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ECO TOURING
Introduction
Eco Destinations
Wildlife
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Bring light ponchos for rain gear. These can be purchased from most camping stores. Many stadiums also carry a light poncho to sell to fans of local football teams. These work great as well. They are small and light and easy to carry anywhere you go as a rain cloud can come in no time and dump a monsoon on your head.


Experience the Tortuga Liberation!
Every year hundreds of baby Green Sea Turtles emerge from the sandy beaches of the Mayan Riviera and head into the vast ocean.

Mexico peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos

In 1998 there were 9.6 million telephones main lines in use.

There are 31,048 km of railways in Mexico.

Females are allowed to volunteer for military service.

In 1997 Mexico had 31 million radios in use.

Mexico's exports partners: US 89.3%, Canada 1.7%, Spain 0.6%, Japan 0.5%, Venezuela 0.3%, Chile 0.3%, Brazil 0.3%.

Mexico produced 176.055 billion kWh of electricity in 1998.

The main industries are: food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism.

The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is Riviera Maya. The English use is either Maya Riviera or Mayan Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.

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Mayan Riviera
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Buckle Up!

Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.

YUCATAN ECO INTRODUCTION

Playa del Carmen

Mexico holds a richly diverse Eco-system. Arid deserts, sultry tropical forests, and rugged snow-capped mountain peaks with plunging canyons and gorges make Mexico the ideal vacation spot for both Eco-tourists and adventure enthusiasts.

A blanket of semi-tropical rainforest covers the Yucatan Peninsula. The jungle as it is referred to is almost completely inaccessible in all areas except by roads or with a guide on trails. Paved roads cris-cross the entire region with main highways running along the coasts.

Most of the Peninsula's interior is uninhabited save hunters who still live deep in the jungle in small communities only accessible by trail. Driving the inland roads you encounter small villages with electricity every so often. You know you are close to a village when you start hitting speed bumps [topes] on the road.

By and large the entire Peninsula is rugged terrain reminiscent of Northern Ontario or America's Anarondac but mostly flat. There are a number of National Parks and of course commercial ventures most notably Xcaret and Xel-Ha. Criticized for combining the beauty of the natural coast with an Eco friendly park it must be said that they did do a fantastic job. It was bound to happen some day and the people who actually did the work did a magnificent job in making this area accessible to everyone and at the same time providing work for local residents. Many children get to experience something that before the development was not as accessible.

Tulum Hotels There are caves all over the Yucatan and numerous Tour Operators have trips to visit them. There are however many caves known only to local residents or people who live in a specific area. In fact if you know the right people you can go to sacred caves and waterfalls that were once used by Mayan Kings and Queens. There are sacred caves with terracotta clay where you can have a mud bath then wash off under a waterfall. This is truly an enchanting experience.

Cenotes dot the landscape and if you fly over the Yucatan you will see many but what is most striking is that you can see the faint outline of what was once a village around or next to every single cenote. It is absolutely astounding to imagine how populated the Peninsula once was compared to today. Getting to many of these cenotes is next to impossible however some are accessible. Some are privately owned and operated as businesses and some are hidden away in the dense jungle only accessible by guide and path.

There are a number of lagoons or small lakes most of which have no development on them except a few cabanas. Coba and Punta Laguna are two located in the Maya Riviera. Laguna Bakalar is a beautiful lake located near Chetumal. Misha Ha is close and less developed. Both lakes will remind you of any lake in Canada as far as cottages are concerned. Mexicans like cottages as well.

The state of Quintana Roo contains a large percentage of Mexico's parks and reserves, 20% of its territory being covered by some sort of environmental protection.

Tulum Beach Recently there have been a number of ecotourism developments in these protected areas. Some of the ecotourism projects, like the Sian Ka'an, make a solid effort to protect the natural resources and educate visitors.

Other projects are primarily commercial. These projects are generally Eco friendly residential developments or theme parks.

Mexico's Natural Park budget is small and private companies control many of the popular ecotourism destinations.

It is a paradox that you will find the greatest zeal for environmental protection at developed Eco attractions.



PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Akumal Whether you are a seasoned traveler or on your first Mexican Eco adventure the strategy is the same. First study the area and find out where things are. Next locate accommodations or a campsite. It is advisable to reserve a room in the high season, campers need not worry. Plan your route.

If it your first trip to the Peninsula you may want to consider booking your trip through an adventure tour company. If you are flying into Cancun then you will be met at the airport and whisked away to your first destination where everything is prepared for you.

There are more adventure tour companies operating out of Playa del Carmen than anywhere else in the Peninsula. They are situated well with caves, cenotes, Sian Ka'an, Coba, Tulum, Cozumel and many other destinations within a short drive.

For information regarding Mayan ruin sites please visit:

To view a map showing the Peninsula's ruin site location see:

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TRIP PLANNING
Entry Info: Immigration Customs
Where to Visit in the Yucatan
Mayan Ruin Sites
Open Water/Cave Diving Snorkeling
Yucatan Has Beautiful Beaches
Ecology & EcoTours
Children and Baby Travel Info
Shopping Tips
Night Life - Romance
Deepsea Fishing
Cancun Mayan Riviera Golf Courses
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Yucatan Peninsula Jaguar

Jaguars are the third largest cat of the world, ranking behind the tiger and African lion. In spite of their large size and powerful build, however, jaguars are shy and retiring. They seldom, if ever, attack man unless cornered or at bay. They are thought to roam over a large territory, much as does the mountain lion, and nowhere are they abundant.

In appearance the Black Jaguar is often confused with the Leopard - both cats, depending to a degree on sub-species have a similar brownish/yellow base fur colour which is distinctively marked with dark rosette markings.

However, the jaguar can be distinguished by the presence of small dots or irregular shapes within the larger rosette markings, a more stocky and muscular body and a shorter tail. Melanistic or black jaguars are common in certain parts of its range and are often confusingly labelled ‘Black Panthers’, a name which is also applied to black Leopards.

In this melanistic form the cats are more difficult to separate, however the jaguars large head and stocky forelimbs are often a good way to differentiate between the two cats.

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