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What Kind of Wildlife Can You Encounter in The Caribbean?

Have a look at the incredible animals you can find in Mexico and the Dominican Republic as well as in the beautiful Caribbean oceans.

Many vacation adventures include discovering fascinating tropical creatures that you would not be able to see back home. If you are a nature lover, then you definitely want to find out what sorts of animals you can see on your vacation in the Caribbean.

Since wildlife can vary greatly from region to region, we are going to highlight the nature to be found in both Mexico and The Dominican Republic. This is not a comprehensive list of everything that exists in these destinations but it should give you an idea as to what sorts of things it is possible to find during your next Caribbean vacation. 

Let us go and explore some Caribbean wildlife together!

Discover some of the Mexican wildlife

Mexican Birds

Mexico is a proud bird nation that has some very unique and rare birds to see. The most magnificent of them all is likely the Resplendent Quetzal however the national bird of the country is the Golden Eagle. 

Resplendent Quetzal

Here are some of the other beautiful birds that you might come across in Cancun:

  • American Flamingos
  • Yucatan Woodpeckers 
  • Cinnamon Hummingbirds 
  • Great Curassows
  • Black Throated Bobwhites
  • Yucatan Parrots 
  • Ornate Hawk Eagles  
  • Barred Forest Falcons
  • Yucatan Jays 
  • Keel-billed Toucans
  • Great Blue Herons
  • Northern Mockingbird

Mexican Reptiles and Amphibians

Mexico is a place that is just teeming with life. If you search them out then you can find a variety of turtles, frogs, and lizards. In fact, six of the world's smallest and cutest little frogs can be found right here. 

Additionally, you may find:

  • Yucatan Box Turtles
  • Axolotls
  • Green Iguanas
  • Black Spiny-Tailed Iguanas
  • Red Eyed Tree Frogs
  • Geckos
  • Basilisks
  • Mexican Plateau Horned Lizards
  • Craugastor Frogs
  • Mexican Burrowing Toad

Mexican Mammals

The list of Mexican Mammals is far too long to include in this brief article. We cannot even begin to cover the entire list. However, we should mention the Xoloitzcuintli which is the national dog, and the Jaguar which is the national mammal.

Jaguar: The national mammal of Mexico

We also found a few other mammals that we thought were especially interesting which you can review right here: 

  • Margays 
  • Ocelots 
  • Mexican Black bears
  • Tapirs 
  • Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys 
  • Spider monkeys 
  • Anteaters 
  • Coatis
  • Cacomixtle
  • Mexican Prairie Dogs
  • Mexican Grey Wolves
  • Flying Squirrels
  • Armadillos

Explore the wildlife in The Dominican Republic

Dominican Birds

The Dominican Republic is an ornithologist's and birdwatchers' dream. With very few predators, this island is a paradise of tropical flyers and has an impressive selection of birds for you to see. Though some say that the Sisserou parrot is the national bird of The Dominican Republic due to its frequent use on flags and seals, most people agree that the Palmchat is the real national bird of this tropical island. 

In addition to these, you may also get a chance to see:

  • Ridgway Hawks
  • Barn Owls
  • Magnificent Frigatebirds
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Hispaniolan Amazons
  • Stygian Owls
  • Hispaniolan Parrots 
  • Hispaniolan Woodpeckers
  • Hispaniolan Trogons
  • Hispaniolan Parakeets
  • White Crowned pigeons
  • Great Egrets
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Cuckoos
  • Puerto Rican Nightjars
  • Broad Billed Todys
  • Hispaniolan Emerald Hummingbirds
  • Flamingos and American Flamingos
Flamingos can be seen in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Reptiles and Amphibians

The Dominican Republic is famed for its endangered Rhinoceros Iguana but there are quite a number of other lizards, turtles, treefrogs, and toads that you can find if you are willing to search for them. Here are a few that you might come across:

  • Hispaniolan Anoles
  • Jaragua Sphaeros
  • Hispaniolan Yellow Treefrogs
  • Santo Domingo Curlytails
  • Antillean Sliders
  • Giant Hispaniolan Galliwasps
  • Spiny Giant Frogs

Dominican Mammals

Many years ago, much of the mammal population on the island was wiped out by the original inhabitants. As such, there are almost no mammals left with the exception of the national mammal which is the Hispaniolan Hutia, and a few others:

  • Hispaniolan Dolenodons
  • Jamaican Fruit Bats
  • Squirrel Monkeys

See the wildlife of the Caribbean seas

Now we come to one of the biggest attractions of the Caribbean. The ocean and marine life. Since the Caribbean seas cover such a large area and you can find all of these beautiful creatures throughout these oceans we are going to combine it all into one simple list for both Mexico and The Dominican Republic. 

Around your resort you may find whale watching tours, opportunities to make some dolphin friends, snorkeling amongst the tropical fish, or adventurous experiences where you can swim with the gentle giants of the ocean.

Swim with whalesharks in the Caribbean ocean

However, this is the Caribbean sea and there is an infinite abundance of new things and wondrous creatures to discover. Here are a few of them: 

  • Bottlenose Dolphins
  • Humpback Whales
  • Dwarf Sperm Whales
  • Pilot Whales
  • Blue Whales
  • Beaked Whales
  • Lionfish
  • Caribbean Reef Octopus
  • Whale Sharks
  • Green Moray Eels
  • Stingrays
  • Blue Tangs
  • Parrotfish
  • Caribbean Lobsters
  • West Indian Manatees
  • Sea Turtles

How to find the wildlife in the Caribbean

Being somewhere full of natural wonders and incredible animals is great. However, if you are going on vacation then you also want to find some ways to ensure that you get to truly experience the wildlife of the Caribbean. 

To ensure that you get to see your favorite birds, the coolest lizards, some magnificent mammals, and some amazing sea life, you can book a tour in advance with SeasonsTours or you can ask your resort concierge about the available activities within the surrounding area of Finest Playa Mujeres in Mexico or Finest Punta Cana in The Dominican Republic. 

Our recommendation is to plan out some day trips near your accommodations and whether you want to go whale watching in the water or see some monkeys as you zipline through a jungle canopy, we are sure that you will have an amazing time.


Tags: Caribbean travel tips

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