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Why You May Want To Think Twice About Visiting These Beaches Near Los Cabos

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Those heading to Los Cabos for a holiday often do so to make the most out of the municipality’s breathtaking beaches.

But there’s a ‘but’. 

El Cerrito beach in Todos Santos near Los Cabos

In recent days, several beaches near this stunning municipality reported an excess growth of algae, often associated with high levels of pollution. 

So, what happened exactly? 

The beaches that were recently affected by this phenomenon can be found in several towns located near Cabo San Lucas and San Josè del Cabo and are popular among tourists wanting to escape the huge crowds typical of these areas. 

These include beaches in El Sargento, La Ventana, Todos Santos, and El Pescadero.

According to local news, this is largely due to discharges from septic tanks and biodigesters from businesses and houses located in the vicinity.

sun umbrella and chairs in Cerritos todos santos baja california sur beach mexico

The Advisor of the Citizen Front in Defense of Water and Life (FRECIUDAV), Ángel Trasviña Aguilar, was particularly concerned about the current situation. 

According to him, data from the La Paz City Council demonstrate how more than 400 septic tanks and digesters have been authorized in the area since the beginning of the current administration. 

Talking about this issue, he commented: “According to the response sent to us by the architect Patricia Ahumada Verdugo, who is the general director of Comprehensive Management of the City, and the architect Yuriko Yesenia Corona, who is the director of Public Works (…) we have that in 2022, 236 authorizations and construction licenses for septic tanks were issued and in 2023, 221. [This is a total of] 457.”

Cerritos todos santos baja california sur beach mexico

Ángel Trasviña Aguilar also added that most of the permits allowing the installation of tanks were issued illegally. 

What does the law say

Ángel Trasviña Aguilar said that permission to install septic tanks was issued in violation of article 56 of the BCS State Law on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LEEPA) which states: 

“When municipal wastewater evacuation systems do not exist, the owners of hotels, subdivisions, condominiums, residences, industries and the like, must install wastewater treatment and recycling systems, whether individual or communal.”

Aerial view of Cerritos Beach in Todos Santos Baja California

The article continues by specifying that: “Only in those exceptional cases, in which the socioeconomic and biophysical conditions justify it, will the City Councils be able to authorize the construction of latrines and septic tanks.”

Ángel Trasviña Aguilar pointed out that land near the ocean has high costs, implying that people buying and building properties here must have enough resources to install wastewater treatment and recycling systems as requested by law. 

“Everyone knows what land near the beach or next to the beach costs. Only people with financial capacity buy that. So there is no justification for them to be authorized by the septic forces,” said Ángel Trasviña Aguilar.  

el sargento beach la ventana baja california sur mexico aerial view panorama landscape

He later continued by suggesting a case of corruption: “This can only be explained by ineptitude and/or corruption. In fact, we are in the process of suing the responsible authorities who are rather irresponsible.”

Are Los Cabos beaches safe?

Despite this current event, Los Cabos beaches remain largely safe for bathers. Swimmers here can find high cleanliness levels as well as experienced lifeguards ready to act in case of emergency. 

The local government has recently put in place a series of initiatives to prepare its most popular beaches for the arrival of the many students expected to flock to Los Cabos during spring break. 

Fantastic sky, ocean and rocks. Differen stages of the waves on the ocean sand. Playa El Chileno Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

For instance, local authorities decided to crack down on street vendors to prevent unauthorized sellers from scamming foreigners. 

In recent days, the local government has also shown promptness in placing warning flags on the shore of the most popular beaches whenever water conditions become too dangerous. 

This means that despite the situation in towns such as El Sargento, La Ventana, Todos Santos, and El Pescadero, Los Cabos’ beaches remain perfectly safe for tourists, allowing visitors soon heading here for spring break to make the most out of their trip.

Medano Beach Filled with Tourists in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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