Riviera Maya Resort Pledges Mangrove Tree for Every New Facebook Fan

Riviera Maya Resort Pledges Mangrove Tree for Every New Facebook Fan

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The Riviera Maya eco-friendly resort, Hacienda Tres Ríos, has pledged to donate one mangrove tree for every new fan that clicks “Like” on its Facebook page.

Riviera Maya, Q.Roo, Mexico (PRWEB) October 15, 2010

The Riviera Maya eco-luxury resort, Hacienda Tres Ríos, has pledged to donate one mangrove tree for every new fan that joins by clicking “Like” on its Facebook Fan Page.

The countdown for the “1 Fan = 1 Mangrove” campaign began on October 7, 2010 with 3,385 Fans. The goal is to increase the number of Fan Likes to 6,385 and donating 3,000 mangrove trees to the reforestation program in Cancun.

New fans receive a “I’m an official mangrove donor” medal that they can share on their Facebook walls to let their friends know about their donation and invite them to receive a medal too by joining the Hacienda Tres Ríos Facebook Fan Page. Every new person that joins the page will have donated one mangrove tree just by becoming a fan.

Existing fans also receive a medal when they click “Suggest to Friends” and write on the resort’s Facebook wall “I’ve suggested Hacienda Tres Ríos to my friends.” They then receive a personalized medal to put on their wall.

The Riviera Maya beach resort is not new at contributing to global environmental conservation and is an avid environmentalist.

In February, the all-inclusive luxury resort donated 3,000 red mangrove trees to Cancun’s Nichupte Lagoon in support of World Wetlands Day. This donation resulted in over 90% of the mangroves needed to restore the lagoon after Hurricane Wilma.

Recognized as a model of sustainable tourism, Hacienda Tres Ríos has planted and produced more than 80,000 mangroves in four years at the resort’s plant nursery, located in Tres Ríos Nature Park.

Staff members have been involved in international programs such as Earth Day and Earth Hour. The resort has also hosted several eco-friendly forums and educational programs for local students.

Hacienda Tres Ríos recently received the Skal International Ecotourism Award and has been certified as an official ecological hotel by international organizations such as Green Globe International for two consecutive years. The resort is a member of Sustainable Travel International and works in cooperation with the Rainforest Alliance to support exceptional environmental practices. It has also received several prestigious awards for its sustainable tourism development and practices.

 

There’s more to Cancun than sand and sea

There’s more to Cancun than sand and sea

By The Vnacouvers Sun

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The Xcaret eco-park, south of Cancun in Tulum, is a fantastic daytrip where you can snorkel in crystal clear waters, swim with dolpins and interact with wildlife. Photograph by: Handout photo, Mexico Tourism Board

You’re thinking ahead to when the wind will be howling and the snow’s piling up outside. You’re looking for an inexpensive holiday where you can lie on the sand and swim in warm waters.

You think Cancun.

And you’d be right. With over 25 kilometres of white sandy beach and turquoise waters, Cancun is an ideal destination for beach holidays. Hotels of every size and price stretch along the strip of sand which is shaped like the number seven, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Nichupte Lagoon on the other. You can swim, snorkel, para-sail or just soak up the sun and salsa. In the calm waters of the lagoon, you can kayak or join a Jet Ski jungle tour through the mangroves.

But what many tourists are just starting to discover is that this busy city in the Yucatan Peninsula is the perfect base for a much richer holiday, whether your interests are ecological or cultural.

From here, you can take easy day trips to Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), the diving mecca of Cozumel and the Mayan ruins, all places that transplanted Canadian Kelly McLaughlin takes family and friends to when they visit. Formerly from Windsor, McLaughlin went to Cozumel on holiday almost seven years ago and never left the country. She met a man, had a child and now blogs about her life in paradise at CancunCanuck.

“My ‘vacation’ turned into a life in Cancun, one that is far more connected to nature and to family,” she said. “In Canada it was ‘work, work, work,’ here I know what the important things are. We love the jungle and the ocean, iguanas and monkeys, even the giant spiders, scorpions and snakes.”

All of McLaughlin’s favourite places involve nature or culture, which is everywhere you look in Cancun. You don’t even have to leave the hotel zone to find a bit of history.

“There are some tiny (Mayan) ruins right in the hotel zone that are not historically significant but thousands of iguanas live there and will come running for tortillas. It’s a great way to pass an hour and inexpensive, too.”

Cancun is known as the gateway to the Mayan world, where you can discover the legacy of one of the most important civilizations in history, which dates back to 2000 BC.

Once dominating a territory that includes the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, the Mayans developed a calendar, hieroglyphic writing and astronomy. They were known for their elaborate architecture and were masters at understanding the land. They carved cities out of the jungle and built large, underground caverns (cenotes) to store water during dry times.

One of their most magnificent structures is the top attraction in the Yucatan. The Chichen Itza ruins, recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, are only a three-hour trip from the tourist zone.

Chichen Itza was founded in 445 BC and inhabited until 1204 AD when it was mysteriously abandoned. Eighteen structures have been restored over the years. In the centre of the ruins lies the largest structure, the pyramid El Castillo (The Castle), which has hundreds of steps that end in huge serpent heads. During the spring and fall equinoxes, the steps cast shadows which give the appearance of a great snake ascending or descending the pyramid.

Two other Mayan ruins worth seeing are Coba, a vast ancient city in the jungle, and Tulum, which has a spectacular setting on the coast. They are smaller and less fully restored but because of their settings and fewer tourists, they have a magical quality.

There has been a recent change regarding Mexico’s ruins that shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of them but is long overdue. Millions of tourists clambering over the ancient stones caused major erosion and after several serious and tragic accidents, the government has closed most of the country’s pyramids to adventure seekers.

You can no longer climb El Castillo at Chichen Itza, but it is still possible to climb the 120 stairs (12 storeys) of the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan at Coba. It is not for the faint of heart however. Very narrow steps and the extreme pitch of the pyramid make for a nerve-racking experience. And even if you manage it well enough, you’ve got potentially clumsy tourists above you to worry about. That said, the views are unbelievable and give a real sense of the scope and grandeur of the ancient civilization.

Experience it now because it is likely that climbing on Mayan pyramids throughout the region will be banned within two or three years.

In addition to the Mayan ruins, Mexico is teeming with archaeological and ecological sites that are internationally recognized, including:

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Over three hundred bird species are found in Sian Ka’an and most of Mexico’s big cats can be found within the reserve. It also offers a unique crocodile adventure, according to McLaughlin. For $200 per person, you join researchers in their boats for a late-night search for one- to three-metre-long wild crocodiles.

n Ria Lagartos, a biosphere reserve famous for its flamingo colony and over 280 bird species. The reserve comprises nearly 518 square kilometres and protects eight ecosystems.

n Isla Contoy is a national park one hour by boat north of Cancun. The island has a natural, undisturbed beach, lagoons and mangroves, and is home to over 150 species of protected birds.

McLaughlin also recommends The Jungle Place, a sanctioned 20-acre reserve where you can interact with endangered spider monkeys and royal toucans, and the Croco Cun Zoo just south of the hotel zone. Originally a commercial crocodile farm, it changed its mandate after being levelled by Hurricane Gilbert. The focus is now on conservation of local plants and animals. Here, you can hold baby crocodiles, snakes and iguanas and feed the deer and monkeys.

