Playa Hermosa hasn’t passed the test for the fourth time in a row due to sewage water disposal in that location
Going to a beautiful beach in Mexico but not being able to swim or enjoy the warm Caribbean blue waters sounds more like torture than a dream vacation. Travelers must know that not all the beaches in Mexico are currently safe for swimming or practicing other recreational activities.
The Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (known by its Spanish initials Cofepris) published a new study, performed in March, with an analysis of beach waters for this season’s clean beaches program “Playas Limpias 2022”.
The analysis considered over 900,000 water samples from the sea in 17 coastal states and it has been stated that 289 beaches out of 290 are in good condition. The scientific frame used considers World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that contemplate that water samples must show results of 200 enterococci or fewer per 100 milliliters of water to be recognized as suitable.
According to the study, 99.9% of Mexican beaches currently have good quality water and travelers can confidently enjoy their Easter vacations, and only one beach didn’t pass the tests: Playa Hermosa, in Ensenada, Baja California.
Now that many top destinations in Mexico have removed the mandatory mask mandate, such as Cancun and Nayarit, and the new analysis has shown that most beaches are in good condition and can plan their vacations and make adjustments when necessary.
Risky Beaches In Mexico
For the fourth time in a row, Playa Hermosa does not pass the suitable water test and is considered unsafe by Mexican authorities due to the constant disposal of sewage water in that location.
The most probable number (MPN)—the statistical method used— of enterococci per 100 milliliters of water was not published in the report, but neighboring beaches such as Playa Monalisa, Playa Pacífica, and Playa La Misión showed great results, under 12 MPN/100ml.
The Cofepris performs this large analysis previous to peak seasons, three times every year: prior to Easter, Summer, and Winter seasons. The last time, in December 2021, Playa Hermosa and other four beaches didn’t pass the test: Playa Hornos, Playa Tlacopanocha, and Playa Suave in Acapulco, and Playa Sayulita I in Nayarit. At that time, result numbers surpassed 430 MPN/100ml, but this time, in March 2022, all numbers were below 24 MPN/100ml.
Travelers must stay aware of these results, and those who want to know the exact results of the beaches they will be visiting, can go through the in-depth analysis shared publicly by the Mexican government, categorized by region. Those visiting Cancun and other destinations in Quintana Roo, can go confidently since all beaches in this region showed safe results.
Consequences Of Swimming In Polluted Waters
It is important to stay up to date with these results since high levels of the bacteria Enterococcus faecalis could affect travelers’ health. According to the information shared by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), those with weakened immune systems can develop illnesses or infections after swimming in polluted waters.
An article published by EPA states: “The most common illness associated with swimming in water polluted by sewage is gastroenteritis. It occurs in a variety of forms that can have one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache, or fever. Other minor illnesses associated with swimming include ear, eye, nose, and throat infections. In highly polluted water, swimmers may occasionally be exposed to more serious diseases.”
So those visiting Ensenada in Baja California should avoid visiting Playa Hermosa. Instead, travelers can enjoy the beautiful beach La Joya or swim freely in the warm waters of Playa Monalisa.
Cofepris also invited the Mexican population to report any anomaly related to water to the free number 01-800-033-5050.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories