Papaya Playa Project and Tulum: Building a Responsible and Creative Community
  • Kay

Papaya Playa Project and Tulum: Building a Responsible and Creative Community



Papaya Playa Project began with a desire to create a space for like-minded, creative individuals to unwind and connect with self and nature. Connecting with the self and nature is something that many people seek out of their vacations to Riviera Maya.

Papaya Playa Project and Design Hotels set out to create a new kind of hospitality that includes local culture combined with an emphasis on sustainability. This is perhaps the seed that made Tulum what it is today—a place of sustainability, eco-tourism, and wellness. Papaya Playa Project feels a strong responsibility to create a sustainable and responsible Tulum.

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Tulum is now one of the most sought-after creative communities internationally. People from all over the world come to immerse themselves in nature, art, and wellness. In general, Riviera Maya is a region becoming increasingly known for the conservation of natural, cultural and anthropological resources.


Tulum is home to the enormous biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an and ancient Mayan ruins. These treasures only increase the need for sustainability, and they are crucial to the heartbeat of Tulum. The Tulum Mayan ruins sit on top of a 12-meter (39-foot) cliff, along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.


Sian Ka’an became a biosphere reserve in 1986, and in 1987, UNESCO declared the reserve a World Heritage Property. At 652,000 hectares (1.3 million acres), Sian Ka’an is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world at 1300km. Sian Ka’an is home to 379 species of birds, 115 species of mammals, 90 species of native bees, 47 species of dragonflies, 74 species of beetles, 276 species of crustaceans, 310 species of mosquitos and 318 species of butterflies. The reef is made up of more than 84 species of coral, and the reserve is home to 1,048 species of flora. In Sian Ka’an, you may come across manatees, four species of marine turtle, howler and spider monkeys, crocodiles, Jabiru stork, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, pink flamingos, toucans, and tapirs.

Papaya Playa Project started United for Tulum, which brought together business owners, government officials and civil society to work on a vision for sustainability. The participants signed a Memorandum on July 1, 2011 to see this vision through.

Today, Papaya Playa Project is made of simple rooms that foster simple minds and stillness. The restaurant looks out over the water, and the food is all sourced locally. Complete the holistic circle with massages, beauty treatments, yoga, tai chi, and meditation.

Papaya Playa Project holds onto its creative, community-building nature through its amphitheater on the beach, where guests can come together to perform music, readings, lectures, or whatever they’d like to share. Papaya Playa Project is a place where people are consciously responsible with nature and the community.

In July 2015, Papaya Playa Project aims to achieve a zero emissions and zero contamination community by June 2018. The hotel will also be putting together a health corridor for culinary, cultural and shopping experiences immersed in nature. The corridor will host well-known artists, musicians, and holistic and alternative medicine practitioners.

Tulum is a magnificent center for wellness, sustainability, and artful living. Thanks to Papaya Playa Project, Tulum is continuing to grow as an eco-destination for like-minded people.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to write in the comment section below or send us an e-mail to: contact@kay.tours.

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