Spider Monkeys in the Riviera Maya

Posted on  
January 01, 2024

During vacation, we can experience many different things. Whether it be discovering new destinations, meeting new friends, or indulging in new experiences, there is always something awaiting you! When you visit the Mexican Riviera Maya, so many magical creatures are itching to be seen, including the friendly and incredible Spider Monkey. Keep reading to learn all about them and everything that makes them so unique and unforgettable.

What is a Spider Monkey?

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


A Spider Monkey is an adorable and intelligent animal also known as the Guiana or red-faced spider monkey. They can be found mainly in Central and South America, swinging in jungles and mangroves! In Mexico, these beautiful animals can be found in the Riviera Maya. 

At Both Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar, guests can enjoy the sight of spider monkeys swinging along with the trees. They are friendly to everyone and may even sneak onto your balcony at some point! It is crucial to remember not to feed these animals because they are incredibly unpredictable. So, if you see a Spider Monkey on your vacation, make sure to keep your distance and enjoy them from afar. 

What Do Spider Monkeys Look Like?

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


Spider monkeys are very distinct and can often be separated from other species of monkeys, such as the howler monkey, another common monkey in the Riviera Maya. 

The different characteristics of spider monkeys can range between the different types of species there are, but here are some distinctive features that come with nearly all of them:

  • Spider Monkeys are usually all black; sometimes, they have rings around their eyes. 
  • They have a prehensile tail that is muscular and tactile. It is also considered another limb for the monkeys and can be used as an extra hand. 
  • Both sides of the tail are used for grasping and climbing; this makes it easy for the monkey to stabilize itself with their tail while they use their hands to grab food. 
  • Their hands are hooked shaped with their thumbs usually being absent. 
  • They only have thumbs on their feet. 

How Big Are Spider Monkeys?

The male Spider Monkeys’ body length ranges between 38 – 48 centimeters with a tail length of around 63 – 82 centimeters. Males can weigh anywhere around 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

The female Spider Monkey’s body length ranges between 42 – 57 centimeters with a 75 – 92 centimeters tail length. Females can weigh anywhere around 8 kilograms (18 pounds). 

What do Spider Monkeys Eat?

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


As we mentioned above, when you are on vacation and encounter one of these little guys, it is crucial not to feed them! So, if you shouldn’t provide them with food from the resort, what exactly do they eat? 90% of this primate species diet consists of fruit and seeds, perfect for where they live as the Riviera Maya boasts plenty of options for them to feast from. Spider Monkeys also like to indulge in: 

  • Flowers 
  • Aerial roots 
  • Young leaves
  • Bark 
  • Decaying wood 
  • Bird eggs 
  • Insect larvae 
  • Honey 

When feeding, they usually are always on the move or hanging by their tails to keep the food away from other monkeys. They are a bit aggressive when they eat, so they usually devour large quantities of food in one sitting. They tend to keep their distance when feeding, so it is crucial to ensure that if you see a Spider Monkey eating, let them be. 

Did you know there are different species of Spider Monkeys? Including the: 

  • Brown spider monkey
  • White-cheeked spider monkey
  • Brown-headed spider monkey
  • Geoffroy’s spider monkey

Ecotourism is Essential for the Survival of Spider Monkeys

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


Though you may enjoy seeing these beautiful animals playfully swinging through the trees during your vacation, unfortunately, they are critically endangered and are facing extinction. You may be wondering why they are becoming extinct, and it is due to hunting. Spider Monkeys are considered large in size and their meat is suitable to eat for hunters. They often travel in large groups and are extremely noisy, making them a prime target. They are also severely affected by habitat loss. 

These are the main reasons that ecotourism is so important, something that we at Sandos are proud to be a part of. Ecotourism protects different species of animals, including the Spider Monkeys, while educating guests on their importance in the ecosystem. Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar both accommodate these animals by not destroying their habitat and allowing them to live peaceful and healthy lives. 

Are Spider Monkeys Dangerous?

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


Similar to many animals, Spider Monkeys can be unpredictable, and that is why they are best to be observed from a distance. Those who find themselves in a Spider Monkey’s territory will be received with loud screams, sometimes accompanied by throwing objects such as feces and branches. Male Spider Monkeys fight between themselves, often swinging through the trees chasing after one another. So, if you come across a Spider Monkey, don’t get too close and just enjoy their magnificence. 

Where to See Spider Monkeys in the Riviera Maya?

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


The Riviera Maya is home to a magnificent jungle that shelters many different animals, including the famed Spider Monkeys. If you are looking for the best place to enjoy a relaxing all-inclusive vacation and be able to witness them in their natural habitat, we recommend staying at Sandos Caracol or Sandos Playacar, 2 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya! 

Sandos Caracol

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


An eco vacation is exactly what you need, and what better place than in the jungle at Sandos Caracol. Ideal for the entire family, Sandos Caracol provides an endless amount of activities, amenities, and services while being conscious of flora and fauna in the area. Imagine floating in the crystal clear water onsite cenote as Spider Monkeys swing in the nearby trees… Paradise right? 

Sandos Playacar

Sandos Blog Spider Monkey


Make sure to close the door on the balcony of your spacious and comfortable room so that the Spider Monkeys don’t swing in and steal some fruit! Sandos Playacar is situated on a mesmerizing white sand beach with two mini aqua parks, incredible daily and nightly entertainment programs, and unbeatable amenities. Come hang out with the Spider Monkeys and enjoy a beach getaway at Sandos Playacar.

Don’t wait any longer to book your next vacation with Sandos Hotels & Resorts! These amazing monkeys are just one of the extraordinary things that are waiting for you. 

*All spider monkeys at Sandos Hotels & Resorts live completely free lives, are free to roam, and are always treated with compassion and respect.