Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico - The Riviera Nayarit is fully committed to the new era of sustainable tourism with its excellent environmental and ecological practices, and the pursuit of domestic and international certifications that endorse the destination.
There are several businesses that hold the Distintivo S, a special accreditation that distinguishes them for having obtained other certifications such as EarthCheck, Rainforest Alliance or Empresa Turística Limpia (Clean Tourism Company), but there are other ways to claim this distinction, as in the case of Villa Varadero.
10. Organización Internacional de Turismo's Green Practices
The Green Practices implemented by the OIT include among other things the modification of production processes and the training of employees to reduce negative impacts on the environment. Hotels in the Riviera Nayarit that follow these practices are: Villa Varadero, Decameron, Grupo Marival, Villa Group, Bahía del Sol, Cactus Inn, Mar y Sol, Hotelito Los Sueños & Villa Amor.
9. Rainforest Alliance Certified™
This international non-governmental organization has worked for 30 years to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Dreams Villamagna is the destination's Rainforest Alliance Certified™ property.
8. Green Globe Certification
The Iberostar Playa Mita put the Riviera Nayarit on the Green Globe's map after it obtained this important international certification in Sustainable Tourism.
7. TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders™
The Greenleaders™ program gives certifications across different levels from a holistic environmental perspective. The most recent announcement was in 2016, when Marival Resort and Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta both reached the Platinum Level, the highest recognition of the program. Hotelito Los Sueños, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, The Royal Suites By Palladium, Grand Palladium and Royal Decameron have the Gold Level, and Dreams Villamagna boasts the Bronze Level.
6. Restoring and Protecting Isla del Coral
This is a very special case, as the Sociedad Cooperativa de Producción de Servicios Turísticos Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay Tourism Services Production Co-op) had the initiative of requesting the support of the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (National Commission of Protected Areas, or CONANP, by its Spanish acronym) to restore the coral and protect the very valuable Isla del Coral, with excellent results and the cooperation of other associations and levels of government.
5. Se Buscan Héroes Campaign (Looking for Heroes)
This landmark campaign is a co-participation between civil associations, the authorities and companies that has become a model of conservation for the care and protection of the Islas Marietas National Park.
4. Blue Flag Certification
The first Blue Flag in the Riviera Nayarit was bestowed on Playa Nuevo Vallarta in 2013; in 2015 the Marina Riviera Nayarit, located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, had become the first Marina to boast this international recognition; the Santa María del Oro Lagoon gave the Riviera Nayarit its third Blue Flag in 2016.
3. National Leader in Playas Limpias Certificadas (Certified Clean Beaches)
In the past few years the Riviera Nayarit has been the national leader in the number of Certified Clean Beaches under regulation NMX120-SCFI-2006 of the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, or Semarnat by its Spanish acronym) with 12: Nuevo Vallarta Sur, Nuevo Vallarta Norte I y II, Bucerías, Playa Palladium, Playa Los Muertos, Playa de Guayabitos, La Isla del Coral, Playa Becerros, Chacala, Platanitos and El Borrego.
2. EarthCheck Certifications
The micro-destination of Nuevo Vallarta received the Silver Level EarthCheck Certification in August 2016 once it cleared its audit. Of note is the fact that Nuevo Vallarta is the first place to receive this international environmental recognition without being a part of a Master Planned Development of the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (National Tourism Trust, or Fonatur). Hotels Grupo Vidanta, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Grand Palladium have also been certified by EarthCheck.
1. Nuevo Vallarta, a Profepa Destino Turístico Limpio (Clean Tourism Destination)
Once again Nuevo Vallarta makes the Riviera Nayarit shine: it's the first destination to be named a Clean Tourism Destination in Mexico on behalf of the Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, or Profepa), thanks to its excellent work in Comprehensive Water Management, Comprehensive Waste Management, Urban Infrastructure and Natural Resources. Profepa also awards the Empresa Turística Limpia (Clean Tourism Company) certification, which is currently on file for the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, a Vallarta Adventures dolphinarium and several of Grupo Vidanta's facilities, for example, the Sea Garden Hotel and its Jack Nicklaus Golf Course, among others.