Increasing numbers of tourists are participating in ecotourism while visiting the Maya Riviera, according to statistics provided by industry specialists.
Cancun is located near pristine beaches, lush jungles, and crystal-clear ocean waters, giving tourists who want to experience nature a wide array of options.
During the Easter holiday, traditionally the busiest time for Cancun tourism, over 35% of tourists visited archaeological sites, cenotes, and theme parks.
According to Vicente Ferreyra, a sustainable and local tourism specialist, tourists are looking for new experiences in Cancun, and the adventure tourism industry is ready to provide them.
In addition, adventure tourism gives visitors a backup plan during the sargassum season, when smelly seaweed covers Cancun’s beautiful beaches.
Ferreyra says, “the flow of tourists arriving in Quintana Roo is always connected to nature-based opportunities, and although they always visit the sun and beach tourist centers, there is also much more tourist interest in deliberately visiting these [ecotourism] sights, as we are seeing this Easter season.”
He believes that the change will be long-lasting.
Due to the pandemic, people are looking to avoid crowds while on vacation, and the tourism industry is responding.
Ecotourism gives tourists the ability to keep safe distances from others. Whether it’s an archaeological zone, national park, or beach, tourists can feel at ease knowing they are outside and avoiding crowds.
Ferreyra also has noticed that sargassum is pushing tourists from the beaches to the jungles. But, tourists are still finding a way to enjoy the waters of Quintana Roo.
“Everything is [about] the cenotes, routes of the cenotes, Puerto Morelos, or those on the Highway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum have shown a significant increase in visitors,” he added.
Ecotourism development in the Riviera Maya is leading to a boom in rural areas. Government officials are acting fast to take advantage of this trend.
Already, local governments are changing laws and regulations to open up tourism, including in Maya Ka’an, a large national park in the south.
How To Enjoy Ecotourism In The Riviera Maya
Increasing numbers of tourists in the Riviera Maya are choosing to enjoy the ecological heritage of Mexico.
Let’s look at the most popular destinations for eco-tourists in Cancun.
Consistently the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, Chichén Itzá is one of the planet’s most important human heritage sites. Among its many accolades, Chichén Itzá is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
UNESCO writes the monuments of Chichén Itzá “are among the undisputed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture because of the beauty of their proportions, the refinement of their construction and the splendor of their sculpted decorations.”
The Pyramid of Kukulkan and the Ball Game Court are among the most impressive and famous ruins at Chichén Itzá.
Recently, the Chichén Itzá archaeological zone announced a new archaeological museum and increased hours of park operation, giving tourists even more reasons to visit the park.
Jaguar National Park
In 2022, the Mexican Secretariat of Agricultural, Territorial, and Urban Development (Sedatu) created Jaguar National Park as “a space to protect Mexico’s natural, cultural, and historical wealth.”
In particular, the protected habitat provides space for the Jaguar to make its home and breeding grounds.
Head of Sedatu, Román Meyer Falcón, explained that the park “seeks to stop excessive urban growth, particularly in the city of Tulum.”
The Tulum Archaeological Zone
The Tulum Archaeological Zone hopes to one day rival Chichén Itzá as Mexico’s most visited archaeological area.
Currently the country’s third most visited archaeological site, the Tulum ruins are known for picturesque views of ancient temples and walls against the backdrop of the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
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