LIFESTYLE

Breathtaking 'Love Beach' off Mexican island closing down due to tourist damage

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  A couple enjoy a quiet moment together on the empty Copacabana Beach at 4pm in the afternoon as locals and fans gather around the fanzone to watch the Brazil v Mexico match on June 17, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 17: A couple enjoy a quiet moment together on the empty Copacabana Beach at 4pm in the afternoon as locals and fans gather around the fanzone to watch the Brazil v Mexico match on June 17, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

Mexican environmental authorities say they will temporarily close a popular beach off the Pacific state of Nayarit because of damage from too many tourists.

The National Commission of Protected Natural Areas said in a statement Thursday that during the two-week Easter vacation season more than 27,000 people visited tiny "Love Beach" in the Marietas Islands National Park.

The unusual beach is a small crescent of sand at the bottom of a hole in the island that has become an Internet sensation. It is accessible only by swimming in through a tunnel.

The commission says boats ferrying tourists to the island have damaged delicate coral with fuel and anchors. The beach will close May 9 so officials can work on restoration and develop a system for limiting visitors.

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