Another favourite local activity is heading to one of the eco-parks around Cancun for a swim in the cenotes, which are limestone sinkholes in the jungle. “Hidden Worlds is probably the most famous but there are many scattered around that are open to the public and are far less expensive. I love Cenote Azul and Gran Cenote among others. My five-year-old clamours for cenotes every Sunday,” said McLaughlin.

If you’re looking for a day trip to acquaint yourself with local culture, look no further than Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women. Spanish conqueror Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba named the island in 1517 after finding several female figures close to a temple dedicated to Ixchel, goddess of love, fertility and the moon.

Only 12 km and a 20-minute ferry ride separates the island from Cancun across the Bahia de Mujeres, but it’s a world away. Most people walk everywhere, as the island is only 7.5-km long and 700 metres wide. It’s quiet, pretty and although major resorts have cropped up in the past decade, it still has the charming feel of a fishing village. Where else can you hire a bicycle porter to ride your bags to your hotel while you stroll behind?

If you’re a diver and you don’t want to make the trip down to Cozumel, Isla Mujeres has great visibility and you can encounter the massive whale sharks that congregate here between May and September.

Underwater enthusiasts will also want to see the new sunken sculpture museum off the west coast of Isla Mujeres. The $350,000 project, which will eventually have 400 sculptures at different depths, was created to help divert the 750,000 annual tourists away from the natural coral reefs, giving them a chance to regenerate.

So while it’s easy to spend an entire vacation on the spectacular beach in Cancun, take the opportunity to venture out and experience the wilder side of Mexico’s best playground.

EAT

There’s a vast range of restaurants, from street stands to gourmet cuisine. Skip Taco Bell and find a place serving good local food. Most are downtown, in the local markets or in the outlying areas. Some of the specialties of the region include pozole (a red pork dish spiced with chiles), corn tamales, and chiles en nogada (stuffed green peppers in a sauce made from walnuts, cream cheese, and sour cream, and topped with a red pomegranate). There’s nothing better to wash it all down than mango or papaya juice, agua de arroz (a drink made from pureed rice), Mexican sangria or the ubiquitous Corona.

SLEEP

There is no shortage of accommodations in the Hotel Zone, and for every budget. The inexpensive motel-style facilities are in the older section closest to the mainland with the high-priced resorts in the newer sections. All-inclusives are also very popular here which are terrific bargains for families with young children. Many have kids’ clubs where the youngsters can have some supervised fun while mom and dad get a break.

INDULGE

Don’t miss one of the two water parks south of Cancun, Xcaret or Xel-Ha. Both are fabulous excursions, each different, featuring underground caverns, river rides, sheltered snorkelling and dolphin encounters. Every hotel or tour operator offers tours here, or if you’re adventurous catch a bus south for the day. If you can stay until the evening, there are drama, dance and music performances.

For culture, don’t miss the Ballet Folklorico at the Cancun Convention Centre. The dinner show features music and dance from across the country. The price of about $50 includes dinner, open bar, show, tax, and tip. If you want to skip dinner, it’s $30 for the show and open bar.

Some other events to mark on the calendar this year include the Cancun Riviera Maya Film Festival (Nov. 17 to 21) and the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival (Nov. 24 to 27).

Undersea Cave Yields One of Oldest Skeletons in Americas, at Tulum site

Young Man Gets Measured  Photograph by Eugenio Acevez, Instituto Nacional de Antropologìa e Historia/Reuters  Archaeologists measure a bone from a roughly 10,000-year-old human skeleton in the Chan Hol underwater cave system near Tulum, Mexico (file photo). Discovered in 2006, the so-called Young Man of Chan Hol was brought to the surface in late August

Young Man Gets Measured. Photograph by Eugenio Acevez, Instituto Nacional de Antropologìa e Historia/Reuters. Archaeologists measure a bone from a roughly 10,000-year-old human skeleton in the Chan Hol underwater cave system near Tulum, Mexico. Discovered in 2006, the so-called Young Man of Chan Hol was brought to the surface in late August

Undersea Cave Yields One of Oldest Skeletons in Americas, at Tulum site

Ritually placed in once dry cavern, Mexico skeleton offers clues to first Americans.

By Ker Than, from National Geographic Daily News, Published September 14, 2010

Apparently laid to rest more than 10,000 years ago in a fiery ritual, one of the oldest skeletons in the Americas has been retrieved from an undersea cave along Mexico‘s Yucatán Peninsula, researchers say.

Dating to a time when the now lush region was a near desert, the “Young Man of Chan Hol” may help uncover how the first Americans arrived—and who they were.

About 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Cancún, the cave system of Chan Hol—”little hole” in a Maya language—is like a deep gouge into the Caribbean coast.

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In 2006, after entering the cave’s opening, about 30 feet (10 meters) underwater, German cave divers swam more than 1,800 feet (550 meters) through dark tunnels spiked with rock formations. There they accidentally uncovered the Ice Age human’s remains and notified archaeologists based in the surrounding state, Quintana Roo.

Tulum Cenote Skeleton Finding

"The shape of the skulls has led us to believe that Eva and the others have more of an affinity with people from South Asia than North Asia," González explained.

For the last three years researchers led by Arturo González, director of the Desert Museum in Saltillo, Mexico, have been studying and documenting the bones in place, so as not to lose any clues offered by context.

In late August scuba-diving researchers finally raised the bones for lab study, after having placed them in plastic bags of cave water and sealing the remains in plastic bins.

(Related: “Fossil Feces Is Earliest Evidence of North America Humans.”)

And Then There Were Four

No fewer than 10,000 years ago, Chan Hol filled with seawater as Ice Age ice caps melted, the researchers say.

No human, they conclude, could have ended up so far back in the cave system after that point—which is why they believe the young man is at least 10,000 years old. The exact age of the bones should be determined by ongoing carbon-dating tests, which should be completed in three to four months, Gonzalez said.

The Young Man of Chan Hol lies in a Mexican undersea cave before the bones' removal last month.  Photograph courtesy Jerónimo Avilés and Eugenio Acévez

The Young Man of Chan Hol lies in a Mexican undersea cave before the bones' removal last month. Photograph courtesy Jerónimo Avilés and Eugenio Acévez

The newly raised skeleton is the fourth to be found in underwater caves around the town of Tulum (map). One of the other skeletons—named the Woman of Naharon, or Eve of Naharon—is thought to be even more ancient, around 12,000 years old.

(See “Oldest Skeleton in Americas Found in Underwater Cave?”)

At about 60 percent complete, the Young Man of Chan Hol skeleton is remarkably whole for a 10,000-year-old specimen, the researchers say. Especially revealing are his teeth—lack of wear tipped off the team to the individual’s relatively young age at death.

For now, the bones have been sealed in a special chamber for the next six months to a year to dry out and to allow time for their minerals to harden, making the remains less fragile. Afterward, the bones will be scanned to create 3-D computer models that can be compared with the bones of other ancient Native American remains, project leader Gonzalez said.

American Originals

The skeletons found in the Quintana Roo caves could force scientists to rethink their ideas about the initial population of the Americas, Gonzalez said.

For example, the skulls of both the Young Man of Chan Hol and the Woman of Naharon have anatomical features that suggest their owners were descended from people of South Asia and Indonesia—not from northern Asia, like North America’s other known early migrants.

