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How to Take Eco-Friendly Vacation to Cancun and the Riviera Maya

by Carla Fiorito on December 6, 2010

How to Take Eco-Friendly Vacation to Cancun and the Riviera Maya

Now more than ever, hotels are becoming ecologically conscious. They offer paperless check ins, wash your bed sheets every other day of your stay, and require key use for the electricity to work in a room. Cancun and the Riviera Maya are one of the most naturally amazing places in the world, and these hotels and adventure companies stay conscious of their carbon footprint by being green.

Riviera Maya Eco-Friendly Accommodations

The Hacienda Tres Rios is a luxurious resort in harmony with nature located about 45 minutes south of Cancun. The Mexican government has recognized this resort for it’s sustainable tourism practices and green philosophy. Nature lies right outside of Hacienda Tres Rios – 326 acres of rivers, a white sandy beach, ten centos, and an estuary. Activities for families include guided eco-park tours, snorkeling, and kayaking in one of the three rivers.

Hacienda Tres Rios – All-inclusive Video Tour from HaciendaTresRios on Vimeo.

The Barceló Maya Beach Resort is also well known for its green practices, such as a paperless reservation and check-in process. This all-inclusive resort is located 75 km south of Cancun International Airport. Some of the activities include windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and more.

*While the Hacienda Tres Rios focuses on integrating the resort with nature, Hotel Barcelo Tucancun is conscious of its green footprint.

Rey Del Caribe Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel actually located in the center of downtown Cancun. This hotel uses solar hot water heaters, provides recycling cans for guests to use, and captures rain water to water the garden in the courtyard. Rey Del Caribe is an oasis of nature in the midst of a busy city.

Eco-Friendly Vacation Activities in Cancun and Riviera Maya


Xplor Park is one of the newest ecological parks in the Riviera Maya, about five minutes away from Xcaret Park. The adventure park offers various zip lines and discovery tours through the jungle on amphibious vehicles, and underground river rafting experience, and more.

Selvatica Tours is one of the most popular eco-friendly adventure companies with a Canopy Expedition located about 30 minutes away from Cancun. Selvatica Tours actually has the longest zip line in Mexico! Their eight different adventures cover all bases – ATV jungle tours, swimming in cenotes, snorkeling, and more.

The Whale Shark Tour gives you an amazing chance to swim alongside the largest fish in the world. Between June and September, whale sharks gather off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula to feast on the plankton. Various companies offer this activity – check with your concierge for details.

The Maya Encounter tour takes place in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, taking you on a tour through the ancient Mayan city of Coba. Climb up the tallest pyramid in the state – Nohoch Muul Temple, and spend the afternoon kayaking in a lagoon or zip line flying over the jungle.

Have you stayed at one of these green hotels or experienced an eco-friendly tour?

Carla is currently an intern at All About Mexico. She is studying Hotel & Restaurant Management at University of Houston. She loves writing, traveling, and tourism.
Carla Fiorito
View all posts by Carla Fiorito

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