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Wild life and sustainable initiatives at Fairmont Mayakoba
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Wild life and sustainable initiatives at Fairmont Mayakoba

Fairmont Mayakoba’s design was based on sustainability. Buildings were built behind the mangrove forests, more than 1,600 feet from the beach to ensure the preservation and stability of the ecosystem. And the canal system was designed to flow naturally, following the underground currents that flow into the ocean and feed the cenote pools. Today, a multidisciplinary team of experts from RLH Properties and Mayakoba work together to protect wildlife, vegetation, and water in the development to reduce and manage waste, respond to environmental emergencies, and raise awareness among guests and residents of the region about the importance of ecological conservation.

The animals inhabit Mayakoba live in freedom, with minimum interaction with visitors. The wildlife management program ensures their safety through these strategies: monitoring and control, rescue and veterinary care, and release.

One of the complex’s most remarkable endeavors is the protection of sea turtles. Since 2010, the Turtle Camp has rescued and incubated nests, releasing hatchlings with guests and employees. In addition, there is the Coral Reef Restoration Program, fostering the growth of coral colonies that are then planted in an artificial reef of marine concrete along Mayakoba’s waterfront.

Other initiatives are

  • Protecting the tropical vegetation.
  • Restoration of the coastal environments.
  • We help with the maintenance and reforestation of the mangroves.
  • We protect the network of lagoons and prevent pollution.
  • Only electric boats are used, just as with golf carts. Both modes of transportation seek to reduce carbon emissions and prevent noise that could disturb the animals.

In-Room initiatives

  • The bathroom is equipped with a low water consumption toilet and sinks that include an air regulator that reduces the water pressure to save water.
  • We program the air conditioning systems in the hotel’s rooms to turn off automatically when windows are opened.
  • The air conditioning and lighting systems on the public areas are controlled through software that enables the hotel to turn them on and off in specific areas, based on their schedules and needs.
  • Air conditioning throughout the hotel is regulated through an energy-efficient software system that allows hotel staff to program air conditioning usage as necessary, depending on specific areas and time schedules when it is needed the most.
  • The AC system at guestrooms has an interface with the property management system to set temperature points for occupied or not occupied rooms.
  • The hotel’s walkways are cleared with air pressure cleaning equipment rather than a water pressure cleaning.
  • The hotel’s sheet and towel program offers our guests the option to reuse these instead of washing them daily, thus saving at least 180 liters of water per day (65,000 liters per year).

Fairmont Mayakoba by numbers

  • Four of the seven sea turtles on Mexico’s beaches nest in Mayakoba.
  • The project’s design respected the 60 hectares of mangroves that are home to four separate species of the tree: white, red, black, and Conocarpus.
  • Fairmont Mayakoba spans five ecosystems (ocean, dunes, mangrove, fresh water, and low jungle.
  • The development has its own Environmental Management System comprised of 8 programs.
  • Each year two samplings of the vegetation are carried out to follow up on its health.
  • The Coral Reef Restoration Program transplanted 1,056 coral colonies into the reefs along Mayakoba (as of 2021)
  • The total use of recycled water at the golf course and gardens in 2019 was 159,639m3
  • The total of recycled solid waste or treated in 2019 was 927.9 tons

The most common habitants at Fairmont Mayakoba

  1. Blue Jay: One of Mexico’s most striking birds. It displays coloring that changes over time: the young sport blue wings and tails, yellow beaks, and a white body; adults keep their bright blue feathers, but their beaks and bodies are black. Blue jays live in the jungle and mangrove forests, feeding on insects, fruit, and seeds.
  2. White Tailed Deer: Known for the color of its tail, it bolts at any sign of danger. This deer lives in the rainforests of the southeast of the country, where Mayakoba is located. It eats fruit, flowers, and roots. Its color ranges from reddish to brown, and males have enormous antlers that re-grow every winter.
  3. Loggerhead sea turtle: Between April and September, this sea turtle arrives on the beaches of Mayakoba to nest. It is recognizable for its triangular head and brown shell. It is carnivorous and feeds on fish, crabs, and jellyfish. Today, this solitary species is endangered.
  4. Mexican Tree Frog: A rainforest resident, this frog is native to Mexico and Central America. It is a nocturnal species, and during the day, it hides out in tree trunks or between rocks and plants. It measures around 2 inches with extremely varied coloring ranging from green and brown.
  5. Coati: One of the most friendly and easy to spot in Mayakoba is the coati. It spends its day climbing trees in the jungle, where it rests and builds its nests. Alternatively, it strolls through the golf course and the complex’s paths. Females and their young live in family groups, while males are solitary.
  6. Chachalacas (galliform birds from the genus Ortalis): This medium-sized bird can reach one and a half feet tall. Its greenish brown feathers, with a cream-colored belly and black tail with white tips. It lives in flocks in the jungle or mangrove forests. It is not very good at flying, so its diet consists of insects, flowers, and leaves.
  7. Squirrel: Mayakoba’s smallest mammals are squirrels, a very friendly and agile species that spends its days leaping from branch to branch through the trees. When it is light out, it forages for fruit and flowers—spreading seeds in its wake—and stores them in its nests built high in tree trunks, where it hides at dusk.
  8. Limpkin: Very common in Mayakoba but rare in the rest of Quintana Roo, the limpkin is a large, very loud, long-legged wading bird. It has long legs, chocolate brown plumage with white spots, and a pointed bill that can measure up to 5 inches long. It lives around bodies of water and feeds almost exclusively on snails.
  9. Black Spiny-tailed iguana: Known as the fastest lizard on earth, the black spiny-tailed iguana can be found resting in rock formations or tree hollows, as it is an excellent climber. When young, it is bright green, but it has turned gray with its signature dark stripes on its back and tail by adult-hood.

