Against Animal Captivity

Say NO to animal photos

If you find yourself relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun and sipping on your favorite drink, when you’re approached by a vendor selling photos with an exotic animal – perhaps a colorful bird, or a monkey, or a giant yellow snake, or an iguana – we encourage you to take a stand for animal rights and say “no” to paying for a picture with these captive animals!


Sadly, what many travelers don’t know is that these critters might be victims of illegal animal trafficking, and in many cases they also suffer animal abuse from their owners. The sale of souvenir photos with exotic animals has been a popular practice in the Playa del Carmen area for many years, but now we are beginning to create awareness among locals as well as tourists about the deplorable conditions in which these creatures are living.


Unfortunately, as a company Sandos Hotels & Resorts cannot deny access to vendors who want to use our beach because it is a Federal Area, but we strive to create awareness so our guests can say “NO” to animal photos! Please consider that every time you take interest in animal photo vendors, you are contributing to the exploitation of wild animals in captivity. If we are to create a better society with respect towards other living creatures, we should first set the example. Let’s all become responsible vacationers and join the thousands who are already making the Riviera Maya a more sustainable destination.


Fun Fact:
You can learn about these local ecosystems and their Maya heritage on our daily Eco Tours in Spanish and English!

Some of the wild animals you can see


Monkeys are usually found up in the trees around the Cenote Cristalino area. Keep an eye out for them!

coaties at sandso caracol


Usually found in packs, these little animals are often seen scavenging for food supplies.

Turtles at Sandos Caracol


Spot them soaking up the sun in the Jade River or watch them swim next to the entrance bridge to La Laguna restaurant.

The Mini Farm

Sandos to the rescue

Not only does Sandos Caracol strive to spread awareness about animal rights, we’re also dedicated to rescuing local Riviera Maya animals from bad and dangerous situations. What started as just a few pens for donkeys, peacocks, and our xoloitzcuintle (Mexican hairless) dogs has grown to become a charming Mini Farm right here at the resort!


The Mini Farm is filled with dozens of rescue animals, each with its own story – like Lupita the macaw who was exploited for photo sales with tourists and now lives happily alongside her best friends Darwin and Ek, or Coco the pig who we rescued when he faced uncertain fate and possible death when he was abandoned after being used for a Christmastime living nativity scene.


In addition to the Mini Farm, Sandos Caracol also has reproduction programs to help grow the populations of regional species through our small on-site groups of macaws and white-tailed deer. We have habitats for these beautiful creatures here at the resort, and we’re constantly working on increasing their population and preparing them to someday be released into the wild.


Fun Fact:
Guests can get the full Mini Farm experience by signing up for our daily Animal Keepers activity with the eco staff! You’ll get to help feed the rescue animals and help our staff care for them on this tour, a special experience for kids and adults alike.

Members of our farm

coco the pig

The Pigs

We have two rescue pigs that we saved when they were discarded after being used for a live nativity scene. Today, they love to swim in the cenote and their jacuzzi!

ducks at sandos caracol farm

Ducks & Rabbits

These rescued critters have been with us since they were babies, and little kids love them.

goats at sandos caracol


Maaaaaa! The Mini Farm at Sandos Caracol is home to these lovely creatures, and they just love to eat.

Mexican Hairless Dogs at sandos caracol

Mexican Hairless Dogs

Known by the ancient Aztecs as “xoloitzcuintles”, these dogs have been a Mexican cultural icon for centuries. On your vacation here you'll get to meet Box, Luna and Pek.



Our vibrantly colored macaws have their own habitat. They’ve been rescued from bad working conditions when they were exploited to take photos with tourists.

donkeys at sandos caracol


Our donkeys Lupillo and Pepito have been living at Sandos Caracol for years, and they’re the children of our two donkeys at sister resort Sandos Playacar.