Our guests visiting in Puerto Vallarta tell us they were asked to leave a beach because it was private. That simply cannot be the case. And we mean case quite literally, since this is a legal matter. All of Mexico’s beaches are public. Since they are federal property, owned by the government, no one, regardless of how high and mighty they may consider themselves, can lay claim to any sandy area between terra firma and the ocean. Not that we plan to hire a lawyer and go ahead with any actions but we do want to make some points very clear.
Military operations adjacent to the sea are private, in the sense there are armed forces practicing and occupying these spaces. The public is, of course, not allowed to trespass on such land, in Puerto Vallarta or anywhere else in Mexico.
One cannot walk through private property, including a hotel, whether it is under surveillance of security guards or unmanned. However, one can go around the hotel from the exterior and/or approach the area from either direction on the water side. We are legally allowed to enjoy their beach, as long as we are not sitting in their chairs, borrowing their towels or accessing any other equipment belonging to the hotel. This also goes for private homes. If someone alleges they have no public access to the beach in front of their house, it is true one cannot traverse through the house, but the beach is public. If the house is on a cliff, reconsidering and finding other resources is not a bad idea. There are many, many beaches and to insist on plopping one’s self on a particular beach, simply in protest, takes away the entire significance of going to the beach. Any boat approaching a beach may disembark passengers but it’s advised to be careful to not find oneself abandoned.
That said, we highly recommend getting on a bus, going to a remote beach on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and walking down long, winding, dusty roads to find some of the best beaches on earth. One can have some sense of seclusion; incredible views; good surf, if one is so inclined to tote a surf or boogie board; less vendors. Invest in a lightweight ice chest, a Mexican blanket, some fresh water jugs and bring friends to help cart and carry. Both north and south of Puerto Vallarta, within a relatively short bus ride, we can create our own private beach, public or not.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!