Beaches are a popular draw for tourists from all over the world visiting Los Cabos and La Paz.
However, some of the access tourists need to visit some of the beaches in the area is blocked by public landowners that want to restrict tourism.
Government officials recently gathered to discuss the issue and find solutions to allow tourists to access the public beaches throughout Baja California Sur.
The Issue In La Paz
The whole issue came to the forefront of discussions in La Paz recently because of the restriction of locals’ and tourists’ access to El Saltito Beach and Rancho Las Cruces for many years.
The owners wanted to restrict access and not permit tourists to visit the public beach. In other cases, the landowners block access to locals and tourists unless an access fee is paid.
Recently, government officials forced the landowners to allow access to El Saltito Beach and Rancho Las Cruces in accordance with the Baja California Sur law.
Beach Access Law
Article 18 of the Land Transit Law of the State and Municipality of Baja California Sur requires landowners to provide access to public beaches as a legal easement of passage.
This is much like how public utilities have access to homeowner property in the United States if repairs are needed.
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La Paz officials enforced the law recently to provide access to El Saltito Beach and Rancho Las Cruces.
According to La Paz Municipal General Secretary Pavel Castro Ríos, the government needs to ensure that beachgoers have access to all of the public beaches in La Paz for the benefit of not only the enjoyment of locals but also the promotion of international tourism.
Those that do not allow this public access can be fined anywhere from $200,000 pesos to $1 million pesos ($10,000 to $50,000 in dollars) for not providing the required access.
El Saltito Beach
Because of the limited availability of access, Playa El Saltito near La Paz is an amazing quiet beach with clear blue waters.
It is located about 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) from La Paz in a secluded area nestled by a cove with scenic rock outcroppings. Beware, finding the beach using Google Maps is a challenge.
It is actually a very peaceful area for snorkeling and diving, although many visitors have actually said that the water is a little cold.
While the area is beautiful and a great place for water sports, Playa El Saltito visitors should realize that the remoteness means there is a lack of basic tourist facilities, such as restrooms.
Also, the presence of sand flies many visitors cite as a real hassle about visiting Playa El Saltito. Tourists should bring bug spray with them to enjoy this natural beach.
Rancho Las Cruces
Meanwhile, Rancho La Cruces is a resort near La Paz that has sold memberships to locals and visitors who want to visit their 10,000 acres and seven miles of beach located on the Sea of Cortez.
The enforcement by La Paz officials means that the resort property must now allow visitor access to the beach without charging. The law also provides for parking access for visitors who want to visit the beach.
Now the membership fees will only apply to the resort-style amenities available at the property.
What This Means For Tourists
The enforcement of the state law on access to beaches ensures that tourists can continue to enjoy the beaches in La Paz and Los Cabos without having to deal with limited availability or having to pay to visit.
It ensures that the local scenic beaches, the reason many tourists choose to visit La Paz in the first place, will be available and accessible for all to enjoy.
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