Stolen Sand: Cancun Beach Shut Down!

August 2, 2009

Stolen sand on Cancun beaches? Sounds a bit absurd, but Cancun beach was in fact shut down. Read more and check out photos and video here.


A portion of Cancun beach was shut down after being accused of stealing sand. Tourists were shocked to find that hundreds of feet of the beautiful coastline was taped off.

On Thursday, environmental officers closed off a section in front of the Gran Caribe Real hotel in Cancun. The hotel is accused of illegally accumulating sand for its portion of the beach. Patricio Patrón, Mexico’s attorney general for environmental protection said in a statement,

“Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand. This hotel was telling its tourists, ‘Come here, I have sand … the other hotels don’t, because I stole it.’”

In 2005, Mexico spent $19 million to replace the sand that was washed away by Hurricane Wilma. Much of the sand has been washed away, and some property owners have built breakwaters to preserve the sand. That often shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.

Gran Caribe Real Hotel is suspected of illegally building a breakwater that impeded the natural flow of sand onto other hotels’ beaches, and five people were detained for allegedly using pumps to move sand from the sea floor onto the beach in front of the hotel.

As you can imagine, many tourists are very upset that due to this stolen sand incident, a section of the beach has been taped off.

Check out more pictures along with video of beautiful Cancun below.

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