(Related: “Clovis People Not First Americans, Study Shows.”)

The discovery supports the idea that multiple groups of migrants may have entered North America via the Bering Strait—using the now submerged land bridge that once connected what are now Siberia and Alaska—at different times in history, Gonzalez said.

(See an interactive map of ancient human migration.)

A Different Yucatán

Today, the Yucatán Peninsula is covered by rain forests, but when the Young Man of Chan Hol lived, it was a semiarid savannah, said Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, a geologist at Heidelberg University in Germany, who was not involved in the research.

“The Yucatán surface was dry, and there were no rivers or lakes on the surface,” Stinnesbeck said in an email.

Finding water and shade would have been a problem, and as a result humans may have found refuge and drinking water in subterranean caves, he added.

The caves may have also served a spiritual purpose, project leader Gonzales said.

The skeleton, he noted, was found in an unusual position—on its side, with legs bent and arms held straight along the sides of the body—suggesting the man had been purposely placed in the cave, perhaps as part of a funeral process.

“At the moment we do not know the cause of death, but considering the articulated position in which we found him, we think he was placed at this location,” Gonzalez said.

The team also found evidence of bonfires inside the cavern, which could suggest that illuminating the cave was a part of the funeral ceremony, he added.

The cavern where the body was found may have been chosen as the young man’s final resting place due to its rich trove of stalactites and stalagmites—rocky cones that hang from the ceiling and thrust up from the ground, respectively.

“Next to his head are a group of stalagmites that could have evoked a special resting place,” Gonzalez said, “or perhaps the place to begin a journey after death.”

Riviera Maya: el reino de los corales

Riviera Maya: el reino de los corales

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El paraíso natural bañado por las aguas del mar Caribe, es un litoral de más de 120 km comprendidos entre Puerto Morelos y Punta Allen

Considerado como uno de los destinos turísticos de mayor crecimiento durante la última década, en este lugar es posible descansar en lujosos resorts escondidos en la selva, que le ofrecen alternativas de diversión y descanso en sus campos de golf y exclusivos spas; en sus playas de blancas arenas, como las del Secreto y Paraíso, podrá tomar el sol y practicar todo tipo de actividades acuáticas, como bucear a más de 10 m de profundidad en las espectaculares franjas coralinas que dan forma al Gran Arrecife Maya, ubicado frente a sus costas. También descubrirá antiguas ciudades mayas como Cobá y Tulum, ubicada esta última a la orilla del mar; y conocerá increíbles reservas ecológicas como Sian Ka´an, considerada Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco, donde también podrá practicar el ecoturismo, la pesca de pez vela y marlin, entre otras actividades al aire libre, como la caminata o la cabalgata, con el mar Caribe de escenario principal.

La Ruinas de Tulum

La Ruinas de Tulum

Durante su visita a la Riviera Maya no deje de visitar Xcaret y Xel-Há, dos de los parques temáticos más importantes de México, donde además de observar magníficos ejemplos de flora y fauna locales, tendrá la oportunidad de practicar el esnórquel en sus ríos subterráneos, una experiencia inolvidable. Al caer la tarde, el viajero no deberá perder de vista los espectaculares espacios diseñados para bailar y complacer la búsqueda de diversión nocturna con una buena copa en compañía de los amigos, o bien para comer una deliciosa langosta, atributos que consolidan la fama de la Riviera Maya como el destino ideal para disfrutar de la vida. En la Riviera Maya el viajero podrá realizar caminatas o cabalgatas mientras admira sus paisajes de envidiable belleza, así como sus escenarios selváticos bañados por el mar Caribe, o adentrarse en las profundidades de un cenote (espejo de agua conectado de forma subterránea) y deslizarse por un cable de acero, ayudado por una polea, sobre las ramas de los árboles.

Reserva de Sian Ka´an Secretos de Tulum y la Riviera MayaLa reserva de la Biósfera de Sian Ka´an, se ubica a 47 kilómetros al suroeste de Tulum por la carretera 307. Es una de las reservas ecológicas más importantes del mundo, con una extensión de 527,000 hectáreas en las que habitan numerosas especies endémicas de flora y fauna. Por su incalculable valor en biodiversidad fue nombrada como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco. En el canal de Chunyaxché hay un acceso por agua a la reserva, en la que el viajero podrá realizar un recorrido en lancha por sus sinuosos canales que corren entre los manglares, donde podrá admirar cientos de aves, ruinas rodeadas por agua, tierras pantanosas, lagunas costeras, altos pastos y petenes. En tanto el Parque Ecológico Tres Ríos, ofrece visitas guiadas a caballo por playas y senderos en la selva, como clases de equitación para diferentes niveles y edades.

En Xcaret que se ubica a 8 kilómetros al sur de Playa del Carmen, por la carretera 307 Cancún-Tulum, éste parque ecoturístico le ofrece otros atractivos, los vestigios arqueológicos de uno de los centros ceremoniales más importantes de la cultura maya, así como numerosas bellezas naturales como albercas, cuevas y ríos subterráneos llenos de peces de colores, característicos del mar Caribe, y un acuario de arrecife. Abierto todos los días de 8.30 a 22, teléfono (998) 883 0470.www.xcaret.com Aquí podrá realizar un recorrido a caballo por sus instalaciones, teniendo el mar Caribe como escenario principal. Asimismo en Cenotes de Pac Chen que se encuentra cerca de la zona arqueológica de Cobá, a 42 Kilómetros al noroeste de Tulum. En esta zona se encuentran el “Cenote de la Vida” y el “Cenote del Jaguar”, ideales para la práctica del rappel y de la tirolesa, ya que podrá obtener una singular vista, no solo del fondo de los cenotes, sino de toda la selva adyacente.

Rutas y lugares El recorrido por la Riviera Maya, magnífica región, puede iniciarse en Cancún, ubicado a 37 kilómetros al norte de Puerto Morelos, el cual es considerado puerta de entrada al mundo maya, es un espectacular destino de playa que cuenta con balnearios de blancas arenas bañadas por aguas color turquesa del mar Caribe, modernos complejos turísticos y una alegre vida nocturna. Siguiendo hacia el sur, 68 kilómetros más adelante llegará a Playa del Carmen, ciudad cosmopolita que combina el singular estilo de sus restaurantes y establecimientos con sus espectaculares playas y paisajes. Desde este lugar por la carretera 307 hacia el sur, encontrará Xcaret, un importante parque ecoturístico que cuenta con un área de playa, una red de ríos subterráneos, un acuario, un delfinario, un mariposario, un orquideario y un apiario para quienes gustan de admirar la flora y la fauna de la región; la visita también le incluye un paseo por una zona arqueológica y por una recreación de un pueblo maya. 27 kilómetros más adelante encontrará Puerto Aventuras, un lugar ideal para practicar el golf frente al mar Caribe, nadar y pasear en kayak, y solo 2 kilómetros después llegará a Akumal, región de blanca arena y mar turquesa, dedicada a los amantes de la tranquilidad y espacio para descansar y crear un ambiente de paz e íntimo contacto con la naturaleza.

