Behind the Scenes Ecological Tours of Resort's Jungle, Mangroves, Cenotes and Beach Offered By Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya, Mexico (November 26, 2013)
Surrounded by more than 205 acres of lush jungle, mangroves, fresh water cenotes and expansive beachfront, Grand Velas Riviera Maya has been meticulously designed to coexist with its fragile environment. The AAA Five Diamond resort now offers an ecological tour, giving guests the chance to experience its unique environment, learn about the native flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula and understand the resort's conservation efforts. The complimentary tour is the latest addition to the hotel's initiatives to inform and educate about sustainable and eco-friendly practices, which already includes a program where guests can plant a tree in their name, watch it grow from home on Google Earth and learn about natural wildlife.
The tour includes a visit to the mangroves to learn about native species including sea grape, sea lilies, coconut palm and salt grass, special varieties of mangroves, measures to protect and sustain the ecosystem and more. It then continues to the reforestation jungle area, consisting of more than 15,000 transplanted trees that help protect native plants and animals, many planted by staff and guests alike. Guests also visit the beach to learn about the resort's innovative artificial reefs off the coast, which not only encourage marine life such as fish, small octopus and lobsters, but prevent beach erosion. The reefs have also quadrupled the width of the beach in four years, making it one of the widest beaches in the Riviera Maya. Guests learn how sand dunes are built to ward off erosion and spread a variety of colorful plants, as well as the requirements and processes for receiving a Clean Beach.
Certification. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of 17 beaches in Mexico to receive the distinction from the government. Next is a taste of the fruits, vegetables and herbs from the hotel's garden, used in several of the resort's restaurants. Last stop is the resort's cenotes, natural pools of fresh water with a great deal of biodiversity, where guests learn about their continuous development over hundreds of years.
"We are proud to be a Green Globe Certified resort, named the top hotel in Latin America for these practices," said Fernando Garcia Rossette, Managing Director. "We hope with this tour, guests can leave with an appreciation of not just ours but the world's ecosystems and environments," he continued.
Featured in Forbes' roundup of the 10 Coolest All-Inclusive Resorts, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, is also home to Cocina De Autor, the first restaurant of any all-inclusive resort to receive the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award for restaurants. The all-suites and spa resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, is the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience. This Leading Hotels of the World designated resort is the preeminent one of its class boasting 491 suites, each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances-- premium ocean-front Grand Class Suites with terrace plunge pools for adults and families with children 12 and up, family-friendly ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Zen Grand Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula's jungle. The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest, and the region's largest spa sanctuary at over 89,000 square-feet specializing in signature treatments inspired by ancient cultures from around the world. The spa was named "Best Spa" in the world by Virtuoso and also earned a SpaFinder Readers' Choice Award. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of Yucatan cultures.