Ecotourism in Mexico

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Mexican ecotourism is regarded as one of the finest approaches to experiencing the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage – a conscientious mode of travel that fosters sustainable development and preservation while enabling tourists to admire and discover the natural surroundings.

Mexico is a country famous for its remarkable biodiversity, magnificent scenery, and dynamic culture. Its ecotourism industry offers a unique opportunity to explore the country’s diverse ecosystems, such as its rainforests, beaches, mountains, and deserts.

Whether you’re interested in adventure activities, cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the stunning landscapes and wildlife, ecotourism in Mexico has something to offer for everyone.

The best places in Mexico for ecotourism

Baja California Sur

Baja California

Baja California boasts four biosphere reserves, with two standing out as prime tourist destinations.

The first destination is the Sierra de la Laguna in the southern part of the peninsula which features an incredible contrast of woodland and scrub ecosystems that are home to various endemic vegetation species. Visitors can embark on eco-friendly hikes organized with respect for the environment.

Meanwhile, the Gulf of California’s hundreds of islands, islets, and coastal areas offer a wealth of marine biodiversity, earning it the nickname “Aquarium of the World.” Along with hiking, numerous eco-friendly tour companies operate throughout Baja California in places like Loreto, La Paz, Todos Santos, and Cabo on the Pacific Coast.


rutopia hiking-San-Pedro-and-Salto-Grande-mexico

The Mexican state of Campeche may be underrated, but it is home to many breathtaking natural wonders including the awe-inspiring Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. This is one of Mexico’s largest forest reserves and, if you include the neighbouring countries of Guatemala and Belize, it becomes the second-largest forest in Latin America after the Amazon.

Calakmul also houses one of the most significant and largest Mayan ruins, with majestic temples peeking out from the dense tropical jungle.

It would be highly advised to hire a car to fully explore the biosphere and its surrounding areas.

Quintana Roo

Besting things to do in Mexico - Snorkelling in Morelos

Quintana Roo in South-eastern Mexico is undoubtedly the most frequently visited state in the country, making it more susceptible to significant impacts on its delicate ecosystems.

This state is home to several natural wonders, including the world-renowned Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which stretches from the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down to Honduras. The reef system is a crucial habitat for numerous marine species such as sea turtles, sharks, and dolphins, making it a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts.

Additionally, Quintana Roo is home to a multitude of natural areas, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Here, you’ll discover a diverse range of flora and fauna, including jaguars, pumas, and over 350 species of birds.

Tourists can also visit the beautiful Mayan ruins of Tulum, which overlooks the Caribbean Sea and accommodates iguanas and a host of other reptiles.



Queretaro – a state in central Mexico is a great destination for those seeking outdoor adventure and sustainable tourism experiences in Mexico.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is a stunning natural area that is home to various ecosystems, including cloud forests, rivers, and canyons. Visitors can go hiking, rock climbing, and bird watching while supporting the local communities through eco-tourism programmes.

The Pinal de Amoles region within the reserve is also an excellent spot for stargazing. Additionally, the Peña de Bernal, a massive monolith and one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos, offers stunning views and rock-climbing opportunities

San Marcelino Mayan Village

Mayan Culture

San Marcelino is a small Mayan village located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The community has embraced ecotourism to preserve their culture and environment while also generating income. Visitors can participate in various ecotourism activities such as hiking through the jungle, birdwatching, and visiting traditional Mayan homes to learn about their way of life and customs.

One of the main attractions in San Marcelino is the Huitepec Ecological Reserve, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including howler monkeys, jaguars, and over 300 species of birds. The reserve offers guided hikes through the forest and educational tours that highlight the importance of conservation and sustainable development.

Additionally, visitors can support the local economy by purchasing traditional handicrafts made by the Mayan women in the village. The women create beautiful textiles using traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations.



Rated 5-stars by more than 1,500 travellers on Tripadvisor.




Victoria O.

