Published On: Thu, Feb 14th, 2019

Go eco-friendly glamping in Akumal, Quintana Roo

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Ecotourism is a growing trend all over the world, and it’s taken hold on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, in the shadows of the party palaces of Cancun and the luxury all-inclusives by the beaches facing the island of Cozumel.

According to TORONTO.COM, more tourists have a conscience when they travel nowadays, and the Mayan Riviera is happy to offer them options.

The Akumal Natura Animal Sanctuary is down a long, bumpy road from the Akumal Natura “Glampground.” There are animals everywhere: raptors and wild pigs and a very adorable Yucatan brown brocket deer. Small and friendly and not-quite-endangered but considered vulnerable thanks to habitat loss, it comes cautiously to the fence with the offer of a branch full of tasty green leaves.

Most of the animals here are being rehabilitated to be returned to the wild, but some of them live here permanently, like the spider monkey that had been taught to smoke. He’s been broken of the habit, apparently, and spends a lot of time reaching through the fence. He likes to hold the hands of visitors as they stand on the other side, his little hand with its long fingers is cool and soft.


Akumal Natura Glamping was started to help fund the animal sanctuary. Rooms are scattered around paths through the jungle, past the dining room and the big thatched “ceremonial centre” where yoga classes and massages are offered. It’s classic glamping, with big beds draped in mosquito netting, and clean, well-appointed bathrooms a thin wall of branches away from the nature outside.

It’s hard to go completely eco in the jungle — our guide shows off the resort’s bee hives and the system of tanks where it treats sewage from the rooms, but it’s still necessary to run generators for electricity. Amenities are simple — free bikes for the 10-minute ride to the beach, free Wi-Fi, shuttle services to the airport and local attractions, and a golf course three kilometres away. Pets stay for free…




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