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Sand and Shells

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Sioux City, Iowa
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19 posts
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Sand and Shells

Is it true that it is illegal to take sand and sea shells home Cancun? Has anyone else done it or had any trouble trying? Is this something they really monitor?

St. Louis, Missouri
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4,886 posts
22 reviews
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1. Re: Sand and Shells

I don't know if it's legal or not, but we went on a snorkeling trip last year and my sisters and I stayed behind while everyone else went out for the final swim. We sat in the water on the beach and then went for a short walk when we felt what we thought were rocks under our feet. They were huge conche shells. I brought home 4. There was nothing living inside. I will say that they smell really bad when you get home. I soaked them in some diluted bleach water, but it really did compromise the beauty of them. If I were you, I would just buy one! You can find them at the flea market or also from locals on the beach. The year before, I bought one for my daughter for $3, a really good sized one too!

Milwaukee, WI
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641 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Sand and Shells

I love shell collecting and did so the first many days we were on our trip. One night at the show one of the entertainment staff made an announcement stating that it was illegal to remove shells from the beach. I decided to ask the consignier and she gave me the same answer saying that the shells are what makes sand. My first thought was that the shells I collected would take hundreds of years to make a very minute amount of sand. I confess, I still took a small amount home and didn't get stopped in customs. One of the customs questions, can't remember how it is stated exactly, skirts the question but probably would have to be honestly answered yes if you bring shells home. BTW, I only found small shells and nothing fancy like you can find on the gulf side of Florida's beaches. Hope this helps. Julie

Pittsburgh...
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157 posts
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3. Re: Sand and Shells

Conch shells are beautiful until the conch is killed or dies, then the color is lost.

Ellen

San Antonio, Texas
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5,420 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Sand and Shells

It is indeed illegal. Sand is considered 'soil', so, don't ask, don't tell. I'm assuming you were referring to dead sea shells found on the beach.

St. Louis, Missouri
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4,886 posts
22 reviews
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5. Re: Sand and Shells

OMG...I didn't know that the shells are the "soil" of the beach. Wow, I feel REALLY bad now!!

Sioux City, Iowa
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19 posts
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6. Re: Sand and Shells

WOW!! You have all given me some good information!! Thanks. Just my luck if I try to take some home I would get stopped at customs and arrested! that is not how I want to spend any time in Mexico!!

San Antonio, Texas
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5,420 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Sand and Shells

I can't imagine that there are too many people that have traveled to Cancun, spent a week with their toes in that powdery white sand and not taken home some as a souvenir.

Ithaca, New York
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2,704 posts
29 reviews
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8. Re: Sand and Shells

Well, I didn't know it was illegal to take shells home from the beach. However, if you travel somewhere other than Mexico, and find a nice conch shell, there are ways to preserve the shell. Place the shell in some water and bring it to a boil, and let it boil for 15-20 minutes. This will kill anything in the shell without ruining the beauty of it.

-Jay

9. Re: Sand and Shells

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