Sustainability at the Fairmont Mayakoba

At Fairmont Mayakoba, we have been committed to focusing our efforts on social and economic development for several years. Our Fairmont Sustainability Partnership program is essential to us and represents our ever-growing commitment to being a responsible company and following sustainability principles throughout our operations. To ensure that we achieve our goals, we have established sustainability teams at each of our properties worldwide.

Sea Turtles: Mexico is the “home” of sea turtles. The diversity and richness of our coastal environments provide ideal conditions for their feeding, resting, and reproduction. 

From May to October, sea turtles from the world’s oceans reach our beaches to lay their eggs. Humans are the biggest predators of sea turtles, but we can all contribute to their survival:

The Fairmont Mayakoba has an Adopt-a-Turtle program, and we hope you can join us at one of our turtle release events, a life-changing experience. 

Waste Management: We have a waste management program where each staff member is responsible for separating recyclable, non-recyclable, and organic materials disposed of on the property. We invite you to join us in our conservation efforts and rid the planet of unnecessary waste.  

We sell all recycled materials from the hotel to local recycling facilities. We use all profits from the hotel’s efforts to fund other local environmental initiatives. 80% of our advertising is digital rather than print. We have a specially designed composting area to handle all organic gardening materials. We have implemented a “straw on demand” policy by replacing plastic straws with a biodegradable alternative to minimize plastic waste.

Fairmont Mayakoba’s gardens are home to drought-tolerant plants native to the region. These plants save water because they are highly adaptable to climatic conditions and do not require extensive irrigation or care. In addition, Fairmont Mayakoba’s gardens include fruit trees that grow naturally, without fertilizers or chemicals. The Fairmont Mayakoba’s green spaces feature several signs informing guests about the native flora and fauna. 

Environmentally Friendly Programs: We offer organic and sustainable menus, zero-waste meetings, and group eco-tourism activities. Sustainable menus include organic vegetables grown by the local Mayan community, shade-grown organic coffee, and organic wines. Lunch boxes are made from thermal materials.

Coral- Reef Restauration Program: In partnership with Oceanus AC, Fairmont Mayakoba offers guests the opportunity to help save the planet by restoring the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest in the world. This reef stretches in front of Mayakoba Beach, and guests can set out on a guided catamaran to discover how baby corals are reintroduced to the ocean.

Since May 2015, Fairmont Mayakoba began collaborating with Oceanus, focused on rebuilding coral reefs by creating nurseries, which has led to the transplantation of more than 1,500 corals with an 80% survival rate that continues to grow improving natural resilience. 

At the Fairmont Mayakoba, we encourage our guests to participate in a snorkeling tour to experience the nurseries actively and better understand the process we follow to preserve the corals.


What to do to help make this change:

– Follow the 3 R’s: look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in your home. You’ll save natural resources, energy, and money.

– Conserve energy at home: consider turning off your lights, electronics when you are not using them. You can do many small things to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money!

– Reduce paper waste

– Recycle your electronic devices: they can be recycled for free by stores, manufacturers …

– Take a break from your car: sometimes some car trips are unnecessary. Instead, consider riding a bike, taking public transportation, or carpooling.

– Turn off the water: Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or taking a shower, turn off the water when you don’t need it.

– Bring your bags: use backpacks or bags from home, or buy reusable bags that you can use more than once.

– Buy local: by buying local, you’ll reduce transportation distances for food from overseas and help support local businesses.

– Participate in a beach cleanup: If you want to help eliminate some of the plastic waste in your area, you can participate in a beach cleanup. It’s a great way to reduce pollution.

We are all responsible; let’s take these essential steps together to save our planet!

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