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Here Is How To Tell If A Los Cabos Beach Vendor Is Safe To Buy From

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In another example of the proactive approach to tourist safety that is fast becoming the norm in Los Cabos, all licensed street vendors are required to wear a uniform. This is so they can be easily recognized by both tourists who wish to purchase from them and officials who regularly inspect them for the correct permits and operating practices.

Here Is How To Tell If A Los Cabos Beach Vendor Is Safe To Buy From

This legislation is specific to mobile street vendors who operate along the beaches of Los Cabos, offering everything from refreshments to handicrafts and souvenirs.

Why The Uniforms Are Important

The authorities in Los Cabos have taken a very strict approach to these informal workers due to past issues with a small number of them. There have been instances of physical confrontation between vendors that brought about ugly scenes for tourists and required the intervention of local law enforcement. A situation that authorities here want to avoid completely.

The vast majority of street vendors in Los Cabos are law-abiding and friendly, simply out to earn honest money by offering goods to tourists. That being said, there have been serious situations in the past with criminals posing as normal vendors to either scam unsuspecting travelers or to offer the sale of illicit substances.

Beach vendor selling textiles

With street vendors being required to wear a uniform, authorities can immediately spot unlicensed vendors in normal clothing and remove them from the area. Furthermore, in the case of those who are wearing the uniform, it immediately identifies them to tourists as being legitimate and simplifies the control of permits and inspections by authorities.

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Beach vendor selling foodstuffs

What The Uniform Looks Like

The uniform being enforced is simple for travelers to identify. Street vendors are now required to wear a combination of white pants with a white shirt/t-shirt. It should be noted this legislation applies to mobile street vendors operating on beaches and along the marina areas and doesn’t apply to vendors operating from static stalls.

Beach vendors on a beach in Cabo with the water in the background.

Why The Authorities Are Acting

The situation became a hot-button issue in November 2022 when it was announced the National Guard was to be deployed in an effort to clamp down on unlicensed vendors, as well as those offering illegal services while operating as street vendors.

Safety is a top priority in Los Cabos, and the lengths law enforcement and local government go to here in the pursuit of safety is highly commendable. Additionally, there are other dynamics in play here on top of safety that further influence the actions being taken in Los Cabos.

National guard patroling Mexican beach

Pushy vendors and those selling low-quality goods can seriously impact the overall image of Los Cabos and its popular beach areas. It doesn’t take long for a negative atmosphere to develop from excessive numbers of street vendors.

Any traveler who has ventured to the likes of Egypt or India, where pushy vendors are an unfortunate feature in extreme numbers, will understand how negative an impact this can have on what should be a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

Police inspect street vendor on beach

What Travelers Can Do To Help

Without a market to sell to, illegal street vendors have no reason to operate in Los Cabos. As well as action by law enforcement and local authorities, tourists to the area can impact the situation positively with the following actions:

  • Only buy from vendors wearing the new uniform – This simple action removes all incentives for illegal vendors and supports those operating legally, creating a positive situation for all.
  • Spread the word – Pass this information on to fellow travelers, everyone has a part to play in this push for a safer beach environment in Los Cabos.
  • Don’t engage with those selling illicit substances – The last place this activity should be taking place is on a beach where families with children are present, with no market to sell to at Los Cabos beaches it’s hoped they will stop operating in these areas.
Beach vendor selling jewellery in Los Cabos

Following the points above, which require minimal input on the part of travelers, will greatly help local authorities in their efforts to eliminate these issues. It is advisable, though, to not openly report these activities in front of illegal vendors. Personal safety should always be number one.

For travelers who would like to report illegal street vendors, it’s safest to do so by phone to the non-emergency numbers of the relevant police district, which are as following:

  • Cabo San Lucas – (624) 143-3977
  • San Jose Del Cabo – (624) 142-0361

Both districts have English-speaking officers to communicate with travelers. This also applies to the emergency 911 operators in Los Cabos, who are all capable of communicating in English if a traveler ever needs the service.

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