At Sandos Hotels & Resorts, we love animals just as much as you do! One of our passions is to improve the quality of life for the animals that call our resorts home with a variety of programs to help them thrive in the wild. As part of our sustainability policy, we do not promote the exploitation of animals for profit at any of our resorts. For this reason, you will NOT see any photographers with animals at Sandos Hotels & Resorts. For too many years, the practice of using flash photography with wild animals has been the norm at many resorts. Many of these animals are not well cared for or treated properly, and even if they are, our moral responsibility is to not inflict any suffering on our fellow nonhumans.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same as we feel. On our beaches, you might see salespeople walking around with a toucan, an iguana, or any other variety of exotic animals so travelers can pay to have a photo with the animal. Please keep in mind that these vendors are not associated with Sandos Hotels & Resorts, and that Mexico’s beaches are public; therefor, there is nothing we can do to prevent them from selling photos on the beach. The animals used by these vendors for selling photos (as well as the ones found along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen), are often mistreated and kept in unfortunate conditions, and many are listed as critically endangered species by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), of which Mexico has been part since 1991. We encourage our guests not to pay to have their picture taken with the animals being exploited on the beach and on 5th Avenue.
At our resorts, you can come across many wild animals that like to roam around the property! We also have a few animals in captivity at our Riviera Maya resorts; these beautiful creatures are lovingly cared for and are all part of rescue programs. Our donkeys are rescue donkeys, and the macaws and white-tailed deer are both endangered species that we are helping with a reproduction program so we can someday return the species to the wild. At Sandos, we do not believe in captivity unless it is necessary for the contribution to the long term survival of a species.
With amazing locations so close to fascinating natural habitats, it’s no wonder that you can find a wide variety of critters at Sandos properties. All of the photos below were taken at our resorts! Most of them are wild animals, and some are the animals we have in our own habitats as part of our rescue programs.
1. The agouti (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)
2. The iguana (Sandos Cancun, Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)
(Apparently, the agouti and the iguana are buddies!)
3. The donkey (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)
4. The macaw (Sandos Caracol)
5. The sea turtles and their babies (Sandos Finisterra, Sandos Cancun, Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar) In the summer months, thousands of sea turtles come to the beaches of Mexico to lay their eggs. We help them by protecting their nests and releasing the baby sea turtles into the ocean once they hatch. At Sandos Cancun, we released 4,731 baby sea turtles in 2013.
6. The coati (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)
7. The cat (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar) In our two Riviera Maya resorts, we have “Cat Cafés” to feed the wild cats found on the property.
8. The raccoon (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)
9. The white tailed deer (Sandos Caracol) At our eco resort, we have a spacious habitat for the white tailed deer, an endangered species.
10. The anteater (Sandos Playacar)
11. The spider monkey (Sandos Caracol)
12. The Xoloitzcuintle (Sandos Caracol) A truly Mexican dog!
How about you? What animals have you seen on your stays at Sandos resorts?