No matter how green you are in everyday life, when you’re packing up for a sunny Mexican getaway, chances are the environment isn’t on your mind. But at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, you can easily enjoy the Riviera Maya without leaving a giant, sandy footprint on the ecosystem.
The grounds: Complimentary eco tours introduce guests to the surrounding jungle’s protected plants and wildlife. Free from the area’s usual speed-boat rides, the resort’s beach is part of the SOS Marine Turtles’ Project, which provides a safe place for sea turtles to lay their eggs. Surrounding mangrove swamps thrive with the help of the resorts’ work to oxygenate the water.
The rooms: The new Royal Elite rooms have ocean views and were designed with green elements in mind: The air-conditioning system saves power, all lights are LED and a solar system heats the water. The plush furniture is made from sustainable wood from certified forests.
The permanent guests: You might wake up to find one of the resident cats lounging on your lawn. These kitties are part of the “Coco’s Cat Rescue” project, and are spayed, vaccinated and fed by the resort. Other cared-for critters include the wild iguanas, Mayan bees, and assorted elderly or injured wildlife in need of a refuge.
Lather up with care: Some parts of Mexico ban traditional sunblocks, which can harm marine plants and animals when the chemicals and oils are released into the water. Try a “biodegradable” sunscreen, such as Soleo or Caribbean Sol. Not only will you not burn, but you’ll smell less like a drunk gummy bear.
Follow Monica Weymouth on Twitter at @MonicaatMetro.