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12 Mexican Animals You’ll See at Sandos

Amazing Mexican Animals That You’ll Encounter At Sandos

At Sandos Hotels & Resorts, we love animals just as much as you do! So here is a list of 12 Mexican 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 Mexican 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.

wildlife mexico

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 which we protect 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 creatures 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 in Mexico:

1The agouti

(Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

If you want to see an agouti you should pay close attention, since they are very shy!



02 The iguana

(Sandos Cancun, Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

It is considered the fastest lizard on Earth, being able to reach a speed of 35 km/h (21.75 mph).


Apparently, the agouti and the iguana are buddies!

Animals investigating each other

03 The donkey

(Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

The donkeys we have in our hotels are rescued, because they were used as pack animals or back riding. You can feed them in the mornings inside the mini-farm, in addition to petting them. Kids love them!


04 The macaw

(Sandos Caracol)

These birds are super smart, and they usually eat berries and insects.


05Sea 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. For example, att Sandos Cancun we released 4,731 baby sea turtles in 2013.

mini tortuga

And there’s another kind of turtles at Sandos Caracol!  The red-eared slider:


06The nasua or coati

(Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

The coatis live in groups of 5 to 20 individuals, almost always composed by females and young males. So if you see one , you do not have to wait long for their friends to appear nearby.blancoblancoblanco


07 The cat

(Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

In our two Riviera Maya resorts, we have “Cat cities” to feed the wild cats found on the properties.


08 The raccoon

(Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar)

This cute animals are popular for being very skilful with their front claws, which they use to take the food they want. Sometimes they are called “washing bears” because they wet their food, but they do it to remove the poison (like the one in the frogs) and other substances, although there are many theories of the reason why they dot it.




Mexican animals

09 The white tailed deer

(Sandos Caracol)

At our eco resort, we have a spacious habitat for the white tailed deer, an endangered species. It is considered the national symbol of the fauna of Honduras, and patriotic symbol of Costa Rica.


010 The peacock 

(Sandos Caracol)

Although its size is not small and has long feathers, the peacock can make short flights to climb branches of trees where they rest at night.





011 The spider monkey

(Sandos Caracol)

Did you know that spider monkeys only have four fingers? These thumbless animals use their tail as a fifth limb. Nature knows how to compensate them!




mono baja

012 The Xoloitzcuintle

(Sandos Caracol)

A really Mexican dog! This race is characterized by its lack of hair, and in Mexico it is considered a living heritage.





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

If you truly love animals, for sure you keep an absolute connection with them, do you already know which animal are you? Take the test and show us your results!

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  • Tom - Sandos Smart Agent
    October 31, 2018

    Wow that’s great information! As a travel agent for Sandos & Royal Elite it’s hard to get info beyond basic resort amenities. I am happy to have found this list of animals as I have several picture boards and webpages on the Caracol and Playacar. When we where at Caracol there were monkeys and coatis that I swear followed us. We had so much fun just feeding and being in nature. We don’t have kids so we didn’t spend a lot of time at the water park, but what an improvement! Thanks for the info.

  • Connie VanderVelde
    January 27, 2017

    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?

    • Sandos Hotels
      January 30, 2017

      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).

    • Dora Anderson
      March 16, 2017

      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!

  • Cory
    September 20, 2016

    We saw and Agouti and a Coati this morning! Very neat to see them so soon into our trip!

  • Josh
    July 30, 2016

    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?

    • Sandos Hotels
      August 9, 2016

      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.

  • Kevin Sim
    July 7, 2016

    Looks great.

  • mike pootmans
    March 13, 2016

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

    • Sandos Hotels
      March 23, 2016

      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!

  • Anna Baranova
    January 3, 2016

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

  • Carolyn
    May 20, 2015

    This is amazing and great to hear!!!