Oct 062014

According to press reports such as Buscan dar “nueva cara” a Puerto Arista (in El Economista), there are plans afoot to develop nearby mangrove swamps as part of an ecotourism project. Local architects in the coastal town of Puerto Arista in Chiapas are backing the project to build what might best be called Mangrove Riviera.

The state government has released this 4-min video that summarizes the plan, with models and images of the area:

The initial investment required to get Riviera Manglar “Pakal Ahau” under way is around $120 million. The major advantage, from the state’s point of view, is that it would open up a new region of the state for tourism, cashing in on the area’s natural wealth, especially its mangroves. Proponents argue that the town could easily become a major center for ecotourism and that provided that the project incorporates a high degree of sustainability, and prioritizes the cultural identity of each location, it could be a model for similar projects elsewhere.

The six main places involved in Riviera Manglar “Pakal Ahau” are

  • Puerto Chiapas
  • Zacapulco
  • La Encrucijada
  • Costa Azul
  • Chocahuital
  • El Gancho

The project would extend to a subregion including Bahía Paredón, Boca del Cielo, Playa del Sol, Bahía Marías, El Madresal, Mojarras, Laguna La Joya, Cabeza de Toro, Cerro Bernal, Manglares and Villa Tortuguero.

In time, Puerto Arista could become another “tourist gem” in Chiapas and offer an interesting continuation of the long-standing Ruta Maya.

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  2 Responses to “Will the southern state of Chiapas become a haven for ecotourism based on mangrove swamps?”

  1. I watched the video all the way through.
    The second half lays out in amateur architectural renderings how the mangroves will be covered in concrete to create nice clean areas for beaches, roads and malls. Concrete walled canals will lead to water side cabins with a motor boat tied to the back of a bungalow and two or three concrete parking spaces infront.

    A TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARISH VISION (though a “dream” common in Mexican political and business circles).

    Mexico like many other lesser developed nations is mismanaged by politicians and businessmen who all suffer from an inadequate education and a total disinterest in the long term.
    I love Chiapas and eco tourism has to be tourism lite NOT build another Cancun.

  2. Thanks for your response, Steven. Thus far, this project seems to be only a plan. It will be interesting to see whether or not the plan becomes reality and to what extent local residents and environmental groups object. We can definitely agree that the term “ecotourism”, as usually employed in Mexico, is often more about “greenwashing” than genuine/meaningful “ecological tourism” or “sustainable tourism”.

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