Choosing an ecologically safe vacation can make all the difference for your health and well-being. For this reason, a non-profit, non-governmental, fully-international organization was developed in France in 1985, the Foundation for Environmental Education, (FEE). They have set global health standards and practices for beaches, marinas and boating tourism to ensure safe and healthy coastal vacations. Today their iconic blue flag can be seen on over 4,500 beaches worldwide, six of which are included in the Los Cabos region.
When we swim, our skin can absorb contaminants and increase the risk for skin rashes or internal bacterial infections. This is never a pleasant addition to hard-earned time off. That’s why Los Cabos is proud to hold certifications for six of its local beaches and continues its efforts to certify all of the predominant tourist coastline. The beauty about water testing is the surrounding waters are positively affected by the clean up as well, making the adjacent beaches also safe and clean options to enjoy.
Exactly what does that Blue Flag Certification mean?
When the FEE certifies a beach, they have a strict set of parameters which have to be met in order to qualify. Though some are purely informational, others are quite difficult and require rigorous standards to upheld. Here are the most important qualifications that impact your vacation.
Full transparency to beach goers is imperative. This includes a board with clearly marked water quality results and specific testing criteria be on display at all times. The beach must also notify goers of the local eco-system, areas with sensitive or unique natural elements and habitats and adjoining wetland information.
A Blue Flag beach has an international standard for water quality that includes testing beaches with the most concentrated number of swimmers and all the surrounding areas which may have an inflow of polluted water from rivers, man-made outlets or storm run-off. The tests include microbiological and physical-chemical elements and must be taken every 30-days to keep the certification. They also require that these tests be performed by a nationally or internationally accredited laboratory and collected by an officially authorized and independent agent.
The FEE demands a level of cleanliness, not just from garbage, but also natural debris on the beach or in the water. They check for oil residue and any industrial or waste-water contaminations. There are many more requirements, but these are the primary points which let you know your vacation swim will be ideal.
When planning your stay in Los Cabos, be sure to ask us for directions and transportation to all of the following Blue Flag beaches. Each one has its own personality and stunning characteristics and for the energetic traveler, it’s a wonderful adventure to see them all.
- Peaceful days await right outside your door at Garza Blanca, situated by the pristine Playa Chileno, along the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. These crystal waters are excellent for proficient swimmers, as there can be strong undercurrents and occasional waves. The beach is stunning and has a host of luxurious amenities such as showers, bathroom facilities and access for the disabled. Not only is it Blue Flag certified, but it is also consistently voted one of the cleanest beaches in all of Mexico.
- Head to Medano Beach and take a dip at Playa Hacienda. This is the primary tourist beach of Cabo San Lucas, stretching from the marina to Villa del Palmar. This is the best beach to see it all from people watching to a great restaurant on the sand.
- Playa El Cosario, or better known as La Empacadora, is a sweet swimming spot at the south end of the marina nestled against the hills. If you can wake up, the sunrise is incredible from here.
- Don’t let the name deter your visit to Playa Las Viudas, Widow’s Beach. It will be one of the most memorable beaches you will encounter. It is wild, raw and often secluded. Large stones dot the shore and volcanic rock form small coves in the water.
- Playa Palmilla is the crème de la crème of San Jose with a mile-long teal blue coastline on one side and Jack Nicklaus greens with pristine communities on the other. Take a day to pamper yourself under the shade of a palapa and enjoy the views.
- The last beach is by far not the least! Playa Acapulquito is a rocky, windswept shore with romantic coves, striking rock formations and a smooth break for catching a ride to shore whether surfing or on a boogie board.
The only way to know which beach will steal your heart is to book your stay and come visit them all.