Photo: Huatulco MexicoWith its high-rise hotels and crowded beaches, Cancún, Mexico is, in many ways an environmentalist’s tourism nightmare. It would have been easy for the country’s government to keep cashing in on the concrete jungle that lined the coast, but there has been a move in Mexico to think about the long-term environmental impacts of resort development.

One of the results has been the creation of a sustainable resort town in Huatulco, located on the coast of Oaxaca, where the foliage and brilliantly colored tropical flowers are the focal point. The resorts are almost an afterthought, tucked into the trees and sitting discreetly along the shoreline.

The Bahias de Huatulco is 29,368 acres, making it one of the largest and most diverse ecosystems in Mexico with 128 endangered species and several bays. Now a national park, it encompasses both land and water zones, which include large swaths of untouched beaches and overgrown wilderness that creeps right to the water’s edge.

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