ASTONISHING Animals of Cancun and the Riviera Maya

They were here long before the tourists, the hotels…even before the Mayans who called this place their home.

Who are they? They are the unbelievably colorful, beautiful and sometimes dangerous animals of Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

While there are many, here we present seven animals to marvel your eyes, and maybe help your heart skip a beat…

 

The Jaguar

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To the Mayans he is Balam…The largest of the big cats in the Americas, the jaguar features prominently in the mythology of native cultures, including the Maya and the Aztec. Dense forest is his preferred habitat, and like the tiger,  enjoys swimming.  While they tend to stay far away from noise, you can see them in places like Xcaret Park.

 

Black Iguana

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They are the largest of the ctenosaura lizards, and can grow as long as 1.5 meters ( 4.9 ft.) Known for their large spiny crests (especially on males), you can find these lizard kings and queens sunning themselves all over Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and even sunning themselves on your favorite archaeological monument like the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza or Tulum… After all, it is their home.

 

Spider Monkey

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You’ll find these mischievous creatures throughout the Mayan World…their long, spider-like limbs give them their name. Often weighing as much as 20 lbs, their arms are much longer than their legs, and their tails can support their entire weight and can be used as an extra limb. You might just see them in the jungles of our area, especially if you are on a Xenotes Tour.

 

Howler Monkey

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You’ll hear these monkeys before you see them, and their call is quite distinctive. Their characteristically deep howl will announce their presence to everyone and everything in the area. Mexican Howlers form large groups of up to 40 members or more, but due to loss of habitat, are on the endangered species list.

 

Mexican Red Rump or Black Velvet Tarantula

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You can find this creature right here in the Mexican Caribbean and throughout Mexico, but they can also be found as far south as Belize, Yucatan, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Like most tarantulas, they’ll eat anything they can overpower, namely insects, lizards and even rodents, and are important for the control of those species’ populations.

Despite their scary appearance and reputation, tarantulas are not generally aggressive toward humans.

 

Keel-billed Toucan

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With colors much brighter than that character on your cereal box, the Keel-billed Toucan will blow you away with its beautiful and vivid  beak and feathers. Rarely seen alone, you’ll see these beautiful tropical birds hopping through the trees in our jungle forests with six to twelve other friends.

If you take the Tulum Extreme Tour, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these vivid members of our animal kingdom!

 

The Whale Shark

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Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish, but fortunately for us they only eat planckton and krill! From May to mid-September, you can find pods of these gentle giants swimming in the waters off the coast of Isla Mujeres and Cancun!

Whale shark tours are always in HUGE demand during those months, so make sure to book your Whale Shark Tour well in advance!

 

Our Caribbean waters and jungles have some of the most interesting habitats for some of the world’s most spectacular animals. We know you came here first for the beaches and the turquoise blue waters off our coasts. But if you really want to be in your own Discovery Channel or NatGeo Animal special, take a tour and meet some of the spectacular animals of Cancun and the Riviera Maya!


 

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At ecotourism-cancun.com, our mission is to find you the most exhilarating vacation tours and excursions experiences around, and to help you save time, money and effort doing it!

 

Comment by Leo, Julie and Alex. Xelha

Thank you. It was an amazing memory. We were so amazed with the service from the time we were picked up until we got drop off. The park was so beautiful and clean. Very well maintain. The breakfast buffet was lots of choices. The service of rental snorkeling equipment was very well organized and clean. Free towel and locker was a big plus.

I have to give a thumb up for the life guard. First, I lost 1 of the snorkeling flipper shoe. It felt at the bottom floor of the water. The guard dive in to picked it up. The second time, I drop my sun glasses while zip lining. I called the guard and he dived to get my glasses. It was prescription sun glasses. Thank you so much. We love the hammock.


Couple comment:

1.There are no photographer for Zip lining. Only the hammock lining. Maybe should add another fotography for that.

2. Extra bathroom on the way to the activity area will be nice. Overall experience was a 5 stars park. Will come back next year. Keep up a good work.

Thank you, Leo, Julie and Alex

What to do with older children at Xelha?

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At Xel-Ha big kids can do absolutely anything: learn to snorkel, get on the Trepachanga, jump out of the stone o courage, zip lines, do the sea trek it, swim with dolphins and much more, they can enjoy all of the activities of Xel- ha if they are between 9 to 60 years.

Also if you book the Tour Xel Ha All Inclusive, your children can eat whatever they please without paying more!
I go every year to Xel-ha with my kids and I learn something new of nature and how wonderful is our planet on each visit, if you have kids bring them to Xel-Ha is a relaxed and cultural visit, and wonderfully fun!

What to do with children at Xel-ha?

Xelha Park

Xel-Ha is a family eco park where all the family has guaranteed fun for little ones on your next vacation to Mexico.

At Xel-ha there is a special area for small children next to the cove that has a small pool and games made of logs where children can spend the whole day enternein, there is a maze, a suspension bridge were they can climb and climb the ropes, while mom and dad rest or snorkel, in turn, since there is a very close access to the cove, they have a slide that ends at the water and a circuit for the little ones to explore!

Also yoy can go sailing with your children on the wheels  throughout the wonderful river and mangrove. They can feed the fish with special food,  see the manatees, swim with dolphins or just watch them swim. So do not hesitate on visit Xelha if you have a little ones on your family, we will love it!

Swimming with Manatees

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Manatees

Have you ever just wanted to go into the water and just hug one of these “Sea Cows”? Manatees are completely herbivorous aquatic mammals, Their scientific name is  Trichechus manatus, from the Greek tri (three) and chechus (nails) and from the Caribbean native manati (with teat). To me personally, they give me an immense feeling of tenderness, and to want to touch and hug them!!!

In general, the activity with manatees is very simple; you enter the water with them and feed them lettuce. It would seem that the activity has very little point but the activity is so gratifying!!!

Interaction with Manatees is possible at the dolphin centers of Isla Mujeres, Puerto Aventuras and in Xel-Ha. In your reservations for activities in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, don’t forget to mention them to find out which center is closest to you.