Riviera Maya’s Mayakoba Resort Development Takes Action to Mitigate Climate Change Damage

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Riviera Maya Erosion
Photos courtesy of Mayakoba.

One of the world’s most beautiful beach destinations, Mayakoba, is undergoing a rehabilitation project to repair damage resulting from climate change. The eco-friendly Mayakoba resort development is set in the area known as “The Riviera Maya,” a 75-mile stretch south of Cancun on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Developed by OHL Desarrollos, Mayakoba is home to four luxury hotels, three of which offer private ownership residences.

Aquatic activities in the area revolve around the local stretch of the beautiful Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Climate change has been taking a toll on the reefs, impacting trade winds and ocean currents resulting in loss of sand and beach erosion. A strategic alliance has come together to rehabilitate the coastal ecosystem at Mayakoba; it’s a pioneering effort which will perhaps spur other such projects throughout the world. Jump to read more about this lovely area and inspiring reclamation project: 


The Setting:

Riviera Maya Erosion

The Mayakoba resort area is rich with natural beauty: sugar sand beaches, lush vegetation, lagoons, and pools. And, there’s that phenomenal Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Barrier Reef. In its entirety, the reef system extends along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, beginning near the Isla Contoy on the Yucatán Peninsula and continuing south along the Riviera Maya, Belize, and Honduras, ending in Nicaragua. It’s the second-largest reef system in the world, following the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The reefs support hundreds of species of stony coral, mollusks and fish, including many that are or are near endangered status.

Riviera Maya Erosion

The Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba, and Banyan Tree offer private residence ownership in a posh resort setting clustered around an 18-hole golf course designed by PGA legend Greg Norman. The OHL Classic at Mayakoba takes place on site each year. It’s the only PGA Tour event set in Mexico. It’s a  gorgeous course with its exotic, tropical features:

Riviera Maya Erosion

Mayakoba Riviera Maya

Mayakoba Riviera Maya

The Residences:

Here’s a quick look at the three residential sites, each offering resort amenities. First, an image of a Fairmont Mayakoba residence living area with a plunge pool:   Mayakoba Riviera Maya

Second, a master suite at the Rosewood Mayakoba:


Lastly, a view of a Banyan Tree Mayakoba residence:

The Rehabilitation Project:

Per press information from Mayakoba Tourism Development released earlier this month, Mayakoba is using sustainable technology and processes in collaboration with U.S. and Dutch coastal rehabilitation experts and scientists from the School of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Coastal dunes will be rebuilt and barriers will be put into place  to protect against erosion and recover sand on the beach and reefs. With the use of innovative technology endorsed by The Nature Conservancy, new coral barriers will be created through the propagation of Acropora palmata, or “Elkhorn Coral” as its commonly known, an important reef-building coral.

“The coastal rehabilitation project is a long-term vision; the investment for this project is upwards of $20 million. Most of the investment lies in the construction of 400 meters of artificial reefs with a linear spread of Acropora palmata coral,” said Maile Johnston, marketing and communication manager for Mayakoba.

The tasks of reconstruction and dune reforestation, rehabilitation of the beach, and building of artificial reefs are about 45 percent complete to date. Completion of the entire project is expected by 2019.

The initial beneficiaries of the rehabilitation project will be the hotel guests and residents of the Mayakoba resorts, of course, but longer term, it may lead to research breakthroughs and inspire more such projects around the globe. Good to know there are initiatives taking place to protect and preserve these beautiful sites. It’s a win-win for all of us.

Riviera Maya Erosion