The State of Quintana Roo, where Cancun and the Riviera Maya are located, is a natural paradise with a beautiful scenery of rain forests with ceiba, red and black cedar, the local chechen, mahogany, sapodilla, and palms. A little more towards the north, there are areas with swamps and mangroves. The extended system of underground rivers and the region’s climate naturally humidify the air, and thus the plants, keeping the scenery always green and fresh! It’s a nature lover’s heaven!
In these forests you will find some of these amazing animals: possums, bats, spider monkeys, armadillos, anteaters, tapirs, raccoons, squirrels, jaguars, ocelots, pumas, foxes, skunks, and peccaries. The jungle and coast also have an endless wealth of birds: macaw, blue and white heron, spatulas, ibis, flamingos, vultures, ospreys, black pheasants, doves, owls, barn owls, night jars, gulls, pelicans, frigate birds, cuckoos, kingfishers, toucans, nuthatch, and many other endemic species.
The coasts of the Caribbean have a variety and richness in fauna and marine flora as well. The second largest reef in the world stretches along the Riviera Maya, where more than 500 species of fish live. On top of the fish, there are lobsters, snails, turtles, sponges, sea urchins, seaweed, and starfish. Marine life is in itself a whole other chapter; it is common to see larger animals like dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, and many other species in these waters!
Plus, there’s the reptiles! While on a trip to the Riviera Maya you can find turtles, crocodiles, iguanas, boas (don’t worry, they’re not as common), and a vast variety of lizards.
The best way to see most of these animals is to participate in tours that take place in nature and ecological parks, such as Xel-Ha, Xcaret, and Rio Secreto. There are also excursions specially designed to observe birds, visits to the great biosphere of Sian Ka’an, snorkel at the reef, and swimming with whale sharks, dolphins, and other species. Check out the options here or contact the Amstar representative at your resort to get more ideas on how to explore this wonderful natural paradise.