September, 2022
Two Weeks in Mexico
Seamless transfers, excellent hotels particularly in Mexico city and Puebla, combined with various cultural and food tours. Particular highlights were the cultural/food tours in Mexico city and Puebla (also including the anthropology museum in Mexico city), and the rural tours in Oaxaca where we visited textile workshops, mescal producers and participated in a cooking class using traditional equipment. Also, although we didn't need it, the on call remote assistance was reassuring. I would definitely recommend Rutopia.
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Kris S.

April, 2022
Enjoyed using Rutopia
Enjoyed using Rutopia (Marisol and Melina) to plan my trip to Mexico. Marisol helped me figure out the best options fand booked everything. Melina was my in country support. Rutopia (the company through Kim Kim) is great and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take the burden out of vacation planning. My son and I truly enjoyed the trip knowing everything was taken care of and we just had to have fun. Thanks!
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Melissa W.

July, 2022
Adventures in the Yucatán!
Such an amazing time in the Yucatán! Between floating in the mangroves to visiting Chichén Itzá to spending a whole day on the beach in El Cuyo, I couldn’t have planned a better trip without their help. Thank you so much for an unforgettable birthday vacation!! Simply amazing! Don’t think twice about having them help you plan your next vacation!
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April, 2022
Great experience with this agency, totally recommend!
Great experience with this agency. Our tour in Mexico was perfect and organised with great passion and precision. Special thanks to Mel (our direct contact during the trip) for being super responsive and to Jorge Barbosa (our tour guide in Mexico City). Totally recommend this tour operator!
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Sue G

June, 2022
Mayan Site Tour in Yucatan Penninsula Mexico
Rutopia did an outstanding job with the arrangement and execution of a 9 day tour of Mayan sites in the Yucatan peninsula. We provided Rutopia with the general parameters of the trip we wanted and they suggested an itinerary. After our approval, they set up the hotels, transportation within Mexico, and site tours. The hotels were good quality, and all of the drivers and tour guides showed up on time. We were very impressed with the quality of the tour guides and learned a lot on the trip. Jorge handled setting up the itinerary, and Melina handled the execution of the trip and was readily available via WhatsApp throughout the trip for any questions or issues. Melina was particularly helpful in changing our transportation arrangements to the airport at the last minute per our request. I would recommend Rutopia and would use them again for future trips.
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July, 2022
Fantastic Will do it again
My wife and I had a fantastic holiday in Mexico thanks to Marisol, Ana, Teresa and their colleagues & partners. The entire itinerary and arrangements were put together in less than 4 days. What we really liked about Marisol & her team was that they were only a message or a phone call away for any query/suggestion, etc. The trip was bespoke to the extent that Rutopia had kept in mind about our interests, food habits & executed bookings, tours. They were also very flexible in catering to last minute changes/requests. The team took upon them to ensure that our entire trip was comfortable & safe by taking care of even small stuff that one normally finds out post getting to a place. We would definitely like to use their services again!!
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Elena R.

