***If you are interested in going to the Akumal Sanctuary Please use the word TIFFANY for 10% a discount.***
I don’t know where the fear came from, but as a child, I was terrified of animals. My anxiety around animals increased, after being chased by a stray dog who I thought was trying to bite me. The only animal that did not scare me was my pet turtle Franklin.
When planning my trip to Tulum, I came across the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary. As I’ve grown older, I enjoy interacting with animals while on vacation. Even though I’m still afraid of some animals, I was willing to conquer my biggest fear of holding a snake.
They brought out the reptile and I was ready to run. I had flashbacks about my dream, where a snake had bitten me. After much encouragement from the group, I said “You only live once” and held the snake for about 5 seconds.
We came across the colorful parrots who were beautiful. It was weird to feel their claw-like toes on my hand but they were so pretty, I hardly noticed.
When I mention wild animals people think about monkeys. We all have read about those monkeys in Bali and Thailand, that will snatch your belongings if you are not careful. I promise that the monkeys housed in the sanctuary are well-trained and friendly.
In addition, you will see the following animals such as deer, goats, birds, monkeys, flamingos, ostrich, and more.
ATV riding is one of my favorite things to do. While zooming down the road, I pretended that I was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle while my hair blew in the wind and rain pelted my backside. It was such an awesome adventure.
You are provided with instructions on how to properly operate the ATV and safety equipment such as helmet, and goggles are provided.
Rio Sagrado Cenote
After interacting in the heat with the animals and riding the ATV we arrived at the refreshing cenote. Mexico is famous for having cenotes, which is a natural pool of water or sinkhole. The cenote is in a cave with crystal clear water. Feel free to swim around, if you can’t swim make sure to put on a life vest.
Meet my new friends Ricaya and John
The sanctuary provided transportation. I met Ricaya and John in the van. I asked them if they were familiar with the Black in Tulum Facebook group and we began talking about common traveling interest. Even though I just met them, we talked like we were long lost friends.
Let’s hear about how much they enjoyed their experience “We loved feeding the animals and being able to hold the parrots and monkeys. The best part was the underground cenote where we were able to cool off and enjoy the mineral water”.
Are they animals safe at the sanctuary?
Due to inhumane treatment, many people are skeptical about interacting with wildlife abroad. Fortunately, the sanctuary prides itself on having the capacity to take in animals who have been mistreated by humans or displaced by natural disasters and can not return to their natural habitat.
The sanctuary mission statement include 5 different areas of focus:
- Fair Trade: Handmade products from local communities are sold in gift stores.
2. Research Center: Collaboration with local universities for the purpose of biodiversity conservation.
3. Environmental Education: Trained guides offer educational tours and animals are allowed to interact with guests.
4. Welfare for Animals: The animals have the following enrichment programs: food, motor, social, sensory, structure, and animal training.
5. Rehabilitation, Relocation, and Reintroduction: Happy to report they have rehabilitated a Spider Monkey back into his natural habitat after having multiple injuries.
How to get to Akumal Monkey Sanctuary
Akumal is located approximately 25 minutes away from Tulum. You can either drive your personal vehicle, take a taxi, or use transportation provided by the sanctuary.
What should you bring?
- Towel 2. Swimsuit 3. Camera 4. Water Shoes 5. Comfortable Clothes 6. Money for photos and gift shop 7. Biodegradable insect repellent and sunblock
Please feel free to Pin the following images below
Don’t forget to have fun and face your fears. What is your favorite animal at the sanctuary?