Hotel boom in Mazatlan reduces access to the beach areas


Hoteliers prohibit free access and transit on the sand, cordoning off much of the beachfront space for the exclusive use of guests

Mazatlan , Sinaloa .- Although Mazatlan is a family destination, which offers its main attraction its beaches , they are limited, restricted and hindered in the Golden Zone by hotels , restaurants, bars, shopping plazas and fenced lands, which prohibit the free access and transit of people.

Except for some alleys and streets that reach to the sea, none of these establishments has direct access; On the other hand, facing the sea, they capture the beach area with ropes and palapas , where neither swimmers, tourists, nor vendors can get close because it is a restricted area, forbidden and secluded for the guests of each hotel that they exhibit wristbands of their hotel.

People go through one of the makeshift steps to access the beaches, on a piece of land on Gaviotas Avenue.

Environmentalists say that this is an irregularity that has been overlapped by local and federal authorities since always, since there are laws that prohibit and punish, but that are not met.

Rather, hoteliers have sought ways to gain more land to the sea, extending their constructions 30 and up to 40 meters to the beach area, in addition to grabbing the sand area as a resting place for their guests.

Some have even undertaken breakwater works in front of their hotels to retain the sand, on the pretext of recovering more beach land, which is considered by environmentalists as irreversible damage to the maritime zone, which leads to erosion and negative effects on the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Seven streets and five alleys are the accesses to the beaches for the entire Golden Zone.

On April 30, the Federal Chamber of Deputies approved reforms to the General Law of National Assets, including Article 8, which deals with access to the maritime beaches and the Federal Maritime Land Zone next to them, which establishes that can not be inhibited, restricted, hindered or conditioned, except in the cases established by the administrative regulation.

In case there are no public roads or accesses, the owners of land adjacent to federal zones must allow free passage to it, as well as to the beaches.

Estrella Del Mar

In case of not doing so, the reform includes sanctions of 3 thousand to 12 thousand times the UMA, which is the Measurement and Update Unit, whose current value is 84.49 pesos; that is, fines of 253 thousand to more than one million pesos, with what is sought to give free access and transit to all the beaches of the country, including those of Mazatlan.

Of the 29 hotels that border the coast in the Golden Zone, only 10 are near public access.


The most affected by these limitations are sellers with permission from the Federal Maritime Land Zone (Zofemat) which is assumed to cover an area of ​​20 meters passable and contiguous with the sea, which is determined from the maximum high-water coast, that is, from of the highest tide.

However, each season, they see their sales area reduced, as hoteliers increasingly stretch out towards the sea with their constructions and beach grabbing.

Gregorio Dávila works at Playa Gaviotas, the only one with a white flag certificate for recreational use in accordance with the official standard NMX-AA-120-SCFI-2016 issued by the Federal Ministry of Tourism; For 30 years he sells handicrafts in the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone.

Seven breakwaters are in the coastal area, from Valentinos to Marina Mazatlan.

He says that his “daily headache” is to fight with the staff of the hotels, which prevents him from accessing the cordoned palapas that are inside his sales area, in search of clients.

“They take over the space in front of them; when there are some people do not allow one to approach, and still put their strings and do not leave, they just say: ‘No, no, do not come here, you know you can not be here, get there’; It is assumed that the property is from the fence forward, that is your property, but here you can walk, you can work, “he said.

He describes as good the initiative approved in the Chamber of Deputies to give free access to the beaches, and hopes that the law will now be complied with.

“It’s good that this reform was given to the General Law of National Assets, because we are always fighting with them, we want them to be more accessible to people, we do not harass and annoy anyone, we work freely, we have a permit and we are in order, but hoteliers always want to own everything, “he accused.

Seven streets serve as access to the beaches in the Golden Zone.

Gregorio Dávila considers that they are the ones who harass and annoy the tourist, when they arrive in an overbearing and insistent way, asking them to leave, when they are offering their products, harassing them all the time.

“All that affects us, not just us as sellers, but the same guests and tourism, it affects them much more,” he said.

He also points out that those who come from outside are not allowed to reach their exclusive zones, since they argue that it is forbidden there, even though their palapas, tables and chairs are empty all day long.

For his part, Guillermo Morales states that he has been applying for a permit for 30 years to rent in the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone umbrellas, tables and chairs, and accuses that because of the corruptions that there are, he has not been able to; nevertheless, the hoteliers every season extend more towards the beach with palapas and furniture for rest, without any authority telling them something.

“I have not been able to obtain permission because corruption is all that it gives, the beach is very noble and it gives you a lot, whether it is a good season or a bad season, but people do not leave you, there is more and more hoarding They do it aside, “he said.


The Zofemat is regulated by the Mexican Political Constitution, by the General Law of National Assets and the Regulation for the Use and Use of the Territorial Sea, Navigable Routes, Beaches, Zofemat and Land Livestock to the Sea.

