April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), through the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU), the Ministry of Culture, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), and the National Guard are collaborating on the development of the Jaguar Park, an architectural project that considers the modernization of infrastructure and the improvement of visitor conditions to Natural Protected Areas (NPAs) and archaeological monument zones near Tulum, in Quintana Roo.

These actions are being carried out in the Jaguar Flora and Fauna Protection Area (APFFJ), Tulum National Park (PNT), the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve (RBCM), and the Tulum Archaeological Zone, where the Jaguar Park project is being implemented. This park is designed as a site for low-impact public visits and tourism, which will showcase the archaeological monuments, the natural and cultural richness of federal reserves, as well as conservation elements, such as ecosystems that support the local flora and fauna.

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

As part of this project, the infrastructure of the areas will be modernized, and the natural and cultural resources will be preserved. The objective is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as the cultural heritage of the region, in a manner that benefits the local communities, while also providing a unique and enriching experience to visitors.

This project aims to promote responsible and sustainable tourism, while also supporting the conservation of the area’s natural and cultural resources. It seeks to raise awareness of the importance of protecting these resources, and to encourage the development of environmentally friendly tourism activities in the region.

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

The implementation of the Jaguar Park project represents a significant step towards achieving the objectives of conservation and sustainable development, and towards promoting the responsible use and enjoyment of natural and cultural resources. It is hoped that this project will serve as a model for similar initiatives in other regions, and will contribute to the creation of a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry in Mexico.

Through the Urban Improvement Program, Sedatu has completed the first stage of the project, which involved building a 21.7-kilometer perimeter wall that delimits the PNT and APFFJ. Additionally, a 1.8-kilometer cycle path has been built along Cobá Avenue, consisting of two service modules and a planter system that serves as a buffer zone between the bike path and vehicular traffic, while promoting active mobility in the municipality of Tulum.

Efforts are also being made to develop new access areas to the PNT, which aim to control visitor entry, provide administrative offices, service areas, a public forum, and ticket booths. In addition, mobility in the southern part of the park is being improved to ensure the proper functioning of the internal route within the PNT, as well as the construction of a visitor center for the archeological corridor that includes the Tulum and Tankah archeological zones.

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

This project promotes territorial planning while preserving the natural and cultural richness of the area. To this end, guided tours along the cliff, through trails with sea views, will be implemented towards the north of the park where visitors can contemplate the Nauyacas and Cresterías temples, which evoke the theme of Mayan navigation. On the southern side, the park will have seven entrances: four to the public beaches of Mangle, Maya, Pescadores, and Santa Fe; one to the cliff (southern access beach), one to the Mirador Temple, and the last one to the lighthouse.

The Tulum Archeological Zone is located on a natural rocky elevation and is one of the few walled cities. Its buildings stand out for their architectural beauty and testify to the grandeur of the Mayan civilization. It is a site from the Postclassic period (1100-1529 AD), known to Europeans since 1518 when the Spanish expeditionary Juan de Grijalva observed it from the Caribbean Sea.

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

The new access to this archaeological zone will be integrated by information modules, ticket offices, bike parking, public restrooms, an immersion room, a documentation center, guide modules, restoration workshops, and turnstiles; as well as a campsite destined for INAH’s research work in the region.

The works include the construction of a Site Museum, whose executive project is in progress; it will incorporate representations of Mayan culture, such as their model of a house, honey production, cultivation, biodiversity (with an emphasis on the jaguar), and the use of local medicinal plants.

In turn, the Conanp works on the conservation of endangered species and promotes sustainable visitation and tourism, as well as the restoration of ecosystems.

The newly decreed APFFJ stands out for the presence of fauna, such as jaguars, spider monkeys, and royal flycatchers; it has various types of vegetation and is home to 982 species, including fungi, plants, animals, and insects.

Unveiling the natural and cultural wealth of federal reserves: Jaguar Park in Tulum

On the other hand, in the PNT, the four species of mangrove (red, white, black, and buttonwood), bromeliads, and endemic palms such as chit, guano, and nakax can be found. Here, for nine years, the Conanp has monitored and documented the presence of jaguars, ocelots, tigrillos, and their prey, such as deer and collared peccaries; there are also cenotes and waterholes in this area that are used by wildlife as drinking sources.

Adjacent to the PNT is the RBCM, where sea turtles, hawksbill, green, and loggerhead, nest on its beaches every year from May to October; likewise, it is an important area for resident and migratory birds, and in the Caribbean Sea, there are seagrasses and coral reefs that are part of the Mesoamerican Reef System.


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