The Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful destinations, with a unique and very diverse ecosystem and a rich cultural heritage. Just think of the many Mayan ruins, the cenotes or the fact that it’s home to the world’s second largest coral reef!
It is easy to just come a few days, have a good time and take photos without thinking of the impact we leave. Traveling is a great way to connect with people and to enrich our lives, but it’s also important to recognize that it can have negative effects on the places we travel.
If you want to travel more responsible, here are some very easy things you can do to help conserve the Riviera Maya’s environment and culture:
1 Use biodegradable sunscreen and bug spray
One of the easiest ways to help protect the natural ecosystem is to use biodegradable sunscreen and bug spray. Regular products contain harmful oils and chemicals that are toxic to coral reefs, marine plants, and animals in the cenotes. It’s a small change that makes a huge difference not only to the cenotes and the sea, but it’s also healthier for your skin. You can buy biodegradable sunscreen or repellent at any supermarket or pharmacy here in Playa del Carmen.
2 Reduce trash and recycle
At Playa Palms Beach Hotel we help you to recycle. All our rooms come with a drinking water dispenser for you to refill your water bottle rather than buying new ones.
3 Use less energy
At your hotel, you can take care of the environment by something as simple as turning off the air conditioning and the lights when you’re going out. At Playa Palms Beach Hotel we help saving water and energy by changing sheets and towels only when requested.
4 Know what you are supporting
Think critically when it comes to choosing your activities and excursions. Avoid local shows or parks that exploit animals, like swimming with captive dolphins. Rather enjoy and observe the animals in their natural habitat. For example, go swimming with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres or observe birds and marine animals in Sian Ka’an or Isla Contoy!
5 Shop smarter
Don’t buy souvenirs made of shells, starfish or endangered animals.
6 Stay at smaller, not all inclusive hotels
Staying at smaller hotels instead of big resorts gives you a chance to get around, eat at local restaurants, buy in local shops and thus support the local culture and economy.
7 Go local
Support locally owned businesses, restaurants, and other services whenever you can. Trying local food and drinks is fun, just think Tequila and Mezcal or tasty tacos!
8 Respect cultural differences and learn from it
So many countries, so many customs. Respect and value the culture you are visiting. Care for the archaeological sites you visit in the Riviera Maya and don’t pollute or damage them. Experience the place the way locals do, respect them and engage with the culture!