The World Conservation Union defines Ecoturism as the following:
"Ecoturism is environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features - both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations".
In short, the purpose of ecotourism is to know, understand and protect the environment while enjoying nature. In order to protect and preserve the natural visited areas, it is necessary to be aware of our environment, as well as to get to know about other organisms with whom human beings share the planet.
Mexico, one of the first five countries in the world in biodiversity with unrivalled ecosystems, is a paradise for ecotourists. Its geographical location in the American Continent and between two areas (one neo-arctic and the other neo-tropical), provides the country with a great variety of unique species that can only be found there.
There are 9000 species of birds worldwide, from which 769 live permanently in Mexico and another 257 migratory.
There is a tendency for Canadians to practice various activities in natural environments. For this reason, Mexico is becoming more suitable for them, offering different programs to enjoy its wonderful natural beauties. Especially in winter, Mexico offers one of the best choices for Canadian travelers.
It allows them to go bird-watching, admire the whale migration (every year, during winter, blue whales arrive from the iced waters of the Arctic to the Sea of Cortés), or the Monarch butterflies in Michoacán and the State of Mexico (whose journey from the Unites States and Canada can cover as much as 3000 miles to arrive at the Mexican Model Forest of Michoacán).
The "Monarch Butterfly Mexican Model Forest" is located in the seventh largest State of Mexico, Michoacán, which is traversed by the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and borders the Pacific Ocean.
The Model Forest region covers an area of approximately 477 000 hectares and lies between the river basins of the Rio Lerma - Chapala and Rio Balsas
The Gama Reef - the second largest coral reef in the world - is found in the Caribbean Sea. Famous for its diversity, it contains rare sea life - such as black coral - and is a breeding area for as many as 200 varieties of tropical fish.
There are ten species of marine turtle which inhabit or visit the Pacific, the Gulf and the Caribbean coastlines to lay their eggs. The Mexican Turtle Centre (Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga), located in Huatulco, on the Pacific coast, carries out research on the life of sea turtles. Many visitors come from all around the world to observe the miracle of sea turtle life and their reproduction in the Mexican Beaches.
We Mexicans are proud to host and show to the people of all around the word, the most precious treasures of our country. But since it is a priority to preserve those incredible areas, which are fundamental resources for the wildlife, ecotourism has become and will be for the next years, the best option of traveling to Mexico.
In the Southern part of the Mexican Republic is found the most interesting remains from the Ancient Maya Civilization.
Pre-Hispanic monuments of impressive beauty, like Chichen Itza, one of the most famous archaeological zones of the Mayan World, are located in this part of the country, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Yucatan is a blessed land that holds numerous places of interest. Besides its cultural and archeological monuments, this state comprises the most diverse natural resources such as cool volcanic pine mountains, dry tropical forests, dense jungles and savannas as well as tropical beaches and marshlands on a vast flat limestone platform that rises only a few metres above sea level.
In the Yucatan Peninsula, above ground freshwater it is not noticeable. Nevertheless, the region is full of subterranean marvelous light blue rivers. The holes made from erosion, called "cenotes", allow us to see the beauty of the river lightened by the sun in a cavern full of mysteries, and invites you to explore and adventure a unique experience.
Because of their history, nature and culture, the States of Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Chiapas, located in the South of Mexico, are definitely worth visiting. Tabasco runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico while Chiapas extends all the way into the Pacific Coast. Both form the lower end of the Tehuantepec isthmus. This region is known for having been the most populous region in the Maya World during the Post-Classic period. Explore a unique and outstanding miracle of nature.
Tabasco is mostly a lowland rainforest while Chiapas has both lowland and highland forests, volcanic slopes and mountains with mixed forests- bearing a closer resemblance to the neighboring Guatemala.
In Mexico there are all kinds of natural ecosystems, -varying from large deserts to the rich tropical forests-, which provide the resources to host all different natural species and landscapes of wonderful beauty. As well as this, Mexico has a diverse cultural heritage that brings together multiple pre-hispanic and spanish cultures and languages. It would be impossible to say which is the best place to visit from all the marvelous options that Mexico offers. That is why the Mexican Tourism logo is "For every reason, every season.¨ It is really up to you what adventure you choose in our country.
Did you know that Oaxaca is the home of nesting beaches for several species of turtles?