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Native Animals in Playa del Carmen and Other Local Customs

Local Customs in Playa del Carmen – Native Animals

Playa del Carmen is a seaside city located on the warm, inviting waters of the Caribbean Sea. Positioned in Central America, it is home to amazing native animals that are a must-see when visiting.


If you look closely at the ground or in trees, you most assuredly will see lizards and iguanas near Playa del Carmen. There are even a lot to see making their homes around the resort areas. There are small gardens kept by many resorts where you can see the local lizards lounging about and sunning themselves. They’re well-adjusted to the presence of humans, so you can get pretty close to them to take pictures. Visitors don’t have anything to worry about these scary creatures, who are too busy trying to soak in the sun to worry about tourists.


While strolling the grounds of your resort, you’ll likely find an odd animal crossing your path. These creatures look like large rats with a very small tail, but they sit up on their hind legs like a squirrel when they are eating. The resorts nearby have informational signs saying that these are agutis, or agoutis in English. Agouti are between 16 to 25 inches long and weigh from two to nine pounds. They are rodents with coarse black or brown hair. They are most active during the day, although you are also likely to see them in the early evening at the entrance to your resort. You might also see several of them in the garden areas during the day. For the most part, these gentle creatures are harmless.

More Rodents

You are likely to see large bands of coatis on during road trips to Riu Tequila. It’s not unsurprising to find them hanging out near resort pools and near some of the rooms near the pool. These little creatures wait around, hoping for someone to take pity on them and give them a snack. They seem to come out near sundown and don’t appear to be particularly frightened of the large groups of people that circle around to take pictures of them. Perhaps the coatis know they can expect a snack if they take a few photos.

Coatis are a member of the raccoon family and are between one and two feet long, with their tail being almost as long as their bodies. They have long snouts, and their facial markings are similar to raccoons. They weigh between six and 18 pounds, or about the same size as a domestic cat.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about native animals and other local customs in Playa del Carmen.     

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