According to these laws and regulations, the beaches are a common use, inalienable, imprescriptible and unattachable and are not subject to action of definitive or provisional possession; who make a special use or exploitation of them, do so through a concession given by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

The concession has a term that does not exceed 20 years, depending on the investment, and may be extended, provided that the obligations derived from the granting thereof have been fulfilled.

Among the obligations of the concessionaire, include covering the payment of corresponding rights for the use, exploitation or exploitation of the granted Zofemat, as well as carrying out nothing else the activities authorized in said concession title.

The last reform took place on April 30, when the Chamber of Deputies approved amendments to the General Law of National Assets, in articles dealing with access to beaches and the Zofemat, which states that these may not be inhibited, restricted, hindered or conditioned.

Therefore, owners of land adjacent to federal zones must allow free access to it, as well as beaches.

Sanctions for those who violate this law range from 253 thousand to more than one million pesos, depending on the value of the current Measurement and Update Unit.


The president of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Education of Mazatlan (CEAA), David Ocampo, assures that the General Law of National Assets establishes as federal zones the banks of rivers, streams, lagoons, islands and seas, in such a way that they are free

In the case of the beaches, they are 20 meters from the high tide, where the highest tide arrives.

If this is the case, added the environmentalist, 50% or more of the hotel zone of Mazatlan is outside the regulations.

And not only that, but also more than 50% of the city of Mazatlan is irregular, since the port has been extended and developed on lagoons, estuaries, marshes and federal areas, including the hotel industry.

“Before there was no education or knowledge of this, but from the 80’s we started to have more information; now we are in 2019, however, we are still struggling so that people do not build within those areas, “he said.

With regard to the beaches, David Ocampo considers that the lack of access and limitations of the federal maritime land area is not the most serious problem, but the lack of care of them, as the constructions extend to the sea and cause damage to the sea. ebb and flow of the ocean, with breakwaters made by the hand of man.

“If someone goes to the Golden Zone or Cerritos, to the height or in front of the Isla de Pájaros, we will see a set of jetties, that does affect and damage the beach, the ebb and flow of the ocean and others,” he warned. .

He questioned the programs and projects that seek to recover beach areas, mainly with the development of breakwaters.

“If the biggest breakwaters are made, they will recover more beach because the hotels want to continue growing towards the sea; let’s see the examples, the sand is accumulating and the hotels growing more and more and more, and they will continue making breakwaters offshore to continue growing, and then they block free transit on beaches, “he criticized.

He commented that from the outset, society has to demand that no longer, as is happening with Laguna del Camarón, where a constant struggle is being carried out so that it is not continued to be filled and built, despite the existence of a current law that prohibits it. .

“The Law is fine there, as in everything we have excellent laws in Mexico, but as always, the problem is not that we have them, it is that we comply and implement them.”

Apparently, he added, the hotel industry has no limits, they already have 30 or 40 meters outside the law, and they want another 30 meters to keep growing; while the responsible authority turns a blind eye or only infractions, but does not correct the damage.

“Why do not they come and say: ‘You know what, gentlemen, we’re going to knock down all this and we’re going to correct it by falling down’; they do not do it, it is rare the time they knock down something built, they reach agreements and they stay, the one that says: ‘Ah, he got 30 meters, I put another 30’, and we fall into the vicious circle of corrupt them, “he concluded.

David Ocampo called the Operadora de Playas and Semarnat to act on it, because they are the bodies that should intervene.

“Those of the Operadora de Playas have to tell you, you can not cover and block here, it’s federal, give thanks that allow you to use this in a commercial way, that’s what the officials are for, to apply the law well and be fair,” he concluded.


In a tour made by El Sol de Mazatlan, it was found that on Avenida Gaviotas and Camarón Sábalo, there are 29 hotels on the seafront without direct access to the beaches, except for the 7 public streets and 5 alleys that reach the sea.

Of these hotels, 10 are adjacent to the streets and alleys of public access, while the rest only has access through their facilities.

Most of the hotels keep part of the beach cordoned off as an exclusive area for their guests, despite the fact that the law establishes that free access to the federal maritime land zone can not be inhibited, restricted, hindered or conditioned, because it is a good of common use and not private.

Since April 30, the General Law of National Assets includes sanctions to those who are surprised at this irregularity, it would be necessary to see if this provision is now fulfilled or becomes a dead letter, like many other regulations on the matter.


(From Gaviotas to La Marina El Cid)

19 hotels

4 restaurants

3 commercial seats

1 trailer park

1 events room

2 constructions

1 abandoned departmental building

1 parking


7 streets

1 alley


(From Valentino to Camaron Sábalo)

10 hotels

1 bar

2 constructions

1 terrain

2 commercial plaza


4 alleys

1 step on land



Of the Dolphin




Vicente Guerrero

FACT: 7 breakwaters are on the coast of the Golden Zone, between Valentino and Marina Mazatlan.

Source: el sol de mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post