Valuable as Sand

You usually don’t think of sand as a valuable commodity. However, when your livelihood depends on it, things change. Such is the case for beach destinations like Cancun and the Riviera Maya (the area immediately South of Cancun).  The Quintana Roo State Government and Tourism Secretariat has announced plans to restore beach fronts in the Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Cozumel areas. This is needed because the last few hurricanes that hit the area eroded the beach to the point that some hotels no longer have a beach, or it becomes impossible to use in high tide.

Retaining Wall at the Playacar Palace

Retaining Wall at the Playacar Palace

I saw this last year when we visited the area. Our hotel, the Playacar Palace, in Playa del Carmen, was almost perfect in every way, except for the beach. At its biggest point, the beach was maybe 30 ft wide and 6 ft deep. You could certainly take the steps down from the pool area for a dip in the ocean, but lounging was definitely out of the question. Ironically, the same is true for the Beach Palace Cancun. When we visited, you couldn’t even go down to the ocean because of the high tide.

View of the Beach Palace Cancun Pool Area and Beach

View of the Beach Palace Cancun Pool Area and Beach

Not all hotels suffer from this, though. I took the following picture at the beautiful Sun Palace, also in Cancun.

Beach at the Sun Palace in Cancun

To remedy the situation, the government will add sand to widen Cancun’s beach to 44 ft. wide, Playa del Carmen’s to 33 ft. wide, and Cozumel’s to 22 ft. The project meets established environmental protection norms, while the responsible entity has pledged to make sure environmental measures are respected and the local fauna and environment protected. For this reason as well, sand will only be extracted from certain areas and only between six and seven percent of sandbanks will be touched. Work will begin in the Riviera Maya’s Playa del Carmen this month, where 2.5 miles of dunes affecting the beachfronts of local hotels and condominiums will be filled in. Sept. 13 to 15 are when a 875-yard coastal sandbank will be created. Similar work in Cancun will extend from Sept. 30 to November.

The fact that the government is taking hands in the matter is a good thing. The alternative is for hotels to do it on their own, such as the Gran Caribe Real complex was trying to do. They got caught and their beach was cordoned off. Apparently, the hotel was pumping sand from the sea floor onto the beach, and had also built an illegal breakwater to prevent erosion. According to authorities, the hotel owners had refused previous requests to destroy the breakwater. The result was some very angry clients, who went to Cancun and couldn’t use the hotel’s beach, even though reports say they reopened the beach a couple of days later.

Cancun and the Riviera Maya, as well as Cozumel, continue to be some of the most popular beach destinations for American tourists, mainly because they offer beautiful beaches and additional activities for every age group. If you’re considering a beach vacation, please let me know and I’ll help you find the best resort for what you need. Most resorts, including Palace Resorts, have great offers, like free stays for kids 17 and under.


Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171


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