Mexico has become the leader with the most Blue Flag beaches in North and South America. The international Blue Flag certification for beaches isn’t just earned by natural beauty but by communities’ efforts to preserve the ecological balance of the coast while giving families safe access to the beach.
The Blue Flag program operates under the umbrella of the Foundation for Environmental Education, and in 1987, Blue Flag certification for beaches was started in Europe to recognize conservation and educational efforts. The program expanded internationally in 2001 to promote sustainable development and management around the world. Their mission isn’t just to protect the environment but also to educate the communities, businesses, and ecosystems that rely on the ocean. From the Cabo beaches to the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, the best beaches in Mexico are earning the honor of being named blue flag beaches in recognition of their environmental programs.
Of the 4,560 beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating operations with blue flag certification around the world, 54 beaches and three marinas are located in Mexico. Some of the most popular ones are the Vallarta beaches, but there are also several in Cabo and near Cancun. With the country in 13th place internationally and in first place for the continent, this achievement is made more impressive when you look at the stringent process and 33 different criterion that must be met to achieve blue flag certification.
Whether you’re strolling the Cabo beaches or the Nayarit beaches, you’ll see ongoing environmental efforts. Local beach committees help ensure that regular water quality sampling is done and standards of cleanliness are met while natural vegetation and debris are untouched. Blue Flag beaches have separate garbage cans for organic and inorganic waste that are easily accessible and regularly maintained. Any restroom facilities on the Mexican beaches with Blue Flag certification must be clean and have controlled sewage disposal. All of these efforts work towards maintaining the natural ecological balance of the best beaches in Mexico.
Because the Blue Flag program knows that it takes a village to protect the environment, they’ve made educational programs and signage a significant part of the requirements for Blue Flag certification for beaches. Whether you’re on the Vallarta beaches or across the country in Cancun, you’ll see signs with information about local marine life and beach clean up programs. Some of the educational activities focus directly on working with local business and tourism companies to help them implement more sustainable practices. As you tour Cabo beaches or sail along the Nayarit beaches, you’ll see the community pitching in to keep the area in its natural state.
If you’re traveling to Vallarta beaches or any of the other stunning Mexican beaches, be sure to look for Blue Flag beaches. These spots proudly display the Blue Flag logo and are easily accessible to the public and to people of all physical abilities. Whether you’ve marked the Nayarit beaches as your destination or have decided to head to the Mayan ruins near Cancun, you’ll find Mexico’s coast lined with incredible natural beauty.