April, 2022
A literally perfect trip to the Yucatan peninsula
Tom and I knew we wanted to go to Mexico. We knew we wanted a little bit of culture, some wildlife, and maybe a splash in the ocean. That's it. With the vague and minimal information we gave them, Rutopia was able to put together a perfect trip for us. We had a flawless itinerary. It's so clear that Rutopia really cares about the communities (animals and humans) in Mexico. Everything we did and everywhere we stayed felt like they were helping us experience Mexico as authentically and respectfully as possible. It's almost impossible to pick a highlight, but top of the list has to be the day we shared with Enrique, a Mayan host who was unbelievably generous with us. He shared the community gardens, including history and background about the families that live in Nuevo Durango and other nearby communities. He showed us the neighborhood cenotes, Punta Laguna, Uma Nojoch Keej (a wildlife reserve), and more. We picked and prepared the plants as Enrique and his wife Blanca showed us the best way to cook them (and rescued us when we were pricked by the nopales!). We saw howler monkeys and spider monkeys in the wild which was very cool. That had to be the very best day, but every day was amazing. Sian Ka'an reserve was lovely, the Mayan ruins were spectacular, the snorkeling in Puerto Morelos was fabulous, the bicycle cenote tour was jaw'droppingly gorgeous. I'm waxing superlative but it really all was like a dream. Beyond the activities, the scheduling and pace was perfect for us. We felt like we really made the most of our six days, but with enough downtime to explore and enjoy at our leisure. From picking up our car at the airport to finding our accommodation, the logistics were very smooth at every interaction. Special shoutout to Melina who pretty much instantly helped us when we had any questions about the trip. We've never used a travel planning service like this before. But after this trip, we'll never go back to the old way!
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July, 2022
Journey to Mexico City, Cholula and Cuetzalan
We had a wonderful time. We started out in Mexico City with a 2 day tour filled with museums, food, and beautiful sights. We then went on to Cholula to experience the culture in a smaller town, see a local market, and eat traditional food. We finished the tour in a small town called Cuetzalan, where most people speak an indigenous language. All of our guides were great. Thank you for a memorable vacation!
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March, 2022
Just wonderful!
We had an amazing trip excellent organized by Jorge and supervised by Melina from Rutopia. We spent 10 days in Mexico, starting in Ciudad de Mexico where we visited the amazing Teotihuacan and then we flew to Yucatan for the amazing sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Ek Balam, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and the great Island Holbox. The trip was perfectly organized, the hotels were very good, and the guides were carefully chosen. We highly recommend Rutopia and especially Jorge!
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Bikø J

November, 2021
Chiapas, Neri and her family
I traveled to Chiapas for an ecotourism experience with Rutopia and I liked it very much, the team responds very quickly to all questions and accompany the traveler throughout the experience, I missed my flight and they were very flexible to accommodate the entire itinerary, My destination was the lakes of Tziscao, where I was received by Neri with his family in very nice cabins next to a lake with incredible views and a magnificent tranquility, with them you make experiences of beekeeping and coffee and tours to nearby lakes, Montebello is a must! 100% recommended.
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March, 2021
Super local agency
We have worked with Rutopia for several tours in Mexico in the Yucatán and Chiapas and we have never been disappointed. Authentic experiences, with locals, in magical places and off the beaten tourist track. Our contact Marisol was always super available and responsive, understanding and anticipating our desires. And she speaks very good French. I highly recommend Rutopia!
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Mikel D

April, 2021
The best moment lived in Mexico
We were traveling as a group of friends with nothing organized. We like to improvise and be able to find alternative plans to the conventional tourist routes. We arrived in Puerto Escondido - Mexico's paradise - and started looking for options. A Mexican friend recommended us to contact Rutopia and we did. We explained our way of traveling - which they quickly understood - and in a few hours they came to us with a perfect selection of activities. We chose one of them and the next day we found ourselves galloping through beautiful hills, crossing a small lagoon in canoes, bathing on an unspoiled beach at sunset and sipping freshly picked coconuts with some mezcal. We had dinner in the only hut on the beach, eating fish that had been caught that day from the lagoon. Then we went to see the luminescence of the placton with paddle canoes until we were surprised by one of the biggest and reddest moons I have ever seen in my life. We ended up sleeping in bamboo huts a few meters from the waves. There were no more than 5 huts on the miles of beach that we could see. And at ALL times with an exquisite treatment - sympathy, kindness and attention. This is just one of the plans we booked with Rutopia, which definitely changed the course of our trip. Without a doubt, I would repeat this experience in any place I would like to visit in Mexico. Viva Mexico!
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Claudia A

