On the Pacific coast of Mexico, there is a verdant oasis of biodiversity in the form of Nayarit. Although this picturesque state makes up about 1.4% of the nation’s land area, it is home to a colossal array of indigenous plant and animal species, with dense mangrove forests and montane pine forests all along its borders—but these lush landscapes and pristine beaches attract more than native North American wildlife.
In recent years, the stunning Nayarit Riviera has become a particularly popular tourist attraction, with no shortage of luxury resorts and idyllic inns on the coast. While a large influx of tourists can certainly wreak havoc on local populations of flora and fauna, some venues have created sweeping conservation initiatives to protect Nayarit’s non-human inhabitants, with the adults-only Secrets Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort and Dreams Bahia Mita family-focused The Surf & Spa Resort are two particularly prominent performers throughout the region.
On the northern tip of picturesque Bahía de Banderas, these neighborhood all-inclusives are ideally located for a wealth of outdoor adventure activities, offering kayaking sessions, snorkeling trips and diving right off the coast. Especially for wildlife enthusiasts, the properties also offer whale safaris from December to March, providing a chance to spot humpbacks crossing the bay—though you don’t have to venture far from either property to find all of its species native flora and fauna.
While popular Mexican resort areas like the Riviera Maya have traditionally suffered from widespread deforestation, both Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita have orchestrated large-scale nurseries throughout their property to prevent a similar situation in Riviera Nayarit. Focusing exclusively on native plants and trees, the two resorts have nurtured several thousand plants since the program’s debut—and the conservation initiatives don’t just end with Mexico’s native flora.
Resorts tend to attract wildlife both large and small thanks to their high concentration of outdoor buffets, and the high calorie content of classic desserts and soft drinks can cause a wide range of health problems for any creature smart enough to to catch frequent portions of human food. Fortunately, Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita have created specific feeding and hydration zones for the area’s native raccoons, skunks, grackles and other wildlife, protecting them from anything that could harm their health, whether it’s a vehicle or for a slice of chocolate. cake.
When it comes to one of Mexico’s most beloved reptiles—the sea turtle, to be exact—the two resorts are also equipped with a protected stretch of shoreline that is monitored during the hatching process. As the baby turtles breach the surface of the sand and begin their long journey to the water’s edge, the surrounding area is kept under a watchful eye to ensure that no humans interfere with this iconic natural phenomenon.
While the hospitality industry and the concept of wildlife conservation have certainly caught on in many areas throughout history, Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita serve as twin examples of how to provide luxury accommodations while existing in harmony with the surrounding flora. and fauna. Nayarit has been renowned for its rich array of native creatures for centuries, and with strong sustainability initiatives continuing to thrive in resorts across the region, it’s likely the state will continue this legacy well into the future.