Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The National Commission of Protected Areas (Conanp) announced late last week that Playa Escondido (Hidden Beach), also known as La Playa del Amor (the Beach of Love), located within the Marietas Islands National Park off the coast of the Riviera Nayarit, will be reopened on August 31 - under strict rules and regulations.
After a study by the University of Guadalajara found that environmental damage was taking a toll on the islands' coral reefs and sea life, Conanp closed the popular beach last May in an attempt to preserve the area's natural beauty and biodiversity.
The May study estimated that after restoration, the beach could support 625 visitors a day, but Conanp has decided that even 625 tourists is too many: upon reopening the total number of visitors will be restricted to 116 per day and visits will be limited to 30 minutes per group.
Only boats with 15 or fewer passengers will be allowed in the protected area, and though every visitor will be required to wear a life preserver, no snorkeling or diving equipment will be permitted.
The reopening follows another study by the University of Guadalajara, which concluded that restoration of the coral was progressing satisfactorily. According to a statement made by Conanp, half of the 550 coral fragments that were translocated to the Marietas over the past three months have successfully reattached to the substrate.
The beach will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays each week for ongoing maintenance and monitoring.Source: milenio.com