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Dangerous Wildlife Cancun Travelers Should Watch Out For While On Vacation

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There is no shortage of wildlife in and around Cancun, and it’s easy to forget that this corner of Mexico is made up of sprawling jungles and a tropical climate perfect for a wealth of animal species to thrive.

Dangerous Wildlife Cancun Travelers Should Watch Out For While On Vacation

Until recently, in the last 40 or so years, it was also one of the least populated areas in the country, meaning humans haven’t impacted the natural world here anywhere near as much as the rest of Mexico.

This means the wildlife population is still extremely strong. But the animal kingdom here isn’t just humorous parrots and mischievous spider monkeys.

These are the animal species that call Cancun home, which travelers should be aware of.

Coral Snakes

One of the great aspects of a vacation in Cancun is how green many of the resort areas are. This greenery adds to the relaxing Caribbean vibe, but it also acts as the perfect hiding place for Coral Snakes.

Although not known to be outwardly aggressive, if disturbed, they can and will strike back. Furthermore, this strike won’t just leave a nasty wound, as they are one of the most venomous species in the world.

Naturally reclusive, it’s unlikely for travelers to come under attack accidentally. Most incidents are a case of humans getting a little too curious about these prettily colored reptiles.

But even with their attacks being rare, it pays to know to avoid these quiet neighbors while on vacation.

A coral snake


The Stonefish is a master of camouflage, being able to seamlessly hide amongst the wide amount of coral on the Cancun coastline.

Not only is the stonefish difficult to spot, but it is also extremely venomous, to the degree that a clash with one of these strange creatures can cause death.

Avoiding Stonefish is as easy as not walking in rocky underwater areas and also avoiding coral reefs and anything that may look like a rock in the sea.

Taking this simple precaution can save tourists from a world of pain!

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A stonefish swimming

Mexican Beaded Lizard

Anyone who has looked into Mexican wildlife will know the country is almost a lizard sanctuary. A huge range of species calls this beautiful nation home.

And while many are completely harmless, the Mexican Beaded Lizard isn’t one you want to shake hands with!

They have a nasty venom that has strong neurotoxic properties. In other words, a sharp bite from this dinosaur can cause temporary paralysis.

Thankfully, like the Coral Snake, they prefer to keep to themselves and will only bite if they feel under threat and have no easy escape.

A mexican beaded lizard

Box Jellyfish

Another danger swimmers need to be aware of is the Box Jellyfish. Just how dangerous they are varies from person to person and on how many times someone is stung.

The Box Jellyfish sting is known to cause an allergic reaction in a large number of people, and considering this isn’t something doctors regularly test for, it’s a lottery as to whether a traveler can take this one on the chin or if it will be life-threatening.

A box jellyfish swimming

Like the stonefish, spotting and avoiding a Box Jellyfish is easier said than done. They are completely see-through and make absolutely no noise.

If a traveler is stung by these odd sea creatures, it’s advisable they immediately seek medical attention and anti-venom. The rash their sting creates can seem minor at first, but it has a reputation for spreading further rather than dying down on its own.

A box jellyfish swimming in dark waters

Black Widow Spider

Just the sight of a spider is enough to send many people running for cover, and when meeting a Black Widow, it is advised to join those high-tailing it out of the room.

Like some of the other species on this list, the Black Widow isn’t hiding around every corner waiting to strike at unsuspecting travelers. These spiders live a solitary life and are happy to live and let live.

But as laid back as they are, they are also extremely territorial. Their size means accidentally getting wrapped up in their web can, unfortunately, be a reality.

The bite from a Black Widow isn’t a happy experience, and while their bite isn’t going to cause death, it can cause serious tissue and cell damage which, if not treated properly, can cause more serious complications.

A black widow spider on its web

Respect Keeps You Safe

Staying safe from these dangerous members of the animal kingdom is an easy task. All it requires is for travelers to respect their space and not let curiosity take over.

But if a traveler is attacked by any of these animals, they should immediately seek professional medical attention. In many cases, an anti-venom is needed, while in others, treatment is needed to avoid extra complications.

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Vog local guide

Tuesday 12th of December 2023

Red yellow deadly fellow(coral snake)harmless unless treated as most wild animals, red black friend of jack (king snake) harmless !

No black Widows, bearded dragons or box jellyfish in Cancun.

gustavo Martinez

Wednesday 12th of April 2023

If you are warning against venomous coral snakes you should post pictures of it. Not inoffensive milk/king snakes


Tuesday 11th of April 2023

That picture is not a coral snake. Good try though.