The beautiful island destination of Isla Mujeres has just announced two of its most popular beaches, Playa Norte and Playa Centro, have been awarded the internationally recognized Blue Flag award.
Over the past few months, Isla Mujeres has been making news headlines repeatedly, and for all the right reasons.
Extensive improvements in policing resources and officer numbers, as well as reimagined maritime protection for the island, have made it safer than ever.
On top of this, huge clean-up and beautification initiatives have added to the already attractive charm of the Mexican Caribbean favorite.
With the addition of 2 Blue Flag awards, there isn’t much room left in Isla Mujeres’ cap for any more feathers.
This beach was already famous among travelers before its Blue Flag award, and anyone who has visited it already will be surprised it didn’t already own the accolade.
In fact, Playa Norte was voted the most beautiful beach in Mexico this year in the TripAdvisor traveler’s choice awards.
Wrapping around the northern nose of Isla Mujeres, this beautiful stretch of beach has some of the clearest turquoise water to be found anywhere in the world.
Palm trees line the sand’s edge, and despite its popularity, the beach retains a calm vibe and Caribbean aesthetic, even when visitor numbers are high.
Even if a traveler isn’t staying on Isla Mujeres, the short ferry trip to the island is worth it to spend a day at Playa Norte.
Located just a short stroll south of Playa Norte on the Western side of Isla Mujeres, travelers are just as fond of this beach as they are of its Northern neighbor.
Playa Centro is known to be a little more lively than other beaches on Isla Mujeres, which is a positive in its own right.
A huge plus of Playa Centro is its reputation for getting missed by the sargassum patches that have become a traveler’s headache over the past few years. Making it the perfect alternative for travelers staying on the island or even in Cancun if the unwelcome algae makes an appearance during the vacation.
Unlike Playa Norte, the water does get deep fast here, so for less-confident swimmers who want to spend a lot of time in the water, this may not be option number one.
Blue Flag Award
There is no shortage of awards, certifications, and accreditations that get handed out for beaches. And not all are created equal.
Internal awards from a nation’s government are often suspected of having a bias to help tourism, which should come as no shock.
It’s for this reason that the Blue Flag award is so trusted by travelers. It started in France in the 1980s and has grown into one of the most respected NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) in the world.
Furthermore, the criteria for this award are extremely strict. Any beach that wants this coveted stamp of approval must meet and exceed a wide range of criteria, the most important of which are:
- Water quality – It isn’t enough for the water to be crystal-clear; it must also pass strict scientific testing to determine its cleanliness.
- Safety & services – Lifeguards and first-aiders, as well as proper signage and waste disposal facilities, must be in place and kept in good working order.
- Environmental protection – A beautiful beach only stays beautiful if it’s well cared for. And a Blue Flag award is only possible if adequate systems are in place to ensure this.
- Blue Flag code of conduct – Once awarded, the beach must continue to operate by the strict code of conduct set out by Blue Flag, to ensure it continues to deserve the recognition.
Additionally, the Blue Flag award isn’t a fire-and-forget award. A beach only retains its inclusion on the prestigious list of beaches by maintaining excellence.
After all, a Blue Flag award is a real positive to a destination, but losing the award may just have an even bigger effect.
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