So, in response to guest interest, Mexico’s Velas Vallarta has launched new complimentary tours showcasing the resort’s relationship with local ecology.
“We are certified with EarthCheck (formally Green Globe) and also with TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program,” said Mr. Donald Willis, Assistant Manager of Operations. “TripAdvisor developed the GreenLeaders program with help from national and international green industry experts including the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program and the United Nations Environment Program which is why we are so honored to have Gold Status, the second highest level of environmentally friendly practices activation.”
Velas Vallarta is located on Puerto Vallarta’s Marina Vallarta beach where sea turtles nest from June to December. Volunteers come from around the world to help scientists find and protect turtle eggs, camping on the beach for weeks. “At Velas Vallarta, we share their dedication and support them with shower facilities, three meals a day, and a nursery on our property where the eggs are kept for approximately 45 days until they begin to hatch,” said Willis. “Last year, with our combined efforts we were able to raise and release 23,741 baby turtles!”
Recent guest Carol Patterson – Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary and sustainable tourism expert – commented on the hotel’s green practices, “I was impressed when I saw Mr. Willis take time to rescue a small bird. It showed a commitment to sustainability that goes beyond formal standards and underscores research showing consumer choice is influenced by hotel support of host communities.”
Specialty guides lead new behind-the-scenes eco tours, taking guests to hotel areas seldom seen by visitors including the solar panels, which heat the showers and pool water, and recycling facility. For aesthetic purposes, guest rooms do not have blue boxes but all garbage is sorted and recycled, where possible, to minimize waste. Tour participants learn how composting is keeping plants healthy and reducing the use of pesticide chemicals by one half. Guests also get a rare peak at enclosures used to house resident peacocks and injured wild birds and the turtle nursery.
Nightly rates at Velas Vallarta start as $147 per person per night, based on double occupancy. All-inclusive rates include suite accommodations, à la carte meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. The new hotel behind-the-scenes eco-tour is complimentary for resort guests. For reservations or more information, please visit www.velasvallarta.com, or call 1-888-407-4869.