Ecotourism in Mexico is an ever-growing market, and more and more travelers are looking for hotels, resorts and activities that exercise eco-friendly practices, yet that still deliver a 5-star experience, and the Riviera Maya does exactly that.
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve is made up of over 2,500 square miles of beautifully scenic grounds, including unexcavated ruins, mangroves, freshwater river ways, wetlands and lagoons. The reserve was decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and visitors can participate in a number of low-impact activities, including conservation projects, fly fishing, kayaking, catamaran sailing and land tours. The revenue generated here is used to fund various educational and conservation programs at the nature reserve, which is operated using ecologically responsible technologies, including solar and wind power, rainwater collection and systems for wetland waste management.
Global cultural conservation efforts, such as those implemented at Chichen Itza, Tulum and Ek Balam have ensured history can remain intact.
In addition Mexico has taken great action to implement efforts specifically focused on the environment, such as the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative. This project aims to protect the reef by limiting tourist snorkeling and scuba diving to certain designated areas, and mandating that visitors wear biodegradable sunscreens and lifejackets to further reduce impact on the sensitive ecosystem.
For travelers who aspire to be earth-friendly and who wish to contribute to local communities while not compromising all the comforts deserved on vacation, the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula is the place to go.