There is a vast array of eco hotels and eco resorts in Mexico, and the number keeps growing. In this article you’ll find the best options for your next eco stay in Mexico!
International travel gets something of a bad rap because of its lack of eco-friendliness, especially when it comes to how we get to our destination — usually on a carbon-churning aircraft. But traveling can also bring so much good, especially when, at our destination, we make sustainable choices (that we should also do at home, hey!), and choosing an eco-friendly hotel helps to make the bulk of our travel even greener.
These days, more and more lodgings pride themselves in being environmentally friendly, and below you’ll find 16 fantastic Eco Hotels and Eco Resorts in Mexico to choose from for your next trip. Let’s check them out!
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort – Playa del Carmen
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is certified by the Rainforest Alliance for its work to make the facilities as eco-friendly as possible. They run numerous outreach and cooperation programs with local Mayan people, as well as animal rescue and repopulation programs. In the hotel, you’ll find programs for energy and water saving, as well as recycling.
They also like to involve guests in their eco work, so you’ll be able to get your hands dirty by planting a native tree on the grounds of the resort. How cool is that?
The All-Inclusive Sandos Eco Resort offers you all the facilities that will make you never want to leave! It’s situated on the beachfront, so you’ll enjoy views of the sea and Cozumel Island, there are 2 pools and an aquatic park for both children and adults, a spa, 9 restaurants to choose from, and evening entertainment.
Need more? This Eco Resort in Playa del Carmen also offers Yoga and Scuba Diving lessons.
We like it because they try to integrate guests into the eco-friendly aspects of the resort, and the facilities offered are first-rate.
El Patio 77 – Mexico City
You might think it hard to find eco-conscious hotels in the heart of Mexico City, but El Patio 77 is shunning that stereotype. In response to the city’s water problems, the owners built their own water filter and collection system, preparing for a potential longer-term water crisis in the future.
This Eco Resort in Mexico’s main metropolis also uses solar panels to heat all the hotel water, makes use of LED lights while they save up to invest in more solar panels and serves as much local organic food as possible, including their tea and coffee. They also encourage their guests to take shorter showers and make use of biodegradable shampoo and soap provided to help the local environment.
El Patio 77 is a reformed mansion, housing 8 individually designed rooms, a beautiful interior patio where you’ll enjoy a good Mexican breakfast, and style in every corner.
We like it because even though the hotel is under no obligation to do many of the things it does for the city, they do it anyway to lead by example and prepare for longer-term issues. It’s an admirable approach.
Hacienda Tres Rios – Playa del Carmen
This All-Inclusive, luxury eco resort is set in the backdrop of stunning mangrove scenery. It is constructed atop an array of almost 800 stilts to help protect groundwater flow that is essential to the surrounding ecosystem. They also make use of heat interchanger systems, which only require about a third of the fuel that a regular resort of this size would need.
Hacienda Tres Rios Resort Spa & Nature Park operates its own flora and fauna rescue program, carefully removing any rare or endangered plants from the site during construction and keeping them safe in their own plant nursery. All plastic is recycled, disposable cups have been replaced by hard plastic glasses, and kitchen waste goes to compost.
Supporting the conservancy of the environment is not the only reward for staying here, though. Besides the large suites and private balcony, you’ll enjoy an outdoor pool and solarium, private beach zone, aquatic sports, 5 international cuisine restaurants and a full-service spa to relax like you deserve.
Entertainment, you said? If themed dinner parties, billiards rooms and free use of bicycles are not enough, check out the guided activities and children’s camp. It’s certainly one of the best eco resorts in Mexico.
We like it because the hotel pays a lot of attention to detail when it comes to sustainable practices and has been careful to minimize disturbance to local ecosystems. Also, did you see the facilities it offers?!
Cuixmala – Jalisco
Far from simply offering some green-energy initiatives and recycling programs, Cuixmala has worked with local authorities to create the Cuixmala Ecological Foundation. Their project is the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, which is now home to 1200 plant species, as well as 270 species of bird, 70 mammals, 68 reptiles and 19 species of amphibians.
Beyond just operating this reserve, the foundation works on educating both locals and visitors, highlighting the importance of their work and the value of their achievements so far.