Esnórkel Continuando por la carretera 307 hacia el sur, llegará a Xel-Há, a 47 kilómetros de Playa del Carmen; este sitio es considerado uno de los mejores para practicar el esnórquel, ya sea en su laguna principal o en sus ríos subterráneos. Dentro de sus instalaciones, que cuentan con todos los servicios, también podrá nadar con delfines. Por esta misma carretera llegará a Tulum, a 64 kilómetros al sur de Playa del Carmen. Es una de las zonas arqueológicas más bellas de la costa oriental de la Península de Yucatán. En tanto entre sus edificios más importantes se encuentran El Castillo, el Templo de los Frescos y el Templo del Dios Descendente. Su vista al mar Caribe es una de las mejores postales que el visitante se puede llevar como recuerdo de su viaje a la Riviera Maya. Buceo. La Riviera Maya cuenta con innumerables sitios donde podrá practicar el buceo, el esnórquel y el espeleobuceo, rodeado por espectaculares formaciones coralinas, pertenecientes al gran arrecife Maya, en el que también podrá explorar extraordinarios sistemas subterráneos, poblados por una gran biodiversidad de especies marinas.

Espejos de agua El parque Ecológico de Xpu-Há se localiza a 93 kilómetros al sur de Cancún y a 25 kilómetros al sur de Playa del Carmen por la carretera 307. Este paradisíaco parque ecológico cuenta entre sus atractivos con un sistema de 61 cenotes (espejos de agua conectados de forma subterránea) de los que destaca el cenote Manatí, ubicado al norte de la bahía y en el que se puede practicar el buceo. Dentro del parque se observa también un área de manglares donde habitan garzas. Finalmente, cerca de la línea de su arrecife existe una laguna de unos 200 metros de extensión con dos metros de profundidad en promedio, donde también se puede practicar el buceo libre.

La reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka´an se ubica 47 kilómetros al suroeste de Tulum por la carretera 307. Es una de las reservas ecológicas más importantes del mundo, con una extensión de 527,000 ha. en las que habitan numerosas especies endémicas de flora y fauna. Por su incalculable valor en biodiversidad fue nombrada como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco. En este lugar podrá practicar el buceo en la franja costera de 47.5 kilómetros que se extiende a lo largo de su litoral, ya que aquí se encuentra parte de la segunda barrera de arrecifes más grande e importante del mundo, donde habitan cientos de especies de peces multicolores, esponjas caracoles rosas, erizos, estrellas de mar, langostas espinosas y muchos más.

En Xel-Há, que se ubica a 47 kilómetros al sur de Playa del Carmen por la carretera 307 Cancún-Tulum, es un parque ecológico en donde encontrará caletas, cenotes, lagunas, cuevas alimentadas por ríos subterráneos y manantiales que se conectan con el mar. Abierto todos los días de 8.30 a 18. En este lugar se podrá practicar el buceo y el esnórquel, ya sea en la laguna principal o en un río subterráneo o realizar un impresionante recorrido para admirar la vida subacuática a lo largo de cavernas con ríos de agua cristalina o tomar el recorrido submarino Sea Trek.

El parque Ecológico Tres Ríos que se ubica a 11 kilómetros al norte de Playa del Carmen por la carretera 307 Cancún-Tulum, es un eco-parque enclavado en una zona de selva subtropical donde podrá vivir una experiencia memorable de contacto con la naturaleza. Por remodelación, este parque reabrirá sus puertas hasta el verano 2006. Aquí podrá practicar el buceo en sus ocho cenotes (espejos de agua conectados de forma subterránea), los cuales pueden recorrerse con guías experimentados. Además, tendrá la oportunidad de tomar clases de buceo con asesores que le indicarán las mejores estrategias para disfrutar plenamente de esta experiencia.

La localidad de Xcaret, ubicada a 8 kilómetros al sur de Playa del Carmen, por la carretera 307 Cancún-Tulum, ofrece otros atractivos, los vestigios arqueológicos de uno de los centros ceremoniales más importantes de la cultura maya, así como numerosas bellezas naturales como albercas, cuevas y ríos subterráneos llenos de peces de colores, característicos del mar Caribe, y un acuario de arrecife. Abierto todos los días de 8.30 a 22. Es un excelente sitio donde podrá practicar el esnórquel y bucear a lo largo de 600 metros de cuevas y túneles, en donde encontrará lagunas de color azul-verde, alberca y ríos subterráneos llenos de peces de colores, característicos del mar Caribe.

En tanto Playa del Carmen, ubicada a 68 kilómetros al sur de Cancún por la carretera 307, es uno de los destinos más atractivos de la Riviera Maya, gracias a su extraordinaria conjunción de complejos hoteleros, centros culturales y áreas naturales. En su costa se podrá practicar el buceo entre los corales del gran arrecife Maya, así como en algunos de los sistemas subterráneos que conectan a los cenotes Chac Mool, La Ponderosa, Dos Ojos, Nohoch-Na-Chich, el Gran Cenote, Car Wash, Chikin Ha, Taj Majal y Angelita.

Canadians travel to Mexico despite bad reputation

Canadians travel to Mexico despite bad reputation, including Tulum in The Mayan Riviera

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Posted by Ole on Sep 28, 2010 in Travel

US and Canadian media are having a field day scaring their citizens into avoiding Mexico, despite the fact that the Mexican “Drug War” is a battle fought far from the most popular tourist destinations, like Cabo San Lucas (Los Cabos), Puerto Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta- Riviera Nayarit), Cancun (Riviera Maya), Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Huatulco, Guadalajara, Mexico City and others.

Tulum Riviera Maya a Canadian Destination

Tulum Riviera Maya a Canadian Destination

Despite this, many Canadians, maybe the most informed part of them are still traveling to Mexico and predictions show that the amount continues to grow.

Already in the first half of the year, there is an 18.2% growth in travel to the region compared to 2009. This is why Mexico predicts that the number of Canadian tourists choosing the country will have a significant increase in 2010 compared to 2009.

This despite the Canadian government advising its citizens to avoid nonessential travel to the United States-Mexico border. It’s important to note that the US-Mexico border is thousands of miles from Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, something many tourists tend to overlook.

The Mexican Embassy in Canada indicated that the number of Canadian tourists that raveled to Mexico only in the first half of 2010 was 18.2% higher compared to same period in 2009 and 32% higher than 2008.

This increase is almost double the Canadian tourists in the first half of 2010, compared to that of 2008, totaling 925,401 Canadian citizens this year.

According to numbers provides by the CTPM (the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico), more than 500,000 Canadian tourists visited Cancun in Quintana Roo in the Gulf of Mexico last June and over 157,000 visited Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco on the Mexican Pacific side and around 75,000 traveled to Mexico City, the capital.

Among the countries with most tourists that travel to Mexico, Canada remains in second place with 1,222,739 visitors in 2009 – second only to the United States who sent five million 387 thousand 287 visitors, stated the embassy.

Mexico continues to hold a top 10 spot on the UN list of world tourism destinations.

Rough Guides’ Top Five Criminal Hang-Outs, Tulum Mexico, World Wide News

Rough Guides’ Top Five Criminal Hang-Outs, Tulum Mexico

10 Sep, 2010 09:00 CET, published @ http://www.cisionwire.com/rough-guides

Tulum Real Estate Information

For over 25 years Rough Guides’ writers have been travelling the globe, uncovering the history of places they visit along the way. Here is our pick of places with a criminal past. All these experiences can be found in the new edition of Make the Most of Your Time on Earth.

