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Protect Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park
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Cabo Pulmo National Park Conservation Program and Management Plan

General Guidelines: General definitions as defined in the General Law of Ecological Balance and its protection, from the Regulation of Materials of Protected Natural Areas.


freediving: using one or more of these for underwater observation and swimming: mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, weightbelt, and lifejacket
diving: underwater activity using a tank of air, regulator of pressure, bcd, in addition to freediving gear as stated above
tours and/or visits in motorized water vessels
tours and/or beach activities in non-motorized water vessels: any human-propelled, by wind or wave, vessel, including kayaks, windsurf, surf, etc.

ECOTOURISM: environmentally responsible tourism, consisting of visiting the national park without altering the natural environment and with the objective of enjoying, appreciating, or studying the natural and/or cultural attractions of the area, by means of a method that promotes conservation and sustainable development, which constitutes active participation of and socioeconomic benefit to the local population.

SMALL VESSELS: have gas motors and a capacity of up to 10 passengers.

LARGE VESSELS: are of more than 12 meters (36 feet) and are used for recreational aquatic activities.

GUIDES: anyone authorized by the Secretary of Tourism who provides professional orientation and information to tourists about the natural, touristic, and cultural heritage of the area, as well as assistance.

FISHING FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION: sustainable use of fishing products from the natural area, without commercial means, for the goal of satisfying alimentary needs and other traditional uses, by locals of the area.

COMMERCIAL FISHING: fishing with the goal of obtaining economic benefit.

SPORT/RECREATIONAL FISHING: fishing done by distributional means, authorized by the appropriate authority.

USERS: anyone coming into the park with the goal of participating in various activities, enjoyment and use of the natural resources of the area. Users are obligated to lend at all times support and facilities necessary to personnel of SEMARNAT and SEMAR for their work in inspection, vigilance, and protection of the park, as well as in any emergency situation, contingency operation, and cleaning of the park.

VISITORS: users who come into the area of their own mode to participate in aquatic activities, without use of a tour operator.

ZONING: the use-restricted zones are in good state of conservation; in these zones, it is necessary to maintain the conditions of the ecosystems and even better them in the areas that need it.

Within the park, 2 zones are defined by the following characteristics:

RESTRICTED-USE ZONE 1 (ZUR1): the marine part adjacent to the coast, in which is encountered the coral reef and coral heads distributed in an isolated manner. Underwater scenery that offers elevated value in scenic and environmental terms.

Within the permitted and non-permitted activities are:

Scientific collection
Environmental education
Inspection and vigilance
Signage for park purposes
Scuba diving
Free diving
Minor vessel tours:
Windsurf, kayak, pangas
Navigation in established
Areas and canals
jet-ski use
commercial fishing
sport/recreational fishing
consumer fishing
mineral extract/explore
construction of private
or public buildings
anchoring in reef areas
discharge contaminants
use of explosives
luminary installations
extraction of live rocks
construction of artificial reefs
beach recreation
vehicular transit on the beach
installation of fishing camps
installation of tourist camps
leaving trash on the beach

RESTRICTED-USE ZONE 2 (ZUR2): the marine area and federal marine land area included, from Miramar to Las Barracas, in which are permitted/prohibited a list of activities.

In the zone of public use that begins at Cabo Pulmo Point and extends along the coast line until the beach of Los Arbolitos, the following activities are permitted/prohibited:

Scientific collection
Inspection and vigilance
Signage for park purposes
Beach recreation
Tourist camps
vehicles on beach
sport/recreational fishing
consumer fishing
fishing camps
mineral exploitation
scuba diving
free diving
windsurf, kayak, pangas/lanchas
jet skis
navigation in established areas and canals
commercial fishing
anchoring in reef areas

ABOUT PROVIDERS OF TOURIST SERVICES: Are obliged to inform users that they are in a protected area, in which measures are taken to ensure conservation of the natural resources and the preservation of the natural environment and so should make them aware of the importance of conservation and the norms by which they are required to behave during their visit; providers should be able to support this information with graphic and written material approved by park heads.

tourist service providers should designate a guide for each group of 10 visitors who will be responsible for the group’s behavior as well as having basic knowledge about the importance and conservation of the park.

guides should comply with the established official Mexican standards, which correspond to each case.

providers should have a civil liability and 3rd party injury insurance, with the ends of assuming responsibility for injuries or losses suffered by visitors, vehicles and equipment, or any caused to outside parties during their stay and pursuit of activities in the park.