Running alongside 5 kilometers of coastline, Cuixmala’s lush jungle, savannahs and lagoons constitute a real retreat, one in which you’ll cohabit with zebras, crocodiles and jaguars (though don’t worry, you’re not in any danger!)
There are three private, wild beaches you can enjoy, and the three restaurants in this Mayan Riviera eco resort serve meals with fresh products from the estate’s farm.
Taking a yoga lesson, enjoying a massage, horseback riding along the beach or kayaking are amongst the favorite activities in one of the best luxury eco resorts in Mexico.
We like it because this resort doesn’t just talk about conservation, they practice it to an incredible degree, and work hard to educate others on why conservation matters.
Alaya – Tulum
Alaya Tulum demonstrates its commitment not just to local nature but to the local community as well. They operate a 3-hectare organic farm that they call “Lemons” which is run by a local family.
The farm delivers coconut, pineapple, lemons, oranges, dragon fruit and habanero chili, all without using chemicals, pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Guests can therefore gain the maximum benefit of the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Besides the healthy food, you’ll marvel at the architecture of this eco resort in Mexico, blending incredibly well with its natural surroundings. A terrace to practice yoga with a view, an on-site restaurant and private beach area with daybeds add to the comforts of your stay here.
The Tulum ruins are within a 15-minute drive, and Gran Cenote is only 7.5 miles from Alaya Tulum, which is a great plus.
We like it because many resorts focus just on things like energy and cleanliness without also involving the local community, but Alaya Tulum has integrated the community aspect well into their resort operation.
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Casa Lum – San Cristobal de Las Casas
Casa Lum underwent some remodeling recently, and they used the opportunity to demonstrate their eco-friendly credentials. 95 percent of the wood used was from forest land where conservation and sustainability are assured. They also made use of 9,000 tiles from demolished buildings and restored 25 original doors and windows instead of buying new ones.
The hotel itself has always been a big project of local conservation. Rather than tearing down the beautiful old building in favor of a cutting-edge modern resort, Casa Lum was lovingly restored to maintain its connection to the local aesthetic, giving it a colonial air.
This gorgeous eco hotel in Mexico offers simple but charming rooms, a business center, garden and terrace. It also features a restaurant and bar that serves delicious food, and it’s location right in the center of San Cristobal de Las Casas makes it a perfect starting point for your explorations.
We like it because it feels like a well-integrated local feature, it’s very well located and shows that reutilization and restoration can truly create something beautiful.
I wrote a complete review of Casa Lum – check it out!
Xic Xanac – Puebla
Built with natural materials that are recycled from its surroundings, Xic Xanac feels well connected to its stunning rustic location in Zacatlan de las Manzanas. They collect rainwater, make use of solar heaters and bio-constructions, and they operate an organic pesticide-free and chemical-free farm.
Enjoy luxury with a conscience for a wedding, retreat, workshop or a simple getaway. Xic Xanac shows that sustainability, rusticity and nature can go hand-in-hand with luxury and decadence as you enjoy the restaurant, spa, Temazcal (steam house) and other recreation facilities.
We like it because the integration of the native materials and flora and fauna creates an atmosphere of real unspoiled nature.
Balamku Inn on the Beach – Mahahual
In all aspects of its facility management, solar and wind energy production and water management, Balamku Inn on the Beach lives its green philosophy well. The property itself acts as a protection for a number of endangered local trees, while helping fill in other green spaces only with native species of flora. All the water used on-site goes to support wetlands, and waste is filtered into compost units, so they don’t need septic tanks.
This area of coastal Mahahual was long known for its unique flora and fauna, but older ideas of tourism threatened to disrupt that delicate balance. At Balamku Inn, guests can enjoy an experience of sustainable luxury in either the single- or two-story Palapas structures, or in one of the 10 guest rooms with terraces overlooking the sea.
It’s one of the eco-friendly resorts in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, that allow you to really disconnect from the modern and technological world.
We like it because in staying you’re contributing to the protection of local plants and animals that otherwise would be endangered or gone, and because of the opportunity it offers you to disconnect from the world for a few days.
Olas – Tulum
The beautiful hotel buildings at Olas are LEED-certified, which is an internationally recognized proof of true sustainability in its construction and operation. The resort uses solar energy for all its electricity requirements (except for a backup generator). This Tulum eco-friendly resort also engages in rainwater collection, which is then used to feed on-site vegetation.