September, 2020
Super organization, great accommodations and nice team
The trip was perfectly organized, we were always exclusive or in very small groups and had freedom to do our own activities. All accommodations were fantastic and sustainable, the food almost always local and very good, we could always fill our Rutopia water bottles and travel as plastic free as possible. We were met at the airport and had assistance getting a rental car. After that, we traveled independently but had our fixed dates and reservations with Rutopia. It was the perfect mix!
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March, 2020
Circuit in Yucatan
Discovering wonderful and surprising sites, Mayan communities with an unforgettable welcome, breathtaking landscapes, a very pleasant climate in the middle of March...and smiling people! A big thank you to Rutopia and his team for the elaboration of this ideal circuit, alternating nature, city life, simplicity and comfort. Thanks to Mélina for the follow-up during our trip. We don't speak Spanish well enough, and we appreciated having a French-speaking contact person who could be reached if necessary. We still have a lot to discover and hope to come back very soon, and with Rutopia without hesitation!
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Sabrina N

March, 2020
For those who don't like to manage logistics like hotels, rental cars, activities. And above all, to have someone who speaks fluent French that we can reach at any time for the unexpected... You are in the right place! Thank you to Chloe for the preparation of our trip, to Melina our Ariadne's thread and Teresa for her welcome and help at the arrival and departure. A big thank you to Enrique and Blanca from Nuevo-Durango for their welcome, their smiles, their family, a lot of emotions at the time to leave you. Thanks to Mémo for your teaching of Mexican customs (Sian Ka'an) The Yucatan is a magnificent region. And the population is very pleasant. Only downside Holbox... Too much dust, too much smell of fuel oil, too much tourist. I will keep in memory these wonderful moments!
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Top eco-friendly tours in Mexico

Mexico offers various ecotourism activities and tours in various regions throughout the country.

Here are five eco tours in Mexico and some recommended activities to add to your travel list:

1. Chiapas adventure

Tulum_Archeological_site rutopia

Looking for an adventure that will immerse you in the allure of ancient Mexico? A trip to Chiapas is just the ticket.

Chiapas, located in southern Mexico, is a destination that offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. From the lush jungles to the towering mountains, this region has something to offer for everyone who loves adventure and the great outdoors.

You can start by exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque which offers a glimpse into the fascinating Mayan civilisation, which once thrived in this region.

After soaking up the history, head to the stunning Sumidero Canyon. This natural wonder that offers a host of adrenaline-pumping activities such as kayaking and rafting. You can also take a boat tour through the canyon where you can spot exotic wildlife along the way.

If hiking is more your thing, head to the towering El Chiflon waterfall, which offers a challenging yet rewarding hike up to the top, ending with a panoramic view of the stunning waterfall.

For the ultimate adventure experience, consider camping in the jungle. You can experience the region’s unique flora and fauna up close, and even go on a guided tour with a local expert who can show you the best spots and hidden gems in the jungle.

2. Hiking Oaxaca’s mountains

Pico de Orizaba the highest Mexican mountain

Hiking the Oaxaca mountains in Southern Mexico is an adventure that offers stunning views of the region’s rugged landscape, with its rolling hills and towering peaks.

One of the most popular hikes is the Sierra Norte Mountains. The trails take you through lush forests, rushing streams, and picturesque mountain villages, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. For a more challenging hike, consider trekking up to the Pico de Orizaba – Mexico’s highest peak.

One of the highlights is exploring the ancient ruins of Monte Alban, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture.

Along the way, you can spot exotic wildlife such as deer, foxes, and even the elusive jaguar, which makes its home in the mountains of Oaxaca. If you’re lucky, you may even glimpse the rare quetzal – a bird considered a sacred symbol in ancient Mesoamerican cultures.

It is recommended to hire a local guide who can help you navigate the terrain and show you the best spots for spectacular views. This hike is not just a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but you’ll also be contributing to the progress of the traditional Zapotec communities that populate the Sierra Norte.

3. Oaxaca cycling excursion

Explore Chemuyil by bicycle

The Oaxaca Cycling Excursion is an exhilarating way to explore the beautiful region of Oaxaca, Mexico. This trip is designed for cycling enthusiasts who want to experience the region’s rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine while enjoying the thrill of cycling through scenic routes.