Rule: Guides and providers should ensure that visitors do not introduce any exotic flora or fauna, be it wild or domestic.


Rule 23: visitors and/or users who wish to participate in aquatic activities should preferably use tourist service providers of communities adjacent to the park, which are authorized by SEMARNAT.

Rule 24: Camping within the park is only allowed in designated zones, as signaled by the directors.

Rule 25:
Campfires allowed only in designated areas with material brought in from outside the park, and only within designated camping areas.

Rule 26:
Users must assure their campfires are completely extinguished.

Rule 27: Camping is subject to the following prohibitions:
1. excavating, leveling, cutting, or unearthing vegetation where camping
2. leaving any organic/inorganic waste
3. erect permanent camps
4. make noise or disturb other visitors or the natural behaviors of wild animals

Rule 28:
Any major repairs or maintenance, such as on boats and motors, should be done outside of park.

Rule 29: Disembarking boats allowed only in designated areas.

Rule 30: Windsurfing allowed only in designated areas.

Rule 31: during scuba diving activities, scuba flags should be displayed for general warning considerations, as defined by international standards.

Rule 32: tourist service providers of diving activities and users should conform to established Mexican standards.

Rule 33: It is prohibited during scuba diving activities to bother, chase, harm, touch, or ride any specie, as well as harm the reef.

Rule 34: Hours for diving are 6:00 to 19:00 for daily activities and 19:00 to 22:00 for night activities.

Rule 35:
During snorkeling/ freediving activity, users and guides in reef areas must use lifejackets.

Rule 36:
All scuba divers must have certification from known associations on an international level.

Rule 37:
During scuba diving, it is only permitted to conduct recreational tours with the objective of observation of marine life, and always under the supervision of a certified guide or instructor certified by recognized organizations

Rule 38:
Only guides may bring knives on scuba or free dives

Rule 39:
It is prohibited to get closer to reef than 2.5 meters, use gloves or carry knives, other than stated in Rule 38.

Rule 40:
The line of access during scuba dives should be 15 meters from the coral formations with the idea of not destroying marine life, taking into account current and winds, the boat may change positions.

Rule 41: in zones designated by zonification of the park, the maximum number of users per instructor during day diving activities are:
ZUR1: free diving- 6 scuba diving- 4
ZASRN1: free diving- 7 scuba diving- 6

Rule 42:
same as above, but for night diving:
ZUR 1: free diving- 4, scuba diving- 3
ZASRN1: free diving- 4, scuba diving- 3

Rule 43: FOR SAFETY REASONS, in the reef areas known as Las Tachuelas (1), Cabo Pulmo (4), Islote Piedra (7), and Lobera (9), it is only permitted for realization of diving activities by certified persons with at least a 1 or 2* rating or the equivalent, and it is only permitted for 2 boats to moor on mooring buoys per hour.

Rule 44: FOR SAFETY REASONS, in the reef areas known as Los Morros and El Bajo (2), Barco Hundido (3), Cabo Pulmo (5), La Esperanza y Barra no.5 (6), Punto (8), and Los Frailes (10), it is only permitted for diving by highly qualified persons, with at least a 3* rating or higher, and only 2 boats per hour on mooring buoys.

Rule 45: Kayaking must be done within specified routes and only by tourists capable of kayaking, under supervision of a guide of kayaking.

Rule 46: Kayaking groups can be up to 5 kayaks, including that of the guide.

Rule 47: It is prohibited to use the park as a base of operations for fishing trips

Rule 48: Consumer fishing is only permitted to local inhabitants in the zone of sustainable use of natural resources 1, in places used for that use specifically, and using only lines and hooks.

Rule 73: the following are exclusively prohibited within the park-

v. swim or dive using bronzers, oils, or sunscreens that are not biodegradable

xi. realize any major activity of cleaning, repairing, or maintaining boats.