Speaking of water, much of the Tulum beach area relies on water being brought in on rather eco-unfriendly trucks. Olas gets its water from an underground river system which is captured and sent to roof cisterns and then gravity-fed into the suites.
We like it because it integrates all its energy and water practice with an impressive locally sourced menu including cheese from the local Mennonites. One of the best sustainable hotels in Tulum.
Secrets Playa Mujeres – Playa Mujeres, Cancun
This Rainforest Alliance-certified Cancun eco resort has worked hard to integrate sustainability into its day-to-day operation. One very notable project they undertook was the installation of a heat pump unit that replaced their propane gas tanks. The resort also recycles some 20 tons of waste each year, and maintains a 6.75-hectare conservation area.
Secrets Playa Mujeres engages with the local community and promotes local culture and traditions to its more than 200,000 annual guests. They also make strict provision in their labor contracts to protect local workers, which is a nice demonstration of good business practices.
This is one of the eco resorts in Mexico that’s All-Inclusive, and you’ll be blown away by its luxurious pools and terraces, balconies on the rooms, exquisite decor and entertainment options. As you can see, it’s one of the most complete eco hotels in Mexico.
There are 9 different dining choices, access to a private beach and a tennis court, so it’s guaranteed that you won’t have a dull moment even if you try.
We like it because it’s one of the eco-friendly resorts in Cancun that really stands out, and though most golfing resorts would use all available space for courses, they have allocated a significant zone specifically for conservation.
Playa Viva – Juluchuca Zihuatanejo
Playa Viva is trying to regenerate their local surroundings, starting with the creation of what their local elders refer to as the “abundance” they remember from the past. To that end, the resort operates a farm-to-table food policy that prioritizes local organic produce. Reforestation is another major priority for the resort, as well as looking for ways to better integrate human dwellings and the natural surroundings.
This eco lodge in Mexico maintains a strong commitment to the community and local wildlife. Their community outreach program aims to empower and educate locals, improve public health and promote economic development. The “La Tortuga Viva” (The Living Turtle) conservation project also helps the endangered local sea turtle population regenerate through active protection of its breeding grounds.
As for this eco-friendly resort’s facilities, Playa Viva offers amazing bungalows that provide an added charm to your stay, all meals during your stay, a donation to the Regenerative Trust and the possibility of booking a massage or excursions from the lodge. I belive it features some of the best luxury treehouse cabins in the world!
We like it because besides all the efforts they make in the community, the resort is also run 100-percent off grid energy-wise. Everything is solar-powered and they have their own on-site well. That’s impressive!
Las Nubes de Holbox – Holbox
Las Nubes de Holbox is one of the dreamiest eco-friendly resorts in Mexico, and offers ocean views, a spa and delicious meals to keep you happy. But aside from making its guests happy, it has an important mission with the environment.
The resort boasts some 12 key actions that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Among them are rainwater collection, sustainable local fishing, use of energy-saving lighting and biodegradable shampoo and similar products, bamboo take-away boxes in the restaurant, removal of plastic straws and extensive training for their staff in the best eco-friendly practices.
Perhaps most welcome of all is the ban on plastic bottles and use of biodegradable bags for all trash cans. Plastics are the enemy at Las Nubes. The resort also operates its own sewage treatment plant that cleans all the water they use, and the staff come together every day for beach cleanup duties.
We like it because the resort can point to many great practical things they do to safeguard their environment, and seems to take their duty to the planet very seriously. The clear ban on plastic bottles and bags is especially nice. One of our favorite hotels in Holbox!
Xinalani – Puerto Vallarta
Xinalani means “seeds” in the local Nahuatl language, and this resort is about planting the seeds of change. The resort focuses on guest wellness and spiritual inspiration, and does so using a pristine natural jungle location, sustainable local vegetarian cuisine, serene sleep, yoga and much more.
Besides being an active wildlife sanctuary protecting whales, dolphins, iguanas and many species of birds, Xinalani also promotes connection with its local roots. The entire resort is built from organic local materials and the resort offers training and career opportunities to local people. In their words, “[we are] proud to share our space with local fauna.”
Xinalani Retreat features a spa center and Temazcal (steam house), has a terrace with views of the sea, and a fantastic restaurant. All guests will enjoy 3 meals and 2 yoga classes per day.