The cycling excursion typically starts in the city of Oaxaca. From there, you will set off on a series of cycling routes that take you through the region’s stunning countryside, dotted with quaint villages, ancient ruins, and beautiful natural wonders.

One of the highlights of the trip is cycling through the beautiful valleys and hillsides of the Sierra Norte Mountain range. This area is home to several indigenous communities, who have preserved their traditional way of life and continue to produce handmade crafts and textiles using traditional techniques.

Throughout the cycling excursion, you will be accompanied by knowledgeable guides who can provide insights into the history, culture, and ecology of the region. They can also customise the cycling routes based on your preferences and abilities, ensuring that the trip is enjoyable and safe for everyone.


4. Migration of the monarch butterflies experience

Monarch butterflies

The migration of the Monarch butterflies is one of nature’s most spectacular events. Every year, millions of Monarch butterflies travel from their breeding grounds in Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in Mexico, covering a distance of over 2,000 miles.

The migration typically occurs between late October and early November, with the butterflies arriving in Mexico’s central highlands to escape the cold weather up north. One of the best places to witness this incredible natural spectacle is the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in the state of Michoacán, Mexico.

The trip typically includes a guided tour of the reserve, where you can see the butterflies in their natural habitat and learn about their life cycle and behaviours. One of the key highlights is visiting the monarch butterfly sanctuaries, where you can see the butterflies clustering together on trees and bushes, forming a vibrant orange and black canopy that is truly a sight to behold.

In addition to witnessing the migration, a trip to Michoacán also offers the chance to immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture and traditions. You can visit local villages and towns, sample the delicious cuisine, and learn about the indigenous communities that have lived in the area for centuries. 

5. Sea turtles and whale watching on the western coast

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The Sea Turtles and Whale Watching excursion is a great way to experience the natural wonders of the western coast of Mexico. This trip is designed to help preserve the delicate ocean ecosystem by educating travellers about the importance of conservation and sustainable tourism practices.

The Baja California coast is home to several species of sea turtles, including the endangered loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles. You can witness these majestic creatures nesting on the beaches and learn about the efforts to protect their habitat and ensure their survival.

Whale watching is another highlight of the trip and you’ll discover several species including humpback, gray, blue, and fin whales. You can take a boat tour to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat and come to know about the efforts to protect them from threats such as pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

You will be accompanied by knowledgeable guides throughout the excursion who are passionate about ocean conservation and sustainable tourism practices. They can answer any questions you may have and provide insights into the efforts being made to protect the delicate ocean ecosystem.

More than a travel platform

Rutopia is the bond that connects travellers with local hosts in sustainable nature destinations.

What is community eco-tourism?

Community-based ecotourism focuses on preserving natural and cultural resources while providing economic benefits to local communities through the principles of responsible travel, environmental conservation, and community development.

In community-based ecotourism, local communities are usually directly involved in the planning, development, and management of tourist activities. The goal is to empower local communities and promote their economic and social well-being, while also preserving the environment and cultural heritage of the region.

Ecotourism activities in local communities are typically small-scale and low-impact, designed to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and local communities. Visitors are encouraged to learn about the local environment, culture, and history, and to engage in responsible travel practices.

How Rutopia is promoting ecotourism in Mexico

Rutopía is promoting ecotourism in Mexico by offering sustainable and responsible travel experiences that support local communities and minimise negative environmental impacts

We work with local communities to create authentic and immersive experiences that showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Our ecotourism practices include:

  • Minimising waste and reducing the use of single-use plastics
  • Supporting local businesses
  • Promoting conservation efforts

We also prioritise working with local guides and operators, which helps to ensure that the benefits of tourism go directly to the communities acting as hosts.

In addition, we are committed to education and awareness-raising around sustainable travel practices. We offer workshops and training programs for local communities to help them develop and promote sustainable tourism practices.

Create your Mexican adventure!

Our team will help you with free destination advice, activity ideas and provide full costings.

So you can stop dreaming and start packing!