Top Five Crime-related holiday experiences:

1. Behind Bars in Liepaja, Latvia
The best place to book yourself in for a bit of rough treatment is the former naval prison in Karosta. Formerly used as a punishment block for unruly sailors, the grim-looking red-brick prison is now the venue for “Behind Bars” a two-hour interactive performance that involves being herded at gunpoint by actors dressed as Soviet prison guards, then interrogated in Russian by KGB officers. Dimly lit and decorated in floor-to-ceiling shades of black, the prison interior is enough to dampen any hopes of resistance.

2. Vacation like a drug lord in Tulum, Mexico

Playa Tulum @ La Zebra

Playa Tulum @ La Zebra

Even drug kingpins – perhaps especially drug kingpins – need a little time away from it all. The late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, favoured beach getaways and in the 1980’s he built a mansion, nicknamed Casa Magna, in the one-street town of Tulum. After a painstaking renovation of the villa, replacing its rustic drug dealer style with minimalist Asian beach-chic, today the mansion has become the quietest, most understated resort in what’s now known as the “Mayan Riviera”.
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3. Locked up in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Born from the gutted remains of a former military prison, Ljubljana’s Hostel Celica possesses a dozen or so conventional dorms, but it’s the twenty two-and three-bed rooms, or, more precisely, cells, that make it so unique. Different designers were assigned to come up with themes for each one, resulting in a series of funky and brilliantly original sleeping spaces – one room features a circular bunk bed, in another a bunk is perched high above the door.

4. Mafia country, Italy
The deep south, toe-end region of Aspromonte is still considered by many Italians to be out of bounds. For it is here, among the thick forests, crenellated mountain peaks and tumble-down villages, that the n’drangheta, or Calabrian mafia, based their empire until the 1990’s. The ringleaders were eventually driven out but many potential visitors still keep away, meaning the delights of this unexplored region of Calabria can be seen without fear of stumbling across a mafia don or a coach party.

5. l’ile des Pins, New Caledonia
If you have to go into exile somewhere, it might as well be the South Pacific. Measuring just 14km x 18km the Ile des Pins was a penal colony in the nineteenth century, the last stop for many dissidents from the Paris Commune in the 1870’s. The modern day visitor comes to the island by choice, of course, and can hardly fail to notice its beauty: stunning coastlines, white sand; warm, limpid water, pale blue, as far as the reef. Before you leave, take in the island’s ruined prison and monument and be thankful that you get to come and go as you please.

All these experiences are taken from Make the Most of Your Time on Earth (2nd edition) published 1st September 2010 by Rough Guides. http://www.roughguides.com/website/shop/products/Make-The-Most-Of-Your-Time-On-Earth.aspx Information contained in this press release may be reproduced with credit. For review copies of Make the Most of Your Time on Earth or extract requests contact Vivienne Watton: vivienne.watton@uk.roughguides.com 0207 010 3720

Mexico’s Riviera Maya a magic carpet of sand

Mexico’s Riviera Maya a magic carpet of sand

Tulum Real Estate Information

By DAVID SWANSON, SPECIAL TO SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Mapa Riviera Maya Aeropuerto en Tulum

Mapa Riviera Maya

In the early 1980s, the pristine, beach-girdled Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was marked by little more than a few fishing villages. There was a hotel here and a hammock there, but not much of an effort to identify their position, nor much infrastructure to support them.

But just as it did for Cancun, which sprang up only about 1974, Mexico’s government tourism development agency decided to put a name to this beautiful face, and the Riviera Maya was born. And soon enough a highway paralleling the coast was built, linking this sun-drenched piece of real estate to the busy Cancun airport.

Sure, the name rings of romanticized marketing conceit, but Riviera Maya is indeed an ideal description of the magic carpet of sand that unrolls virtually unbroken for 81 miles south of Cancun.

Better still is the sheer breadth of vacation options on offer: From elegant hideaway resorts to wallet-conscious all-inclusives, from lively beach bars to candlelit gourmet repasts – Riviera Maya delivers. But because the region’s developed areas have sprung up as recently as, well, last month, you are excused for not knowing the difference between Xpu-Ha and Xel-Ha, Maroma and Mayakoba.

In fact, many travelers assume the Riviera Maya is merely an extension of Cancun (probably in part because they share an airport). It’s not: With more than 37,000 hotel rooms of its own – a number projected to double by 2025 – and almost 3 million visitors annually, Riviera Maya is a fierce competitor to its more famous neighbor. But whereas Cancun is a busy resort city, down south the visitors are spread out over a much larger area and resorts tend to be more stand-alone, often more intimate.

So, pack up your rental car at the airport and head south on Highway 307. Let’s get the lay of the land.

Northern Star

Tulum Real Estate Information

The Riviera Maya starts in Puerto Morelos, one of the coast’s last genuine fishing villages, 12 miles south of the airport. The beach here is not as impressive as those deeper into the region – the salt-and-pepper shoreline doesn’t glisten quite as brightly, and less-than-translucent seas have a blanket of turtle grass underfoot.

But there are advantages to being based in Puerto Morelos. Your airport transfer is barely 20 minutes, and the proximity to Cancun makes an evening out on the town a realistic option. Nightlife in laid-back Puerto Morelos may be a tad scruffy, but it’s fun for an evening or two. Better still, the barrier reef – the world’s second longest – lies less than a mile offshore, and it’s a designated marine reserve along this section of Riviera Maya. And the beaches of Puerto Morelos? Quiet and uncrowded.

Luxe landings

Tulum Real Estate Information

Eighteen miles south of the airport begins Riviera Maya’s gold coast. Ask locals where their favorite beach sits, and watch their eyes go dreamy as they slowly mouth, “Maroma.”

Playa Tulum @ La Zebra

Playa Tulum @ La Zebra

Virtually untouched by builders until recently, Maroma is where talcum-soft sand and tranquil waters meet to comprise what is arguably the region’s finest beach, first inhabited by the classy Maroma hotel, a Mayan-Moorish honeymoon oasis. There’s no town here: The jungle behind the beach is thick and daunting while the sand is a cream of alabaster – your footprint may be the first of the day.

Just south is Mayakoba, a 593-acre development shared by three hotels hugging a mile-long stretch of coast. The bulk of the rooms and facilities are situated a half-mile inland, a foresight that accommodates the strip of mangrove lagoon that sits just behind the beach dune. By leaving most of the mangrove undeveloped, Mayakoba has the feel of encroaching jungle, with cormorants and egrets fishing and preening in the morning sun. A 7,000-yard Greg Norman golf course snakes around the property.

Beach town

Tulum Real Estate Information

The de facto hub of the Riviera Maya and Mexico’s fastest-growing city, Playa del Carmen is not exactly a place for seclusion and quiet, but it’s also not some high-rise jungle. Often known simply as Playa, the beach fronting the town is surprisingly broad and relatively clean – especially north of main drag Constituyentes – and resort and dining prices are the region’s most competitive. Years ago, city officials had the prescience to designate Fifth Avenue – one block in from the beach – as a pedestrian-only street, with restaurants and shops that percolate cheerfully each evening.

