quality indicators.
Local and state authorities have invested heavily in keeping beaches in excellent shape, with hundreds of workers cleaning popular beaches around the clock. With thousands of daily visitors, beaches can quickly fill up with trash and other pollutants.
Over the summer, cities across the Mexican Caribbean struggled with near-record levels of sargassum, a pesky seaweed that washes up along the Caribbean coastline. The sargassum season lasts from March to late August, but now, Cancun’s beaches are stunningly clean and enjoyable.
That being said, the fast-approaching winter season could mean trouble for Cancun’s pristine beaches. With millions of travelers expected to flock to the seaside town, authorities are concerned about growing quantities of litter left behind by tourists. Even though there are more than 150 full-time cleaners that work around the clock to keep the trash at bay, every visitor plays a role in protecting the local environment.
Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, from pink flamingos to sea turtles, and the area’s beaches play an essential role in the ecosystem. That’s why authorities have stressed the importance of responsible behavior and the correct disposal of trash. Meanwhile, the nearby coral reef system – such as Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park – among the world’s largest, is feeling the effects of increased tourism. Despite partly successful restoration efforts by local authorities, coral reefs are especially susceptible to the effects of climate change and plastic pollution.
Last summer, Cancun officials announced a new ambitious approach to protect local beaches and their environment. Under the new scheme, the city hall teamed up with environmental organizations and volunteers from the third sector, who regularly partake in cleaning efforts. Local clean-ups regularly take place, and volunteers usually collect dozens of kilos of trash and other waste from public beaches.
Aside from Cancun’s top-rated beaches, such as Playa Delfines, Playa del Carmen is also home to an impressive array of Blue Flag beaches. Although it has fewer than Cancun, travelers can still enjoy 4 paradisical Blue-Flag beaches, including Playa Xcalacoco, Playa Punta Esmeralda, and Playa 88.
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