Playa del Carmen is a coastal city located on the warm, inviting waters of the Caribbean Sea. Positioned in southern North America, the landscape of the town and its surroundings harbor a distinctly varied wildlife, and a vast ecological biodiversity.
The Sian Ka’an Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Mexico, is just one hour away from Playa del Carmen. It is a perfect place for bird watching and snorkeling, as well as for observing manatees in their natural wetland habitat surrounded by mangrove islands and forests. What is more important, a considerable number of jaguars roam freely in the reserve, but it is highly unlikely that an inexperienced traveler can see them their own.
Much closer to Playa del Carmen however, just half an hour away near Puerto Morelos, you can find an unbelievably beautiful botanical garden. You are guaranteed to see spider monkeys and varieties of coati, many of which live within the premises of the garden. It is recommended to hire a guide, since the local wildlife is so diverse that you will definitely need explanations.
In the summer months you can swim and snorkel with manta rays and tropical fish, and even witness one of the largest whale shark migrations on the planet. If you are a certified diver, you should not miss the winter season of bull shark diving, while non-divers can snorkel with green sea turtles at Akumal Bay instead. The turtles nest during the summer months, and at night you can see them digging their nests to lay their eggs.