The animals we know best in the Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya is rich in exceptional flora and fauna. The whole region is very green, unlike some of the desert places in Mexico. The tropical climate enjoyed by the Yucatan Peninsula is at the origin of such diversity. But also the underground rivers that hold great reserves of water.

In this article, we will discover the animals you are sure to find in this region.

The tzereque

If you want to see an agouti you must pay close attention, as they are very shy animals.

The funny Tzereque, with his tiny front legs and huge butt makes us laugh every time we see him running. It can reach 62 cm long and weigh 4 kg. It is a diurnal animal that feeds on fruit that it holds with its front legs while resting on its hind legs. It buries fruit that it does not consume so it plays an important role in dispersing seeds. The Tzereques form monogamous pairs for life that defend a territory of approximately 2 hectares. They build burrows in hollow trunks or under tree roots. They live for about 13 years.

These rodents are very often present in forests and often travel in groups.

The iguana

Iguanas are very present in the Riviera Maya. We even met some in the city. These totally harmless animals are beneficial because they hunt mosquitoes. They are also very fast and can reach a speed of 35 km/h!

The donkey

The donkey is a heritage of humanity, an integral part of the environment and culture.

  It has long ears, an erect mane and various shades and thickness of hair. They are docile to unsuspected limits, with an unquestionable capacity for endurance, rough and delicate, coarse and tender, intelligent and grateful.

There are many of them in the Riviera Maya and generally they are not afraid of humans.

The Macaw

The macaw has an iridescent red plumage. Part of the wing feathers are blue, yellow and to a lesser extent green. The area around its eyes is yellow and its face is dotted with white feathers. This is a medium-sized macaw, measuring 80 to 90 centimetres in length, but some can reach 120 centimetres. There are many people who own this fabulous animal. It is capable of repeating and imitating human speech.

Sea turtles

Sea turtles are a vital link to marine ecosystems.  They help maintain healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, which benefit commercially valuable species such as shrimp, lobster and tuna.  Sea turtles are living representatives of a group of reptiles that have existed on Planet Earth and have roamed our seas for the past 100 million years.  Turtles have a very important cultural significance and considerable tourist value.  Sea turtles can lay more than 150 eggs per nest and can nest several times in each season, compensating for the high mortality rates that prevent most sea turtles from reaching maturity.

The coati

The coati is a raccoon-like animal, but brown in color, with an elongated snout and a stylized banded tail, similar to that of a lemur; it has even been confused with these primates. It has powerful paws and double-jointed ankles, allowing it to walk on all fours on vertical surfaces without any problem, as well as to descend upside down from trees.

This species of procyonidae can reach a length of 1.4 metres, although its height is very reduced.  The coatis live in groups of 5 to 20 individuals, almost always composed of females and small males. So if you see one, you don’t have to wait long for its friends to appear nearby.

The raccoon

These cute little animals are popular because they are very skillful with their front paws, used to take the food they want. They are sometimes called “wash bears” because they wet their food, but they do this to remove poison (like frogs) and other substances.

The Spider Monkey

These small monkeys are very present in the tropical forests of the Riviera Maya. It is not unusual to meet them if one ventures into the forests or on excursions.