On the Pacific coast of Mexico, a verdant oasis of biodiversity exists in the form of Nayarit. Though this scenic state makes up just about 1.4% of the nation’s area, it hosts a colossal array of indigenous plant and animal species, with dense mangrove forests and mountainous pine-oak woodlands all splayed throughout its borders—but these verdant landscapes and pristine beaches attract more than just native North American wildlife.
In recent years, the stunning Riviera Nayarit has become a particularly popular tourist attraction, with no shortage of upscale resorts and idyllic inns dotting the coast. While a large influx of tourists can certainly wreak havoc on local flora and fauna populations, certain venues have established sweeping conservation initiatives to protect Nayarit’s non-human residents, with adults-only Secrets Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort and family-focused Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort being two particularly prominent actors across the region.
Located on the northern edge of the scenic Bahía de Banderas, these neighboring all-inclusives are perfectly positioned for a wealth of outdoor adventure activities, offering kayaking sessions, snorkeling excursions, and scuba diving just past the shoreline. For wildlife lovers in particular, the properties also offer whale safaris from December to March, providing the opportunity to spot humpbacks breaching across the bay—though you don’t have to venture far from the two properties to find all sorts of native flora and fauna.
While popular Mexican resort regions like the Riviera Maya have traditionally suffered from widespread deforestation, both Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita have orchestrated large-scale plant nurseries across their combined property to prevent a similar situation from occurring across the Riviera Nayarit. Focusing solely on native plants and trees, the two resorts have reared several thousands plants since the program’s debut—and the conservation initiatives don’t end with just Mexico’s indigenous 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 creatures crafty enough to snag frequent portions of human food. Fortunately, Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita have established specific feeding and hydration zones for the area’s native raccoons, skunks, grackles, and other wildlife, keeping them safe from anything that may harm their health, whether it’s a vehicle or a slice of chocolate cake.
When it comes to one of Mexico’s most beloved reptiles—the sea turtle, to be precise—the two resorts are also equipped with a protected span of shoreline that’s monitored during the hatching process. As the baby turtles breach the surface of the sand and begin their lengthy journey to the water’s edge, the surrounding area is kept under a watchful eye to ensure that no humans are interfering with this iconic natural phenomenon.
While the hospitality industry and the concept of wildlife conservation have certainly butted heads in many regions throughout history, Secrets Bahia Mita and Dreams Bahia Mita serve as twin examples of how to provide luxurious accommodations while existing in harmony with the surrounding flora and fauna. Nayarit has been renowned for its rich array of native creatures for centuries on end, and with strong sustainability initiatives continuing to thrive at resorts across the region, it’s likely that the state will carry on this legacy into the far future.