While for many traveling green or eco-friendly travel means backpacking and camping in the jungle, some travelers have become accustomed to the luxury and comfort of their vacations. Studies show that consumers have increased their preference for brands that proved to be ethical, charitable, and eco-friendly.

But how can a luxury resort remain socially responsible and still sustain the preservation of nature?

Hacienda Tres Rios Resort

The dictionary defines sustainable as “a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged” and luxury as “a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort.”

With this in mind, Tres Ríos has developed its mission around this concept. This green resort in the Riviera Maya serves a model for luxury travel and sustainable tourism and has been recognized nationally and internationally for its efforts.

We present our top sustainable tourism practices.

Eco-park Riviera Maya1. PLATFORMS To avoid changing the underground water flow, the foundations of all buildings have been set on permeable rock bases and elevated platforms.
2. INFRASTRUCTURE All permanent infrastructures will be placed at least 165 feet away from the shoreline, at least 65 feet away from all cenotes, and at least 35 feet away from the site’s three rivers.
3. CONSERVATION All vegetation to have been determined as environmentally valuable will be designated as a conservation area and no construction is allowed near the site. With that, more than 150 acres of mangrove and jungle have been preserved.

Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula4. WATER FLOW Detailed geo-hydrological studies determined the direction of underground water flows, the precise depths from which drinking water should be extracted, and the depths to which residual and treated waters should be injected to avoid contaminating the aquifer, land and marine ecosystems.
5. CANALS Specially designed canals will operate and maintain themselves. This high rate of water exchange will ensure the proper balance of nutrients and oxygen for healthy plant and water life which in turn will create a new underwater and shoreline mangrove habitat for numerous birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and crustaceans.

Tres Rios Nature Park Riviera Maya6. MANGROVES The ongoing mangrove clean-up and reforestation program will rehabilitate over 20,000 m2 of damages to mangroves caused by Hurricane Wilma.
7. ROADS & PATHWAYS Tres Ríos is built using a series of digital models to identify roads and pathways to avoid affecting the flow of surface waters.
8. EMS TEAM A multidisciplinary team of scientists and specialists monitor day-to-day operations. The team is responsible for implementing more than 250 specific strategies as part of seven programs and twenty subprograms under our Environmental Management System (EMS).

With the rising level of carbon dioxide, rising number of endangered species and rising awareness of our impact on the environment, it is no longer a choice whether companies should be sustainable and whether travelers choose to be responsible travelers.