We like it because the attention to training and providing opportunities for locals is so central to the mission, which means their sustainability efforts will likely go on indefinitely.
El Dorado Royale – Puerto Morelos
Guests staying at this stunning eco resort in the Mayan Riviera will be happy to know that all structures exceed the criteria set by the Green Globe Certification Program for environmental conservation and financial commitment. One of the most notable creations is the Kan-Kanan artificial reef that protects the coastline from erosion and provides a 1.9 Km habitat for myriad local species.
At El Dorado Royale, the guest rooms use energy-saving air-conditioning, solar-powered water heating systems, and ozone systems in the laundry to remove any need for chemicals. An impressive 92 percent of used laundry water gets recycled and filtered back into drinking water. They also operate a dedicated area for protecting nursing sea turtles to promote their population growth and return to the area.
This Riviera Maya eco resort is really committed to the environment, but also to its guests’ commodity. A magnificent pool, spacious rooms, a lavish spa and secluded beach area are the setting for your eco-friendly dream vacation.
Luxurious perks like indoor hot tubs, aquatic activities, a Gourmet Inclusive Experience and diving lessons enhance the beauty of one of the best eco friendly hotels in Mexico.
We like it because the resort has gone far beyond its own guest facilities to promote sustainability, including initiatives to help sea turtles and other marine life.
Verana – Yelapa
Verana is an adults-only resort set in the heart of the Cabo Corrientes jungle. They only serve organic local food, and maintain an 80-percent waste recycling level. Even nicer is that they keep the resort area free of cars, which maintains a quiet and natural feel to this boutique destination.
Guests can fully immerse themselves in the surrounding nature – waterfalls, panga boating to nearby islands, whale watching, snorkeling and accommodation made exclusively from local and native materials. All lights used at the resort are energy-saving lights.
The accommodations are great, featuring a spa, pool and the best of Mexican cuisine, but the adventure begins even before your arrival. To get to this eco resort you’ll have to take a boat and then hike up the hill into the jungle, your bags being transported by mules. It’s quite the experience.
We like it because the car-free access makes the surroundings quiet and serene, something most resorts just can’t emulate.
Iberostar Playa Mita – Punta de Mita
This resort in Punta de Mita was recently certified by Green Globe with a compliance score of 90 percent covering many criteria. Iberostar Playa Mita takes active steps to improve energy use and water saving, to promote recycling and to use biodegradable cleaning products.
To give you an example, they have installed energy-recovering elevators that take back kinetic energy when the elevator is moving down, making them 50 percent more energy-efficient than conventional elevators. They also employ water flow limiters on all faucets, low-flush toilets and waterless urinals. On top of all this, the resort is active in supporting sea turtle monitoring and conservation.
To its guests, this hotel offers an All-Inclusive experience, with a wide range of sports, a full-service spa, a golf course, children’s activity programs and views to the Pacific.
We like it because the resort has a clear, systematic approach to making their operation more sustainable that has been recognized by a well-respected international body.
Best Eco Hotels and Resorts in Mexico FAQ
There are quite a few all-inclusive eco resorts in Mexico, all of them worth visiting. But overall, the one with the most facilities and better location is Sandos Caracol Eco Resort. Situated in the best area of Quintana Roo, it’s within a short drive from Cancun and Tulum, famous cenotes and beaches and the ruins area, including Chichén Itzá. The resort itself is home to many activities and relaxing options, providing the most complete experience for your trip.
The best luxury eco resort in Mexico might as well be El Dorado Royale. Besides its perfect location in the Riviera Maya, it features incredibly luxurious areas, both inside the hotel and in its terraces and outdoor settings. The facilities are first-rate too, from six pools around the resort, private beach area, a full-service spa (and I mean the full-service part), an outdoor fireplace, fitness and yoga classes, and many activities included, from archery to cooking classes to a nightclub.
Mexico’s tourist areas are pretty safe, and the resorts, especially the all-inclusive and luxurious ones, are probably one of the safest places to be at. Security is likely to be on duty 24/7, most of them include security boxes for your personal items, and resorts’ estates are guarded, so there’s nothing to worry about while you’re there. Of course, common sense precautions should be exercised (anywhere); don’t leave your stuff unattended, your phone forgotten on the breakfast table…As long as you’re careful, you’ll be good!