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Bird Watching in Cancun, Mexico

If you like birding or animals in general then you will be happy to know that Cancun is a great place for bird watching and spotting rare and exotic species of birds that are found here in the Riviera Maya.

Home to a variety of bird species the Quintana Roo is one of best locations for both day birding and night birding tours.

You can even take a boat ride to see flamingos in Rio Lagartos or Cozumel, and if you are feeling really adventurous you can organize a birding trip to some of the archaeological sites located around the Riviera Maya.

If you are staying at Sandos, you won’t even have to leave the resort to find exotic birds.

Osprey Yucatan
Osprey Yucatan

The Riviera Maya is home to extreme excursions, incredible shopping centers, and rich culture from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. But one thing that a lot of international travelers often forget about is the array of extravagant and mesmerizing fauna and flora that call this paradise home.

Common Birds Found Throughout Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula 

Though there is a huge variety of different bird species to gaze upon, there are some more likely to be noticed than others.

yucatan woodpecker
Yucatan Woodpecker

Local birds within cities like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Puerto Morelos, are described as majestical and when they are seen, noted to be a once in a lifetime experience. Some common birds found in the region are: 

  • Yucatan Woodpecker
  • Cinnamon Hummingbird
  • Great Curassow
  • Black-throated Bobwhite
  • Lesser Yellow-Headed
  • Yucatan Parrot
  • Ornate Hawk-Eagle
  • Barred Forest-Falcon
  • Ruddy Crake
  • Rufous-Necked Wood-Rail
  • Crane Hawk
  • Yucatan Poorwill
  • Thicket Tinamou
  • Orange Oriole
  • Mexican Antthrush
  • Yucatan Jays

What Makes the Riviera Maya Special for Bird Watching? 

Indigo Bunting - birds cancun
Indigo Bunting

Due to the wonderful climate all year round, bird watching is an activity that many people can experience no matter the time of the year. Not only does it benefit many tourists wanting to witness the array of different bird species, but it is also actually perfect for birds themselves. Like many of those who live in colder countries know, certain species of birds migrate to warmer areas during the colder seasons, but for the Riviera Maya and all of the locations in the Yucatan Peninsula, the weather is perfect all year round. 

Canivet's emerald
Canivet’s emerald

Climate aside, the Yucatan Peninsula boasts an incredible amount of flora in the region that many birds are able to call home. Mangroves and the Mayan jungle are just two of the main components that make up such a rich and flourishing home for many different bird species, allowing each bird to thrive in a location that is best suitable for their way of life. 

The Ultimate Canun Birding Spots

Hiking off on your own into the jungle sounds adventurous, but taking a jungle tour or a river tour is the easiest way to find rare and exotic bird species in the Yucatan. Many bird species often congregate around water sources, so taking a private guided trip to cenotes and unvisited river systems is an excellent way to photograph birds.

Sandos resorts are excellent birding spots because there is zero poaching or exploitation on the resort grounds, which means a number of exotic bird species take refuge on the grounds. Sandos Caracol for example has a natural cenote and a river system, so a number of fishing birds can be seen early morning. As there are quite a few fruit trees located on the grounds all you have to do is set up your camera and wait for the action to come to you.

birding cancun
Collared Aracari

Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or one who is just getting into the game, it is important to know all of the ins and outs before you embark on your journey. The Riviera Maya may be a new place for you, so it is essential to be prepared, know what to take, and where to go. 

One thing to remember is that a lot of bird species are protected by sanctuaries, and we highly recommend that you visit these sanctuaries instead of hiking out on your own, especially if you do not know the area.

Colibrí Canela - Cinnamon Hummingbird
Colibrí Canela – Cinnamon Hummingbird

What To Pack: 

  1. Sunscreen- If there is one thing the Riviera Maya is known for it is the radiant Caribbean Sun. When spending a day out, it is important to remember to protect yourself and your skin so you can keep on enjoying the excursion without spending days applying Aloe Vera due to burns.
  2. Biodegradable Mosquito Repellant- Many bird species are located within the jungle, and it is not only home to beautiful birds but also pesky mosquitoes. Focus on the birds and not swatting away mosquitos during your tour! 
  3. Comfortable Shoes- One of the most important things of all. Many bird watching tours start in the early morning, so a day on your feet needs to be comfortable. Make sure to pack something other than your sandals! 
  4. Binoculars- A tool of many seasoned bird watchers. Make sure to get a close-up view of the birds with this handy tool. We guarantee your experience will be so much better with them. 
  5. Reusable Water Bottle- Especially on hot days, it is essential that you bring a reusable water bottle to fill up throughout the day. 

Accommodations in the Riviera Maya 

Yucatan Peacock
Yucatan Peacock

Sandos Hotels and Resorts boasts three locations within the Riviera Maya to offer complete comfortability with all-inclusive options for bird watchers while in the area. 

Bird Watching From Sandos Cancun 

If you are staying at Sandos Cancun you will spot quite a few different bird species in and around the resort including the contrasting blue and black of the Yucatan Jay (image below). Sandos Cancun offers incredible amenities for all ages, situated in a prominent location in the Cancun Hotel Zone on a beautiful white sand beach.

Sandos Cancun also offers a bed & breakfast option allowing you an affordable place to lay your head while you spend most of the time out in the Mayan jungle exploring with the birds. 

Yucatan Jay
Yucatan Jay

Birding in Sandos Playacar 

If you stay in Sandos Playacar you are going to spot a lot of different bird species as the resort sits in between the beach and the tropcial jungles of the Riviera Maya. One bird you are sure to spot in the branches of the beach vegetation is the Endemic Orange Oriole. Mix relaxation and excitement during your stay and take advantage of everything the Riviera Maya has to offer you! 

Endemic Orange Oriole
Endemic Orange Oriole

Birding in Sandos Caracol

Sandos Caracol’s location is great for animal lovers and guests will often see a wide array of bird species in and around the resort. Not only does nature play a significant role in a getaway to Sandos Caracol, but there is also a huge waterpark suitable for all ages, traditional Mayan performances, and an exciting entertainment program.

limpkin yucatan

Sandos Hotels & Resorts strongly believes and supports the sustainability of all living creatures. That is why we recommend our guests to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. So if you are looking for a unique bird watching experience, choose the Riviera Maya for a getaway like no other. Looking for a reason to travel? See here why Cancun is the most popular destination to travel in the world. 

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