A new federal water sampling program that tested the sea water along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast in the Riviera Maya and Cancun has found that the ocean is clean and healthy. Dubbed the “Clean Beach Program” and conducted by Cofepris (the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks), the initiative has reaffirmed that beaches in Mexico’s Riviera Maya are pristine and ready for people to enjoy.
“The program is similar to that carried out in the United States and Canada, where water samples are taken nationwide and analyzed,” wrote Riviera Maya News.
Water samples were tested for enterococci, which is a type of bacteria that can survive in salt water and is part of the normal intestinal flora of both humans and animals. Enterococci are considered to be “indicator organisms” when found in water samples from large bodies of water and although enterococci is almost always present in any natural body of water, the total count is what matters.
“The water samples were taken in various areas along the Riviera Maya at the beginning of March,” stated Efraín Alonzo Sansores, who is the Riviera Maya area coordinator for Cofepris. “In total, six beaches were tested, which include Punta Esmeralda, Chunzubul, Porto Real, Balneario, Público de Muelle Fiscal, Lancheros and Paamul.”
Checking the counts of enterococci is a commonly-used practice in both fresh and marine water environments as an indicator of recreational water quality, which can directly impact an area’s viability as a popular vacation destination. Generally speaking, sea water samples with a ratio of 35 enterococci per 200 faecal coliforms are considered safe for people to swim in and enjoy.
Riviera Maya and Cancun All Clear
To put into perspective just how pristine the Caribbean Sea is along Mexico’s Riviera Maya, the entire region had an average of just 20 enterococci per 200 faecal coliforms. This is not only well below the accepted limit, but it is also much cleaner than many beaches in the United States, which experienced 22,571 beach closures or advisories nationwide last year; a number that is second only to 2006 for the highest number of beach closures in nearly 20 years.
According to the report, water samples were taken for Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Tulum, as well as beaches along the coast located south of Tulum, and all of the samples yielded similar results, with relevant bacteria levels staying well below internationally-accepted levels.
“The cleanest water samples were taken at three beaches in Tulum,” wrote Riviera Maya News. “The tested beaches [in Tulum] were Zamas, Xcacel and Maya, all of which came back with the lowest enterococci levels in the state, with an average of 10 enterococci per 200 faecal coliforms.”
Where is the Riviera Maya?
Mexico’s Riviera Maya stretches along more than 80 miles of prime beachfront real estate, running south from Cancun along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast, encompassing the popular vacation destinations of Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum.
The Riviera Maya offers many things to do and easy access to the Cancun International Airport and a variety of ancient Mayan ruins, as well as incredible snorkeling and diving along the world’s second largest barrier reef, while Cancun, Tulum, Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen each offer an unbeatable lifestyle and a variety of vacation rental properties to choose from, including condos, all-inclusive resorts and boutique hotels.
What would you most like to see or do when visiting Mexico’s Riviera Maya? Tell us all about your dream vacation in the comments below!
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