Playas de Tulum

Despite 180,000-plus residents, Playa is an ideal location for car-free visitors who don’t want their vacation to be defined by the swim-up pool bar. The town beach is lively, especially around Mamita’s, a hip beach club with a pageant of white beds, loungers and umbrellas for rent, a DJ spinning electronica and hip-hop, spa services and good food.

Within walking distance just south of town is the Playacar complex, with hundreds of condos, a golf course and a collection of low- and midprice all-inclusive resorts. Intensive building close to the shoreline has taken its toll on the slender beach here; some hotels have planted immense sandbags in the water to hold the sand in – they appear much like beached whales. While good hotel deals can be found in Playacar, if you’re staying elsewhere, it’s not a beach to make a detour for.

Secret strands

Tulum Real Estate Information

Southbound traffic thins out after you pass Playa, and 4 miles beyond the aquatic theme park Xcaret lies Paamul, a throwback to the Riviera Maya of a couple of decades ago, an era of ramshackle fishing hamlets that ran on generator power. There’s no real village in Paamul – blink, and you’ll miss the turnoff – just a bare-bones hotel and trailer park, plus a modest restaurant overlooking the innocent crescent cove. It’s worth a margarita stop.

Just south is Puerto Aventuras, but unlike most of the coast’s tourism developments, this one is short on sand, and most of its beaches are artificial.

By contrast, 2 miles farther is Xpu-Ha. The Riviera Maya’s beaches don’t get any dreamier than this – the sand is bright white, plush and uncrowded. A couple of all-inclusive resorts anchor each end of the beach. But to access the choicest, broadest slice of silica, watch for the sign for Al Cielo restaurant, where the Mediterranean menu is strong on delicious seafood.

Turtle turf

Tulum Real Estate Information

Located 53 miles south of the airport, the beach fronting the town of Akumal is not grand, yet it’s beloved for snorkeling, often accompanied by sea turtles that frequent the reefs close to shore. In fact, Akumal translates to “place of the turtles,” and nighttime nestings and hatchings on the beach are a regular event from June through September.

Tankah Dive ReefThe north end of Akumal is Half Moon Bay, the main turtle nesting area, lined with rental condos (many of them owned by American ex-pats). Akumal Bay fronts the central business area; this small beach can be busy, but there are restaurants, bars and water recreation options, which make it a good base for day-trippers. South of Akumal, the shore morphs into Jade Beach, with some rockier points of entry into the water, and then the sand improves at South Akumal – both areas are lined with rental condos.

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Ruin with a view

Tulum Real Estate Information

Seventy miles south of Cancun airport is one of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites, Tulum, the only Mayan city built right on the sea. It’s also home to some of Riviera Maya’s finest beaches along with a dizzying array of small inns. Tulum also is coping with a decade’s worth of poorly regulated development; in fact, as many as a dozen hotels built close to the ruins may be torn down (for encroaching on national parkland) – stay tuned. Still, Tulum boasts off-the-grid chic that lures a young and international crowd for simpler cabana comforts that mingle with Buddha Bar aesthetics.

Tulum Ruins by Real Estate News

The Maya site may have been formerly also known by the name Zama, meaning city of Dawn. Tulúm is also the Yucatec Mayan word for fence or wall (or trench), and the walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to serve as a defense against invasion. From the numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.

The ruin itself is perched on a rocky bluff – one of the few places along the Yucatan coast with any topographical character. A couple fine small coves are tucked into the rocks immediately below El Castillo – arrive early, before the crowds, or come late and you may have these little pockets of sand to yourself. A mile-long stretch of excellent beach extends south to another series of rocky bluffs directly in line with the town, which sits a mile inland. This stretch draws locals and the ambiance can be festive. Follow the coastal road just beyond the well-liked restaurant Zamas Que Fresco, and then the sand continues – unbroken, unnamed – for miles. Most beach access is from the paved road and in many areas requires walking through one of the many small, casual hotels.

Development ends at 1.5 million-acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the park is focused on jungle walks, mangrove lagoons and unexcavated ruins, the 22-mile Boca Paila Peninsula is fronted by a ribbon of fine white sand that will indulge your most escapist Robinson Crusoe fantasies. Beware the road heading south, the worst of which is best left to four-wheel-drive vehicles.

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Getting there

Tulum Real Estate Information

A rental car is the best way to visit hideaway beaches, rented at the Cancun airport or from your hotel front desk; the main highway is easy to navigate and well maintained. Shared-van service runs regularly from the airport to points south: Budget $28 per person to Playa del Carmen and Playacar (or $112 for a private taxi for up to four), $47 for Akumal and Tulum (or $175 for private); www.cancunsharedshuttle.com.

Beaches

Tulum Real Estate Information

Mexico’s beaches belong to the government and are theoretically open to all. But many all-inclusive resorts limit access to the sand from the highway; beach-strollers will find guards preventing nonguests from using their palapas and loungers (wristbands identify which all-inclusive resort you belong to). Watch for dirt roads leading off the north-bound side of the highway – usually unmarked, they sometimes lead to unheralded patches of sand. Aqua shoes are helpful for access along rocky areas.

For more information

The best tourist maps of the area are those sold by Can-Do Travel Guides, which contain plentiful dining recommendations as well. www.cancunmap.com.

E-mail comments to travel@sfchronicle.com.

Tulum Offers Jungle Ecotourism And Top Rated Beaches

Tulum Offers Jungle Ecotourism And Top Rated Beaches

Tulum Real Estate Information

Published on: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, Written by: Ronan McMahon.

Jungle home lots in Tulum, Mexico  are available at competitive prices, and can come with acres of space minutes from the beach. The rich ecotourism  and top rated beaches are part of the appeal of this emerging hot spot. See the following article from International Living for more on this.

Tulum Beach and Jungle

Tulum is famous for its beaches. With good cause. They are the finest in Mexico and among the best in the world.

However, Tulum isn’t only about the beach. A couple of clicks inland you find enchanting untouched jungle. Home to thousands of species of birds, butterflies, monkeys and colorful flowers. The jungle floor is dotted with natural wells, large limestone  boulders, and jagged outcrops.

Very different to the beach…but like her powder-white sands, you find yourself under this jungle’s spell.

On a recent trip I visited the jungle home of a friend close to Tulum. His house is within a small private subdivision of 20 homes. Large lots with thick vegetation ensure privacy. At night clever lighting of rock formations turns the gardens into a wonderland. Each room in the single story house opens onto a private jungle garden. Flowing water is a feature everywhere. You would know the owner spent time in Asia!

There’s nothing “Tarzan” abut these jungle homes. These are stylish and modern. This home would look in place as a feature in a glossy magazine. The concept is proving popular with wealthy Mexicans in the area. Now North Americans are catching on.

Close by I visited the jungle home under construction owned by an American. Again, this home is in a private subdivision. At 5 acres the lots here are big. Also, completely untouched—giving you a blank canvas. This community is different to my Mexican friend’s.

Off grid, the concept and delivery of the project is about as “eco” as it gets. With more lots, this project will include social focal points like a clubhouse, outdoor theater, and entertainment area.

The center piece of this home is the open plan living, cooking, and dining area upstairs. The functional stuff is all downstairs. Upstairs is for gathering the family and enjoying the views. Perched right at the top of the tree line, fresh breezes keep temperatures comfortable in both indoor and outdoor areas. The views across the canopy are awesome. Bright colored birds call out and come to visit. The build quality is top class. The price for this type of finish is about $80 per square foot.

