This month Riviera Nayarit has earned a new safe travel stamp created by the World Travel and Tourism Council to assure international travellers that hotels, restaurants, and other establishments are adhering to increased hygiene protocols in light of COVID-19. These protocols were developed following WHO and CDC guidelines. As Riviera Nayarit recovers from the economic effects of COVID-19 and international travel resumes, visitors to Riviera Nayarit will be essential to positive community growth in the region. Listed below are a variety of environmentally and socially conscious organizations that offer fun and exciting tourism experiences, while promoting a positive tourism footprint.
Every winter in Bahia de Banderas, Mexico a variety of whales migrate to the warm Pacific Ocean to feed, mate, or give birth. Due to the proximity of migrant whale populations, whale watching tours have become increasingly common in the region. Unfortunately, many of the tour operators drive their boats too close to the whales, injuring and killing the mammals with their propellers. As a responsible tourism alternative, Explora Vallarta provides whale watching tours run by professional biologists, naturalists, and certified boat captains. The Explora Vallarta boats stay a safe distance from the whales, while providing tour guests with informed explanations regarding whale behaviour. Explora Vallarta has also been integral to the local government enforcing stricter conservation policies regarding the whale watching industry.
Human Connections is a social enterprise that connects local partners with travellers through cultural tours and student programs. These experiences channel resources into local communities while giving visitors a deeper understanding of Mexico. Human Connections has two tour options. The first is a day tour that takes visitors into less-explored neighbourhoods of Bucerías to engage with families of local artisans in their homes and workshops. Hear their stories, see their process and end the morning with an authentic meal. The second option is an excursion through the agricultural heartland of Banderas Bay, where you will meet and engage with the families of local entrepreneurs. Your first visit may include a ceramics workshop, a walk through a tropical orchard, or a beekeeping lesson and honey tasting. The experience ends with a delicious meal and hands-on activity. The small size of Human Connections’ tour groups ensures a meaningful and engaging tour experience for all participants.
La Cruz Market brings vendors from around the community to sell their authentic products and delicious foods. Numerous handmade, local, and sustainably produced products can be found at the market, from bread and organic vegetables to clothing and ceramics. Open every Sunday from November to May in the La Cruz Marina, the market also provides various workshops for adults and children such as yoga and live music. The La Cruz market is organized by Huanacaxtle, A.C., a local nonprofit organization. Huanacaxtle, A.C. works within the community to develop cultural, and recreational programming in order to strengthen the La Cruz community in a sustainable way. Come enjoy the largest market in Bahia de Banderas and experience festivities that are fun for the whole family.
Planeta Cocoa offers guests the experience to learn, make, and taste the cocoa plant in their interactive workshops and tours. Due to the cultural importance of cocoa and chocolate in Mexico, the stewardship of cocoa is seen as an important step in the preservation of Mesoamerican crops and extending the opportunity for conservation to future generations. Planeta Cacao also promotes rural tourism in Riviera Nayarit and is a great place to learn about local ecosystems. The professional team at Planeta Cocoa crafts an unforgettable and informative tour. The ideal tasting experience for every chocolate lover!
If you’re visiting the town of San Francisco, known locally as San Pancho, EntreAmigos community centre is an essential stop. EntreAmigos has developed a focus on education, offering community based workshops, youth leadership groups, academic scholarship programs, and the region’s largest children’s library. Environmental sustainability is also part of the centre’s core values, which can be observed through the local recycling program and repurposed materials used throughout the building. For those seeking the opportunity to learn more about enriching community initiatives in Mexico, EntreAmigos offers group tours Monday through Saturday and a wide range of volunteer experiences.