Ecotourism is a trifecta of sorts, a perfect amalgamation of three specific components: ethics, travel/tourism and sustainability. Introducing Mayakoba, an eco-estate in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
A mix of nature…
Pictured above, a cenote: a natural underground reservoir of water that occurs in limestone, found in Yucatán, Mexico
And crazy luxury…
A luxury indoor pool at Banyan Tree Mayakoba…WOW, right?!
Sign me up!
Mexico is one of my all-time favorite travel destinations, primarily because of its stark diversification. Travelers have a huge spectrum to explore: beautiful beachy coasts (rocky or sandy), deserts, awesome urban areas, archeological sites, religious sites, coffee or chocolate plantations, craft towns/cities, etc. You can experience practically anything in Mexico, and that’s why I travel there every chance I get.
Some hotels call themselves ‘green’ based on their latest LEED certification. Others tout their best practices for brand-wide organic farming methods or maybe for conservation of wildlife. Essentially, ecotourism is a word defined by many interpretations.
Situated on Playa del Carmen on a ‘fortress’ of natural and man-made surprises and only mere miles away from archeological sites like Tulum, Coba or Chichen Itza, eco-conglomerate Mayakoba is a great place to see and do it all.
“The Mexican architect designer of the Master Plan of the site, and his team, including engineers, architects, biologists, hydrologists and tourism marketing experts, camped out on the land for two weeks, walking, getting acquainted with the flora and fauna, thinking of possibilities…”
Mayakoba has three hotels in RM, all on the same sprawling property of nearly 600 acres, each with varying landscapes and styles. The philosophy is one of health, nature and beauty, creating an environment where guests can feel at peace with both themselves and their surroundings.
Residences are available on the property too, as well an extensive golf program (El Camaleón, a magnificent golf course, and the Jim McLean golf school). Spend days away in mangrove forests, gin-clear waters and ‘virgin white’ beaches.
Shockingly blue water at Rosewood Mayakoba’s beach
“Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Mayakoba is a rare and inspiring coupling of luxury and nature – a haven of sophisticated design, innovative amenities and nature. Mayakoba features a collection of some of the world´s leading luxury hotels and most exclusive branded residences, all brought together solely to pamper and delight each of its guests and residents.”
One of Mayakoba’s three properties is a Fairmont, pictured below. I’ve stayed at many Fairmont hotels, and each one has their own unique policies in regard to sustainability, locally sourced food, etc. – they are a leader in ecotourism as far as major luxury hotel brands go.
Serene waterways at Fairmont Mayakoba
Alternatively, guests can choose to stay on property at a Rosewood.
A masculine and sexy suite at Rosewood Mayakoba
Or, a Banyan Tree.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Who wouldn’t love a spa treatment here?
As a ‘green’ travel brand, they have several sustainable practices and accolades under their belt (via Mayakoba):
The Mayakoba Connection Eco-Tour Ferry and Nature Trail: guests get up close and personal with an array of more than 200 species of tropical wildlife.
Mayakoba is the only resort in the RM to be honored by both the UN World Tourism Organization and Rainforest Alliance for its commitment to sustainability.
Exclusive partnership with the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Mayakoba’s hotels can develop customized plans for guests to experience the reserve and become educated on the exotic jewels of the Riviera Maya including cenotes and water systems.
Hotels are linked by more than six miles of waterways (also referred to as Venice canals of the Yucatan), a unique aquatic ecosystem offering new habitats for wildlife. Each resort has an on-site biologist to take guests on educational electric boat tours through the cenotes and lagoons.
Absolutely no motorized vehicles in the resort. Guests travel on electric golf carts, bicycles and electric boats.
Chefs use local produce (honey, lamb, chaya), staff are hired from local community, water is re-utilized and technology is implemented to optimize energy use.
Wander around viridescent rainforests.
Lush rainforest on the Mayakoba property
Or hike beside mangrove trees.
Gorgeous mangrove trees are found all over the resort
I think it’s safe to say that the hotel’s self-proclaimed term ‘eco-haven’ was deemed appropriately. Nice work, Mayakoba, you’ll certainly see me soon. Let’s go!