In the “back yard,” he has taken advantage of a little cave to create a natural amphitheater. This is where he will gather with friends, family and a couple of guitars. A small swimming pool  is surrounded by rocky outcrops. Lighting will create a dramatic effect at night. The rock formations and the vegetation do the design work for you. Nature has been working on this design for a lot longer than we have been around.

This jungle home with its own natural amphitheater and 5 acres of space is only 12 minutes drive from the beach. Not just any beach but Mexico’s most secluded beach and the place Trip Adviser’s 30 million readers rate as the world’s #2 beach destination.

These jungle lots cost $60,000. Real Estate  Trend Alert members can buy one with a $6,000 down payment and monthly payments of $500. If you’re not a RETA member, you can join here.

This article has been republished from
International Living.

Face reconstructed of one of 3 oldest human skeletons in Americas found in Tulum

Face reconstructed of one of 3 oldest human skeletons in Americas, found in Tulum.

www.REMAXinTULUM.COM

Mexico City, Jul 23 (EFE).- Mexican and French scientists were able to reconstruct the probable appearance of Las Palmas Woman, one of the three most ancient skeletons in the Americas, found in a flooded cave in southeastern Mexico, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said.

According to the INAH, the reconstructed features of the woman, found in a cave near Tulum in Quintana Roo state, “are similar to those of populations in Southeast Asia, which indicates that the migrations that populated the Americas did not come only from northern Asia but also from the central and southern regions”.

Las Palmas Woman lived during the ice age some 10,000 years ago in what is today the Yucatan Peninsula, and was discovered in 2002 by INAH specialists, the institute said in a communique.

The experts determined that the skeletal remains, found by divers James Coke and Jeronimo Aviles in the Las Palmas cave at some 4.5 kilometers (2 3/4 miles) from Tulum, were those of a woman between 44 and 50 years old, who was 152 centimeters (4 feet, 11 inches) tall and weighed 58 kilos (128 pounds).

The skeleton “was found nearly complete and in a good state of preservation, so that the most advanced studies of forensic anthropology could be performed on it,” the INAH said.

The sculpture of the entire body, done in France, can be seen in the exposition “390 ppm. Changed Planet. Climate Change and Mexico”, in the city of Guanajuato.

Tulum Cave Woamn

Tulum Finding

To date the oldest human remains in the Americas are those belonging to the so-called Naharon Woman, who lived some 11,600 years ago, which were found in a sinkhole in Quintana Roo.

The reconstruction of what that ancient woman must have looked like was done in France’s Atelier Daynes studio following guidelines set by Mexican physical anthropologists.

Also fashioned in that studio was the reproduction of Lucy, a famous fossil of the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus.

Alejandro Terrazas, physical anthropologist of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, said that the reconstruction of Las Palmas Woman was done according to criteria of forensic anthropology.

The anthropologist said that the physiognomy of the woman did not correspond to the characteristics of Mexico’s indigenous populations nor of the most ancient settlers of the Americas, such as the Paleoamericans and the Amerindians.

On the contrary, “her face is more like the the people of Southeast Asia, such as the Indonesians”, he said.

“What Las Palmas Woman shows us is that there were more migrations from central and southern Asia, from which sprang a local evolution in the Americas that established a great diversity of peoples by the time of the Clovis culture (13,500 years ago)”, Terrazas said.

Nonetheless, the expert cautioned that these are approximations, “because we can never be completely sure what the first settlers of the Americas looked like”.

Summer vacation two-way: Eco-friendly travel can still mean luxury travel in the Mayan Riviera

Summer Fun Tulum Riviera Maya

PACKING YOUR BELIEFS

May 15th, 2010 at 6:09 PM
www.REMAXinTULUM.COM

Shifting toward a sustainable approach to life, for many, has all the upsides associated with Sisyphus’ rock-rolling curse. But hey, you are really trying.

TULUM REAL ESTATE

One look at Zulum's pool has a way of eliminating any planet-saving stress.

You’re sorting your trash, trekking to recycle what is not handled curbside, taking your own bags to the market. You even switched to a renewable energy provider and began patronizing sustainability-minded businesses and opting for the train or riding your bike to a buddy’s house. You carpool to work, are packaging conscious, turn your lights off and your thermostat up — they’re all on top of your work and social schedules.

You are nothing if not beat.

TULUM REAL ESTATE BOOMS

Maybe you'll run into Sienna Miller in tulum on your Mayan Riviera vacation too — though probably not like this.

And now, it’s time for a summer vacation, a break from your normal reality. But do you throw caution to the wind and leave all these nice new habits on the airport shuttle bus or do you load this hefty dogma into your no-longer-included-in-the-price-of-the-airline ticket suitcase and take it on vacation? Well yes, sort of.

Hang with me.

Truth is, you do not have to take it all with you. You can go on a magical journey, escape the routine AND maintain a certain level of sustainability consciousness, all just a few short hours from Houston. By joining a relatively new culture of traveler, the eco-tourist, you can have (someone else bake) your cake and eat it too.

Take a trip to the the Web home of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and you can quickly embrace the depth and breadth of the industry through their simple yet well-defined mission: “TIES promotes ecotourism, which is defined as ‘responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people by:

• Creating an international network of individuals, institutions and the tourism industry;
• Educating tourists and tourism professionals; and
• Influencing the tourism industry, public institutions and donors to integrate the principles of ecotourism into their operations and policies.”

Happily, for the eco-conscious traveler and the planet, there are a host of vacation styles and destination choices. Some follow the mission of TIES to the letter and provide a multifaceted educational travel experience akin to an enlightened mission trip.

The ruins of Tulum are a must visit.

The ruins of Tulum are a must visit.

Others, including a few mentioned here, have a less visible approach to the stewardship of their region. In lieu of complex standards of operation and construction protocol, creating and then defining the resort, they rely, quite successfully, on their natural surroundings coupled with a bygone-era approach to experiential travel. In essence, people and place are the reasons to be there.

For the sake of brevity, I will be concentrate on one region, the Mayan Riviera. If you are not familiar with this part of the world, the Mayan Riviera is a most glorious part of Mexico stretching south westward from Cancun all the way to Sian Ka’an, fronted by the cool green waters of the Caribbean and sheltered from the warmer inlands by dense, cenote-filled jungle.

While there are large, opulent and entertainment-rich mega-resorts in this region the real draw for eco-tourists, or those desiring a bit more freedom in their travel, lies a bit south of Playa Del Carmen in the area in and around Tulum.

Here is a veritable wonderland of escapist delights. Hedonist and minimalist alike peacefully coexist in this nearly off-the-grid playground. Life here is centered around the ancient ritual of relaxation followed by hours of beachfront horizon-gazing broken up with periods of siesta, all with the intent of storing energy to be spent with kindred spirits over handmade margaritas.

TULUM ECO TOURISMThe best way to experience this world is sans encumbrance. As such, my suggestions for a carefree, green getaway center on the simple things — with some high-end twists.
Hitting the trail:

Pack light
A carryon should suffice. Sandals, comfy sneaks, and swimsuits are the order of the day. Toss in a guayabera or two and shorts for the gents. Ladies, it’s sarongs and tunics and a strappy pair for a possible night out. Note: Barefoot dancing is the way to roll.

