12 Animals You’ll See at Sandos

We Love Animals

At Sandos Hotels & Resorts, we love animals just as much as you do! So here is a list of 12 animals you´ll see during your stay.

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.

 Animals You’ll See

1. The agouti (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

12 Animals You’ll See


2. The iguana (Sandos Cancun, Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

animals you´ll see in Sandos Mexico


(Apparently, the agouti and the iguana are buddies!)

Animals investigating each other


3. The donkey (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

Rescued Donkey


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.

Baby turtles heading to the Ocean


6. The coati (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

Animals searching for food


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.

Cat sitting in the grass


8. The raccoon (Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

Cute baby racoon


9. The white tailed deer (Sandos Caracol) At our eco resort, we have a spacious habitat for the white tailed deer, an endangered species.

Group of deer


10. The anteater (Sandos Playacar)



11. The spider monkey (Sandos Caracol)

spider monkey perched on branch


12. The Xoloitzcuintle (Sandos Caracol) A truly Mexican dog!

Mexican dog


How about you? What animals have you seen on your stays at Sandos resorts?

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comments (11)

  1. Hi there. Looking to book a week stay with my family and my parents. Would love to see a monkey around to
    He resort. Can you advise which rooms are best for watching or seeing some wildlife? …likely off the ground floor preferred.
    And do you have rooms with attached private pools?

    • Hi Connie! I’m not sure which hotel you’d prefer, but here are the answers for our two Riviera Maya hotels:

      Sandos Caracol: The Select Club Adults Only Section and the Family Section rooms are both close to natural areas for animal-spotting, especially the Family Section rooms near the water park. The Eco Signature Junior Suites (Family Section) have plunge pools on the balcony.

      Sandos Playacar: The Family Section and Hacienda rooms are both close to natural areas for animal-spotting, although the howler monkeys mostly prefer the trees in front of the spa! The Hacienda rooms are located in “villa” buildings that have pools exclusively for the guests staying in that villa (1 pool per villa building).

    • Any of the rooms near the deer enclosure will guarantee you will meet the monkeys! They come to that area a few times a day to steal food. I hand fed a very very tiny baby last week!

  2. Currently staying at Sandos playacar and we have seen the donkey, cats, agouti, and iguanas are everywhere. We have been told there are spider monkeys on the resort but have yet to put eyes on one. I would love to see an anteater. Any particular place I could go to see one?

    • Hi Josh! At Sandos Playacar you won’t see many spider monkeys, but you can often see (and hear!) howler monkeys in the trees just outside the spa. For spider monkeys, you are more likely to see them at Sandos Caracol, just a few minutes away.

  3. There are very few Agouti compared to last year. Can you tell me what happened to them?

    • Hi Mike. As far as we know, there have been no changes. Agoutis can be a little shy, so it’s possible you just weren’t as lucky to see so many this year, or if the temperature was a little cooler than normal they might have stayed hidden. Typically when I’m at the hotel, I only spot one agouti every day or two.

      If you walk around the neighborhood of Playacar, you’ll probably see many more!

  4. It’s our second day here. Saw Agouti and Iguana so far and the cat so far.

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