The Mexican government recently decided to expand the Tulum Protected Natural Area into a much larger national park with the goal of recovering its beauty and developing tourism activities for locals and visitors alike. Over the past few months, substantial efforts have been made to reinvigorate and extend this protected national park into a new one called Parque del Jaguar Reserve. We are thrilled to share with you its new updates, features, and activities that will attract both locals and foreigners alike. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting transformation!
It’s part of an even larger project aimed at preserving the environment and promoting sustainable urban development for the region. Covering nearly 1000 hectares, this expanded protected area includes the Tulum archaeological site, the coastal zone, and the old Tulum airport. A total of 22km of perimetral wall has been erected to discourage illegal access and invasions. This massive undertaking is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2024, marking an important milestone in the effort to safeguard the natural beauty and ecological diversity of this incredible region.
New features and services
Exciting developments are underway with an array of new features and services being built to enhance the overall experience. Amongst the upcoming additions, visitors can expect to enjoy an archeological site museum, perfect for history buffs looking to unearth the area’s rich heritage. Cyclists and walkers will be thrilled with the practical inclusion of bicycle and walking lanes, six new beach accesses, and bicycle parking to ease travel and exploration along the coast.
Additionally, public transport stations will make it simple for people to arrive and move around while restricting vehicle access for safety and enjoyment for everyone. Environmental awareness has also been promoted with rainwater collection systems being installed to preserve natural beauty and provide a sustainable alternative water source. For the ultimate view, a watchtower has been erected and planned tourist and commercial services facilities will further enhance the visitor experience.
How to get there
Luckily, getting to this particular spot is fairly straightforward; cycling via north or south access is a breeze, while vehicles need to use the Archeological Site entrance(north) due to one-way restrictions. Don’t forget that if you’re entering Parque del Jaguar by car, you’ll need to show proof of reservation during night hours, so keep that handy. The best news? As of June 1st, 2023, Tulum residents can enter the park for free, while prices for Mexican non-residents and tourists are fairly reasonable at 85 to 200 pesos.
The construction of a Site Museum, which will feature representations of Maya culture such as their traditional house model, honey production, cultivation, biodiversity (with an emphasis on jaguars), and use of local medicinal plants, is currently in progress. The Conanp is also working to conserve endangered species, promote sustainable tourism, and restore ecosystems. The newly established APFFJ is home to an array of fauna, including jaguars, spider monkeys, and royal flycatchers, and 982 species of fungi, plants, animals, and insects. Meanwhile, the PNT offers a habitat for all four species of mangroves, as well as endemic palms like chit, guano, and nakax. The area has been monitored by the Conanp for nine years, with camera traps capturing the presence of jaguars, ocelots, tigrillos, deer, and collared peccaries, which all depend on the cenotes and water holes in the region for hydration.
Mexico has been evaluating the possibility of expanding its protected areas to include a larger, 250000-hectare biosphere reserve. This is great news, as protected areas are crucial in preserving biodiversity and habitat for wildlife. While details are scarce on the exact locations and development plans within this expansion, we do know that an area bordering Los Arboles Tulum at the north is already included in the current Parque del Jaguar protected area. As we eagerly await updates on this project, it’s clear that these upcoming areas will be instrumental in conserving Mexico’s natural treasures for generations to come.
Parque del Jaguar is a beautiful and unique place, with plenty of features to explore. Whether you’re an avid cyclist, casual walker or history buff, there will be plenty of attractions for everyone. This area is sure to become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. We can only look forward to what other exciting developments await us in Tulum’s protected areas!
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