Getting gone
Catch a quick Continental (or is that United?) flight from IAH to Cancun.Upon deplaning, grab a margarita at the airport Berryhill. (Yep.)

Prearranged transport from Cancun to Tulum is a must. Let your hotelier reserve. Sit back, relax and start shooting photos en route. Some of the most amazing Mexican culture can be glimpsed from your cab’s window, pre-paradise.

Settling In

Depending on your personal MO, you will have made reservations at Azulik, Cabanas Copal or Zahra for the perfect beach town experience. Think beachfront yurts and cabanas with sexy outdoor soaking tubs fronting pristine beach (one is clothing optional). Off with the travel clothes and into the suits, pronto!

Option two (hotels) and just a few steps away

Zamas offers equally colorful lodging and what will likely become your personal kitchen while in Tulum. (Dined in close proximity to Sienna Miller here just a few short years ago.)

For those with sexy style and a touch of eco-fitness on the mind there are a few options just a short trip down the white sandy beach:

Amansala is the preferred destination of eco-chic travelers from around the world. It’s a great hotel to get your bikini bod in gear.

Zulum: A newer player in this market receiving rave reviews!

Coqui Coqui may have the lock on unique offerings as it specializes in handcrafted perfumes made of Yucatan botanicals.
MobilityKeep it simple. Feet and bicycles rule, but cabs are plentiful, both motorized and rickshaw. You are on an eco-friendly getaway, after all. Not to fear, if you want to roll with a tad more freedom, let your hotel arrange a daily rental car.

Action

Remember, this is about living and learning local and consuming little more than one must. (Of course, one must consume margaritas, no?) That said, historians, spa-fans and beachcombers commingle harmoniously in this slice of heaven.

Personal attention epicenter: The Maya Spa at Copal. Here, you’ll find beachfront relaxation to the nth degree.

Plan a trip, a morning departure is preferable, to the Tulum ruins just a few miles away. You can learn about Mayan culture and sunbathe on the milk-white beach. For the truly adventurous, a multitude of excursions can be arranged through Altournative .

To get to the heart of the eco-matter, visit the Centro Ecologico Sian Ka’an, 1.3 million acres of protected biosphere including 23 known archaeological sites, countless plant and animal species and nesting ground for two endangered turtle species.

Sustenance

Morning, noon or night Tulum will feed your body just as well as your soul. Wander aimlessly and let your palate be your guide. Grab a cab to Tulum Pueblo, just moments away, and try truly local fare from street vendors.

While at the beach:

Zama’s, mentioned earlier, offers fabulous meals three times a day at Que Fresco plus near nightly entertainment with barefoot, beachfront dancing.

Mezzanine is your HQ for amazing Thai fusion cuisine with international DJ’s spinning wax every Friday night.

El Tabano just lets the goodness flow.

Now hit the Web and make those reservations, confident that all the big sustainable questions will be quietly answered behind the scenes, freeing you to relax!

Finalmente

Take it easy, deep exhale, be the slow vibe. Swim, stretch, read and nap. Then, when your trip is almost done, load a bit of this newfound behavior into that carryon and, once home, integrate it into your life.

Don’t forget to share. This, in fact, is the basis for any sustainable way of life, on vacation or at home. The simplest approach is often the most efficient, the most respectful of place, and the least wasteful in terms of resources being tapped. Always has been.

Hang with me.

Tankah Bay – Tankah Tres (III)

Tankah Bay, Tankah Tres beach – Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Tulum Real Estate InformationTankah Bay is situated just north of Tulum and Tulum Ruins. The bay has a wide protected beach with an outer reef break to knock down most of the surf. There’s great snorkeling and kayaking out in the bay. The beach is narrow in parts, wider in others, with mostly fine sand just off the surf line. There’s plenty of room to sunbathe but foot protection is recommended in the water. The Bay is flanked by many naerby attractions including great places to dive and snorkel on the jungle side opposite the ocean.

Manatee Cenote

Manatee Cenote Tankah Tulum

Manatee Cenote is on of these great snorkeling sposts. The cenote is actually a river of clear water which has carved its way through a beautiful green mangrove on its way to the sea. The water empties into the bay through a submerged cave. Also, some spectacular birds can sometimes be spotted up in the mangrove to birdwatchers delight and its common to see pelicans soar in formation along the beach.

Tankah Dive ReefFor snorkelers, there are plenty of fish to see in both the cenote and out on the reef. There are some fine hotel room accommodations on the bay as well as private villas. This is a tranquil laid back place with two great restaurants; one at Casa Cenote and the other next door at Blue Sky hotel. Both restaurants are a stone’s throw from Manatee cenote. Tankah Inn also provides great morning meals at reasonable rates with incredible sights of the bay from it’s second floor restaurtant and terrace. The Inn also lets you hook up to their wireless internet for almost nothing.

Tankah Bay (Tankah Tres)

The Bay is Just a few kilometers south of Bahia Soliman. Paraiso Tankah is on the long point that juts out into to sea separating the two in-cut bays of Soliman and Tankah. Tankah Bay, also known as Tankah Tres is an exceptionally large bay with an outer reef break to reduce the surf. Great kayaking here! And it is the home of the “Casa Cenote” restaurant, a local favorite for a cold one and a cheeseburger in paradise. Manatee cenote is a must see on Tankah Bay; a natural ribbon of emerald water that winds its way through the mangrove toward the sea. This is a good alternate snorkeling spot that also serves as a hunting grounds for any number of migratory birds like snowy egrets, ibis and herons.

The homes

The Tankah Inn Bed & Breakfast Hotel

The Tankah Inn Bed & Breakfast

All the rental homes on Tankah Bay and in Paraiso Tankah run on pole power from the local utility. Many have swimming pools, air conditioning and deluxe interiors, and all open to the beach. Paraiso Tankah is on the north end of the access road, just beyond the north point of Tankah Bay. If you love to see the raw power of the Caribbean Paraiso Tankah is a perfect spot to do it, and Tankah bay is just a couple minutes away..

Nearby

The pueblo of Tulum and the Mayan ruins are 10 minutes away to the south with Akumal roughly 15 minutes to the north. Both Tulum and the Akumal area have telephones, money exchange, shopping and other restaurants. Tulum also has a major bus terminal.

So what do you do down there?…

Tulum TankahBesides lounging in a hammock you can walk the beach, sunbathe, bird watch, some homes have sea kayaks, there’s diving, gazing at the stars, or just do nothing at all! The location is also convenient to numerous day trip adventures along the coast like the Riviera Maya’s cenote freshwater pools, Actun Chen cave, various eco-parks & attractions, Yal-ku lagoon in Akumal, numerous beaches and of course Mayan ruins. So what would you like to do?

Tankah Bay is between Akumal and Tulum in the “Riviera Maya” Mexico and are convenient to Playa del Carmen, Valladolid, Chichen Itza and all destinations listed on LocoGringo.com.

Tankah Bay beach

Tankah Beach

Tankah Beach

Sandy natural beach
Sand with isolated rocks turning to rock at the points
Semi private beach in front of beach houses and hotels
Manatee Cenote is public
Foot protection recommended for water entry in the bay
Snorkeling and swimming when seas are calm
Rocks, coral and sand out in the bay, good kayaking

Adapted from the original text at Loco Gringo